Friday, March 27, 2015

The Owl House

After our run of poor weather, yesterday afternoon, evening and in fact the whole night was just perfect so after a good nights sleep we woke up to this view from the deck.

Packing up had a few surprises in store for us; there had been so much rain that all the ant's nests were flooded and they were looking for alternative accommodation.  Unfortunately they picked to move their nest to under our bed and Caron did not take kindly to this.  A little known fact, peaceful sleep is quite effective on ants who may not regard its use as very peaceful and more akin to annihilation.  Having rid our bed and tent of them, we found another nest of them in one of the ammo boxes but we only found this out when we got home so we may have some immigrants from the karoo getting acquainted with the local ant populations.

We left quite early so that we would have time to visit the Owl House in Nieu Bethesda which is a tiny town tucked away in the Sneeuberg, it is hard to believe that they actually have snow here but apparently they do.

The Owl House was something of an experience and I didn't take any photographs on purpose, one actually needs to see it with one's own eyes and heart.  In keeping with artistic tradition the story of Helen Martins is not a pretty one with rejection, ostracism and ending in suicide but what she has to tell us bears repeating.  Apparently one day while sick she was pondering the lack of colour in her life and resolved to change that by literally adding colour to everything around her and once she got started then sort of didn't stop.  It struck me that as we get older we lose our 'colour'; that excitement and anticipation of things new and depending on our life's experiences this gets replaced with 'character' which, while it may be colour to others, is a poor consolation to the one having it.  So the question becomes one of how to rediscover the colour of one's youth and her case she literally added it with crushed coloured glass.  I found the whole experience more uplifting than some of my visits to rather famous repositories of art; not that I didn't enjoy them but the experience was very different.

Continuing from the Owl house on our way to De Oude Kraal, there was this rattle which I had though was just from the basin on top of the car but I happened to have put the basin into the back of the car which eliminated it as the source of rattling.  Stopping to investigate I found that the front left hand 'leg' of the roof rack had sheared completely off.  I have no idea how this could have happened but it did and we had to put up with the rattle from then on as the remaining stump of the leg slowly ate its way into the aluminium of the rack itself.

Our final night was to be spent at De Oude Kraal, the only place that we had actually pre-booked, and a complete change of pace from camping.

This is my kind of place, check out the entrance to the wine cellar which they dug under the house to create and we spent the afternoon having a massage followed by some time in a jacuzzi with a view over a small duckpond.  Apparently I was snoring during the massage but, like Caron when asleep in the car, I don't believe it.

Our last night's supper was what De Oude Kraal is famous for and after the five course meal we were well beyond full but it was so delicious that we couldn't stop eating it although eventually we just couldn't any more.

So that is it, the end of another journey and only four or so hours back from Bloemfontein back to the big smoke of Johannesburg.

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