Farm Life. Yoh, it’s such a lekker thing, especially when you get to do it with your family and reconnect to your roots. I grew up in the heart of the Eastern Cape’s #FrontierCountry, and those ysterklip kopjes, yellow-blossomed sweet-thorns, undulating rooigras ridges and aloe ferox sentinels will never cease to kickstart a staccato rhythm deep down inside my ribcage.
For the first six years of my life, I free-ranged footloose and feral where the Kagga ranges tried to outflank those lofty Winterberg peaks. Then boarding school interfered, but at least I could escape that stifling prison on most weekends, returning to the kloofs and valleys of Silverbrook, our family farm, to foray from dawn to dusk. At the time, I was a bloodthirsty little son-of-a-boer, but strict rules made sure that whatever my catapult or windbuks hit, had to be eaten. I still think this is a damn fine rule.
We haven’t been back to the #BaviaansRiver Conservancy in quite a few years, so what a pleasure it was to see the kids once again experiencing this visceral space. Life is more real and connected here, with the locals living an earthy existence in symbiosis with the planet: meat does not originate from the supermarket; you grow much of what ends up on your plate; and early nights equate to dawn missions, which soon resets your Circadian rhythms.
Clambering up creaking CLIMAX windpumps; farm dam swims with a water scorpion or three; wrestling old-skool farm gates; out-running an #Ooskaap thunderstorm with the smell of cordite on the wind; the roil of a mud-water wall cascading down a river bed that was dry an hour before; bottle-feeding nuzzling ‘hanslammer’ lambs; building fires without Blitz; and having a skaap-drol spitting competition high in the hills … this resets your soul and enables you to makes sense of a life more real, and many miles away from the fear-mongering #NewNormal crowds.
Best of all was that we could combine one of our Ozone #ContentCreation Projects around the trip. Look out for some of the kickass Core Merino Stills and Video coming soon: such lekker synchronicity, as the Baviaans River lies at the heart of the South African #merinowool industry, and this is what this amazing #outdoor #clothing brand is manufactured from. Huge thanks to Crusader Safaris for making their excellent lodge available to us for our stay: I miss the immensity of the night-time quietude, with sparks from the braai fire lazily fairy-lighting up towards the stars, and the dawn mutterings of the chacma troop in the nearby cliffs.
Next time, we need to spend at least a week up on that soet-veldt ridge. Or maybe two. And then I need to catch up with so many old acquaintances, friends & family in ‘The Valley’ … So yes, we’ll most definitely be back, and certainly not too long from now.
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