The vision is to create safe walk-ways, help re- forest Platbos indigenous forest, clear alien vegetation from these walk-ways, allowing for indigenous vegetation to create corridors for animals and birdlife to thrive.......and leave a legecy for our children
Arriving back after a week in the Eastern Cape attending the Grahamstown Arts festival, filling my days with political debates, theatre, physical theatre, dance, music and puppetry, socialising with old and new friends left me with so much to process. I arrived back in Caledon to our farm Kleinsandfontein to the freezing temperature of 2 degrees Celsius. I’ve been sleeping in all my cloths and carrying a hot water bottle around to keep me warm and acclimatize to the icy weather which had creeped in from Grahamstown.
Here it felt a lot colder somehow and it took me a day or two to recover from the vibrant and insightful debates around issues currently effecting our country and the world and the delicious unreal fantasy and creativity which was so richly displayed at the festival.
I could now get back to the project at hand. I spent one day wondering around the farm trying to set clear intentions in motion before I started working out all the logistics that would be involved in walking to Platbos. It became quite clear that firstly I had to create the route, keeping it as diverse and interesting as possible and making sure that each day would not be too long for pilgrims to undertake. When I had walked into Platbos for the Greenpop festival in May, the focus was to get there as quickly and safely as possible. This time, I want to make the walk longer and more interesting by walking through private farms, along railway tracks and through indigenous or potentially indigenous corridors. So, today I left the house with the intention of doing half of the second day and to meet some of the farmers.
Although freezing winter weather, the day was crisp and clear. It felt as though I was walking through a surreal landscape. The new growth on the wheat lands looked like draped green velvet cloth. The charming meander of the railway tracks and the old dwellings told old historical tales of a vibrant railway tradition with all its infrastructure in place, left now to deteriorate and left lonely and desolate.
Once more I was met with the friendly hospitality of the local farmers. My spirits were high as I walked into the final farm at dusk to see herds of buck galloping up the steep slopes, where they would stand very still watching me from a distance. I couldn’t believe that there were so many secrets I didn’t even know existed in my own back yard!
Tomorrow we are off to meet Ounooi and Suzette from the local Padstal to find out if they would be able to accommodate us on our second night of walking……..