Yoga???…is life…♡

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…the Naked Barista                                                                February/March 2019

Long overdue…this article…as I believe that I write to inspire…more often myself than others…

We are all on a journey, whether we know it/believe it or not…

I have been doing yoga since the age of 38.  I am now 51…and no, I still cannot pretzel…and after all these years, I am still trying ‘to flow graciously into a good peacock pose’.

This is just it…we have so many expectations from ourselves. The spells of expectations we weave around ourselves and then get depressed as we believe that we, (or our circumstances) are not living up to it…we get sick…in our bodies…then we try and cure our bodily ailments, when it is our minds that we need to start with.

I have however, learned how to stand on my head for quite some time – not only a good party trick, but seriously helping me to see situations better from a different ‘point of view’.

When I started yoga and why I started is quite the story…

My husband and I were very involved in church at that point and this ever since we went to live in Sedgefield, which was the year 1996.  We were actually facilitating self improvement courses within our church…mostly because we were the ones in need of these courses.

And, no,…these courses definitely did not encourage me to start with yoga, in fact, because of its Christian based content, it spoke 100% against it.

At that point, I was struggling very much with my health and were in fact told by more than one doctor that I needed an operation – again – to remove painful growths.

Since the age of 19, I have had confirmation of these growths around the area of my womb.  At age 19, I was admitted to hospital with severe pain and a sonar confirmed a tiny growth.  I must admit that at that time I was too scared to have an operation and after some hospital time and pain medication, signed myself out of the hospital.

After that episode, over the years, I suffered with pain more often than not, but relied on self medication.  It really did not help that I have always been very cautious of  trusting doctors opinions.

I have observed that most of the human race are a lot like sheep when it comes to medicine and being diagnosed by a doctor.  The reason for this is how we are raised in this belief that the doctor is always right and we are not taught to think for ourselves.  Our education for most of us, is to follow and not to think.

Yes, off course there are good doctors, but there are definitely more not so good doctors and over the years I have seen a few.

For me, it is still not a normal concept to put a knife to our sacred bodies.  Don’t get me wrong…sometimes it is definitely necessary, but I have come to believe that more often than not our ailments comes from our lifestyles, our beliefs and what we tell ourselves.

Medicine is a huge industry (a business therefore and a very profitable one at that and doctors are human enough to find opportunities to capitalize from this).  In saying this, doctors are not really to blame, if we buy into this very profitable business.  No, we are ultimately the only ones to blame if we just ‘accept a diagnose of a disease’.

I have a recording on my phone made 8 July 2015 – a conversation/contract with myself which states:

“I promise to accept myself, I am going to recognize my own needs, define what is most important and have gratitude for my health and all that is good in my life.  I am going to live more in the present.  I am letting go of my feelings of guilt when I am resting and learn to rest even more.  I do not want to live against myself, but in harmony and peace with myself.  To do this I have to find that which makes me happy and do more of this to gain my happiness. 

Even after that promise to myself nearly five years ago, I am still striving to keep up with it…and I believe this is why the lesson circled again and whispered even louder…

So… now, I firmly believe that we should accept responsibility for ourselves…as I decided to do when I became really ill a year later, in 2016. (hit on the blue link to read more of my illness)

For me it was a wake-up call just as dis-ease is supposed to be.  The word dis-ease really describes being sick…dis ease…meaning we are not at ease.

This is where yoga comes into play… mind, body and soul needs to be in harmony.

Also I have made it my mission in life to get well and be well…but first we have to get to a point where we believe that this is even possible.  Whatever we choose to believe, becomes true for us. This sounds really easy, but, believe me, it will be the most difficult part of your journey to a healthy and happy life.

As I have mentioned, we have not been taught to think for ourselves and to believe that we are the architect of our own lives.

We absolutely create our own reality.  These are definitely not school subjects and I believe this is the direct cause of lives spinning out of control.  We are taught what to become to make money (which is after all only a tool), but we are not taught how to apply/use this ‘tool’ with gratitude. 

I believe that gratitude begets more gratitude, which applied means that being grateful for money or rather what it can do for us will beget more money or what it can buy.  It is as simple as that.

One of my best inspirations in this quest, is the teachings of Louise Hay.

I recently watched her movie and it is well worth watching…

Louise Hay brainwashed herself when she decided that she needed change in her life.  She did this with affirmations.  One of my favorites is:

“I lovingly forgive and release everything in my past. I choose to fill my life with joy…I love and accept myself.”

Whatever we believe, we can achieve…

After many a lesson with teachers like Louise Hay, Oprah, Helen Keller (a blind woman) and other extra-ordinaries, I have come to the conclusion that so many years ago, I was led to yoga…

Why?

Lets begin right at the beginning…examining my entering into this world…

I was born with asthma.  When I came along, my Mother did not want children anymore as she had many a miscarriage before having me.  She had also carried to term and birthed a baby boy who sadly died after living for a day.  One can only imagine that nobody would want to chance going through such a sad loss again…

…but…

…alas, there I was…asthma and all…

I have researched and believe that my asthma actually stems from the fact that I knew even as a fetus in the womb that I was unwanted.

My lungs frequently left me in a bind from day one as research shows that children with asthma experience daily emotional roller coasters in their home environment…

…for me this makes a whole lot of sense only now looking back…as my Mom definitely did not want a baby anymore and that made my Dad my primal caregiver… which would not have been that bad, save for the fact that my Dad were an alcoholic.

…and the penny drops…

Research have found that children with asthma who blamed themselves for family disturbances were at increased risk of asthma attacks…and believe me, we had some ‘disturbances’.  I had asthma nearly every day and mostly at night.  My parents had their hands full as they raced me to the Rooikruis Childrens Hospital more often than not.

Research have also shown that it is not simply conflict or arguments that trigger attacks, but rather an “over-reaction, self-blaming” response in the child that can increase risk.

I am an only child…luckily, but this only made me feel more isolated and even more aware of the feeling that I were to blame for our dysfunctional family.

Louise Hay explains that the emotional cause of asthma is suppressed crying or feeling stifled…

Superblessed am I to have ‘journeyed’ through and past all of that…and now…with so much gratitude.

So…getting back to the topic…

…yoga and what it means to me…

When I went to my first class at age 38, I seriously went with the fear of Godthis because of the Christian courses that we facilitated which warned 100% against such practice.

I remember sitting on the mat and praying that if I were doing something wrong, the good lord would give me a sign and I would just as soon get up and leave.

I also clearly remember the fact that I did not want to go for an operation...again...and somewhere I had heard that yoga were a good practice for the healing of self…

Needless to say…I am so happy I stayed and after all these years I am filled with gratitude as I am healthy without having needed another operation and fully capable of breathing…yes…no asthma.

Yoga benefits the mind, body and spirit. Yoga will help tone your body but while it’s doing that, it also helps you to be truly in the present moment and infuses your spirit and mind with positive energy.

According to prevalent data, walking for 1 hour burns around 242 calories. One hour of power yoga on the other hand burns 340 calories.

Undoubtedly, yoga is a better option than walking when it comes to weight management and diabetes control. … Scientific data reveals that yoga is a better mood elevator than walking.  (I have been a serious speed walker over the years and it is absolutely awesome too.)

If you love to gym, just add a yoga class after.  This will stretch the muscles that have just worked, which lessens worked muscle pain. Best to do the body building part first, as body building will help build the muscles to hold your postures even better in yoga!

The very best time to practice yoga is first thing in the morning before breakfast. Upon waking, empty the bowels, then commence the day with your regime of yoga practices. The second most conducive time is early evening, around sunset.

Yoga builds muscle strength. Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility.

Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.

The researchers found that yoga outperformed aerobic exercise at improving balance, flexibility, strength, pain levels among seniors, menopausal symptoms, daily energy level, and social and occupation functioning, among other health parameters. Yoga most definitely does more than calm you down and make you flexible.

Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

“Regular yoga practice can influence weight loss, but not in the “traditional” sense of how we link physical activity to weight loss. … Many yoga practices burn fewer calories than traditional exercise (e.g., jogging, brisk walking); however, yoga can increase one’s mindfulness and the way one relates to their body.

You don’t have to practice Hot Yoga or be able to bend double in a yoga pose to lose weight. An everyday gentle yoga practice will fuel the metabolic system and will help burn fat, leading to weight loss. Daily yoga can also help restore the hormonal balance in your body, which can normalize your body weight.

Yoga postures, or asanas, work muscles in two ways. … The muscles doing the work get stronger by moving through a range of motion while supporting the weight of the body. Other poses, such as trikonasana — triangle pose — strengthen muscles by engaging them for balance and support.

With all these advantages, I would love to inspire you to give yoga a chance at any age and see what I am on about as with Yoga:

I have learned to breathe down to my core.  What a pleasure after all my challenges with asthma and my other health issues.

My ‘mat’ time is ‘my’ time.  Specially when we are on the road, it is so easy to access any program or class that suit you on ‘youtube’.

There is a false belief that if we enter into yoga practice, we will accept a different religion.  After all these years, I can safely vouch that this is total ‘hogwash’.  I have done a full variety of yoga practices over the years and I have not converted into a religion.  Some words are different, but the meaning it conveys is absolutely beautiful, but only if we take the time to find out, before again just buying into a belief.

Namaste for me is one of the most honorable greetings and humbly means: “I bow to the divine in you” or “the sacred in me recognizes the sacred in you”.

We do travel a lot, but when I am home, I am superblessed to have the best Yoga teacher.  Not only is Katja, at Pure Yoga, the best teacher I have ever had with the most beautiful studio in Sedgefield, but I am privileged to now have her as my daughter as well as she recently married my son, Juan.

…Superblessed with Yoga for life…

…I love my life…

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Stoffberg/Tonteldoos and wait…there is more…our son’s wedding! Part 3

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…The Naked Barista…                                                        February 2019

On the first of February 2019, we had a full day of driving away from Stoffberg starting at five in the morning.

B had to visit a couple of sites around Giyani and Thohoyandou. I love driving this early as we were greeted around six with the most beautiful sun striving to fill the sky with its brilliant light.  What a stunning show nature  provided!

We went through Lydendburg, Orighstad, around Tzaneen and over The ABel Erasmus pass which forms part of the birding route.

This route is well covered with plantations and orchards.  It seems that everything just wants to grow here… cabbages, bananas, oranges, mielies.  It was a lovely sight to behold such a healthy mix of fresh grown food.  It excites us even more now that our son, Juan and his wife Katja, also grows food for their hometown, Sedgefield.

We made the 2Ten hotel our home again.  This is the oldest hotel in Thohoyandou and we are received and cared for very well.

On the 4th of February, we left on the R524 at the foot of the Soutpansberg through the Levubu valley (aptly named the fruit basket of Limpopo), on our way to Louis Trichardt.

This is such a stunning piece of earth with Macadamia trees as far as the eye can see.  Avos, Mango and Banana orchards in abundance.  So many mielies too.

Amazing purple and pink trees make for unbelievable gorgeous eye candy.

We visited the Royal shop en route especially again for another 5l of macadamia oil for under R300 as we depleted our last stock over New Year’s with all our guests.

Back on the road again, all our senses were superblessed with majestic mountains covered in an abundance of natures own stunning bounty combined with farmer’s best planting efforts.

Around the 7th of February, we were in Thabazimbi once again.  We arrived in the evening and had a lovely dinner with Wynand and Jannelie, where we slept over as well.  Always a pleasure to add in such a lovely evening spend with our amazing friends at their beautiful home.

The site proved to be a bit of a challenge as it were an hour and forty minutes drive from Thabazimbi out on the Dwaalboom road.  We slept in town at El Shadai Guest House in a stunning garden only for one night.  I must admit that I found it to be just a little bit expensive for what we got.

We found a Game Farm about a km from site and also a little grocer store a little bit further for the bare essential foodstuff.

Schoongezight game farm were busy with renovations as it is not hunting season yet.

 

This lovely family, George and Genie Potgieter gave us accommodation and we were spoiled for four days with lovely views of various exotic wildlife.  So much gratitude for this lovely couple.  For all the hunters, we recommend this stunning farm with its lovely accommodations.  We were blessed with birdsong during the day and I had some of my best yoga sessions of this trip upstairs in their loft area as well as a simple stretch outside when we just arrived with some four legged spectators in the background.

Swartruggens were our next stop for work.  I loved our accommodations with Jenny de Kock at Villa Finesse.  I was superblessed as Jenny and her son Gerrit has a printing business right in their back yard.  I could get flowing again with my photo project and this is exactly what I did.  I had so much printing done in the few days we were there.  As my website were busted again, the photo project were flowing as it should.  Jenny had her family come and help me with my website and within an afternoon, Danie (0766357146) fixed it for me.

It was around Valentines while we were there and we had a lovely sexy time on the thirteenth when B finished the site early afternoon and brought a bottle of champagne for us to celebrate.  We would be on the road on the 14th which were Valentines Day.  So, best to start early!

We arrived in Pretoria on Valentines Day, but Andre (0834577895) at Coral Tree Guest house were fully booked for accommodation.  This is our usual spot, but Montana seemed to be full everywhere.  Eventually we found a space at Morgenzon .   They had a Valentines picnic and we were invited, but after much driving, being tired, opted to eat in our room.  I already bought some takeaway and we kept to ourselves.  We can definitely recommend these accommodations and we got a good nights rest.

The next day, a Friday, B dropped me off at the Mall as he had to service our vehicle.

I found time to at last cash my Dis-chem birthday voucher for last July.  I had my nails done and made a new friend (my therapist), Precious Sakhile Khoza.

Later, B came to fetch me and I were so surprised when we hit the road to Sabie where we were going to join our friends for Skillie’s birthday.  We were invited, but did not know if work would allow us such an extravagance.  We stayed in a chalet at The Krantz.  Our friends were in the main house and we had so much fun at the annual Round Table Sabie Tube race.

We have never heard of this event, but it was definitely one for the books.  This day were even more adventurous as it was raining the whole day.  We were quite a number of friends which made this day super special.  After the race, we joined in the fun as Jacaranda had some bands and there were even a second stage with Techno music.

We had such a blast that Sunday check-out time were much later than supposed to be, but our host were very decent with us and we were the last to leave.  We decided that we wanted to drive to Dullstroom and overnight there as we could only receive the tools we needed for the next job on Tuesday.

We were superblessed to spend some more time with our new friends of friends made at our New Years party.

Martin and Cari Mari is a married couple who decided to join us on our road trip.  So we set off towards Dullstroom, but not too far down the road, we turned in for a craft beer tasting at the highest brewery in the world, Hops Hollow Country House

After the beer tasting, we had some lunch…the best lamb curry we have had in a long time.  Then some folks came in also for some lunch.  We were amazed that they were the same people whose fire we used to warm ourselves at the tube race event.  What a small world.  We had a good chat and then we went to the cigar lounge where we shared some cigars.  Hops Hollow is such a nice place, but beware as it is a trap, once there, you would want to stay.  We stayed over in the beautiful accommodations and sat chatting at the huge fireplace with some good red wine until our eyes wanted to close.  It was just perfect and the following morning we were blessed by a gourmet breakfast

 

Our next stop were Dullstroom where we had a beer at Anvil Ale House and Brewery.  We then went to the info and booked a chalet at Woollybugger farm in Tonteldoos.  Yes, we were going to show our friends our latest marvel… Tonteldoos.

First we did a whisky tasting at Wild about Whiskey in Dullstroom.  This is an awesome place and we highly recommend it.  The lady who facilitated the tasting for us, were very impressive too.  She knew exactly what she was talking about and we had so much fun.

Afterwards, we just had to eat and had a lovely meal across the road at Duck and Trout (where we were surprised to see one of our friends from Pretoria, Zenobia) before heading out to Tonteldoos.  It is a 40 minute drive at least.

We arrived just after the sun had set and started a fire immediately as it gets really cold when the sun disappears.

The stunning stone chalet had two double beds with lovely white bedding, one of these beds, were upstairs in a lofted area.

The next day only could we see the beautiful surrounds, but then we were in a bit of a hurry to get back to Montana for work and could not do the hiking trails.  We shall leave this for a next time…

The 20th of February we booked in at The Khoroni Casino Hotel (a junior suite as it were the only one available) in Thohoyandou.

The 2Ten Hotel were fully booked.

B had to take down an old site just about 10 minutes from town.  The next evening we went back to 2Ten Hotel as we definitely prefer it.

B worked hard the next couple of days trying to finish on site and I could get some writing done and other admin.

We were really pressed for time as our son, Juan and his fiance, Katja, were tying the knot on the 2nd of March and we had quite a stressful time not knowing if we would be able to finish in time.

B were facilitating their forest wedding on our farm in Wilderness and we were very far from home.

Praying for a miracle, which with gratitude manifested, we could get on the road back home.

On our long way home I did all the different sites, filing as to be free from admin when we arrived.  Then I helped B ‘study’ for the wedding ceremony.  We were definitely in the flow as we made it back home in time and ready for all the guests to arrive, most of them were setting up camp all over the farm.  There were lots of preparation going on, but there were also a real good flow as our children are superblessed to be well loved and there were lots of helpers.

I am still in awe and still get goosebumps at how lovely this forest wedding were orchestrated.  Katja’s brother and his girlfriend flew in from Germany and many other friends too.  One of our best friends, Barry Bierman from Canada were informed too late to have arrangements made, but true to Barry (as always in keeping with his accustomed celebrity status), he made an awesome plan.  A cut out poster of him fully suited for the occasion arrived with our friend, Pieter Smit, from Cape Town and were placed among all of us.  This 6 foot poster kept everyone well entertained.  We ourselves were just so very happy and blessed to have made it in time.

Gratitude to Katja, beautiful woman, for entering our lives and especially being an amazing partner for Juan, our awesome son.  May love and honor for each other be constant companions on your life journey.

…Superblessed and loving life…

 

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Stoffberg/Tonteldoos and more… – Part 2

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The Naked Barista                                                             14 January 2019

We were driving as usual heavily packed to the brim with workmen and trailer. Gratitude once again to be on the road and gratitude for a great vehicle – not only our wheels – but a vehicle for success – an income generated travelling job.

We were well on our way as we needed to stop in Bloemfontein during business hours for B to purchase some tools at Adendorffs.  As it were, our estimated time of arrival that night in Stoffberg were only at ten.  I booked a room for our workmen as well at Die Pers Kombers to make life easier for B.

We have once again accommodation with Rykie (+2782 3383507) on their farm.

In Part 1 I shared about the recent fires on our farm.  This time, it was absolutely fabulous to see – as we went over the Outeniqua pass – how the color green has once again taken over. This view makes for an interesting contrast of black sticks where trees once stood, combined with fresh new greens emerging.

It was still early as we headed out towards Stoffberg.

The clouds and mist still covered the mountains, as the sun tried it’s utmost best to peek through…creating for us a lovely show. Gratitude  for such magnificent eye candy.

Around seven we saw an amazing sunset…amazing as we were driving away from the sunset into a heavy downpour of rain. So the colors ranging from deep grey were growing rapidly darker in front to pink hues disappearing ever so slowly at the back…

It has been a whirlwind December/January and B mentioned that it felt like we were going on holiday rather than off to work.

We left our farm with some friends still visiting and they will stay there for a while. Joe, our friend of many years and Nadine his girlfriend are still relaxing in the tranquility of Lochloerie (farm). Joe works in Lesotho now and it was such a pleasure having a few braais together again.

Adriaan and Blom is also still on the farm. They have been away for three years teaching English in Thailand and Vietnam. We had some really good times before we left.

The busy December started right after I came back from Cape Town.

Yes… we have a brand new handsome grandson, Maddox and I am so proud of my daughter Maryna who handled this new blessing with so much courage and finesse. We are superblessed with such a lovely family.

 

Maddox’s daddy, Rico is such a proud father and it has been so amazing for me to be a part of their journey. He is also a good Dad to Alexia.  (Her daddy died of cancer when she was two)

Alexia…of course is simply over the moon with excitement and I have seen this look before…many years ago when my daughter held my son when he was born. Such a proud big sister.

I landed in Cape Town on the 25th of November and had two amazing weeks with my daughter and her family. What an absolute blessing to have had this spending time together.

Maryna has been through a very tough time and I have so much gratitude for just being available.

It was also a busy time having to take Alexia to school…hair, teeth and lunches… and then up and down in the Cape Town traffic to hospital, just to start all over the next day with more of the same.

 

 

 

 

Superblessed to have been to Alexia’s first ever school concert. Being entertained by my first grandchild while holding my second grandchild…so much gratitude.

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Absolutely loved having a few hours for myself on the last Sunday in Cape Town and spending this valuable time with our friend of many years, Coenie.  He spoiled me as always…taking me to some wine farms nearby…

Durbanville Hills were obviously on the list and we had so much fun.

 

Back at home we got packing for Vortex.

This has been our annual festival since 2012. Every year we have our same camping spot.

This year has seen many changes as most of our friends who usually join us, could not be there. Our camp was filled with only a few old friends, but more new friends and it was an amazing feeling to be part of Vortex once again.

After Vortex a few of us decided to spend some more time together by visiting Caledon Spa. This was exciting for me, as I have always wanted to visit Caledon Spa.  Needless to say, we had an awesome time spend together.

 

We told our granddaughter, Alexia, that we would go and fetch her in Cape Town as it was school holidays. Our daughter, Maryna could do with some alone time with her newborn, Maddox.

We decided to fetch Alexia the next day, but we arranged first for another night at the Caledon Spa. Then only did we drive through to Cape Town. B got to meet his grandson, Maddox,  for the first time.

That afternoon we hurried back to the Spa and needless to say Alexia had the best time. We are so grateful to be able to spend time with our granddaughter.

(photos of before and after)

The next day we drove to our farm in Hoekwil/Wilderness where Alexia had even more fun as Reinhardt and Nadine  were already set up for camping.

We got busy organizing a New Years party on our farm. As there were not much time left, we really had to work hard to get this organised. Our plans changed dramatically, because of the fires. We were going to have the party in the Bluegum forest, but as it were still in ashes and very smelly with smoke, we decided to have it closer to the river. This worked out extremely well. For me it was even better as Maryna and her family could be a part of the festivities. Little Maddox could be well looked after as well. We took turns and we had the most amazing time spend with our children, as well as our grandchildren.


Alexia had the best time on the farm. She is all of four and very strong willed.

Before the festivities could begin, we had weeks of working at building showers and toilets as well as making fire pits where we could cook food to feed around a hundred mouths.


Luckily we had a very good workforce, but maybe not this one in the pic. One of our partners, Reinhard and his family were there to help. Our friends, Willem and Ben were also helping as well as Malcolm (one of our Djs).

They were all camping on the farm way before the party. As we were working, day by day more helpers as well as campers (party goers) arrived.

It was absolutely amazing to be a part of our first New Years on the farm. After such a horrific experience with the fires, this was all such an overwhelming contrast. It felt as if balance to our lives were slowly being restored.

I feel that this farm has been healing in so many ways and especially to me.

David, our friend (and now also a farm partner) who always decorates our camps when we are at festivals, were once again a master at decorating for us. He thought about everything and were running around in the shops, even buying storage bins with lids for our toilet rolls in our open air toilets.

After all the rush to ready ourselves for the party…this is what happened on New Years…

 


I am still getting goosebumps as I am writing this. New Years eve, I stood on the dance floor and soaked in the glorious beauty surrounding me.

By this, I do not mean just the decor or the natural beauty of nature…the indigenous trees surrounding us…the stunning dream catchers,

made by Katja…the tranquility of our river running past…no…it was all of that and so much more…more because we could share all of this with our handpicked friends…the most beautiful souls we share our life with…

This was the epitome of happiness.

Most definitely my best New Year of my life until now and here is wishing for an even happier 2020.

 


We are superblessed to be planning the next exciting gathering on our stunning farm, Lochloerie in March. Our son, Juan and his fiance, Katja, is having their wedding ceremony.

I would like to thank all our friends who volunteered to help with our New Years party as well as all our party goers. Gratitude for such amazing friends. Gratitude for all our gifts…even home made cookies…delicious. Thank you very much beautiful Rhodi-Anne.

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The weather changes very quickly in Stoffberg. One day it was extremely hot, but by midday a very loud crack of thunder could be heard and then a huge downpour of rain fell from the sky which turned immediately to an ominous dark grey. All of a sudden hail rained down. The lightning also took out the electricity. It felt strange to have four seasons in a day.

That evening Rykie told me that the weather were so bad the previous week that the farmers suffered…crops were destroyed as well as roofs of homes.

We are quite used to not having electricity on our own farm, so we were totally prepared with our own headlamp and torch.

Thankful to be able to get back into my morning yoga sessions. So grateful to have time to gift to myself. Such an important message to take time for oneself. I even sneak a ten minute meditation in after. For me it is so much easier to get on my yoga mat in the morning before I talk myself out of it. Afterwards I cannot believe why I would want to talk myself out of feeling so good. Even B is back on the mat and feeling so much better for it.

One day after B took the workmen to site, I went with him to inspect another site near Nebo.


Interesting to see the economy blossoming, with little businesses popping up en route between somewhere and nowhere.

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On a weekend, our friend Jannelie had a 40th birthday party and we drove more than three hours to get to Koedoeskop where it was held on one of their beautiful family farms.

We partied under the most stunning trees and danced on a carpet of lush green grass…

So many of our friends were with, some all the way from Cape Town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The band also came all the way from Cape Town and is called Willem Welsyn. So much fun to meet them and become acquainted.

The weather all through the weekend were stunning and that evening most of us could not resist sleeping under this enchanted canopy of lush green trees.

Earlier Dean, who lives on this beautiful land, drove us up in his vehicle to show us the view from the ‘koppie’.  We could hear the band perfectly from up there and we had a lot of fun…


Back at Stoffberg, we had to check out from Die Pers Kombers  for the next weekend as they had a previous booking for a wedding.

We booked in at The Lighthouse and were very well received by Kobus and Mellinda Botha.  Inside the beautiful cottage scented with fresh flowers, were a personalised welcoming note.

 

The cottage overlooks a most stunning dam and to add to the serenity, horses were grazing and sheep were being herded into camp as we arrived.

All of this and situated in the loveliest garden.  Complete, with cats and dogs making us feel right at home.

 

B had to be on site as I nestled in as the sun were setting…

walking in the garden and getting a few lovely pics.

 

I can definitely recommend staying here and as a bonus, we received a lovely breakfast on the ‘stoep’ the next morning.  After breakfast, we had a tough time leaving as we got to talking with the lovely owners.  As they have had the farm for more than 23 years, everything were neatly in its place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop not too far from there were a little town, (actually  smaller than a town and called a little hamlet) Tonteldoos.  As we found out that a village were supposed to have shops and Tonteldoos has a pub, a tiny shop, a restaurant and The Barn which boasts some books, plants and antiques.  The closest town is Dullstroom some 20 km away.

A storm were expected and we booked The Silver Kudu…a little church which over time were converted into accommodation.  This stone building were perfect for the stormy weather and we were ready armed with all the necessary.

Donkeys welcomed us and surrounded our accommodation over the course of the weekend.

 

 

 

We had such a relaxing time even standing on the biggest rock watching as the storm rolled in.  What a sight to behold as we could see and feel the stormy weather rolling down the mountains towards us until it was so close that we just had to run indoors.  Magazines kept us busy as we chilled under a blanket with a glass of red wine.  It was just perfect…

Sunday we ventured into the town of Tonteldoos for lunch, but we were a little late as everything closed around two.  Luckily, we always have some provisions and I could whip up a quick pasta with red wine.

But first we visited The Barn where the Botha family raised ten children.  We were told that there were some graves on the farm as well, even some dating from the Boereoorlog.

 

The owner told me that her folks bought the farm around forty years ago.  We also had the pleasure of meeting her eldest brother, John.

Tonteldoos has its own registry of births and a published book about the history of Tonteldoos also exists.

While we were visiting The Barn, our friend, Johan, who has a farm close by, also popped in for a quick coffee.  We visited Johan and Karen the previous week and they were the ones who told us about The Silver Kudu and Tonteldoos.

Tonteldoos is known for Arum lilies growing in abundance, especially the yellow one as in the pic.

Superblessed as Tonteldoos were for us such an awesome experience,

more in Part 3…

 

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After the Fires! – Stoffberg, Douglas, Olifantshoek and a few more… (Part 1)

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6 November 2018

We are driving as usual heavily packed to the brim with our bags for a month or more, workmen with their bags and trailer full of equipment and tools.

We are ever so grateful for our Ford, not so new anymore – we actually need to upgrade as we are putting on the miles fast and furious. This vehicle has been good to us and makes driving distances much easier.

I also feel so much gratitude for being alive right now as we battled the recent fires on our farm together with so many others. It is estimated that the recent fires were four times bigger than the Knysna fires of last year and around 90 000 hectares were recorded burned. Tragically eight people died.

As we drove through the Outeniqua pass towards De Rust, as far as the eye can see is black, everything visible along the road burned. It makes for a sad view, but then we just think how fast nature restored itself after the raging fires last year and I am sure that within a season all will be green again.

We had a week and a bit of hair raising experiences on our farm and we are feeling quite traumatized. I believe that going far away for work at this point in time is a definite blessing in disguise…more ways than one…

We were right in the middle where the two fires met from Jeffreys Bay on our right and Mosselbay on our left.

At first we were just about the only spot that were not under fire, until the fire jumped into our Bluegum forest. When this happened, my husband, B and some awesome friends who volunteered were fighting fires with a vengeance.

It was just a crazy, bizarre time. We had to evacuate twice in the morning hours and did not get much sleep.

Because of the efforts of B and our amazing volunteers, our Bluegum trees are still standing. Now we are just being forced to start with our buildings even sooner. It is said that Bluegum trees should be used within six month after burning. Well, this is a blessing in itself as our building plans for our storeroom has just been approved.

The story of how we became aware that the fire were on our farm…also quite scary…

We arrived back in Wilderness from an epic festival, Echo . We were very chilled although we had to drive around the closed Outeniqua pass.

We really did not think that our farm were in danger, so we decided to have a burger at The Blind Pig  in wilderness, before heading home.

I must admit, it felt quite ominous as we ate with ashes flying everywhere and dark, smoky skies, but still we were unaware of danger on the farm.

B were checking the media all the time and we thought we were in the know.

As we arrived on the farm, we heard a weird sound, some noise we could not pin and we decided to leave our bags in the car and drive up our only road to our forest. We had to walk the last bend, the noise grew so much louder and we found the hair on our body rise. Half way up we found one of our farm workman, Clifford and together we tried to make sense of this ominous sound. As we could not see anything because of the dark smoky sky, we stood around for a bit and stared at the hidden hilltops.

All of a sudden a light breeze pushed away the smoke and we were horrified to see three raging fires running down the opposite hill towards us. Immediately, we turned and ran down as fast as we could. While running we saw a snake, three scorpions and a chameleon fleeing towards the river. This scared me even more!

We decided to ready ourselves for the fire coming close to our little farmhouse which we are living in. Clifford cleaned the gutters and soaked the earth with water all around the house.

The farm had just purchased a bulldozer and we decided to drive this and our other vehicles to safety.

As there were quite a few vehicles, some from our partners, B and I continued doing this for the afternoon and finished around five.

We lost our brand new branch cutter to the fire…as well as our inherited BMW’s engin.

During our evacuation, everyone around us were in distress and contacting us…it felt super unreal and chaotic.

 

 

 

 

 

As there were nothing else we could do, we decided to spend the night with our son, Juan and his fiance, Katja, in Sedgefield.

It is in times like this when we see how caring humans can be and I would like to thank all our friends who volunteered…Jody and Bronwyn, Lupi and Jackie, Reinhardt and Dries, Ben, Wilmarie and Driaan, as well as Craig and John.  Andre from T Junction, the lovely tea garden down the road, also stopped in and kept me calm.

We were very scared, when two of our volunteers, Wilmarie and Driaan, who have never been on the farm before, went missing during the fires raging in the Bluegum forest.

At that point the fire brigade (without water) were on the farm and because of the two volunteers disappearance, it became a police matter…total chaos.

Thankfully, Dries, who knew the farm as Reinhardt and him went looking for fires the previous day, (before the raging Bluegum forest happened), were sent to look for the missing volunteers. Hours after disappearing, Dries brought them to our house by way of the river.

At this point we were still waiting for a helicopter to drop water as we were told they would after numerous phone calls to the authorities. We found out later that the helicopter bringing the water to us, were diverted to a home that were on fire…which is understandable.  At that point it would not have made a difference as the Bluegum forest were already burning out of control.

A very scary experience as I only heard afterwards how B ran through raging fires to get to our bulldozer to free some of our other volunteers who were trapped in their vehicle in the forest as trees fell across the road. He made a path with the bulldozer which led their vehicle out to safety. At that point they knew it were futile and it was when we just had to let go…

Reinhardt and Dries were watching throughout the night to see if the fires would reach our little home, but thankfully we were spared such a tragedy.

At our cottage on the farm, we could barely hear the fires as we sat the next morning having breakfast. It felt surreal sitting with birdsong and a tranquil river view knowing that the fires were still raging…

And…that is enough of the fires…moving on…
—————————————–

When we drove through Meiringspoort, we were welcomed with fresh new eye candy moving away from disastrous black to vivacious greens…everywhere.

We felt superblessed as if we were slowly waking up from a very bad dream…

With music blaring in our car and a beautiful scenery, it felt like we were simply driving away from our traumatic experience.

We heard the song “Drie Susters” and it was funny as it happened to be on the cd just as we were passing the town, Drie Susters…

We were listening to cd’s inherited from B’s Mom who sadly passed away in July…

That evening we were far away from fires and slept peacefully at La Rose Guesthouse  in Douglas .

The next day, after washing our hair and feeling that we were getting rid of the last bit of smoke, we were ready to move on. (We want to thank Amanda and Abraham from La Rose Guesthouse as the shower head in our room, were just right for washing our smoky hair).

It really does not need to be the most expensive, just the most efficient.

See my 10 tips to guesthouses.

After sorting one of our workman who had also helped fighting the fires – we are all still suffering from smoke inhalation – we were off towards Kimberley .

Everywhere the eye could see were flatlands of healthy, golden, corn plantations which extended on either side of the road.

Amazing eye candy…
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It has been a whirlwind of work sites…a few per day and as it were just maintenance, we only stop for one night at an accommodation and leave the next day for the next work sites.

As we are going along, the workload has been increasing daily as new sites gets added. B is on a mission to get the work done and dusted to get back to the farm.

I felt superblessed indeed when B had to work on some sites close to Potgietersrus and I could have a whole day to visit my ex-mother in law (for lack of better wording).  This amazing being is the closest Mother figure that I have ever had.  I had an Estate Agency in Potgietersrus for seven years and Ma Margaret worked with me from the start of the business.

Our day was definitely one of my highlights of this trip.

B’s job requires a lot and I do mean a lot of driving. We have been superblessed with amazing views of not only stunning sunrises and sunsets, but also with lots of wild life.

 

On one site, an Emu even came up close to inspect the inside of our vehicle.

When driving through the drier regions, wild fig plantations were everywhere, being of the cacti family, they survive well in the hot, dry regions.

 

 

 

We slept at Maselspoort Resort next to the Modderriver and as we arrived around five, we were very tired.

After checking in, we wanted to check out the restaurant and wow! We were blown away by it…a river frontage and just at the right time to view a lovely sunset. Amazing to just sit and absorb (for me, as B were still on his phone busy with work).

The next morning we woke up around six after a good nights sleep. We found that we were quite sleep deprived from the fire trauma as we were on high alert on our farm for quick evacuation.

It has been awesome to just succumb to sleeping soundly for the last couple of nights.

On the road we were so surprised to view some amazing lions, Benquel tigers and even white lions. What a an amazing wildlife spotting. Very exciting for me as these cats are my absolute favorite animals.  Sorry, no photos as we were rushing to get to a site off course…

We know B is doing well with the workload if we arrive at eight am at Olifantshoek work site close to Kroonstad. He has been handling more than four sites per day with a lot of driving in between.

To give an idea, one day B maxed R3000 worth of diesel.

How in the flow are we, as we could even meet up with his cousin, Jaco who had some of B’s tools still from previous work sites. One of the sites were situated on the farm which Jaco now manages. We would have loved to visit him properly, but alas, no time.

We arrived in Pretoria on Friday night after seven. After sorting the men with accommodation and food, we stayed at Zambezi Lodge . We were very tired, but Saturday morning we left at three in the am to arrive at a school near Gyani in time for the hired crane truck (which we soon found out had a flat tyre).

We arrived at a locked school gate as the tower to work on were situated inside the school grounds and so B had the run around for the key. Luckily the principal were found and the gate could be unlocked.

We are very adaptable as plans keep changing, especially in the rural areas B has to work. What makes up for the fact that we got up at three am, is the absolute magnificent pink hues we saw as the sun were rising just after four.

Nature close to Giyani were really beautiful so early in the morning and we saw two extremes…majestic mountains on the left covered in the thickest dark clouds as the sun were rising in the most magnificent pink on the other side. When the sun had risen completely, it was claimed by the misty clouds and could only be seen as a ball in the sky once or twice trying to show itself. The pink by then had disappeared completely.

B remains the best driver I know, but being on the road so much, we do have an encounter every so often and at one point, an SUV came into our lane and headed straight towards us. He really misjudged himself as he were trying to overtake on a straight line. B were shaken up, but handled the situation very well as we had to veer off the road onto the gravel to miss the oncoming vehicle…again, we lived to tell the tale.

It was absolutely awesome to have had time to read a book as I waited on site. I started reading a book at last that were sent to me by my friend, Zel and the timing were just perfect. I love it when those moments arrive and I know that I am in the flow.  This book is called: “The subtle art of not giving a f#ck”, written by Mark Manson. The title reminding me of the book that B and I started a few years ago and have not worked on for the longest time.

I read to my hearts delight in that school yard and so many of my life questions of the moment were answered by that little e-book.

I always thought that I should be busy with something other than reading…felt like I was wasting time, until my friend, Debra  taught me that it is like studying and it really is.  Nowadays, I even work on reading a light book for relaxation as well…

As I am an Angel Card Reader, by trade, I could also identify others who would benefit by reading this book and subsequently shared it with them.

After all, we are all so very connected.

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A bit of caution with accommodation near Nelspruit…steer clear of Mbombela Lodge before even entering the town. I do believe we visited at the wrong time…maybe they were busy with revamping or something else.

Everything looked really beautiful at first glance. The man at the reception were really nice…but there were no hot water or even water pressure. We had one cup, the lamp were broken and quite a few other things.  Worst of all were the water situation, so looks can definitely be deceiving. There were a spa and restaurant at some point, but was not in use when we were there. We think that there might be some mismanagement going on…anyhow…moving on…at six in the morning, we left to Mahlalane.

————————

As we were driving back to Pretoria again after some more sites close to Mahlalane, we tried to book our room in the Zambesi Lodge, but as there were a wedding, it was fully booked.

I phoned another establishment and we were superblessed by Andre, our host at The Coral Tree in Montana. We have definitely found our home away from home. Such old world elegance wonderfully integrated into the modern. We love it and have been back a few times on this whirlwind trip.

One Friday we checked out from The Coral Tree and were geared to leave early to Pretoria to spend some time with friends…only B got busy with admin for some new sites and we decided to grab some take-away food from Ocean Basket (one of our favorites) and just have an evening of relaxation back at The Coral Tree.  We had a feast with a bottle of chilled white wine, sushi, calamari, fish and chips and to round this of, even some delicious deserts.  Ocean Basket is truly amazing.

The next day we were well rested and ready to drive to some of our friends in Pretoria. We spend a lovely afternoon with Camel and Anetta. We had Eland steaks and delicious salad for lunch. Obviously desert as well as Camel is a bit of a desert connoisseur. I don’t know how many of these delightful visits we are still going to have in future as they have put their lovely home in Rooihuiskraal up for sale.

Afterwards, we drove to our other friends and had a lovely dinner with Skillie, Alda and her brother, Juan. We had Moussaka, made with love and an amazing salad (inpakslaai)…very delicious. We brought a bottle of our favorite…Saronsberg. It really was a serene and warm evening and we spend most of it outside in their lush garden.

We were invited to stay over.  We were very glad we did not arrive the previous night as were intended after we heard that they partied until the sun came up.

With all this traveling and busyness, we were so happy to have a nice chilled Friday night.

The next day we all went to “Smoking Sessions”  where we met up with some more awesome friends.  Deon, our pro-cyclist friend whom I have written about in “My Fabulous Friends” category.

Willem were doing a live stream of the music as he is involved with Global citizen.  We listened to some good music.  Music of all genres are allowed here and we heard some good Dj’s as well as bands – Ruiter Piet en die Partykie, Die See and Shotgun Tori & the Hound.

Smoking Sessions is held at the home of one of our friends, Marchand. He is also busy planting vegetables on quite a large scale and wants to supply the neighborhood.

The music were stunning and the day went pass so quickly. We ended it in good style by having pizzas at Col’Cacchio, an italian restaurant close to Skillie and Alda. Our tastebuds were superblessed and we can totally recommend – it was some of the best pizza we have ever had.

Monday morning we left at five to be close to Stoffberg for the welders who said that they would be on site at nine.

Luckily Skillie also needs to leave at that time as he works as an argheologist in Potgietersrus during the week.

Hurry up and wait applies often in this business and again, we are used to it…the welders only arrived around 10h30. This site again is on a game farm and we are once again blessed to see Eland and other buck as well as White hartebeest which are very rare. Birds abound… some beautiful flappe. (afriaans)

We are staying at The Pers Kombers which are not found on the internet.

Rykie (0823383507) does not advertise and have guests only by word of mouth. It is situated on a farm with cows sleeping in front of our room. A very relaxed feel with birdsong all day long. Just as I like it.

Yes these are goats on the wall outside…


Hard to believe it is the 23rd of November already. It was awesome to have these few days of settling into a home environment…especially on this farm, The Pers Kombers. We receive delicious meals at night and have lunch boxes with sandwiches and something special made with care for the next day. I am feeling quite spoiled with not having to make our own meals.

I have also been getting back on my yoga mat this week and I feel well nurtured. It is so important for us to take the best care of ourselves. When I got sick , I started looking into this again and were reminded by attending a sweat lodge.

This morning I repacked my leather bag – which I made myself – as light as possible for a visit to Cape Town.  Sunday, I shall leave by airplane from Johannesburg to look after my four year old Alexia while Mommy (my daughter, Maryna) go to hospital to fetch a brand new baby brother. Superblessed indeed…

…but first we made a turn in Dullstroom on Saturday…

We have forever been curious about the town Dullstroom as we are always just shooting pass off to another site with workmen and trailer.

How blessed we felt to at last be able to visit this town while the men were working on site close by.

It is a lovely little town, with a feel much like Clarence.  We ate pancakes and then we visited some friends on a farm in Tonteldoos.  Johan and Karen clearly has carved themselves a magnificent way of life and we enjoyed bathing in the luxury of a peaceful few hours before we had to fetch the workmen from site…

Superblessed with so much travelling and seeiing our beautiful country!

 

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10 TIPS FOR A GREAT STAY AT GUEST ESTABLISHMENTS!

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10 TIPS FOR A GREAT STAY!
WHAT GUEST ESTABLISHMENTS SHOULD KNOW!

(Here goes…hoping that no establishment hosts will feel harmed in the making of this post as these are only suggestions.)

10…      Starting with just some feeling welcome wishes rather than necessities for a lovely stay…make it look and feel inviting with some soaps or creams or bubble bath (every one I know gets presents like these they do not want)…someone else will simply love it and even if they don’t, it would give an inviting appearance of caring. I am a the best example of this as I make and use only my own products named Alexia  (my granddaughter’s name)

 

Still I am always blown away when I see establishments putting out those little extras such as lotions, soaps and bubble baths for their visitors. A bath mat or even a little towel for feet to stand on when getting out of the bath/shower.
A two point plug for charging a phone / razor etc. Fridge/cooler comes in handy if you are staying for more than one night, but usually if asked, the establishment would make space in their own fridge for a guest.

9… Tissues…as most of us will use toilet paper if need be, a box of soft tissues is such an inexpensive luxury…
I recently had this experience at The Coral Tree guest house in Montana when I needed to blow my nose and the luxury of a tissue was right at hand. We all know that a piece of toilet paper or a serviette would have sufficed, but low and behold my feeling of being nurtured when I had the luxury of a soft tissue to wipe my nose. Elegance deluxe…

8… Curtains / blinds or whatever is good to keep out the light and sounds. Most of the time we have to get up very early, but just sometimes we get that odd day to sleep in. This is when we love a dark room.  Here I might add that the barking dog really does not add to a feeling of tranquility.  Birdsong on the other hand is what I always hope for.  A well nurtured garden is not only soft on the eyes, but also attracts birds and bees for an ambient feeling of wellness.

7… Duvets sometimes tend to be just too warm especially in our South African summer time…and specifically the really good down feather ones. So, have that extra top sheet and invest in a nice light, inexpensive (colour of your room) fleecy blanket which could be ever so helpful for those warm summer nights. Who knows, you could even save laundry time and money on the unused duvet. I don’t know if this is for everyone, but that ever so tiny scatter cushion does wonders for me for a better night’s sleep…strangely, I cannot sleep without this between my knees anymore. Obviously if the establishment don’t have this, I shall use my rolled up scarf which is always in my bag. So for me just a nice added pleasure. Also the bed will look prettier and just so much more inviting especially if you did not invest in a good bed.

6... A mirror…we have been to many establishments without even the smallest mirror against the wall, a decorous full length is not only a bonus, but can be very attractive and even makes your room look bigger.

5… A coffee station is always a nice touch. As you well know that being The Naked Barista, I always take our own, but sometimes we arrive late at our accommodation and have to leave very early. Those are the times when we do not cart in all our belongings and have to rely on the spoils of our host. I see Enrista coffee in rooms more of late, but my specialty which is rooibos tea I only find few and far between. For an even better feature, add just two rusks in a glass jar…and see many more return visits, which is what you wish for your establishment, is it not?

4… Towels, all the more so if they are very clean, soft towels…even if we always do have our own towels at hand…
Recently we have noticed that a few establishments put out only one towel for the two of us, obviously because of our water shortage…but, again if you want to have your guests feel special, a fluffy clean towel for just you really goes a long way.

3… Toilet paper...yes, and not just the one, always have one extra waiting to be used.
I know it costs a bit to have all these ten tips in place, but for me it really shows if an establishment just wants to make money from us or if they also want us to feel at home in the space provided…believe me there is no better way of showing this as with that extra toilet roll which would set you back less than ten rand. Most of the time it will not even be used, but in this case it really is the thought that counts.

2… Invest in the best bed possible as hopefully it is going to be used long and often…also do not skimp on bedding either…you have to have very good quality which is going to last. White bedding to me always has a luxurious look and feel and can be paired with absolutely any other colour. White linen is fast becoming the most used as the best kept secret is unveiling…white can be bleached and colour make for an unnecessary laundry challenge.

…AND  NOW FOR NO 1…

SHOWER / BATH or even both together. This shower hose in
the pic teams up perfectly for an inexpensive bath / shower combo.

(Maybe this would be the best place to insert also a toilet with enough pressure to flush properly) or if you really want to impress me…all three together makes for the absolute jackpot…but here is the key to a good stay…it is not only the fact that there would be a facility of being able to cleanse, but more so the actual water that reaches a body…
Most establishments goes for the awesome decorative ‘look’… the shower head looking like a huge sunflower or square or something exotic. It absolutely always fails to impress when you turn on the shower and find that the water pressure only allows a dribble. If I may have an input…stick with the one that works which is not the most expensive one at all.

Who knows…you could even buy a few rolls of toilet paper with the saving…

I am feeling superblessed indeed to have taken this opportunity to be sooo outspoken…

...and would be even more
superblessed with gratitude  to receive your comments on what your list would look like …

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My Fabulous Friends – My husband…Bethesda

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Queen of Hearts                                                                         23 May 2018

Bethesda

Too often, especially when we have been married for such a long time, we take our spouse who is closest to us for granted…always thinking there will be more time to express gratitude  for how incredible they are…well I believe that the most precious commodity there is, is time…so with this post, I want to thank my husband for spending so much time and so much more…

We have been together for more than 23 years and I believe we make an awesome team.  He still makes me feel special, by opening the car door for me.

I am truly amazed at the ‘MAN’ with capital letters, B has become, with all the trials and tribulations that comes with a marriage. I am superblessed that he has been my mirror for learning so many of my own life lessons.

B studied at TUKS and aced a B.Com Marketing degree.

He started his journey with construction at a very young age as his father was in the construction business and B is an only child. He used to work with his dad in the school holidays for pocket money. He was also extremely inventive of ways attracting the tool we call money.

Here is a man who when we met were a mere ‘boy’…but, at a young age already impressed me so…so much so that I just had to marry him… Continue reading “My Fabulous Friends – My husband…Bethesda”

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My Fabulous Friends Introduction

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Queen of Hearts                                                                                                    22 May 2018

Introduction to my Fabulous friends

On my life’s journey I am superblessed indeed with such a variety of treasured souls whom I can call friends…

As I have been told and now regard myself as something of a connector (social glue) or a maven (definition “one who understands”). An explanation of these terms can be found in the book of Malcolm Gladwell – “The Tipping Point”… ” The fact that Mavens want to help, for no other reason than because they like to help…”

Soulgrower by trade…

As I am always in awe with what humans choose to do with their lives…I am seduced into sharing my friends skills and so connect them for their prosperity…

…this is why I am going to be writing about my fabulous friends…

This will be a lifetime project as everyday brings new souls on my path…please let me know if you want a write up.

I shall start with my number one best friend (present company excluded…I am fast becoming my own bestie)…

my husband

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Transkei / Morgan’s Bay

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Queen of Hearts                                                                  12 August 2017

 

Part 2 – Mozambique / Transkei / Morgan’s Bay

Wow! We are driving away from spending a super interesting night at our friend, Louis Magwa.

Louis lives in Transkei, about a kilometre from the magnificent Magwa Falls

What a feeling of pure serenity!

Louis has been carving his own eccentric way of life here for the last 10 years. He is a man full of character, amazing manners…a brave and lovely man, bursting with interesting new ideas.

He has even brought his Mother to live with him about a year and a half ago. For anyone, it was clear to see how much they adore each other and this blessed my heart.

The two of them live in his huge rondavel. This is an extra-ordinary rondavel, as he build it so as to meet all their needs.  He even has his leather works machinery inside as well as a top floor build with mezanine.  The inside feel of their home is very inviting, calm and peaceful.

This morning he took us for a sightseeing tour where we came to understand why anybody would want to live here. The spectacular views and history of this part of the world is absolutely amazing.

 

 

As we wound our way out of a huge forest on the dusty roads of Transkei, we reminisced on our evening well spend around a fire.

Our food were a huge pot filled with an array of fresh vegetables. Delicious!

We were welcomed to stay in another rondavel and loved it.

There were also a third rondavel with six beds as he often have volunteers stay over.

The fact that he has two rivers (or one might be a fountain) that feeds his property with water helps a lot.

Before we left, Louis also showed us his amazing invention which  is a rocket stove. I really hope that this will cotton on as it is very effective.  If you would like to contact him regarding this…0832685611.

 

We stopped off at the Magwa Falls for a quick view…

18/08/2017

Today, we are on our way to Qolora after a lovely week spend with Tobie and Charmaine. (later more about this amazing piece of heaven)

We met Tobie and Charmaine at Mozamboogie and they invited us to come and stay with them at their holiday home in Morgans Bay for a visit. They are absolutely awesome people and so we did.

We have never been to Morgan’s Bay and ended up staying for a week. We were only going to stay for a few days, but we were going to Coffee Bay next and the weather predicted heavy rains. We were superblessed with our stay at Tobie and Charmaine who spoiled us so much that it was hard to leave.

B and Tobie…

B says that we achieved our ‘PHD in Nothingness’… we became one with ourselves…pulled ourselves toward ourselves…we really just lazed around…and had fun…

 

Martin, our travel buddie /  long-time friend as well as our Massuese, did a bit of work, as both Tobie and Charmaine had become aware of Martin’s magical hands. Martin had his hands full (pardon the pun), with quite a few massages.

I also did my part in thanking them for their generosity with my very own

“Pediblessiology”.

 

Chi-Chi reminded us of how much we ate. She had a lot to do with it as she loves making food and does it so well.  She is a vegan and loves creating healthier options…her brand name being ‘Raw-Chi’…lovit!  My personal favorite being seaweed chips which she harvests herself…so a love process from beginning to the end product…and you can taste the love!

Back to Morgan’s Bay…

The absolutely beautiful view complete with bird life kept us captivated. The beautiful song of the fish eagle;  gliding in front of us, catching fish…when we looked carefully, we could even see where their nest were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hummmingbirds, heron and various other birds song rang in our ears all day long and we kept the binoculours close. Nonnie (in the photo below) of course were my favourite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We canoed and could even access the beach, which we did.

When the weather were really cold and wet, we watched movies in front of the fire or played scrabble. Their doggie, Vlooi was also to be kept busy with a bit of ball play.

Tobie drove us through the town of Morgan’s Bay and Keimond. We visited some of their friends, Billy and Annemarie next to the Kei River. They are lovely people and we were blessed with avo and coffee trees.

After our welcoming stay with Tobie and Charmaine, we are on the pond on our way to Qolora for an overnight stay…

 

 

21/08/2017

So…Qolora did not work out for us as they could not confirm our overnight stay and we decided to move on to Coffee Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

On our way we passed this amazing sculpture alongside the road, carved from a tree stump.

 

We slept that evening at the Kings Cottage of Coffee Shack. This is their biggest cottage as it has 2 double rooms with kitchen and bathroom as well as an upstairs loft area with more beds. Chi-Chi loved the decor and I even remember being there when our friend, Cindy van Schalkwyk, was busy working on the tiling of the murals.

The staff there remembers us well as we have visited many times over the years. Coffee Shack is definitely our favourite as we have so many awesome memories here. Friendships for life has been solidly forged here. Continental friends made.

Next day we went to visit our friends who lives close to the Maphusi cliffs. While driving to Nadine and Johan, we could not help but stop in awe of the splendorous views. We walked to the cliff overhanging onto the vast sea below. As we were standing there captivated by this view, it got even better…we first saw one turtle swimming in the waves. As our eyes fixed on it, we became aware of three other… four turtles riding the waves. We felt superblessed with nature…as we always are when we take time to appreciate… We were superblessed even more as our eyes feasted on a whale and some dolphins…all of this happening just because we stopped to appreciate…Gratitude.

Nadine and Johan has acquired a piece of land and have build two rondavels to live in. They are a lovely family, complete with a healthy baby boy, Benji.

Working hard to achieve a peaceful, pure life and enjoying every minute of it. Nadine use to live and work in Cape Town. Rat race got her down and I love the conscious awareness happening…as if most nowadays are seeking a purer life, growing our own food and in this process living in symbiosis with and honouring our earth.

B said that he got the feeling of back in the day…the wild west frontier…where you aquire a piece of land, arrive…and now you have to cope…get water on the land to start building a home for your loved ones and growing some food. Johan and his buddie also spearfish for food in the ocean.

A few metres from Johan and Nadine, lives an Israeli, who we met. He shared with Martin, that he swims out into the ocean for about 15 minutes, shoots good sized fish and then swims back…hardcore… then barter transactions take place, depending on what the other man have to offer.

Everybody eats and everybody helps each other…this is community!

What a magical visit this was to connect again with her and now also with her beautiful family. So much gratitude for this awesome experience.

22/082017

Back in Coffee Bay, we saw on social media that our friends, Christie and Marius, were also in the area. Christie arranged a surprise breakfast for the next morning with us as Marius did not know that we were there.

We walked into our friend, Karl of tribalrhytms.

After our breakfast the next day, Karl took us all on our next adventure to the opposite hill of Mdumbi at the mouth…Ethuleni is the area. Situated here is ‘Freedomoclock Backpackers’. What an experience this was..WOW!

Freedomoclock is the home of Otto and Lu with their confident little girl of six. They are lovely and we were very blessed. The accomodation is well recommended.

Camping can also be arranged, which Martin and Chi-Chi opted for.

Marius and Christie said their goodbyes, but we would meet up again soon for an adventure in Hogsback.

I loved all the beautiful signs everywhere. Chi-Chi loved the incredible invention of an amazing rocket shower.

Lu and Otto have worked very hard to establish this haven of tranquility. Everything just works well together, the kitchen and buildings and finishes…

We had a delicious seafood meal…oysters and crayfish, which the locals supply fresher than fresh and so cheap; white wine and lovely conversations as Johan and Nadine also came to join us for a few hours.

The sunset was unbelievably spectacular as we had uninterrupted views over the mouth and beach.

The sunrise the next morning after a good nights rest, was even more remarkable. We woke up with the crowing of roosters. All the amazing sounds of abundant nature…

We could not help but to put on our coats as it was still very early and quite chilly…B and I took a walk down to the beach. The more we walked the fresher we felt, as if the air was filled with healthier oxygen and with every breath we felt invigorated.

We came to a stunning tree and being very silly started with a photoshoot in and around this.

Then we saw Martin and Chi-Chi who was also on the beach. They joined in our photoshoot before we walked on the beach. We did yoga stretches and headstands…feeling healthy and vibrant.

 

 

 

It was a perfect morning, but as we were walking back, the wind started up with a speed. We could  not believe how quickly it could became so windy.  I picked up a small planter pot which blew into the middle of the road with something inside. At first I wanted to just take the planter pot to Lu and Otto, but my intuition made me keep the little something inside as well. When I gave it to them, they were amazed as it were their own, complete with lemon seed still inside.

After our walk, the locals deemed us special enough to take us for a day out to a secret place…which was on the beach and absolutely lovely. Martin and Chi-Chi opted for a long beachwalk to the secret spot.

As we were driving, we passed a wide river and Karl, who was driving with us, told us about a day when he was in his rubberduck on the river and were blessed with a scene of a Fish Eagle catching a fish right in front of him…these definitely is the moments in our lives which is most memorable.

After being cajoled to have another meal,we drove away fairly late…we would spend the evening at Mdumbi backpackers, which is just on the opposite hill as the crow flies, but quite the drive around…

We found Mdumbi in the dark and after we settled in…here the staff also knew us…we decided to have a bath. A ‘donkey’ (also a rocket type stove) has to be fired up first and after waiting quite some time, we had an awesome bath…

…after this we slept like logs…

The next morning was quite windy and cold, so we opted to not have a walk down to the beach, but rather have breakfast indoors.Martin and Chi-Chi on the other hand braved the outdoors and were rewarded with sightings of many dolphins swimming and jumping with the surfers. On their morning hike, they were also accompanied by Eco, the same dog living at Mdumbi for many years.

We left enroute to Hogsback…for another adventure…but first we had to show Martin and Chi-Chi the hole in the wall…just a quick drive past…as the wind were still howling…

Christie and Marius decided to join us for a Hogsback mission. They are an amazing couple. They have a very interesting business named Share a Villa.  Accommodation for single professionals in Cape Town.  Contact Christie at +27609800339.

24/08/2017

Hogsback was the coldest with snow on the mountains and frost in the stunning gardens of The Edge, where we stayed…

We arrived with rain actually turning into frost. We went to eat in their cosy restaurant, warming ourselves in front of the fire and only opting to sit at the table when our food was already placed. Be sure to try their Dark chocolate drink…lipsmacking…

The Edge is situated, yeah, you guessed it… right on the edge of a mountain peak overlooking a valley. There are houses to rent, but we would rather do this in summer time when the view will value the cost. For now we are renting a little house with fireplace where four of us can stay.

We did try some walks to the edge, but it was too cold for me, as I have been there before in the summer. Martin and Chi-Chi were blessed to see a magnificent Crown eagle in the Arbirithium when they braved the cold for this walk.

I am always looking for a better price on essential oils, for my perfume Alexia and we decided to check out Amathole. We found the owner, Ian, who shared so much with us. Martin also found him very knowledgeable. He will be having some workshops on oil extracting that I am interested in.

We all went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens later and the most amazing big old Redwoods towered over the other trees.

 

 

 

 

Afterwards we had a absolutely delicious lunch at the Butterfly Bistro  where we could order vegan food as well.

Chi-Chi (+27834194658) is vegan and she makes her own range of food – seaweed chips, which she harvest herself, (I am so impressed), seed crackers, vegan pesto, sauerkraut, chi bars which is an amazing substitute for chocolate (it is a superfood bar), dehydrated veg patties, vegan chocolates… She sells these at the Vegan Goods Market in Plumstead, Cape Town which is on the first Saturday of each month…and Midweek market in Plett.

While we chattered on the recorder, we drove through the little town of Alice.  Click on the blue, as I just had to research and see what it is about…

We do get around hey…

We are on our way to Port Elizabeth and will be stopping for lunch with our friends at the well known Nanaga farmstall…

We had an exciting stop to make at the most awesome Salt Restaurant in Port Elizabeth.  Martin had a meeting for the upcoming Wildeburn.  We also join in on the meeting as we are avid Burners(more about what happened at the Wildeburn in a next post)

After a very good meeting we were ready to head home to Sedgefield as our friends, Marius and Christie were waiting for us and were going to stay with us for the night.

Next day the fun continued in our own backyard…

 

…What a trip…feeling Superblessed with Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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