Molo! Howsit? Kunjani? (aka Hello, how’s it going, how are you?!) I’m getting my Xhosa and South African slang down for sure. So this weekend was pretty eventful in some good ways and some not so good ways. We spent the weekend at Hogsback for backpackers. People do lots of backpacking in South Africa. Lots of nature people. Anyways, so to give you an idea of what Hogsback is/looks like, it’s where J.R.R. Tolkien went to get inspired to write The Lord of the Rings. Yeah. Picture The Lord of the Rings and what it looks like… ewe…. (“yes” in Xhosa) that’s where we were this weekend. Look up Hogsback and you’ll see what I’m talking about. So again, it was rainy all weekend long. Up in the mountains it gets really wet and cold. So the rain mixed with the cold is what we experienced all weekend. However, the lushness made the mountains look pretty cool I will say.
The backpackers place we stayed at is called Terra-Khaya. The owner of the place is named Shane and he’s been living on this property for four years. He was born and Durban and lived in Cape Town and his dream was to live in the country completely on the natural resources of the earth. He was a total peace-loving hippie (with the sickest unibrow I have ever seen). According to Shane, “Terra” is Latin for “earth” and “Khaya” is Xhosa for “home” so basically, “Earth Home”. The earth is his home. Pretty hippie. Shane’s philosophy is that Terra-Khaya is a place that uses only organic/recycled material to give back to the earth. The place was decorated really cool. I wanted to go shopping around the property but Shane said nothing in his collection was for sale. Shame (Shame is used a lot in South Africa, like saying “too bad” or “I’m sorry” you just say shame). There was a lot of “Peace” signs and hippie stuff like that. It was totally how I want to decorate my future apartment. Minus the outhouse toilets and open showers! Also Shane has 7 dogs just running around and living with him along with several cats. So needless to say I was able to harness my feelings of missing my animals and love on the dogs and cats at Terra-Khaya. Wellllll J
On Saturday we did a serious hike through the forest. I’m not lying when I say it was one of the prettiest views I’ve ever seen. Not too many of my group members were keen on the hike (especially after it had rained and was very slippery and muddy), so I felt weird by trying to suppress my enthusiasm. Along our hike we were accompanied by a mastiff female named “Kripa” J wellll. She followed us along the entire hike and stayed with us and led the way. It was so cute. When we made it to the waterfall (I’ll post pictures of it!) she took a little rest while we were snapping photos and everything. She reminded me so much of Levi. She’d slow down, then speed up so that she was the pack leader, then slow down and smell some more. She was a nice girl and stayed right with the group even though she didn’t know us. The last 5k’s of our hike was spent walking in the pouring rain. Every part of my body was soaked and that was when I started wishing I were home (Home to Chinsta or home to the States I’m still not sure). The one part of this weekend that I really didn’t like was not being prepared for the weather. Also not being able to shower was another factor as well. Since it was raining all weekend, and the shower is an outdoor shower, there really wasn’t much point of showering. That means that you are wet, cold, sweaty, hot, and gross all at the same time. Moods were not all that jazzy after the hike.
After our hike we went and got some dry clothes before heading out to a local bar/backpackers reception to support Denver and his Western Province rugby team against the Sharks. Rugby is obviously huge in SA and this was some sort of final/championship or something that Denver really wanted to watch. I had never seen a real rugby match before other than Aaron, so I was glad that I knew a bit of what was going on. Even though Western Province lost, (poor Denver) we had a good time and a good rest of the evening. When we arrived back at Terra-Khaya dinner was supposed to be ready at 7:30-8pm. However those hippies/nature philosophical guys didn’t have dinner ready until AFTER 9:15!!! Most of us were all fed up that we just went to bed. How rude! Denver was pretty upset by that too. And was annoyed by the other backpackers staying at Terra-Khaya. They take Earth-Lover to a whole new philosophical level. It was pretty heavy stuff.
On Sunday morning we were ready bright and early to drive back to Chinsta. It was a long weekend, but in the end I was glad I was able to visit Hogsback. It’s weekends like those that make you really appreciate running water, indoor toilets, and a good change of underwear! Cheers!