When we published an Open Letter to the Universe, listing 17 adventures that our family would love to do during 2017, we included the Owl House and Nieu-Bethesda as No. 5 – Somewhere New. Although we had heard and read so much about the Owl House, we were completely ignorant about how amazing the entire village and area is. So, here are 6 other reasons, besides the Owl House, to visit and fall in love with Nieu-Bethesda in the Karoo Heartland of South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
One of the things we love most about travelling are those rare moments when the world seems to shrink in on itself around you. The times when you end up in a place that literally sucks the reality out of your being and leaves you feeling teeny tiny but at the same time hugely significant. Those places where time ceases to exist, where your spirit takes charge and where the meaning of life is within your grasp.
Travelstart asked us to share what we love about travelling. For us, travel is about more than just seeing new places and doing new things together as a family. It is magic in its simplest and most humanly accessible form.
There are certain places where the fabric between magic and reality is torn. Places where people gather and become still and contemplative. These places recharge your spirit and make you content, they strengthen you emotionally and remind you what an amazing gift it is to be alive.
Here are 9 of our most magical places in our beautiful rainbow nation, South Africa:
When we wrote our open letter to the Universe on 1 January, the kids were adamant to include #13 – Something Fast. They weren’t too fussed with exactly what it should be, as long as it was fast and furious. Although I must admit to secretly hoping Something Slow, or Something Tropical would be dished up first, it was exhilarating to see how thrilled the kids were when we were invited to try out Misty Mountain’s brand new quad biking adventure.
What is it with kids and car keys? I have memories of keys being locked inside my parent’s car (with my parents being outside the said car) on quite a few occasions. Every time it stemmed from something to do with my brothers – they had taken the keys to fetch an item, or to sit in the car, or heaven knows what. When Jacob was a baby, we managed to lock him and the keys in the car – there is just way too much stuff to do when you are transporting a tot and the keys can easily get overlooked in all the ruckus.
This weekend it was our turn as parents to experience the dreaded keys-locked-in-the-car scenario. We had been suffering elephant withdrawal, and needed to be near some gentle giants, so a braai lunch in our favourite spot was in order. Plans were to mosey through Addo Elephant National Park’s Matyholweni gate to Jack’s Picnic Site in the middle of the park, have a braai lunch and then wind our way back out the Colchester side and go fishing at the Sundays River estuary. Sounds like a sublime way to spend a Sunday, right?
Now this is something that most people probably don’t want to do, so perhaps our story will help those of you who think it’s a bad idea to lose your kids, to prevent it from happening to you.
Here are three easy steps to lose your kids on the Otter Trail: