I was invited to a 19km hike, Van Gaalen in Hartbeespoort, North West Province. I have been to this place more than three times but never done 19km. It only takes about 45 minutes to drive from Johannesburg. As usual it was exciting for me because I knew was I going to come back with different experiences, and I did. I always did 10km all the three times I’ve been there. So, I saw a different Van Gaalen on this 19km hike. It felt like I was hiking at a place that I’ve never been before. I saw a herd of Blesboks, which you never get to see if you do 10km. This place is gorgeous, those who read my previous blogs will know, I have written about it. For the sake of new visitors to my blog, let me summarize it quickly. Its privately owned farm, they farm lots of different things, cheese, nuts, different crops. They even have animal stock;cows, sheep, Emus, etc. They have beautiful picnic spots and a restaurant facing gorgeous mountains and dam.
I love how I get to meet different people every time I am invited to these hikes. I just know that it will be an experience of a lifetime, that I wouldn’t have gained if I stayed at home. The reason I titled this piece mindfulness is because, I instantly realized that this hike was going to be feeding my mind more than anything. I began thinking about my surroundings as we started walking, not sure why my mind took me there, but it did. I was thinking about the owner/s of the farm, the thought process that went into putting together this beautiful place around nature, making sure that they enhanced this beautiful wilderness. My mind was working overtime but in a healthy way. As my mind wondered away with this thought, I started having conversation with the gentleman I was walking next to whom was part of the hiking group.
I cannot remember how our conversation revered towards what he does and previously did. He told me he was a professional footballer and then he got injured and had to retire from playing. I immediately got interested in the whole story. Here is the guy who had to retired early from doing what he loved most but he seemed to be doing well. So, he continues telling me his story how after recovering from his injury he started running to keep busy. He said one day his friend said he must join short marathons because he seemed to be enjoying running. Reluctantly he agreed, and he said he actually enjoyed it very much. The next thing he knows the very same friend registered him for Comrades Marathon. This is one of the biggest marathons on the international calendar, 90km run. To cut the long story short, he went to his first Comrades, and he finished in the top 400. As they say the rest is history, he is going to his 18th Comrades this year. I was blown away by this story, purely because I kept on thinking here is the guy who is now so passionate about what he never thought it would be his passion. I started thinking about how I also started my hiking, it was purely by chance and here I am. This got me thinking as well of how many people who now have passion and it really started by chance. Its true when they say, “you never know what you capable of until you are doing it”. I still don’t believe I hike, and I LOVE it, yet I fear anything that crawls, no mater how small. LOL.
I was wowed by this fabtastic Experience I gained from this hike, I was motivated by the conversations we had. I also learnt so much about farming from my friend Pumza, she is very passionate about farming. As we were walking, when we see crops, she will explain to me why they planted specific crops under the trees not by sunshine. I remember when we passed two calves separated from their mom, she told me it’s because they are weaning them off the mother’s milk. I even made a comment that it is the same process as humans. It was truly a Fabtastic day spent in the wilderness, enjoyed every moment of it. My mind was well fed by the time we finished hiking. The 19kms went by so quickly.😀
“Hiking is the answer, who cares what the question is”. -Greta’s travels.
Until next time Fabtastic people