When I woke up on Friday, I was convinced this long weekend would fail and be all kinds of boring, because no one had planned ahead. But, when I finally slouched out of bed, my kitchen had happy people in it, already plotting fun things. Thank goodness for friends!
We had a great rest of the day, but my big highlight was our spontaneous day trip to Hogsback on Saturday. I have wanted to visit the little forest town for ages, and it was a big wish come true. The village is full of quaint backpackers and stunning hiking trails, and is famed to be Tolkien’s inspiration for the Lord of the Rings. No hobbits in sight, but we spent the morning browsing around shops, galleries and even a fairy sculpture garden.
At a little market I spent some time with this lovely and deeply interesting woman, who did a hair wrap with colourful thread on one of my dreadlocks for me. That’s the best kind of souvenir:)
Claire, or Mataji (her preferred spiritual name, meaning respected mother) has been living as a traveler for almost two decades and I felt quite privileged to hear some of her experiences and views, especially her current journey towards becoming a native American medicine woman.
Even though we were only in town for the day, we couldn’t pass on a walk through the famed Hogsback forest.Despite wearing completely the wrong shoes and nearly faceplanting countless times, this was definitely the part I’d been waiting for.
Some people are ‘ocean people’ or ‘mountain people’. I remember the first time I saw the Black Forest in Germany and I just knew that I was and will be a forest person. It’s hard to explain the peace and connection I feel when I’m in a forest, but it’s simplest to say I’m in my element:)
Yesterday that was exactly what I needed.
We visited the Big Tree and although there wasn’t enough time for any waterfalls or other Hogsback highlights, we came back as a very relaxed and happy group of people. Funny how life always seems a little easier to handle when you’ve been in nature for a bit.
Next time I visit I’ll make a point to have a bath here. How cool is that?
As much as I love my life studying and living in Grahamstown, a part of me always misses traveling and experiencing incredible people and things. Little trips like this really help my Wanderlust, and this was a good one. I even have a reminder in my hair of my first time in Hogsback:)
*All pictures are copyrighted to myself or Mignon van Zyl. Please don’t copy without permission.
** If anyone knows of someone in South Africa involved with Native American spirituality, please contact me. I’m sure Claire would appreciate it.