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Have Baby will travel …. day 2

Bear woke full of smiles and ready for his rather chilly day. It seems strange freezing after all our gorgeous sunny Cape Town days, but here bear is snug as a bug in his tracksuits.

No adventures today as papa had some work to do so bear and mamma chilled.  We played with his Fischer price apps on the tab, sang , read his book and played with all his toys. He explored uncle  Litas house and then we played in the garden.

Bear loves the flowers and its very entertaining watching him feel the cool green grass between his fingers.

Tomorrow we off to Port st Johns …..

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Have Baby will travel …. day 1

In the midst of a dark 4.30am coffee call, papa bear and i decided to just load a sleeping bear in the car and get our road trip started.

 We had packed the night before and miraculously managed to get everything in …who knew packing with a baby and a mom with FOLSB (FEAR OF LEAVING SOMETHING BEHIND) would mean packing in everything short of the kitchen sink,

Grabbing the last few bags and cooler bag of snacks , we put out the dirt and locked up.

Sleeping baby in the back , 80’s music on and coffee flasks ready we were on our way …..

We left Cape Town with the moon high and the north star guiding us over the dark highway, trucks of all proportions our only companions until we reached the tunnel when a few cars shared the winding roads through the mountains. 

The Sun awoke and showered her brilliant hues of orange and red flames across the sky just before we got to Beaufordwest. 

A calm bear slept , snug and warm until then and as he began to niggle awake I climbed into the back seat to give him his morning bottle. He awoke to this mamma bear singing away , the Sun dancing her sunrise before him and papa bears familiar greetings. A happy bear smiled and took his bottle , but not before he flashed me a dirty look for being in his back seat.

I love the Karoo and have many wonderful memories of my years living there , so my heart tugged as i saw the familiar landscape of brown open spaces, windmills and aloe scattered along our drive with the odd sheep making an appearance. 

Our first stop was in Beaufortwest for petrol and bathrooms. We all stretched our legs and climbed back into the car. Bear nibbled on his breakfast biscuits and sang along to the music. At one point he discovered the sky roof and was laughing at the clouds. His favourite scrat kept him companion and I turned to see the rhythm of the car had put him to sleep.

We wound our way towards the town of Aberdeen, where I used to live many years ago. The road between Beaufordwest and Aberdeen is barren and never seems to end . A lone farm house breaks the monotonous view of open fields. 

As we entered Aberdeen , the sense of home calls and I was reminded how much I love small towns. Their old , antique architecture with its typical Cape Dutch gables and the huge modest churches.  As I directed papa to the municipality where I worked for a short period , I noted how nothing changes. The shops are still in the same place and the same people work there, they just older.

I got to catch with old work colleagues as bear smiled at these friendly people and we headed back on our way towards Graaf Reniet. I always stay alert on the road between Aberdeen and Graaf Reniet, as years ago a kudu jumped in front of us, almost causing an accident. We were also looking for the bed on one of the farms.

Stories go that during the groot trek a young farmers wife died in childbirth and he buried his wife and baby in this spot,  placing the large metal bed over their grave to stop the leopards eating them.

The large Karoo mountain range is one of my favourites and we entered Graaf Reniet with a giggling bear now snacking on his wafers after a yoghurt treat.

We left the old town roads towards Craddock, winding up the mountains. Wild monkeys and baboons greeted us along our way and we saw a heard of buck grazing in the nature reserve. 

We stopped for lunch in Craddock and bear enjoyed a nice crawling stretch on the grassy patch outside the local Spur.  Papa and I hurriedly ate our burgers and as i watched him drown his fries that looked 10 days old and refried, in sauces I pushed mine to the side …The last thing I felt like was food posioning.

I climbed into the back and we headed back on the road. I’m not sure how the road to Queenstown was as i fell asleep with bear, awaking to find us leaving Queenstown in our wake on the way to Umtata.

The rural, ragged road to Umtata is scattered with the most gorgeous natural scenery , bright clay traditional houses and farm animals wondering Everywhere.  Taxis race back and forth and only the huge speed bumps stop them.

14 hours later we reached our destination .

Bear finally got to meet our friend Lita, a braai on and smiles all round.

Bear did very well for his first road trip and not once did he niggle …. I think we creating a travel junkie 😂😂😂😂

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Finding lighthouses

Those who have followed us know papa and I have been hunting light houses for a while. 

It started as a dare to find every lighthouse in Cape Town and to date we have visited 8 amazing lighthouses around the province. 

As we sat enjoying a Greek platter and glass of wine the other day I looked up and found another lighthouse at Damhuis. 

 I gathered bear for a few photos and ticked another lighthouse off my bucket list.

I’m not sure what it is about lighthouses that attract me … prehaps the symbolism of protection and guidance or may be the idea that even in a storm they shine. 

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Damhuis …review

Last Monday papa and I got to spend a wonderful lunch at Damhuis in Melkbos.

I must admit I’ve eaten there twice with little bear and both times the staff and food have been amazing. Definitely a 10 out of 10 for being child friendly.

Their baby chairs are spotless and the play area simply stunning.

Your child can enter a nautical playground as they climb to the top of the lighthouse to watch for passing shops. The large sandy area enables moms and dad’s to sit with their little ones as they imagine they are mermaids and build giant sand castles. The sand toys were clean and neatly stored and all the play equipment was immaculately cared for.

The children’s menu is well priced with a wide variety to suit all sorts of finicky eaters. 

I ordered a portion of ribs for little bear and all I can say is “wow “. It was a massive portion, big enough to feed me. Served with crispy chips …I took one taste and almost abandoned my Greek platter for his meal 😂😂

Well done Damhuis … We will be back 

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Allesverlooren..review

Nestled  in the Riebeek valley is the picture perfect grounds of Allesverloren. Surrounded by old oak trees as you gently stroll up the path , you are overwhelmed by a sense of calm.

The first sight to greet us was that of a giant oak, hallowed out large enough for the kids to stand in the trunk. Its huge branches heavily  laden with autum leaves.

As we arrived at the top of the drive , an arch in the shrubbery caught our eye and the mysterious path way was begging to be explored. large enough for us to fit through with the pram we saw a rickety wooden bridge before us. Just after the bridge , down by the sadly empty steam stood a handmade swing that the kids couldn’t help but try out, I gazed at this unique sight and can only imagine how beautiful it must be when the stream is flowing.  

As we wound round the path we came to a clearing amidst the trees. A rustic alter stood to the one side , the perfect place to share vows, and as if to echo my thoughts the crudly scribbled quote lay to the side …

And on that day when I place my hand in yours , I’ll pack away my passport with the vow that my journey to find you has ended .        

     

The stunning grounds were green and small arches of shrubbery invited us to enjoy the picturesque building before us. 

As we had come to enjoy  the festivities of the Riebeek valley olive festival , we were greeted with the sound of live music wafting through the air. Stalls laden with a selection of delicious foods scattered the halls amidst tables of delights for the children.

We enjoyed strolling round the informal market , taking in the sights and distingushing the flavour fushions before us. I couldn’t help myself but to tuck into one of the farm fresh handmade sprinkbok pies …..yummolicious !!!!!

The children enjoyed the small funfare on the grounds and found themselves chasing each other in the giant plastic Zorbs.

Best of all had to be our tasting of olive oil ice cream …. who knew olives made such a tasty treat ?

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Riebeek Valley olive festival

Next weekend sees the start of the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival. 

To signal the celebration of a good harvest the towns of Riebeek kasteel and Riebeek West host the popular Riebeek Valley Olive Festival, nestled at the foot of the Kasteelberg mountain and boasting the finest produce . 

Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is a lifestyle festival celebrating its 17th year, and the only olive festival in the country.The place to be to experience a fusion of wine, olives, craft beers and a wide blend of foods.

Each one of the 7 participating venues are a festival in themselves laden with music, food, stalls and a wide variety of activities for the children.

Some of the highlights for the kids are tractor rides, a jumping castle,an olive spitting competition at the square in Riebeek Kasteel, funfair, simulator, face painting, toy stalls, sweets, balloons and a Monkeynastics display at Riebeek Kasteel Funfair. (Tickets will be on sale.) 

A tractor exibition and golf drive competition will be held at Pulp rock.

Tickets are R80 an adult with entrance for children under 18 are free. 

Your weekend passport gets you a complimentary glass of wine and entrance to the participating wine farms and venues.

For more information contact

www.riebeekvalleyolivefestival.co.za