Vaalwater / Louis Trichardt

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The Naked Barista                                                                            July 2018

We arrived in Vaalwater on Monday, the 9th of July, sleeping over in Pretoria, Sunday (8 July), after a long day of travelling at the Zambezi Lodge.

What a whirlwind – or rather a tornado – to get to where I am now – sitting and writing in the most tranquil spot next to the Mogol river at Rivieroord. 

This is my view from the stoep (my office)…

I have solitude for the most part…only occasionally a worker can be seen and in the evenings some residents return for a good night’s rest.

As always, we have our designated dog for our stay…this time and with the right timing…a border collie which look exactly like our Max, save for his eyes which are brown and not blue…  We can now…only after much time has passed…handle this dog as he reminds us so much of our Max and his dad, Hitler and mom, Cleo…fond memories of our four footed border collie family…now all at rest.

This is Max…and beautiful Katja (my son’s fiancé who is also my best yoga teacher)…

This is Savuti…our dog for now…who brings back so many memories with Max…

Nature abounds, just how I love it and I am feeling superblessed with my allotted animals which include two squirrels, a kingfisher who arrives…closer each day…to check me out…even brought another one with yesterday.  The bees come and sit on and around me as soon as I have the honey out. There is an oyster catcher which lives in the reeds.  Many more stunning bird species arrives daily. I was amazed to even see a huge snake, swimming stealthily in the middle of the river.   B, Ruan (who visited us for a night) and I saw the biggest fish jumped ever so high up in the air.

Truth be told,  I feel a bit like snow white…

Now, let me explain the ‘tornado’ part with which my article began…

Being superblessed as we are, we obviously also experience the odd interference of ‘relationship’ issues…

Well, the Saturday before we left, we had some egos come into play and I believe maybe also just some overdue release of emotions were needed.  Our closest loved ones are always the ones to bear the brunt of such emotions…and the Saturday before our road trip on Sunday, were it for us…

I took my half packed bag, left B on the farm and went to sleep in town…

B send me a message early on Sunday morning, asking if I would join him for this journey and thankfully I accepted.  Luckily, we had a very long road trip for discussions.

The question is always if we have any regrets?

Being where we are now, is the best place to be and I have acquired this simple, but profound sentence from a movie, ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’, while writing this, just the night before to put words to thoughts:  “We are not allowed to regret anything, if we are sincere, then we are the sum total of all our experiences with no exceptions…”

So here we are…and now, because of this profound sentence above, I should perhaps also share…

…with reluctance and sadness that B’s Mom passed away on the 23rd of June and since then it has been a whirlwind of arrangements to be expedited…definitely attributing to our roused emotions…

Another contributing factor would be that before we left, we had our farm meeting with all six partners as well as a meeting with our neighbors, who wanted the farm we bought, for themselves and as such had court proceedings against the seller.  This, we also had to deal with.  This was on the Monday before we left and then my son, Juan had to be in Cape Town for a meeting.  As I always look for any opportunity to see my daughter, Maryna and granddaughter, Alexia, who lives in Cape Town, I hastily decided to jump in on this road trip with Juan (really love road tripping with my son) for an impromptu visit.

The next morning in Cape Town, I took Alexia with me and we spend a day with my Dad.  My daughter had to be in hospital for tests.

 

 

 

 

 

This is where my son and his fiancé – who returned from visiting her family in Germany – came to fetch me.  They were going to transport me to Gordon’s Bay on their way home to Sedgefield.  I was going to catch a lift with our friend Andre to Vortex festival, where B would meet up with me.

Well, this was on Friday 22nd of June.  I was in the back of Juan’s vehicle and I had a feeling that I should rather go home.  I talked with B and he confirmed that he would only be coming to the festival the next day after he had been to his Mom’s home to see if she was feeling better.  He was worried about her.  I decided to go with my gut feeling and asked Juan and Katja to rather take me home.  Another lesson for me that I should always listen to my gut feeling…

The next morning, we arrived at Mom’s home and we found that she had passed away…

The week that followed were absolutely hectic with her passing arrangements and sympathy phone calls.

Thankfully, we are here and we are loving this absolute necessary peaceful state of being that we have been awarded for now.

When Ruan were here on Tuesday, we went to Geluksfontein Goat Cheese farm for a delicious lunch.  A lovely place to visit for sure!

 

 

 

From the inviting entrance…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…throughout the whole establishment, interest will be peaked…

 

 

…some lovely plants live here…as well as…

…a historic goat milk press…

On the premises at Rivieroord, our accommodation, is the most impressive privately owned museum that we have had the pleasure of scrutinizing.  It is named Jan Botha.

The museum covers an extensive history of farm implements…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside this privately owned museum, history abounds…we were really well impressed and can say with confidence that it is well worth a visit…

I even found my favorite comic from my early childhood days…

The worksite is also a different story this time, as B is not allowed to work on weekends or before eight and after five, giving us ample opportunity for rest and recovery.  This B needs as the drive to site is for more than an hour on a dirt road…

 

 

 

…and the days have been mostly lovely, but most mornings…

…yes…this is ice on the grass and below a film of ice on our the vehicle…

 

 

 

 

On the left a view B captured from the top of the tower…

…so weekends off is quite necessary to recoup…

 

 

What we thought of as resting time, changed drastically, when we went to stay with our friend and farm partner, Nic, in Pretoria over the weekend. Our minds were definitely cleared of any thoughts by clubbing and pubbing… some extreme ‘jolling’ for us.

Saturday we went to see DJ, Dirkie Coetzee and some others at The Soundroom.  We had a very good weekend with beautiful friends, Nic and his daughter, Zenobia, Shawn, Ruan, Deon, Nadia and some new introductions were made.

Definitely one for the books.

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend of 21 July, we were invited to Koedoeskop to stay on the family farm of our friend, Jannelie, celebrating her sister, Corli’s birthday.  Check out Corli’s handwork here: ‘Kerf Handmade’.

We are superblessed with so many amazing souls as friends, this is why we are also fully booked for all our weekends…

Elmarie, one of these amazing new friends, gifted us with a delicious chutney she makes herself and we are absolutely loving it.

The birthday were celebrated stylishly, arriving on Friday evening to a lovely fire, followed by a scrumptious meal  of mussels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made many new awesome friends….lots of laughter...and to boot,

I was superblessed once again spending quality time with my all time bestie,  Zel. I have so much gratitude for this amazing human in my life… Happiness!

Once again we were superblessed as the weather in Koedoeskop were the best two sunny days they have experienced in a while.

Not only did we have an awesome party, but we also learned some valuable lessons of the ‘Swift’ bird specie. Jannelies’ Mom, Tarien, is a remarkable woman and I was instantly drawn to her.  I know it is not a competition, but I think that this woman beats me at my own term…’being superblessed’ for sure.

Tarien told us all the interesting facts about the Swift bird specie.  Her husband, Fanie builds nests for the Swifts in Ireland with special building material as this bird specie is in trouble.  Sharing is caring, so check out the blue highlighted link above for more info.

 

 

 

 

Before we left the farm on Sunday, Tarien called me and gifted me with a crochet blanket which she made herself.  What an amazing human…and what a special gift to receive.  I remembered when our granddaughter, Alexia were born, Jannelie gifted us a similar hand crocheted blanket for our newly born granddaughter, soon to be four years old.

Feeling superblessed with such a handmade beautiful gift from the heart…

 

 

 

 

 

I have a saying that I was born on the 24th of July for a reason…because of how I used to work…24/7!

B came to fetch me after he took the workmen to site and said that he want to take me for a birthday lunch to Eventieria Erich Venter Wildlife Park.  We drove for about 37 km out of Vaalwater and passed a few other resorts.

A cool coincidence were that our excited, talkative waitress had the same name as myself.  She did a fine job of helping us and after we had a lovely lunch, we proceeded to walk through the Park.  We saw so many different animals, but we still cannot get over the fact that

they are caged.  We both feel sad to see caged animals and we knew when we started the walk that this was what would happen.  We consoled ourselves with the fact that the animals are very well fed and obviously there for a good reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had our own dinner at Rivieroord where we stay.

I made us a vegetable soup and with that my birthday ended perfectly as we ate with the sun setting…

The days are nice and warm, but as soon as the sun sets, the cold arrives fast and I believe this is the reason that we have been eating comfort food…

We found the best beskuit / rusks at a ‘Padstal’ named MaPita just outside of Vaalwater.  The gentleman claims that his wife makes it and he sells it.

I love seeing something different and this ball made of ‘hakkiesdraad’ (in the pic) were a new for me.

How awesome!

 

We were superblessed to spend some weekends in Gauteng and especially the weekend after my birthday.  Friday afternoon when B arrived, I had our weekend packing done and while he showered, I packed our vehicle.  We saw the most beautiful sunset on our way to our friends, Shaun and Zenobia.  They invited us for dinner and a welcoming overnight stay.

Everyone on social media were talking about the moon eclipse that would be happening that evening at around nine.  We really did not think that we would be able to view this spectacular occurrence in the city…

WOW! We were totally surprised as we were blessed with the most awesome view of this happening.  While we were socializing throughout the evening, there were intervals when all four of us enjoyed this stunning view at iand each viewing were just more amazing than the next.

We wined and dined and talked a lot.  It was a lovely evening indeed.

The next morning, I had a core regeneration session with Dr Helene van Diemen, a lady which were referred to me by another friend, Johan van der Walt, four years ago as well as more recently by Ruan (in this article above) who came to visit us.  I found her to be absolutely insightful with my emotional challenges and I would confidently refer her as most of us would benefit with such a session.

Came evening though, we partied at our friend and farm partner, Nic’s home and it was a fantastic event.  Nic is famous for planning a party brilliantly and we always have a splendid time in his company.  This man is definitely a friend for life.

Although we did not have much sleep, we promised Deon that we would join him for his event on Sunday…a cycle through the streets of Soweto.  We are so happy that we did!

This was such an amazing day that I just had to write a separate article for his benefit as a thank you.  This can be read by tapping the blue hyperlink above.  We were superblessed and blown away!

We really have the most amazing souls for friends and this is why I have started a project aptly named:  “My Fabulous Friends!”

B finished Vaalwater work site on Friday (3 August).  We opted to stay alongside the river for Saturday as well as B were given another site to do close to Louis Trichard.  So our plans changed yet again and as he could only start work on the new site on Monday (6 August), we were blessed with a chilled Saturday.  We had a last braai next to the river.

On Sunday we took our time to pack and fetch our workmen with all their belongings.

It was a four hour road trip, but we love driving on a Sunday, as Jacaranda always have the best ‘throw back’  (classics from way back) music.

As usual, we had to find the work site first, which were situated in the local location area.  B checked it out while our workmen went to scout for accommodation for the next few days.  Luckily, they found a perfect space for them at one of the homes right next to the work site.

Only then could we drive to our place of residence which we booked in advance for a night, to see if it would be suitable.

Lalapanzi Hotel turned out to be an awesome stay, meeting all our needs.  We bought a buffet dinner for B and sat outside watching the sun set beautifully.

Tuesday (7 August), I went with B to the work site.  He did what he had to do and as our workmen have been doing this for many years, we could do a drive to Levubu.  It was a lovely hot day – 30 degrees – and we decided to lunch at a place which the locals agree is the place to eat at – Levubu rugby club.

Afterwards, we went in search for the dried fruit and nut farms which this area is known for.

On our way home, we found the Royal Macademia shop.  We were blessed to buy 5l of Macademia oil for just under R300.  Score. We also bought some nuts and dates.  We shall gift some to Juan (our son) to make his famous rusks with.  It was a lovely day and we ended up chilling with a glass of Van Loverens’ white wine – Christina Sauvignon Blanc – watching the sun set yet again.

Afterwards, we had our last braai at our self-catering cottage next to the Vaalriver.

We are surely living a life filled with ups and downs, yes, because that is what this life experience is…it is your attitude that makes or breaks your life experience…

This is the reason why I am sharing our experiences…just maybe it makes someone realize that life is a miracle and we are our own architect.

…Superblessed to be able to share with so much gratitude

 

 

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Author: superblessedandloved.com

Sharing my life so openly is my legacy and symbol of gratitude and love.