The Naked Barista March 2019 / Updated November 2021
So, after being at home on the farm for only a week, we departed once again on Sunday the 10th of March… lock, stock, and barrel with our workmen and a full trailer…
It was such a blessing to have been at home with family and friends celebrating our children’s wedding celebration. We still felt elated with joyful love. We are superblessed indeed with the addition to our family… our beautiful daughter-in-love…
We love driving on a Sunday as we found that the best music of the week is played on the radio and the bonus is that there are no ad breaks.
Weather always plays a role as to how we feel and this trip did not disappoint… we had four seasons in a day as we took the long road from Wilderness in the Garden Route to Montana, Pretoria. En route, we even encountered a hail storm… just after we were questioning with curiosity as we passed an area that seemed to be under snow. The landscape was scattered with white, (which looked like snow-covered patches)…
With closer inspection though… we saw that it was hail. We felt superblessed that we were not around for that extreme downpour, but a few kilometers later, low and behold, we were being pelted with (luckily smaller sized) hailstones. Just enough for a nostalgic feel to be created with our melodious music and luckily no damage to the body of our vehicle.
We also encountered much heavier clouds and rainstorms along the way.
We arrived in Montana around nine that evening and slept at our usual spot with Andre, owner of Coral Tree Guest House.
The next morning we were off before breakfast (included in the price) again to Dendron.
Dendron (the word), means tree and refers to the abundance of indigenous trees in the area. B had a site in the little town of Bochum, which is a 15-minute drive from Dendron.
We stayed at Bosveld Guesthouse and did not expect much, I was pleasantly surprised with this jewel. Everything we needed was there and more. Eddie has been the owner of this establishment for the last 16 years. He admits to always being busy with improvements and this absolutely shows.
The food was amazing and even the load shedding could not stop the kitchen from performing their very best. We stayed for only one night as the riots in Bochum meant that B could not finish work on that site. B decided that we would go to work on the next two sites, one close to Haenaertsberg and the other in Polokwane, and then only come back, hopeful that the riots would be over.
So, once again… as often happens when plans change abruptly… I had fifteen minutes to pack up and go. We are used to this by now, we have learned to be very flexible and it helps to know that we are always in the flow.
After a full day on-site in Polokwane, we headed for our new accommodation for the night. We booked closest to the site as B had to finish work the next day. As often is the case, we did not know what to expect.
Our friends, Adriaan and Blom were close by and invited us for a braai and to meet her family. Sadly, this proved to be too difficult as B was very tired and needed the rest more. We invited them to come and braai with us the next evening, which, unfortunately also had to be canceled as B completed the work on-site earlier than anticipated.
So we arrived around seven at the Silver Mist Resort, a horse farm near Haenertsberg and we were blown away. We mostly try to save money by not paying too much for accommodation and this was a self-catering cottage. We had a real homey evening as I cooked, (for the first time in a long time), a lovely pasta dish paired with some good red wine.
Odd bins from Checkers is the best wine at a fraction of the cost… the most snobby wine lover would be impressed…
Sadly we had to leave early the next morning, but we would love to stay there again in the future. It was absolutely gorgeous and we found a good rapport with our hospitable host, Rob, who even invited us for a free horse ride when we would be in the area again next time.
After only a few hours on-site in Polokwane, we headed back to Dendron to try and complete the site in Bochum, hoping that the riots would be finished. B had phoned the locals and they concluded that it would be safe to resume work on site.
We stayed at the Bosveld Guesthouse again for two nights. There is also a well-stocked shop and I had a delicious salad made up for us for ‘padkos’. They also sell hard-boiled eggs and Avocados. We were superblessed with our lunch en route to Phalaborwa which was absolutely delicious.
We definitely took the scenic route as we were superblessed with nature’s eye candy.
Beautiful plantations all around, but we passed the turnoff to the town of Haenertsberg which I would have loved to see… next time.
This road is stunning with touristy pubs and stalls everywhere, but alas, we could not stop as we were on a mission to get to the next work site.
We took the turnoff to Tzaneen on the Ebenezer mile. Stunning views of mountains and greenery entertained us and I feel so much gratitude for our lives as we manage to see our country while earning.
We only arrived on site around four and managed to find accommodation for our workers. Only after setting them up and sorting out food for them, could we continue to the town of Phalaborwa to find accommodation and food for us.
We phoned ahead and booked at the Travellers Palm for accommodation. As they do not have a restaurant, we ate at the Bushveld Terrace restaurant and we were well pleased, not only with the food, but the architectural building amazed us. We felt free enough to indulge in a lovely bottle of Graham Beck’s Waterside Chardonay.
We went to have dinner at the same place the next evening…
We were so grateful to just sit for a while and be able to chat and relax. We made plans for our new log home which is to be built up in the forest on our farm which we share with five other partners. We are superblessed to have this work to supplement our finances for this.
Gratitude begets gratitude and we are truly grateful for where we are now with life…
In Phalaborwa, we were pleasantly surprised to find the most beautiful accommodation, Cottage Lenise, https://www.cottagelenise.co.za/ for only one night. We vouched that we would definitely be back when we are again in Phalaborwa and this became a reality when we had work once again in November 2021. (A glorious stay for a week.)
Afterward, we went back to Montana, Pretoria, where the head office for Telebuild is situated.
Two days later, we headed to Phuthaditjhaba, which is past Bethlehem and about 80km from Clarence. The road there was a pleasure as nature’s eye candy was something to behold. All along the roadside as far as the eye could see, were sunflowers and pink and white kosmos/Cost lots. It was absolutely beautiful and we felt superblessed… the best was yet to come…
As Phuthaditjhaba was only a tiny township, we booked accommodation at the Metsimatso lodge about 20 minute drive from the site. We were amazed at what we found. Situated on the Metsimatso dam with the Drakensberg mountain range looming all around us. It was the perfect spot, especially for writing my book. We were there for a week and I got a lot of writing done.
The weather played along nicely as it was cold and we had a lovely fireplace. The perfect spot also for my yoga as they have a lovely carpeted area where I could place my mat and overlook nature’s beauty. Cows walk by with their bells, adding a lovely calm to enhance the experience.
Vusi is the most amazing manager there, soft-spoken, but absolutely in control of everything. I saw him multitask under extreme circumstances and was very impressed. We had lots of power cuts, but we were never uncomfortable as he brought us a battery-operated light and even a heater.
On a Sunday morning, we took some time for breakfast in Clarence while the men were doing some mundane work. This is the second time for us to visit the stunning town of touristy Clarence. There were so many people and cars with various number plates as it is close enough for the city folks to have an awesome weekend excursion.
We were quite hungry when we arrived as B had to be on-site first to show his workmen what to do. So we decided to have breakfast/lunch first and then only did we do a walk through a few of the many colorful shops around. Something of everything can be found in Clarence.
After hearing from our friend, Stephan, about his cousin’s bookstore, we had to go introduce ourselves. I found a lovely little book for R20.
We had a glass of white wine with a cheese platter before leaving the bustling busyness of the stunning town surrounded by Nature.
I really enjoyed our accommodation with Metsimatso. The food is really good too and our host, Vusi were such a gentleman.
We returned to Montana, Pretoria, and stayed for three nights at Prinshof manor. This is a well-priced rest place with good food and the convenience of a shower and bath.
A walk through the well-established gardens makes for an instant mood lifter. As usual, the dogs adopted me once again and this always makes me feel right at home.
After being in Montana, Pretoria for three days, we road tripped to Giyani for the next work sites. We found a home in Kremetart, which is a tiny suburb very close to Giyani. Neil van der Merwe, a businessman who rented a room to us in his home for about a week. (Fortunate to say hello again and deliver my published book to this new friend in November 2021 when we passed through his hometown, Kremetart again.)
Previously at Neil’s home, I would cook for us and have use of a full house. Neil made us feel right at home and it was a pleasure to get to know him too. He is a generous man with a heart for cats. All the neighborhood’s cats seem to know this and arrive on his doorstep more often than not. We had some meals together and made a connection with a new friend. I had time to feel settled and could do more than a fair amount of yoga which made me feel so good.
I read one of Neil’s awesome books, an autobiography of Christopher Reeve, which attributed to me getting quite a bit of my book’s writing done. I am working hard as I would like to publish my new book ‘Open Doors’ (this name was subsequently changed to YOU ARE Superblessed) at the beginning of 2020. So much gratitude to Neil van der Merwe.
Then we visited the area of Soekmekaar.
We stayed at Full Moon Paradise for two nights.
What a change of scenery.
B has worked out that we have stayed in around 80 different rooms in the span of a year. Superblessed to be traveling, sometimes a bit tiring, but never a dull moment.
Back again to Dendron and then onwards to Marken.
From a fancy bedroom all in white… to a tent in the woods with a bucket shower in the middle of a Ntubu Nature Reserve.
Very blessed to have time to ‘smell the roses’… for my appreciation of my superblessed life.
After this adventure, we stayed with Njala Lodge for two nights which is close to Marble Hall.
As we drove in, we were superblessed to see some giraffes.
We could also hear the other animals close to where we stayed. The hosts are awesome and the food was great.
We drove through Sannieshof, on a six-hour journey. This is quite a lively little town with much too many signs.
Our last two sites were en route home through Kimberley and we were accommodated by Vetra Amore Guesthouse.
Supreme accommodation it was, but we looked forward to going home after six weeks of many different rooms.
We would be able to be in time for Echo Gathering and Africa Burn.
Super superblessed with gratitude…