Quirky quote: Saunter, don’t hike

Kogelberg biosphere reserve (Nadia Krige/Gypsified)

“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”

– John Muir

(Just a note: I originally spotted this quote on Year In The Wild’s Facebook page. Check it out for incredible photographs and stories from South Africa’s wild places)

Karoo through the window

I say Karoo, you think what?

Probably long straight roads, hot days, sun beating down on the cracked, barren earth, thirsty sheep and little round shrubberies.

Well, after almost being washed right out of the Mountain Zebra National Park’s campsite this weekend by furious thunder storms, hail and rain beating down, I have come to know a different side of this almost mystical part of our country.

Yet, yet, yet…

It managed to make itself even more magical than ever before.

Even though we had to up and move campsites on Saturday, then brave temperatures shallow in the minus at night, huddle in almost too close for comfort tent enclosures… I have to say it was an invigorating and revitalising experience. My senses were filled and my endless thirst for wildness quenched just a little bit.

Here are some pics

Don't be fooled by the friendly Mario bro clouds. Nadia Krige

Don't be fooled by the friendly Mario bro clouds.

Vellies in the Karoo. Nadia Krige

Vellies in the Karoo.

Mountain Zebras. Cute!

Mountain Zebras. Cute!

Windmill.

Windmill.

Vastness personified.

Vastness personified.

A bicycle repurposed at the Willow Historical Hotel in Willowmore.

A bicycle repurposed at the Willow Historical Hotel in Willowmore.

Rainbow :)

Rainbow 🙂

Huisie

Huisie

Figments of freedom

Hovering on the very verge of March, I suddenly realise that memories of my three week December break have become so vague, they may as well be figments of my imagination.

So, just to make sure I’m not quite stark raving mad, here are some pics from the holiday that somehow epitomize a sense of freedom.

Braaiing marshies. Nadia Krige

Braaiing marshies. Nadia Krige

Swinging from a Baobab. Nadia Krige

Swinging from a Baobab.

To cross or not to cross? Nadia Krige

To cross or not to cross?

Dog and master reunite. Nadia Krige

Dog and master reunite.

My cousin, Lea, pointing out the spot of Mufasa's tragedy. Nadia Krige

My cousin, Lea, pointing out the spot of Mufasa's tragedy.

My dad teetering on the edge of a beautiful view. Nadia Krige

My dad teetering on the edge of a beautiful view.

Clouds and stuff. Nadia Krige

Clouds and stuff.