A late start to the day as I waited for the heavy fog, almost symbolic of lifting off the stress of the week I had left behind, to clear, and allow the sun to peak it’s brightness onto my universe before I packed my back pack with all my favourite delights, a flask of chi tea, a pesto, cheese and tomato sandwich on home-baked bread, a litre of water, my solar charger for my phone. I had no idea what time I would get to my destination, so in all eventualities, I knew I would be prepared. My detailed contour map and off I went, driving along secondary gravel roads, passing canola fields which were so bright yellow that I had to put my dark glasses on.
(Not messing with these guys)
I stopped to take a few pictures of the pair of ostriches I’d passed in May on my first walk into Platbos. I had seriously contemplated taking a short cut through the Kloof of Haarwegsrivier farm, but had second thoughts remembering that ostriches could be quite aggressive. Off I went passed Jogensklip station down a turn off the gravel road along a narrow tractor path towards Spieelkop. I managed to get through one gate and had to park at the next one to navigate my way with my contour map to Hillside farm which would be our second night stop over.
I couldn’t believe how easy and detailed the maps were to follow and luckily I could remember the logical route which would be down the Kloof and along the river. I only had to turn back once as I had got stuck on the wrong side of the river. While walking over one of the Koppies, I could see the mountain path that Liza and I had walked the week before far in the distance. It was such a good feeling to know my orientation so well now, considering how completely lost I had been the first time I had walked in this area. I couldn’t believe that it could be so much warmer than I had experience only ten days earlier as I peeled off the layers of clothing I had been wearing. This made me a lot more optimistic about the weather in September.
What a delight when a herd of Riebokke and Springbok leaped and jumped off stopping and starting, keeping a safe distance from me, to eventually escape down the Kloof along the river, almost leading me to my destination. I was delighted when I arrived just under the bridge to Hillside Farm, made a call and within 10 minutes my dear friend Sam came along the bridge to fetch me and take me to our second nights’ accommodation. It was decided that we would camp under the canopy of a Yellow wood forest Sam had planted when his wife Ounooi and him had come to live on the farm many years ago.
He then proceeded to take me for a drive to show me the layout of his farm and discuss the route that I would need to follow to get to the Van Brakkelstoor, en route to Boskloof. I listened attentively to all the anecdotes he told me, the little cottage, ”Menskop”, named after the skull of a bushman that had washed down the river when they had had the big flood in 1956 and that the home had belonged to a “Bywooners”, named van Reenen. How they had raised generations of children from that house, which was now just a clay shell. How the farm had been run in the old days, where he and his family used to have picnics along the river, when there were no trees, except wild olives.
A wonderful productive day as once again I am feeling more grounded and less anxious after the return from a rather stressful week in the City. I’m feeling so grateful that I have such a blessed existence.