Posts Tagged With: Die Lapa

Blue Crane Route: Chief’s Log, Day 10

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Day 10.

The last day.

The day I like least of any journey.

A journey that does not end.

An explore which is infinite.

That is what my heart desires.

It is our 3rd day at ‘Die Lapa‘.

We arrived on day 8 of our journey, exploring the Blue Crane Tourism Route.

We’d seen and tasted so much.

PJ & Lynette and Hockley Cottages, Cranemere & the Palmers.  Marianne, the first internationally acclaimed author we’d meet.  PJ, the first exporter.  All on day 1.

Chris Wilken, Lincoln & the immense work of the Blue Crane Development Agency.

Stephan, Vega, Somerset House & Janet.

Stunning Janet.

The second renowned author of a recipe book whom we met on day 2.

Alan & Annabelle Hobson.  Hobson’s Choice Deli.  The Angler & Antelope. Karoo Flyfishing, with intricately made ‘flies’, not ‘lures’.

My & Theunsie’s first fly-fishing catch.

Day 3.

Day 4 filled with Glen Avon & Avon Heights & that 80 meter waterfall.

With tough pioneers & history & nature.

Esther & her nursery and tea-garden and guesthouse.

Liza & Kokskraal & empowerment rooted in love.

The 5th day of our journey well spent on meeting more beautiful people.

The 6th day of our explore spent on visiting places that carry our names.

‘Theuns se Winkel’.

KuZuko Lodge‘.

Seeing ourselves in them.

Or something of ourselves.

Day 7: a bit more of Kuzuko Lodge, amazing big-5 game, stunning food and then Dafre & Natie & Mountain View Inn.

A family larger than our own.

A feast.

An instant friendship.

Hearts connecting.

Laughter.

Understanding.

Loss shared.

Hope expressed.

Sense made.

On day 8 we arrived at ‘Die Lapa‘.

The last leg of our 10-day explore.

But first we discovered Walter Battis.

Geritwyn.

Ros Turner.

Festah & Die Kaia.

We discover the resilience of the human soul.

Its unseen & unrecognized radiance.

We had the entire day 9, enjoying the adventures of this eccentric world.

Jannie & Wilna’s little village created from Karoo dust, rock & wild imagination.

Today we say goodbyes.

Not only to Jannie & Wilna & Wilmarie.

We say goodbye to this experience.

A memory.

A moment, never to be forgotten.

Wilna serves a hot breakfast.

Jannie takes us to see the Honeymoon House, this romantic soul’s expression of the beauty of shared solitude.

The children of our Tribe enjoy the exuberance of Wilmarie & Die Lapa’s horses.

A last bit of exceptional.

Lunch is served.

As if this place also does not want to let go of us.

We talk about how life is never what we expect.

It is never painted in the easy on the eye pastels of cultural conformity.

It is energetic.

Filled with the opportunity to be creative.

To find ways.

Of making sense.

Of getting beyond.

We talk of the wonder of filling your life with the things you enjoy.

Making that your work.

I increasingly hope.

We talk of doing something in which you find meaning.

Something you value.

Doing it in every moment of every day.

For Jannie & Wilna & Die Lapa it is helping people to connect.

With themselves.

And each other.

And their creator.

Through playing.

Like children.

Then lunch is over.

The Chrysler Grand Voyager is loaded.

And as we make our way home I think about doing what we enjoy.

Making that your life.

I think about an immense experience.

Something beautiful I’ll cherish into whatever age I receive & into new life, again & again.

I think about hope.

Beyond fear.

Beyond being consumed by living for tomorrow.

Hope in this moment.

In living.

In being.

Together.

Becoming.

More.

In each other.

And this I ask.

For me.

For my Tribe.

For everyone we met in these few days.

And everyone who share our journey.

Which does not end.

In eternity.

For you.

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Blue Crane Route: Chief’s Log, Day 9

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Just as the first light greeted us through our bedroom’s window, our children rushed into our room, filled with excitement.

We’re nearing the end of our ten-day explore of the Blue Crane Route.

It’s the perfect ending.

We’re at ‘Die Lapa‘, an adventure farm hidden in the mountains, just south of Somerset East.

It is beautiful.

A little village coming to life, far from the rush & noise of city life.

Wilna has hot coffee & warm breakfast ready.

Jannie, her husband was born on this land.

His grandfather walked in the river bed.

His father played amongst the trees & succulents.

What they do is share the amazing joy of farm life with anyone wiling to make the journey.

Since its inception schools & companies have come here to explore themselves as they explore nature.

I see a twinkle in Jannie’s eyes.

The games he played as a child & the ones he dreamt of, all of them are here to share & taste & experience.

His manner with our children speak of a gentle soul.

A soul hungry to heal & make whole.

The city-slickers from Gauteng are off to neighboring land where they’re developing a lodge.

What Jannie has created is not just another lodge.

It is a little bit of life in the heart of the Karoo.

Friends from Somerset East arrive.

Our number bolster.

We have teams to play paintball.

Jannie joins in.

Pippin & Theunsie fight like hardened soldiers.

We take the hits.

We give our share of hits.

We laugh exuberantly.

It fills the morning.

Over lunch we talk of the people who make their way to ‘Die Lapa’.

Beautiful people received by beautiful people.

Warm.

All of us discovering more as we push ourselves beyond our own limits – or what we thought was limits.

Pippin & Soffie & Theunsie, even Zuko, brave the high swing.

‘Hemelhoog’

Touching the blue Karoo heavens before swinging wildly through the sky.

Soffie overcomes a fear.

Theunsie & Pippin too, although they show a braver front.

As we do when we grow up.

Hiding our fear.

Keeping quiet about it, instead of being honest & facing it.

Talking about it without worrying what others would say.

If only we could do that.

Be honest.

In our relationships.

About who we are.

About what we fear.

About what we hope & dream & reach for.

I dream of a life filled with my Zuko & children.

Into eternity.

Filled with wonderful people who make me & us more, as we make them more.

Encouraging each other.

Filling cracks & crevices.

Healing even, as we see each other’s beauty.

And reflect it.

Jannie & Wilma’s children join us.

They’re little Wilmarie take Theunsie & Sophia & Wilhelmina horse-riding.

Later we do the obstacle course.

The weather changes.

Large cold drops splatter in the soft Karoo soil.

Jannie helps each child along.

Explaining the value of choosing adventure.

Of moving outside of your comfortable space.

‘It is good to ask for help’, he says.

‘Nothing wrong with that, but ask exactly what you need, so others may know exactly how to come alongside you.’

‘There is no shame in asking.’

‘No one makes it without the help of others.’

How did we become so independent?

How did we come to believe that if I did not make it on my own I did not make it with dignity?

What is ‘making it’, after all?

Is it obscene wealth?

So that you can splash & splurge & spend as if there is no end.

Or is it deep relationship?

Becoming?

Who you were created to be?

All along?

Is it really connecting?

That is something else which have been brewing below the surface the past few days.

So many men’s inability to be authentic & honest.

Always hiding behind a bravado.

Robbing their wives & children of a life in intimacy.

I’m glad to see Jannie embrace his Wilna.

It is real.

No show.

No show!

How do we get there?

To that place?

Perhaps a place like ‘Die Lapa‘ will help us along?

Perhaps stepping outside the comfort of city life & doing together, something which we’d never consider doing – perhaps that takes us to this new place.

Of honesty.

And along with that a new new-found bravery.

I think that is the gift of Jannie & Wilna with ‘Die Lapa’.

An opportunity to school boys & girls, to prefects & teachers, to families & friends & businesses, to get to that place.

It is a good place.

As we come into the village-hall at the centre of this little village, the warm fire is cooking supper.

The children head for the pool table.

The visitors from Gauteng are here as well.

Laughter is easy.

We talk.

Disagree.

Smile.

Laugh.

Zuko boldly explains our eccentric life.

Homeschooling at the little wooden house on the not so little hill.

Traveling the Eastern Cape.

It doesn’t sound like much in comparison to the lives of the rich & famous.

To us it is everything.

We connect for a moment, through the people.

We smile.

For it is good.

And we hope, as Jannie & Wilna share Jannie’s boy-hood experiences, we may also share the joy of family life.

Of raising children, not to ‘leave’ for distant worlds, but to keep on sharing.

As equals.

Collaborating.

Creating.

Alongside each other.

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Categories: Blue Crane Tourism, Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blue Crane Route: Chief’s Log, Day 8

WIN! a weekend’s accommodation at Mountain View Inn, including a guided tour of the Walter Battiss Art Museum & The Somerset East Museum AND a private evening performance by renowned musician Gerrie van Wyk, the complete prize valued at more than R3500.

This is how:

(1) read this post

(2) Find out what artist Walter Battiss called his imaginary island.

(3) In the comments section on this post leave your answer to this question: ‘What did Walter Battiss call his imaginary Island-Republic?’

Entries close Monday 20/08/2012 at midnight.

Winner announced on Tuesday 21/08/2012 on Kingfisher FM‘s Big Breakfast.

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Breakfast at Mountain View Inn is a festive affair, much like supper was.

Dafre, the owner joins us.

Her pharmacy is right around the corner.

She came earlier to say good morning, attentive to all our needs & comfort.

Conversation is easy.

Warm.

Authentic.

Leaving Mountain View Inn is slow.

Unhurried.

After breakfast we pack our bags & load the Chrysler Grand Voyager.

We’re off to ‘Die Lapa‘ at Skietfontein, later today.

But first we’re going to visit Festah & her family at ‘Die Kaia‘.

We want to see what she has on offer in terms of accommodation & activities.

Beautiful bush tents.

A huge caravan & camping site.

On the river’s edge.

The little Fish River.

What we discover is a beautiful woman with a love of nature & a deep creativity, explored amidst many other things.

Festah shows us where the eagles nest.

And the ducks.

She talks of how ‘Die Kaia‘ developed into a popular picnic spot for locals.

Of the camping site & bush tents & how she hopes they’ll be enjoyed by city dwellers who desperately desire to get away from the city bustle.

A tasty biltong ‘potjie’ is lunch.

We walk along the river’s edge.

Earlier we visited the Walter Battis Art Museum.

We learnt of this eccentric artist’s imaginary ‘Fook Island’ & the children beg Festah for empty pages they could fill with Fook-writing.

They’re inspired by his eccentricity.

His ability to retain his childhood deep into old age.

I’m impressed by Geritwyn.

She’s been with the Somerset East Museum for 23 years.

She takes the children from room, explaining every little detail with care & excitement.

She shows Pippin her rose-leaf jam.

She takes me to the ‘Slachtersnek Exhibition’, explaining the history of failed ‘Afrikaner Rebelion’ against the English.

Of hanging.

Perceived Devine intervention.

Death.

How filled our history is with strife, disappointment & battle.

How immense our future could be if we were to learn from it, embracing & enabling each other.

We say our goodbyes to Festah & her Kaia.

Make our way through stunning farmland to ‘Die Lapa‘.

The Karoo is wet & green from uncommon winter rains, each little river crossing flowing slowly, taking life to natural life not known in many places.

It would be a pitty if Fracking takes this away from us.

As the Chrysler Grand Voyager bring us over a rise & we start a slow decline a brightly colored ‘Windpomp’ (wind operated water pump) greets us in the distance.

And then a village, hidden amongst the mountains.

Little wooden cottages scattered around the ‘town centre’.

A large shed with a massive fire-place.

Smoke reach for the sky from chimneys.

The muddy obstacle course, paintball field & horses beckon our children & fill them with excitement for the next day’s adventure.

We find our rooms.

And then the fire-place in the middle of this village’s ‘city hall’.

Jannie & Wilna talk of how ‘Die Lapa’ came to life.

A caravan under a tree.

A first wooden cottage.

A handful of hunters seeking respite from the relentlessness of life in winter fires & warm black coffee poured from a blackened pot boiling in orange flames.

There are other guests as well.

Hunters from Cape Town & the Swartland.

Visitors from Gauteng who love the Karoo & desire to create something they do not understand yet.

Supper is simple & exquisite all at the same time.

Jannie & Wilna’s love for this part of the world translated into meat & salad & potato dish.

The children laugh from the room next to ours.

I hear them talk of what they’ll do tomorrow.

Paintball.

Obstacle course.

Horse ridding.

The excitement is contagious & throughout the night my dreams are filled with us, our weird Tribe, doing stuff together.

It is in the doing together that we become.

In the experiencing.

In the tasting of life.

Together.

And then it is morning.

Day 9 of our ten-day trip exploring the Blue Crane Route.

Wow!

What an experience.

Categories: Blue Crane Tourism, Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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