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Snaps: Rose-picking at Chart Farm

For the longest time now, I’ve wanted to visit Chart Farm in Wynberg to wander among the roses and – best of all – pick a selection of my own to take back home.

But, on one condition: that my mom could come along, as her love for these fragrant blooms runs deep and connects with a tender nostalgia for the birthdays of her childhood in Piet Retief. Born on the 16th of November, my mom’s celebration of life falls slap-bang in the middle of peak rose season, which also happens to be most spectacular in the highveld areas of our country.

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addo, travel, eastern cape, addo elephant national park, wildlife, south africa

My Addo top 5

As I mentioned the other day, my mom and I recently spent a week in the Addo Elephant National Park, just to take a little break from our busy lives.

While we have this long-standing dream of doing the Camino de Santiago together (which I know we will eventually get round to), time and finances haven’t really allowed (just yet), but we both felt like taking a bit of much-needed time out, so decided to do a more manageable local trip instead.

Both avid bush-lovers, we knew we wanted to go somewhere a little wild, but also didn’t want to spend too very many hours on travel… which made Addo the obvious and perfect choice.

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sunset, sea point, cape town, sea point promenade, africa, south africa, travel
jeffreys bay, beach, supertubes, travel, south africa, shells

Snaps: A morning in J-Bay

At the beginning of August, my mom and I took a little trip up the coast just to get away for a bit and spend some time together. She had recently wrapped up five intense years of political work as a ward councillor in the Overstrand municipality and I was on the brink of starting a brand new job after a few months of trying to make ends meet as a freelancer (more about all of this another time).

In short, we both needed a little breather before stepping into something new.

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Rod's Trail, Betty's Bay, mountains, hiking, overberg, overberg hiking, adventure, travel, explore, fynbos, kogelberg

Snaps: Rod’s Trail, Betty’s Bay

While the past week or so has been a rather stormy one down here in the Western Cape, I must say, we’ve really been blessed with some particularly pleasant winter weather.

And nowhere is a bright winter’s day more beautiful than in Betty’s Bay. Anyone familiar with that side of the world will know that for 80% of the year it’s a high energy zone – all gale force winds and stormy seas. But when it decides to take a breather and… just… rel…ax, it’s seriously the most exquisite place in the world.

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Snaps: Summer in Cape Town

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On top of Lion’s Head. We set out at 4pm one Wednesday afternoon in search of Watchman’s Cave… and ended up climbing all the way to the top!

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The view from the top of Lion’s Head really is spectacular. Let’s never forget that. 

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Did you know that Signal Hill is known as Vlaeberg in Afrikaans? I never did!

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Sea Point sunsets <3

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One morning in early December, I headed to Clifton 2 long before any crowds could descend. As I lay there soaking up the sun, I suddenly felt something brushing against my hip. I almost swiped it away, but luckily I looked first and saw this beauty just chilling there. What a surreal moment of perfection. 

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Glen Beach at dusk

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Glen beach

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Last paddlers coming in at Glen Beach

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The 12 Apostles bathed in light

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Clifton 2 before 10 am

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Mass yoga and meditation on Camp’s Bay beach. 

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My favourite nursery – Montebello in Newlands

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Saluting the sun on Camp’s Bay Beach.

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Beach meditation and the 12 Apostles hiding away under a fluffy duvet. 

Cute white alpaca at the Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop & Weaving Studio

An adventure of unparalleled cuteness? Alpaca my bags!

It was just before 8am on Heritage Day morning and Marli and I were rushing along Agter Paarl road in an effort to get her to a trail run – that would be starting in about t-10 minutes at Spice Route – on time.

I was still a little groggy and bleary-eyed and not yet able to fully appreciate the picturesque scenery unfolding (at top speed, I might add) around me: spring-green vineyards with hazy purple mountains towering above them, white ducks kicking up concentric waves in otherwise glassy dams, little houses sending tentative columns of smoke up into the blue – preempting the braai fires that would later be lit.

You know, the standard sort of winelands prettiness one can expect from this time of year.

And then I suddenly found myself doing a double take – as though my body responded to what I’d seen before my mind could quite register.

It was a simple black silhouette on a sign post – recognisable in its absolute ridiculousness, unmistakable in its unexpectedness:

“Alpacas!” Marli and I exclaimed in unison.

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Weekend wandering in the Kogelberg mountains

A mid-winter weekend spent exploring the mountains above my home town, the sea breeze caressing my bare arms, the sun kissing my cheeks, the strange embrace of brand new hiking boots on my feet.

Getting to dedicate large chunks of both Saturday and Sunday to soaking up the splendour of the Hangklip area’s natural beauty, with my parents, aunt and cousin was such a treat and left me feeling truly rich…

Here are a few pics:

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My life according to Instagram

You can say what you like about Instagram – how pretentious it is, how fake with all its silly filters and instamatic tilt-shift. How it encourages this weird nostalgia we constantly feel for times we never even experienced ourselves.

But, you know what? I really like it. And think it’s one of the most fun and creative ways to share the way we see the world.

I tend to Instagram up a storm when I feel inspired by things happening around me. So, thought I’d share a few of my favourite shots from the past few months or so…

(Click on the first image to initiate the cool scroll through gallery view)

Snaps: Swellendam & surrounds

It was the coldest weekend of the year so far during which I happened to explore the Bontebok National Park, Swellendam and some of its surrounds (Suurbraak, Tradouw Pass and bits of Barrydale).

Swirling winds brought news of snow-topped mountains, stung our cheeks till they glowed pink and whipped our feet into stamping dances, just to stay warm while admiring the dizzying views from Tradouw Pass. Brandy and wine tasting and Karoo tapas assisted in keeping us nice and toasty, while watching a brave member of our group zipline into the Buffeljags Dam kept spirits soaring.

I also met quite a few super cute fluffy ones.

Here are some snaps…

 

White-washed little house in Suurbraak. Such a pretty town.

At the Bloublommetjies Kloof Lavender farm.

Joseph Barry 10-year and Lindt. Delish

The park is a botanist's dream - full of all sorts of plant species you wouldn't find anywhere else.

The remains of Kaptein Lang Elsie's stone house in the Bontebok National Park.

And now for all the furry ones…

This girl lives at Umshanti. They kept telling me her name, but of course, I've forgotten it.

This sweet little one is a friendly cat you'll find at Rolandale farm stall just outside Swellendam.

This one also lives at Umshanti.

This one at the Lavender farm... he/she was a bit kwaai. Swiping me and giving me death stares.

These guys live at the Joubert -Tradauw winery.