TsiTsa falls/Mozamboogie/Ponto do Oira

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by Queen of Hearts                                                                 September 2017


So…this exciting trip started on Sunday the 30th of July. I was planning on writing about this holiday trip in one article, but alas, I realize that it would be much too long, because we were superblessed to extend this trip for more than a month.

So here goes ‘Part 1’ with so much gratitude.

…the weather was slightly overcast, which makes for perfect road tripping, I find.

We left our home in Sedgefield travelled to Southern Comfort, situated in Harkerville where we fetched our friends Martin and Chi-Chi from his home which Martin build himself on their family farm.

Our lovely travel companions, would prove to be absolutely perfect for this amazing journey…

We travelled for eleven hours and arrived very tired at Tsi tsa falls for a welcomed overnight stay. It was dark, windy and very cold and we were so thankful to our hosts, Adrian and Angela Badenhorst, for the warm fire awaiting our arrival.

We created a quick feast of a dinner with leftover ‘padkos’ and Chi-Chi’s very own delicious brand of foods, ‘Raw Chi’ (for orders 083 4194658). Chi-Chi Love is a vegan. We felt superblessed on this trip to have learned so much from both Martin and Chi-Chi about good nutrition.

(Just some quick info on our friend, Martin… he is the fire chief at Afrika Burn)

With our bellies satisfied, we were quite pleased to enjoy a cup of tea by the welcoming fireside…

We talked a bit about our travel for the day. We travelled scenic, winding roads through Ugie and Maclear which was a first for us.
Bethesda, my husband, really is the best driver I know. He commented that he had a much easier than usual drive, as there were far less cattle on this road which we had never travelled before. He observed that this might be because the towns were further apart and we observed more fences to keep cattle off the roads.

Tsitsa falls is an “off the grid farm” which boasts with its own waterfall. The Badenhorst family bought the property 12 years ago. It was barren land, but they fell in love and started plotting their own livelihood.

It is just a 5 min walk from the house to the view of the waterfall, but after a good night’s rest, we opted for an extended guided tour of about one and a half hours.

 

 

 

 

We had the best volunteer as our tour guide, Mieke (7 years old), who confidently shared so much more than her wealth of knowledge with us. Her whole being radiated with an energetic zest for life. I do believe the fact that she could get away from her books (home school) early in the morning just added to her enthusiasm.

 

 

She guided us along rocky pathways into the unknown. We could not believe our eyes as we were superblessed to be surrounded with the most splendid views all the way until we arrived right at the back of the waterfall. Mieke showed us historical ‘Bushman paintings’ (left)…left from long bygone days. She even showed us most interesting fossils that she found.
We were also trusted with information on treasures she had found and left…

The homestead has more than enough water because of the river as they use a ram pump. It was awesome to experience rain water tanks used for inside the home overflowing when we visited.

After an amazingly informative guided morning walk, we said our fond farewells and excitedly took to the road for day 2 of our journey to Mozamboogie.

We decided to stop for lunch in a stunning forested area close to Kokstad at Ingeli Forest and Spa . After perusing the menu and not finding the good nutrition that we were looking for, we had a brainwave to ask for a vegetarian option. Low and behold, another menu were brought for our viewing. We found exactly what we were looking for and proceeded to order some fantastic vegetarian curries. I opted for an amazing lentil cottage pie.

Martin’s face were sweating profusely after indulging in an amazing chilli sauce. He loved it so much, that he made a special request for a take away of some chilli sauce.
(On hindsight, this proved to be totally unnecessary as we were going to “Chilli Country” and could negotiate good prices for the best ever chilli…even I had chilli with every meal we had…so delicious!)

With our palates well pleased, we took to the road again, excited to spend a night at our friends, Geoffrey and Ashleigh’s backpackers.
Sensayuma is situated on and have uninterrupted views of the Tugela Mouth. We highly recommend a visit to Sensayuma whenever in the area, but alas, for us it did not happen as planned.

Plans changed, as they so often do, when we decided to have coffee with our friend, Nadia van der Merwe in Ballito Bay.

We were enroute to buy our AA stickers needed for the border, at Midas in Ballito Bay, when we were held up by traffic because of an accident.

We whatsapped Nadia, who offered to purchase our stickers for us as the business would be closed at our eta.

We were super excited to see her after a long time as she moved away from Plettenberg Bay after completion of her studies. Nadia studied at “Equi-librium” to be an Animal Vetenary Therapist.  Horses and dogs being her main focus. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HMAsVtP0A6cFgJ9FeN9_BPnpZPJMCcS6dcmVbrWMBx4/edit?usp=sharing

Beautiful Ballito Bay…

It was early evening when we arrived. We were super pleased when Nadia invited us for an overnight stay at her home.

We spend an awesome evening of catching up…quality time with her… while preparing a simple, but absolutely delicious meal of roasted vegetables.

We had a lovely evening of good wine, delicious food and amazing conversation.

Next morning we felt refreshed and ready to drive to the border of Mozambique.

First we did some last minute shopping at Ballito Lifestyle Centre. This proved to take some time as there is definitely more than you bargained for.  As we had another 5 hours drive to the Border, B impelled us to hurry and off we went excited to get through the border.

Our border experience were exceptionally friendly and easy, in my opinion, because our paperwork were in good order. We were very well received and fairly quickly we were on our way to the boogie…

In the capable hands of our experienced driver, the loose, sandy roads to Ponta Malongane proved to be fairly easy for our Ford Ranger 4×2. Our eyes widened quite a number of times in anxious anticipation as we all focused on the treacherous road. It is not advisable to take on these roads with just any ordinary vehicle. You definitely need good ground clearance to avoid the unusually high “middelmannetjie”.

After an exhilarating drive which felt a little like an extreme sport of sorts, we arrived unharmed in the exotic town of Ponto Malongane. The town consists of small shops, a liquor store, curios stalls, but mostly restaurants and bars. The friendly locals are very tourist orientated as they know this is their main income.

Driving through the town, awakened the feeling of being on holiday. As we just wanted to get settled first, we drove through the town to our overnight spot which would be at Ponto Malongane rest camp.

Our friends, Ruan and Bridgette, would be camping already and we arrived at their stunning campsite under an umbrella of majestic green trees. They invited us to share their spot and this proved to be the best decision we would make. We had booked a chalet, but at closer inspection, we found this to be literally on the dancefloor. So we opted to stay under the majestic trees at the best campsite with amazing neighbours all round. We even had our own secret pathway directly onto the beach.

Luckily we made a last minute decision to take our tents on this trip just for in case…now we had our own adobe at least.

We did not however have much else for a camping expedition, but we have great friends and I must say that our friend Ruan definitely has camping down. He had anything and everything and there were no lack. Bridgette worked her magic decorating with beautiful cloths and lanterns. We had the best camping experience.

We had an abundance of fresh produce we had purchased from the farm stalls along the road. We fabricated an ‘evaporation fridge’ from a big box container by taking off the lid and stretching a wet cloth over it. We tried to always keep this cloth wet. It is amazing to see how well this works keeping produce fresh.

The next day found us very excited, waking up very early. We obviously wanted to start with a good cuppa of Java. Out came the Barista…

We were not ready for what happened next. Everyone warned us about the mosquitos in Mozambique, but we are pleased to report that this is definitely bee country. We take our Barundi (organic) coffee black and with honey.

The bees were so attracted to our honey, that we had so much difficulty drinking our coffee. There were so many of them. We had fun and games dodging them with each sip, eventually running with our coffee cups through the secret pathway and onto the beach. They followed us and we had to run upwind to get away from them, changing direction often as they were not deterred easily. We were fighting to drink our coffee which resulted in so much laughing.

Afterwards I could not resist the water and went in for my first swim in Mozambique. We were excited to explore and went for a beach walk. There are resorts all along the coast and we saw a wooden walkway behind a dune which we promptly took. We ended up inside the resort next to ours. It was absolutely beautiful with many wooden walkways to different homes. We had an awesome experience with Loerie birds flying around green tree top canopies. There were so many birds, chatting excitedly. Massive Hornbills were everywhere. They are huge and have a look about them of prehistoric times. It felt like we were on a different planet.

We continued on and onto a road. Then we saw a big gate. As we approached, the security guard must have thought that we were staying in the resort. He opened the gate for us with a huge smile and we ended up smack bang in the middle of the town. Here we did some shopping that we had to fetch later as they offered to do some engraving on our gifts. I splurged a little then, buying some wooden ‘fish bones’ for our deck back at home. Fish bones are definitely their signature emblem, I do believe, as you see these carvings everywhere as well as printed on fabric.

After our shopping expedition, we walked back, well pleased through dusty roads to our resort to see if anyone else was up yet.
When we arrived at the campsite, everyone was up and ready to do something amazing. We decided to have an exploration expedition to Ponto do Oira.

We were a little weary that we had not taken Malaria pills. Martin had told us about Vitamin B1 which is a much healthier option as it is easier on your kidneys than Malaria pills. Martin said that if we take this daily, mosquitos would be repelled by our smell. We were a little sceptical at first, but I have to admit that I do believe this worked well for us. When we were still in the city on our journey, we tried to purchase these vitamins, but it was super expensive.

Arriving in the town of Ponto do Oira, we decided to take a last chance in purchasing said tablets and we were very lucky to find them super cheap. We purchased enough for us for 10 days and it definitely pulled us through.

Back at campsite we chilled hard and saw a stunning sunset that evening.

When the sun set, we always have Ruan on the ready to entertain us with a fire show.

 

 

 

 

 

We had the best neighbours as they were the event’s paid entertainment. They had so many toys and we were superblessed to sit on our hammocks and watch while they practise right in our campsite.

We arrived at our campsite on Tuesday, but the actual event Mozamboogie only started on Friday and lasts for 5 days. Sound check started on Thursday evening though, so add another evening of electronic music.

Hats off to our friends Karen and Royston, hosts of this magical annual event. Also to our friend Frans, aptly nicknamed Legend, who was a pioneer of this event.

To everyone involved, well done, it was absolutely magical and we shall hope to be there next year. We have been trying to be there for the last 5 years and I hope that we would never miss it again.
To add to this magic, were the most splendorous supermoon eclipse. I have fond memories of dancing under the moon overlooking the soft waves ebbing and flowing…

We were superblessed as so many of our friends were there too. There were more than 500 people and we were happy to party, but also happy when we witnessed more and more beings leaving after the weekend.

When I reminisce, I think of an amazing seafood braai we had one evening which Ruan handled for us, complete by organising prawns, crayfish and everything else fishy through the locals. Ruan is also our usual braai master and we had a lipsmacking meal.

We met the most amazing new friends, Tobie and Charmaine, who we think could be family (on the Gagiano side)

…and we found out that they actually live close to us in Mosselbay

We were invited to their beautiful holiday home in Morgan’s Bay…on our way home… an invite we happily accepted. (Part 2)

The last evening of the event, it rained, and after 10 days camping, we were quite ready to leave for some more adventures.

We travelled with our friends, Nic, Jerrith and Engel to Ponto do Oira for a sleepover. We rented a house from the locals. After we got settled, we went shopping and out to dinner at a restaurant…

We left the next day and after the border, we were sad to part ways…as they were going to Pretoria and we had some more holidaying to do and headed for the Transkei…

…Superblessed with more memories…

 

 

 

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