It was a beautiful day, started a bit cloudy, and progressed into a sunny summer day of December (2021). I went hiking with my work team members. It was our last day seeing each other for the year and we decided to be outdoors, hike, and have a picnic afterward.
Van Gaalen is a farm situated in the heart of Haartbeesport in the North-West Province. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you will know that I have been to Haartbeesport many times. There is so much to see and experience. The trails on this farm cross over 80km throughout the Skeerpoort Valley. They offer mountain biking, trail running, and hiking. The landscape at this place is out of this world, tranquil, I fell in love with it immediately and it is now one of my favorite hiking spots.
They farm different things including making cheese; they offer cheese tours. The farm is surrounded by mountains, overgrown green crops, and tunnels of bamboo, such beauty. It also has a picnic spot under huge trees and a restaurant facing a beautiful dam. I am unable to paint a fair picture of this place, it is Fabtastic and beautiful. We started hiking knowing that afterward we are going to have a picnic, as we ordered a picnic basket prior to our hike. We also came across lots of Mulberry trees, and we definitely ate some. I was looking forward to the picnic, I love my food, correction, I love good food. While I was hiking, I was salivating thinking about that picnic basket. LOL
There was a dog that decided to join us on the hike, it lives on the farm. I thought it was going to walk with us a little bit and go back to the farm. He was so cute, he hiked over 10km with us. I was worried about it, thinking it might not be able to hike for that long or get lost. Everyone kept on reassuring me that he must be used to doing this all the time; that didn’t put me at ease at all. Lol. When we stopped for snacks, we tried offering him water and nibbles, he refused to eat.
We finished our hike, and it was picnic time, we took our picnic basket and went to sit under huge, gorgeous trees by the picnic site. There were birds chirping, and lots of monkeys. The monkeys were totally out of order, they kept on trying to steal our food. We kept chasing them away, they were prepared to get to our yummy picnic basket one way or the other. We continued eating and having lots of funny, serious, conversations.
Remember I told you it was sunny by the time we finished our hike; the next thing I felt water running through my arm and some drops on my lips. At first, I didn’t think about it because we are surrounded by mountains and trees, I thought it was drizzling. The next thing I realised was that it was a monkey peeing on me. Holy smokes: I jumped out of my chair, I was screaming (“monkey peed on me!!) and disgusted. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am loud; The disrespect this monkey had, LOL. He sat right there on the tree and watched me freaking out, the nerve. I was looking for water to wash off my lips, I was beside myself. Meanwhile, my team was staring at me and killing themselves with laughter. I am sure you are wondering why such drama, well, I am clean freak , to me that pee was horrific.
Anyway, after a while, they stopped laughing at me and I was also now calm, we continued with our picnic. So, when we were leaving the picnic spot, we had some food left and I suggested we feed the monkeys. My team said Noooooo(they said it all at once, it was funny), you will be teaching them bad behavior, they will continue wanting to steal people’s food. They also said, in any case, a few minutes ago you were so upset with these monkeys now you are feeling sorry for them. Honestly, they were too cute to remain upset with them.
We left the picnic spot and walked to the cheese factory, it looked incredible. It was my first time seeing so much cheese in one place, it felt like I was on a school excursion
I would not change that day, experience, and memories for anything. It was a fabtastic day to spend with the fabtastic team.
Oh, by the way, yesterday (29/01), I did Van Galeen 2.0, yes I went back hiking there with my Amigos. The experience was totally different from a month ago. It is crazy how I experience the same place differently. My four-legged friend was there again to hike with us, he led the way. I am telling you this dog has energy for days, I wonder how many times a day he goes up and down that trail.
I was telling my Amigos that the last time I was here he came with us on the trail. They decided we give him a name, one of my friends suggested we name him Goat. We laughed so hard, because there is a story behind Goat. Well let me tell you that story; as we started our hike, we saw sheep. One of my friend shouted, “look at the Goats”? We killed ourselves with laughter and told her that is not goats but sheep. Goat became an inside joke the whole time we were hiking. I told her she is not going to hear the end of it as I am writing about it on my blog. So that’s how we agreed that our four-legged friend’s name will be Goat. He responded to the name after few times calling him that; poor dog. Lol.
While we were busy chatting away and walking, another dog came from nowhere and joined us, he lives at the farm as well. Goat was very happy to see him and we all walked together. Guess what we named him? Sheep, yep we named him Sheep, and we started laughing all over again about “goat”. Off we went with Goat and Sheep, after a while Goat abandoned us and we never saw him again until we came back to the farm, and then Sheep abandoned us but came back. We got to the farm sat at the restaurant and had breakfast. Before we left we saw Goat seating nicely on the couch looking tired, we asked one of the guys what are their real names and he told us. We told him we gave them names while we were hiking. As we were telling him this one is Goat and the other one is Sheep, he kept on saying, “ that’s close enough”, he was funny. Lol. It was a lovely, light easy day, free therapy.
As we were leaving we saw some birds and I asked, “are those ostriches”, and one of my friend said Noooo , they are Emus and I said they look like fat ostriches. She laughed so hard, it was my first time seeing Emus up close. We were just about to drive away, when we saw goats, real goats this time😅.Our friend who said sheep is goat was already gone so she didn’t see them. We quickly decided, I take a picture of the goats and send it on our whatsapp group and tell her look we found real goats, but then my other friend said send a message saying ” we found the sheep” 😀😀
Experiences are everything, especially with great people around you.
Until next time fabtastic people
8 thoughts on “Van Gaalen”
Stunning writing and stunning place! Keep it up!
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Thank you 🙏
What a story! Really painted a picture and left me yearning for me.
Can’t wait to read the next adventures and possibly join all the fun one day 🙂
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You must definitely join me
Your writing is 👌, but the pics are even better.
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Thank you 😊