Posts Tagged With: Kuzuko Lodge

Blue Crane Route: Chief’s Log, Day 10

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Advertisements
Categories: Blue Crane Tourism, Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blue Crane Route: Chief’s Log, Day 7

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At seven the phone rings in our room.

It is one of the Rangers.

During the night the rain had subsided & we’ll be able to go out and view some game.

Kuzuko Lodge, where we are staying, is a ‘big-5’ game reserve.

The children’s excitement soon invade our room, from next-door.

They’re dressed & ready.

They want to brave the cold & see the game.

We bite a quick breakfast.

A cup of coffee.

Then we’re off.

Zuko & Maddi stays behind in the comfort of Kuzuko Lodge’s Lounge & the care of their attentive staff.

We’re in the care of Freddie the Ranger.

The Tribe, the only South Africans on the Game Viewing Vehicle.

A German couple and a family from the UK accompanying us.

People travel great distances at a huge expense to experience what we take for granted.

We’re all impressed by Freddie, our Ranger’s knowledge of the animals & plants & environment.

I’m impressed by his manner.

His understanding of people.

His communication skill.

I ask where he studied.

And so we meet another student who found a living through Umziwethu & the Wilderness Foundation.

We see Bufallo & Cheetah.

Rhino & Lion.

Kudu.

Rooi Hartebeest.

Swart Wildebeest.

Freddie explains the value of ‘spekboom’ a succulent plant which is loved by elephant.

Somewhere he serves coffee, along the way.

He talks of his wife.

The home they bought in Somerset East.

The dream they have of sharing life.

Raising children.

To be.

Become.

Finally we’re back at the Lodge.

A proper breakfast awaits.

Then we pack our stuff while the children from Oppi Koppi play a final game with the children from the United Kingdom.

We settle bills.

Say goodbye.

Then find our way in the comfort of the Chrysler Grand Voyager to Somerset East.

We choose the scenic R335 slowly stumbling between farmland towards Boschberg, after consulting about the condition of the road with a fellow traveler coming from that direction.

It is beautiful.

We rush too much.

We see two jackals playing.

A herd of sheep grazing.

Some laborers loading lucern bales waving friendly as we drive by.

A deserted homestead.

What looks like a building which could have been a Church or a School building a long time ago.

Its white walls stained by the passing of time & wind & rain.

It is late afternoon when we arrive in Somerset East.

Beautiful Boschberg still watching.

Maddi needs attention.

The kind you cannot give while driving.

We make our way to the Mountain View Inn to find a room & a bed.

We meet Dafre Troskie.

And Jerry van Wyk.

We drink coffee & talk.

Jerry is an exceptional musician.

He’s been on the scene for the best part of four decades.

If not longer.

Playing live.

All over the country.

But even musicians grow old.

And somewhere we all need to find some warmth.

Before supper Jerry takes out his guitar & harmonica.

He plays Niel Diamond.

Some popular cover stuff.

Then he sings one of his own songs.

About the light.

Trying to find us.

Blind us.

About a life.

Trying to be lived.

Slipping away.

Unawakened.

We’ve met through a mutual friend, in Nelson Mandela Bay.

It is a pleasant surprise to discover that Jerry is our host of sorts at the Mountain View Inn.

He makes the coffee.

Lights the fire.

Dafre embraces us.

We laugh about finally finding someone with more children than our Tribe.

She & Natie have six.

If we ever ‘have’ children.

Perhaps they’re merely entrusted to us.

To guide.

To share life with.

To become in relationship with, as we become alongside them.

We talk of the wonder of new life.

The devastation of loss.

We talk of making sense.

Of starting again.

Of resilience in the stead of giving up.

Dafre is a pharmacist.

Business woman.

Natie a farmer.

That is how they earn enough to care for their family.

What they do is much more.

They raise a family.

Love a people.

Find their way.

To themselves.

And each other.

Then Dafre is off to fetch ox-tail and her family.

Zuko & Maddi take a nap.

Theunsie & I play some pool.

The house erupts with children laughing, running up and down the wide hallways of this grand old house.

Mountain View Inn is more than a house.

There are apartments & a garden.

It is right at the heart of town.

You can feel Somerset East in this place.

We eat.

Laugh.

Tell of where we come from & what we hope & what we struggle with.

Talk of freedom.

Hope.

Dafre’s father is visiting from Mosselbay.

He talks of children faraway in the Americas.

Natie talks of their eldest’s growing up & going to University.

Zuko & I listen.

Discover.

Dafre shows us her book.

Jerry does a last song.

Then goodbyes are said.

Natie has to be on the farm in the morning.

Dafre has a pharmacy to open.

Her father leaving early to drive back home to Mosselbay.

We have a day exploring the Walter Battiss Art Musuem, the historic town & perhaps even birding.

I remain astounded.

At the beauty of people.

And our ability to rise again.

Once more.

And live.

As we see, beyond the obvious.

Categories: Blue Crane Tourism, Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blue Crane Route, Chief’s Log, Day 6

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visiting places that carry your name.

I’ve not done that before.

In fact, I don’t think there are many places out there that carry our names.

Theunis & Zuko.

Today we visited two places, each carrying one of our names.

‘Theuns se Winkel’ (Theuns’ Shop) was the first.

We’ve driven past it many times.

Most recently, in December, on our way to the farm in the mountains between Cradock & Tarkastad.

We saw it come to life, after many years of standing empty.

Our curiosity triggered, we decided to visit it on our way to Kuzuko Lodge.

Incidently it is where you turn off from the N10, to make your way to Kuzuko.

Celeste & Alonzo welcomed us.

She took custody of ‘Theuns se Winkel’ in November.

She is married to a local farmer.

Drought had forced her to seek new ways of creating income.

At first she went to work in Somerset East, but being away from the farm & her family was hard.

Friends came alongside her.

They helped her raise the capital.

And new life came to this little stop along the N10.

There is a shop selling local produce.

A restaurant serving breakfast & lunch & supper, if required.

The place speaks of Celeste’s creativity & eclectic soul.

Baroque, Rock-‘n-Roll, old & new, as well as a dash of India & Africa mixed into a rich new personality.

As we breakfast, Quintin comes in, seats himself at the counter & orders breakfast.

He works for a truck-towing company.

A truck carrying sheep has fallen over.

He came to scout & is waiting for the tow-truck to make its way from Nelson Mandela Bay.

He says the shop used to be a shearing shed, where farmers from all over brought their sheep.

Then it was a shop.

And a liquor store.

It stood empty many times.

But it has always been a landmark.

The food is amazing.

Stuff you’d expect at an expensive restaurant in a big city.

The decor is stunning.

Something you’d not have seen before.

Celeste speaks of new beginnings.

Of taking risks.

Of never being able to make it on your own.

Rain is pouring down outside.

A friend sends a picture of a pure white Johannesburg.

Snow covering large parts of the country.

We say our goodbyes.

Certain that we’ll stop at’ Theuns se Winkel’, whenever we travel in this direction.

Hopeful that others would do the same.

Then we make our way to Kuzuko Lodge.

Zuko wasn’t born with this name.

Are any of us born with our name?

Perhaps we are, and our destiny is to discover its fulness.

One morning, a short while after we promised each other to spend our lives together, I woke up with this name in my heart.

And I started calling her it.

There was no ceremony.

No big fanfare.

It suited her.

Often our names are filled with something.

I see God renaming Abram.

I see Daniel & his friends re-named to become Sadrach, Mesag & Abednecho.

I see Josef carrying a new name as he becomes the Pharaoh’s right hand man.

Zuko.

‘Glory’, Ningi explains to me.

‘In Xhosa it means glory.’

‘In Xhosa-tradition, when a man marries a woman, he endows her with a new name.’

‘A name talking of what she has done for him.’

‘What she will be for him.’

‘What she has unlocked in him.’

‘She must be your glory’, Ningi says.

And she is.

For without her I was empty.

I did not know my being.

I was half.

Afraid to explore the deepest crevasses of my being.

My Zuko, my glory.

If I was to be grammatically correct, in Xhosa, I should’ve called her noZuko.  The feminine in Xhosa always takes ‘no’, but even Xhosa people seem to forgive me & understand that who she is & what the name describes is more important that grammar.

Kuzuko Lodge is ‘the place of glory’.

We arrive at reception after quite a drive.

The Chrysler Grand Voyager really impressing us with its ability to make its way across unfamiliar ground.

We’re welcomed in 5-star style.

Little warm napkins after the journey.

Our luggage taken to our rooms.

Our rooms fitted with every conceivable comfort & luxury.

We do high tea.

And when we return to our room, it is turned down for the evening.

Zuko enjoys a full body back massage & manicure.

I spend time with Maddi.

Precious time.

Theunsie, Wilhelmina & Sophia play Wii with two new friends who traveled thousands of miles from the UK to come to Kuzuko to make new friends.

Supper is a grand affair.

The duty manager caters for Zuko’s vegetarian needs.

African music fills the cold evening atmosphere.

Conversation is easy from the entrée to the desert.

Rain still pouring down we find our beds.

We talk late into the night.

About places that carry our names.

‘Theuns se Winkel’ is eclectic.

It is a mix of influences.

Free.

Still blooming into a flower.

Possibly a beautiful flower.

Only time will tell.

Kuzuko Lodge is well established.

An oppulent place of rest & nature & comfort.

My Zuko is all of that.

To me.

To everyone she meets.

And more.

Rich.

Surprising.

Magnificent.

Glory.

Always lifting others high.

Always adoring the wonder of being.

Always radiant & resplendent as she sees the beauty in those fortunate enough to share life with her.

Expectant of what we’ll discover at Kuzuko the following day.

Categories: Blue Crane Tourism, Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: