Thinking & Feeling

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

Friday, 27 February 2009

Week-end - Part 2 - Mosselbay & Bonniedale

So after arriving in Mossel Bay and putting my stuff in the hotel room *cough*Presidential Suite*cough*, we went out for dinner. J opted to go to a cute place called Jazzbury's.

We sat on the veranda out the back which was lovely as it was private and was a beautiful warm evening. I had Mussles, and J had Tripe (I still have to fight the urge to go 'Eeeeurgh' at that stuff.) - him being a plass jappie and all. I tried to taste it, but got as far as tasting the sauce and that was enough for me. I am not a fussy eater at all and have tried many a weird and wonderful thing, but I draw the line at tripe. Sorry. We also had a lovely bottle of white wine. I never used to drink white wine at all, but I am starting to develop a taste for it now. I still love me a good red, but in summer a crisp white with a few blocks of ice goes down very well. We ended with some delish cappuccinos and an Amarula Crème Brulee.

And then back to our lowly hotel room...

On Saturday morning J wanted to go for a swim in the ocean and I opted for a run. I did a half hearted jog along the coastal road - probably about 5km over 45 min and then headed back. We then had a nice long spa bath - the bath being more like an erupting volcano than a relaxing soak. We totally drenched the floor and some of the carpet. HAHAHA. Oops.

Then we had a lovely breakfast - fruit & a mushroom omelet for me - before going for a stroll around the Museum complex including the Diaz Museum. J was still technically working (doing shoots for Mossel Bay tourism), after that we cruised up to the light house and then down to the point to see if any surfers were catching any waves. The swell was not building enough though, pity.

After finishing up we headed off for Bonniedale Farm. It's a good hour's drive from Mossel Bay, and has a LONG dirt road section to get there. The road is quite good but some parts are relatively steep. Once you get within 10km of the farm there is no cell phone signal, so it really is an escape from the worls. It is tucked far away in a valley nestled amoungst many mountains. After I obliged on gate duty opening the half or dozen or so gates on the way we finally got to the farm.

It is fairly rustic, but cosy and with very friendly people. While J chatted to the owner and took some photos I relaxed on the bed and read my book. We then took a walk to the rock pools where we had a quick swim and looked at the cute frogs. When we got back it was time for our horse ride. As mentioned J is a plass japie and grew up with horses.

I erm, didn't. In fact I think I have sat on a horse maybe a handful of times ever. The last time was 2 years ago on Annie where I just walked her around her paddock, and before that was about 20 years ago when I was still at school, serius! That was on a karoo farm and was one of those lazy horses programed to just plod around their circuit and pay no attention to what you try to make them do. So hardly a challenge at all. I did mention that I was not an experienced rider, but didn't really make it clear that that meant I actually had like NO experience.

Still I was given what I was told was an even tempered and well behaved horse Charlie, and J was given the older slightly less tolerant 'Ou Boy' to ride. I mounted Charlie on my own, not needing a foot up from Carl (the farmer's Ausie son in law) which may have given a false impression of my skill. Carol (the Aussie's wife and farmer's daughter) was to be joining us on her horse Blitz.

Off we set into the evening. Me hoping to not die of either embarassment or mortal wounds. But knowing either way it should be an adventure and I am always game for those. We walked down the road and Charlie feeling rather lazy started dropping back immediately. He was really slow, but nice and steady so I just accepted that we'd be taking it slow. After 10 minutes or so Carol asked if we wanted to go faster. J said yes. I was thinking 'Oh shit!'. And with that they started trotting and Charlie followed suit. Almost running up Ou Boy's butt in the process. I was maginally scared but soon realised I was staying on and even quite comfy and rather than jostling up and down and colliding with the horse out of time it felt like I was actually quite well synchronised. Fun!

We stopped and walked for a while again, and I feeling all confident now would urge Charlie along to speed up and stay with the others. I would get him to trot a little to catch up and then we'd continue walking etc.

So as we got to a dip in the road Carol says 'Right let's canter for a bit'. Holy crap. WHAT!? Before I could protest they were off and Charlie bolted after them. By this time I was hanging onto the saddle for dear life. I have never been on the Cobra at Ratanga but I suspect it must feel the same, it was a combination of abject terror and extreme excitement. It's that thrill of 'Wow this is eally exciting!' blended very closely with 'Oh my god I am going to die!'. I just hung on knowing that if I fell it would not be pleasant or pretty.

But wow I can see why people enjoy riding horses it was rather exhilarating. So we walked on some more and then started descending a very steep and rocky path. Carol assured us that the horses know it well and to just lean back. I did this. But they were still slipping and stumbling in places, and then Charlie decided he was hungry and kept going of the path and dipping his head suddenly to eat, this was a tad hair raising at times, especially when I wasn't expecting it and he nearly pulled me off over his head.

We made it down the path intact and then it was just up the hill back to the farm. Carol warned us that they'd be keen to get back home and would likely want to run back. She said to just lean forward this time. I grabbed onto the saddle again in anticipation and Charlie really took off. He is such a steady horse with a lovely gait and we were on grass this time so it felt great. He really WENT. I must say it felt like runnng the J&B Met. I am not certain but I THINK he was galloping! What a rush! It wasn't really scary at all, but quite awesome actually. So I think I can now claim to have actually ridden a horse.

This is me on Charlie, he looks pretty tiny from this angle doesn't he?


  1. Gosh Jane that weekend sounds perfect and romantic and idyllic and perfect and wow!!!

    PS I am reading even tho I dont always comment - time is not my friend right now ;(

  2. oh wow.

  3. oh wow how amazing did that weekend sound!!! Loved it!

  4. Hmmm. AMARULA Creme Brulee? Gotta get some of that!