Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 26 December 2008

Adventure filled 4-day week-end

Jacques had a pre-planned week-long holiday planned to Eikenhof in Grabouw with his friends. He invited the boys and I to join them for the first week-end from Friday. The idea of an adventurous week-end out of town sounded good so we quickly shopped & packed and I set off as soon as I could get away from work on Friday night.

I knew we'd be meeting up with active people, a few of whom I had met. So I had packed my running gear, but I had NO IDEA what I was really in for! LOL.

We met up at the Grabouw farm stall at about 18:30 and got through to the cottage at about 19:00. Just in time to unpack (Jacques had lots of 'toys'. Bikes, boats and the like) quickly and head down to the dam for a swim. The water is a very civilised decent temperature - not like the bloody freezing sea we have here in Cape Town. Nice. There was much wrestling, dunking, 'chicken fighting' and general mayhem between the 4 of us. We even found a submerged tree-trunk section which became a 'water horse' which kept stalking and antagonising people.

After the swim I met the gang who were already there and we got acquainted around the braai. This turned out pretty raucous, and any intentions I had of making a good impression on the 'friends' were well and truly thwarted when I managed to earn the dubious moniker of 'anal sex girl'! Long story, don't ask!!! This was further , er cemented when I tried to change the subject by telling the 'What's brown & sticky?' joke. Let's just say I have no dignity left!

On Saturday we woke bright and early and Jacques suggested a 'little run'. It sounded fun. 5 minutes in I was ready to die! He selected the steepest road to start on, and then we rounded a corner to a steeper one which never ended. THANKS dude! I eventually got into it and we ended up doing a gorgeous 10km trail run, passing a lovely waterfall. It really is a stunning area.

When we got back I thought we'd be relaxing, but no, we went for a swim and then a paddle across the dam. I was then convinced we should all cycle to the waterfall - including the kids. Now I haven't really ridden (an adult's) bicycle for YEARS, and I knew the route was steep having already run it earlier, but I conceded. The boys bitched and moaned and struggled and cried, until I gave them the option to go back to the cottage or shut up and keep going. They chose to keep going. :) I had a fabulous bike - I could get into riding if I had a decent bike like that. Wow! - so I rode up a section and then ran back to push one of the boy's bikes up to mine and then ran back to the next to fetch the other one, repeat ad infinitum. While Jacques rode on ahead with his friend Craig, they were doing a proper ride and we were doing the direct 'short' route. They eventually came down to find us because we were taking so long, and Jacques and Craig each took one of the boy's bikes and rode it up the last section of hill and they nearly died from the effort too! Much harder on less high-tech bikes. They looked so funny too in their hard-core riding gear on the tiny bikes.

Still the waterfall was lovely and we swam and climbed and then jumped off rocks, and had a really good time. I caught a frog and when I tried to kiss it, it jumped into my cleavage and stayed there for a bit, while I flailed around trying to get it out. It was quite funny! On the way back Griffin took a tumble on a downhill run and hurt himself a bit, but he was very brave and kept going. We all got back tired and proud of ourselves.

We met the new people who had arrived and had a lovely social braai. Where I produced a massive packet of marshmallows to toast and then there were jokes of my 'warm and stickies'. After all that we collapsed into bed. Tired from the activity of the day.

On Sunday the big guys went on a major cycling mission, so the boys and I ran/cycled along the gravel road to the gate (an 8km round trip). Again I was running ahead and then running back to help them up hills etc. At one point I was running up a hill and pushing both boys along in tandem. Tiring! This took a while, but the boys despite their moaning were feeling proud of themselves and Quinn even said he wants to come to gym with me to get fit.

When we got back I went for quite a long swim. I tried going right across the dam, but the other side didn't seem to get any closer so I turned back eventually. But I reckon I did between 600-700m at least.

When Jacques and co came back, Craig & Karin decided to swim the width of the dam (on a shorter section, but still about 1.5km in total) and so we paddled there and back with them. These guys all do triathlons and adventure racing so they are super fit.

When we got back Beryl & family had arrived. We swam, chatted and had lunch with them and then got kitted up to cycle to a natural pool for a swim. Beryl's middle daughter Maxine took a nasty fall on the way there and hurt herself, but we continued on and had a good cycle (again helping the kids along) and then all swam and played in the river pool.

On the way back Jacques was on foot and stayed back to help the kids, so I was free to cycle off on my own. I cruised around gaining confidence on the gravelly roads and getting above 35km/h at one point. WooHoo! I felt pretty brave. So when I got back to the cottages I decided to race around the last cottage and then onwards to the grass area. As I rounded the corner I realised I had turned too sharply and the wheel slid out from under me. I instinctively yelled 'FUUUCK' and went down. I looked up to see about 7 people having sun downers at the braai. Oops. Dignity again in tatters. Bugger. They cheered and mocked me and told me I'd need to try that again. So off I went. Determined to redeem myself. I came back concentrating hard and took the corner wider and slower and almost made it, until in the last part of the turn the wheel slid again and I went down. 'Shit shit shit!'. There was much laughter and ridicule... I went around a third time, like a bloody granny and actually managed not to fall. How mortifying! You must understand these people do the Epic & the Odyssey and big endurance events like that. They are very physically adept. They must think I am a total spazzo.

After Beryl & fam left, Trevor Ball arrived, and then the wheels really started falling off. He is like a school boy. In fact they all are, except with better equipment, more knowledge and slightly more sense.

From then on it was non-stop action, even or actually especially, during the storm when he decided the kayak, hammock & a broom stick could combine into a perfect down-wind racer to cruise across the dam. The weather was rough and several people fell off and had to be rescued along the way and the rig was modified after each attempt. I went along on the last 2 sails when an inflatable 'croc' had replaced the big epic sea kayak and the broomstick mast had been broken and lost in the dam and been replaced by a paddle so it all worked better. The wind had dropped by then too. The final attempt was with a windsurfer sail instead of the hammock! Yikes!

All this activity and one-upmanship and added events such as tree swinging, paddling in a major storm (I nearly died and my arms are still sore!) and extreme Boulles (playing among rocks and trees, and drinking copiously too) saw us not leaving at the end of the week-end but rather staying on until Tuesday night.

On Tuesday we had a last trail run where my impressive sure-footedness (for a non-trail runner) finally let me down when I was attacked by a stray root I had not seen and went sprawling down the path. Ooops!

It was a fabulous, fun, social and active holiday with wonderful company. Great to spend time with new and exciting friends and some great cuddle opportunities were had too. The boys and Roxy had a fantastic time too. They wanted to stay even longer. When we left all the other children rushed over to say good bye to Roxy who had become the general mascot and fluffy toy to all the children.

Needless to say by the time I got home on Tuesday night I was broken and was thankful for the day at work on Wednesday to just SIT and recover ;)

Many of the gang are still there and stayed for Christmas and some are there for New Year too. I miss them!


  1. WOW...I can't believe your energy!!! Jane, I reckon you've been reborn - this post shows you have lost none of your enthusiasm for life and living, and having a bloody good time! Good on you, and may the good times (and FUUUCKS) continue throughout 2009.
    Gina in Oz

  2. Sjoe what a trip. Excellent stuff. So tell us about the Anal Girl story...

  3. Gina, thanks I am having loads of fun, and it's nice to have someone to be active and have fun with for a change! Gilz... well it came from Monty Phython's Holy Grail and Zoot in the Castle of Anthrax talking about spankings. She says 'And after the spanking comes the ORAL sex' somehow after a few drinks when I was quoting the line I somehow blurted out 'And after the spanking comes the ANAL sex'. I will never live this down!

  4. Trevor Ball?? From Abseil Africa? He co ordinated the Crazy Store Table Mountain Challenge. He is an absolute nutter. but seems nice. lol

  5. Yup that Trevor Ball and yes he is a nutter!