Van Gaalen

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.

December sunny day

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

No filter 🥰
🤩
Awesomeness 😎

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.

Our four legged friend
Heaven

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.

The infamous monkey who peed on me. 😡

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.

Van Gaalen 2.0 with Goat

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.

Goat leading the way

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.

Sheep leading the way
Nature 🤩
😍

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” 😀😀

Real Goats🤣
Not fat ostrich 🤣 but Emus
“The Goats“🤣🤣

Experiences are everything, especially with great people around you.

Until next time fabtastic people

Moira

Calmness

In the wilderness

I was listening to some podcast talking about good habits that can help one to navigate through this tough thing called life. While I was listening, I have realized that hiking, outdoors, nature, mountains are one of many good habits that help me through any situation. I also had a moment of calmness while I was hiking two weekends ago.

Hear me for a moment, am not trying to turn into spiritual Guru on you at all. LOL. I am in awe of how much nature can just work with you if you slow down, be present and pay attention. I even told my friend about the moment of calmness I felt during this particular hike. My AHA moment was so powerful, I thought about it every minute from when I woke up that morning, from choosing my outfit to sipping on my first cup of coffee.

Moment of calmness and tranquility

Funny thing is, at that spot I was experiencing my moment, there was a notice board along that path; it read; quite please owls are at roost. Apparently, there are owls around that path, and that’s where they roost. While I was in the moment, I could here my friend at the back saying; they can’t be serious, we supposed to be quite because Owls are roosting. Someone answered her with an example; he said, imagine you trying to sleep, and your neighbor is making noise with load music or banging something; it is the same. Everything that exists make sense, one just needs to pay attention and be aware.

😶

There is a joke going around my family and friends, they always say what did I bring back from the wilderness, from climbing mountains. LOL. I always laugh it away, but now I have an answer. ” I bring back so much yet is not visible, its visible through my mental, physical and spiritual wellness. I bring back calmness . Well, friends and family, there is your answer, now you know.

Peace
Step by step

Ready and half-way to hiking o’clock

Until next time Fabtastic people.

Moira

Groenkloof Nature Reserve

One of many of my favorite hiking spots

I’ve been meaning to start blogging about my favorite hiking spots. Groenkloof is the first of many. When I started thinking of blogging about my favorite hiking spots; I realized that there will be many more of my favorites and that’s okay, because there will be different stories to tell for sure. I like this hiking trail because it’s challenging mentally, physically from the word go.

Groenkloof Nature Reserve is situated in Pretoria; the capital city of South Africa. The place has horse trails, Zebras, Giraffes, Ostriches, and a few more bird species. It is well kept, it has braai/picnic spots and hiking trails are marked very well. A friend of a friend introduced me to this trail early in my hiking adventures. It is a hard trail, gorgeous views from the top of the rocky hills, steep, and it is always hot, Pretoria is very hot even in winter.

How is this even possible 😱

Most of the time we do 10km, however, there was this one time we decided to do 15km and it was summer. OMG, that was biggest mistake, we were so tired, we drank lots of water but we felt so dehydrated. we now go to this trail during wintertime, lesson learned. We decided that the only time to do over 10km anywhere in Pretoria will be during winter, it is still hot in winter but much better than summertime. I remember I checked my watch and we were into our 9km and I was thinking , what am I doing to myself. At this point I was still an amateur into this hiking thing, still figuring out why am I enjoying this. Anyway, we finished our 15km and we were very happy because that was our first long hike.

A few times we’ve been at this place with my Amigos, and we seem to be enjoying going back, I have lost count on how many times we’ve been there.

As I have said, there is always a story to tell, I specifically remember a particular story about a particular Zebra. We were well into our hiking and it was so hot that day even animals were gathered under trees looking for shade. We walked past the herd of Zebras under a few small trees, as we were approaching these animals we realized that one of the Zebra was lying down and others gathered around it. It seemed like the one on the ground was really struggling, it was not well. All I could think of was as soon as we get to the finish line I am going to tell the animal keepers to go check it out. The way it was laying there you could definitely tell that there was something wrong. If you’ve read my previous blogs you will know that one of my favorite animals is Zebra. I was not happy seeing it that way, I just couldn’t wait to get back and report it. After we passed that spot I would say I forgot a bit about that incident and enjoyed my hike until the finish line.

This is the day it was 🥵

We got into the car and left the place, Yes unfortunately I forgot to report the incident before I left. I remember when we were driving home, I said to my friend; Oh no, I forgot to tell the keepers about the Zebra. I started thinking all sorts of things, what if it was dying; what if it was giving birth; anyway if it was giving birth that’s okay, which means it didn’t die. To this day I still think about it, this is more than three years later. I try to think that it was giving birth not dying, I guess this is me trying to make myself feel better. I never told my friend that I still think about this incident, I don’t even think she remembers it. Well, she will now when she reads this blog.

Well fed😊

Anyway funny story about Groenkloof, so one day we were back again and I saw this beautiful flower and I took it to plant it in my garden. A few weeks later it was blooming and I took a picture to send to my friend to show her how grown it was. She sends me a text that she showed her boyfriend my flower and her boyfriend said; ” why do you all go mess up nature”, safe to say I don’t take plants from nature anymore. LOL

Happy place

Until next time Fabtastic people.

Moira

Kranskloof

In the heart of North West, that’s where my hiking adventure was, I was with my friend Pumza and her crew. We normally hike just the two of us, but this time she invited me to hike with her crew. It was such a lovely experience and thoroughly enjoyed the company. I never say no to an opportunity of meeting fellow hikers because I know for a fact, I am going to enjoy myself and come back with new memories and experiences. There is an inside joke within my hiking crew (Amigos), they say if I go hike with other people, I am cheating on them. They say I am a side chick to all these people I go hike with.🤣🤣

We were hiking at the place called Kranskloof, near Rustenburg. It’s a bit far from us but it was worth it. My friend Pumza always says, ” if you want to get to the wilderness, you need to be prepared to drive far out”. In this case, it was far out, almost two hours drive from where we live. I must say though, the drive was amazing, a lovely company in the car, beautiful scenery, mountains, farms, and mines. It was also drizzling at some point, and a rainbow came out after the drizzle, a very lovely thing to experience. After a long, beautiful drive we arrived at the place and immediately felt a sense of peace, fresh clean air, and therapy 101 began.

When we got to a place, we waited for everyone to arrive, it was a group of almost 20 people. They have “formalities” for lack of a better word, that they do before they start hiking. They gather around in a circle, greet each other, introduce each other to the guests and pray before they start the hike; it was beautiful to observe.

Let me tell you about this place, I have never seen such a Fabtastic, amazing rock formation. It looked like someone took their time to make art with those rocks. Everywhere I looked these rocks looked like art, it was incredible. I must say I found the hike a bit hard because there were big rocks almost everywhere, my whole body had to work, had to maneuver through big rocks no easy path other than through big rocks. It was fun though, one had to be creative on how to go through those rocks.

Maneuvering through the rocks
Baboons and monkeys on top of the world 😀

It was my first time at this hiking trail, it’s always nice when you get elements of surprises throughout the hike, and I got a few of those. We came across baboons and monkeys; they were seating very high on some rock formation. They were busy watching us and making noise, it was awesome, but I kept on thinking, don’t you dare come down here, don’t you dare. LOL. When I thought nothing could be a surprise anymore, we came across natural pools. OMG, my eyes lit, I LOVE water with all my heart, wherever there is water am the HAPPIEST. What a beautiful thing to experience, it was my first time hiking on the trail with natural pools, always saw and heard people talking about how they even swam in them. It was my turn, I was so excited I got into one of the pools with my shoes and clothes on, it was so satisfying, you have no idea. I didn’t want to leave that spot, I just wanted to seat there forever. We spent almost an hour there, taking pictures, lots of pictures, fooling around, acting like kids. Lol.

Natural infinity pool
🤩

We had to leave as we still had to hike a few more kilometers to our finish line. While we were hiking, we came across people ziplining, clearly surprises not ending. The views were spectacular along with those zipline cables. We stopped there for a bit and watched people ziplining up and down. We also came across people riding horses and pick up trucks with groups of people going up the mountains to zipline. I kept on thinking “this is life, imagine if I never took up hiking, I wouldn’t have known that this kind of beauty exists around me”.

Fun

Sir Edmund Hillary said, ” It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”.

Conqueror- while fooling around

Until next time Fabtastic people

Moira

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens 5.0

The Quick Escape

One of the places I visited many times, picnicking with family, walking, and of course hiking. This Saturday (12/02) I went for a quick escape and for fresh air. The reason I say it’s a quick escape is that it is close to home, and it is less than 10km.

A quote by Howard Thurman comes to my mind. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and do that, because what the world needs is people who come alive.” Right now, hiking is what makes me come alive and it makes me happy.

Calmness in progress

I know I sound like a broken record when I always say, the places I visit are breathtaking, it’s because they truly are. Walter Sisulu is situated in the West of Johannesburg, a place called Krugersdorp. Here the gardens are immaculate, very well kept. It is flower beds after flower beds, it is spectacular. The grass is so green, lush, and well kept, it looks fake. How can I not talk about the stunning waterfall situated just before hiking trail starts. There’s lots of places to stop and take pictures. There are beautiful spots for picnics under beautiful trees, and they sometimes host events. The birdlife at this place is incredible, the place is home to over 200 bird species. I enjoy coming here because I get to hear birds chirping while I hike. I experience a very calm, peaceful vibe when am at this place. It does not matter if am here picnicking, walking or hiking, it feels like time stands still. For a place right in the middle of the city, it sure doesn’t feel like it immediately you drive in.

The Sun was out to play
☀️ kissed
🤩

There are lots of benches around the Gardens, and we always find spots to sit and chill. We always find time to do that cause the hike is quick, today was no different. I was with my friend today and we were catching up as usual, so it was only fitting to find a bench and chill. After all, we specifically chose this hike cause we both wanted to catch and release. It’s amazing how the fresh air, the smell of different plants can do to one’s mind and soul. Came back very light and ready for action.

Fine Art

Therapy 101

Until next time fabtastic people

Moira

Experiences 😊

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced “- Soren Kierkegaard

Experiences are valuable because you carry them with you. I always say to my friends; when you are going through tough times; good times, you don’t think about material things you have or own, you think about experiences and memories. I am excited to continue gaining more fabtastic experiences and memories this year.

My journey into trying to understand the difference between experiences and things, taught me that experiences are a luxury. Big or small, good, or bad, experiences have an impact in one’s life.

Art

I have made valuable friendships and am sure am going to continue making more. I hike a lot with my Amigos. (0ne of my friend came up with the name Amigos) LOL. Oh, my goodness, the stories we share are amazing. We laugh together, we talk real life stuff (therapy 101) I tell you. We talk, politics, parenting, relationships, by the time we’re done we all feel light. I think low key ,we look forward to offloading to each other. It doesn’t feel heavy because of the space we at compared to phoning someone and talk. I think nature makes it such a light feeling, nature has calmness effect when you are around it. It’s an amazing feeling, it truly is.

My Amigos

I also frequently hike with my other friend Pumza. We hike to catchup and our hikes are mostly impromptu. We don’t organize and diarize like I do with my Amigos, between the two of us, one sends text a day before to see if one is available and we go hike. See for me that’s also an experience on its own. I like spontaneous events occurring because I struggle with it, I am a “plan in advance” type of person. We always have updates and get up to shenanigans. We share the same favorite hiking spots because of things that we get up to after hiking. Africaland is our number 1 favorite because of the surroundings and there is farmer’s market closer and the waffle restaurant where we go after hiking to have waffles for breakfast. Yes! we do eat waffles after hiking, as a reward. There’re also street vendors selling beautiful arts, crafts, etc.

Pumza

I’ve been hiking for good few years and never looked back. Every time I go out there, I feel rejuvenated. I experience different things, even if I go to the same hiking spot more than once, (which I’ve done many times) it feels like the first time. I have favorites hiking spots, (which I will blog about soon) the experience is different all the time.

I live in the Gauteng Province in South Africa. We call it the concrete jungle; we jokingly say that because there is always building of some sort popping up everywhere there’s space. This brought me to conclude that there is nothing “nature like” to see in Gauteng, except for concrete. Boy was I wrong, our Province is beautiful, it has hidden germs all around. Hiking has exposed me to such beauty, and I cannot stop myself, the more I experience this beauty, the more I want to discover. The benefits of this cannot be measured, serenity, peace, fitness, stories between me and my fellow hiking buddies, I can go on and on. FREE THERAPY ☺️

Imagine if I had never experienced my Province, I wouldn’t have known about its fabtastic beauty; I would forever know it as a concrete jungle. Now that I am experiencing it through hiking I am grateful.

All am trying to say is, I am not stopping any time. soon. Mountains, nature awaits me; there’s more to it than meets the eye.

I am looking forward to experiencing more places in my country and the world, with my friends. To more adventures 🥂

Until next time, Stay fabtastic people!

Moira

Like cheese, I’m grate-ful for your visit to my blog😁

“Someone told me to take a hike, so I did”
Beautiful Cradle Moon
My 1st favorite animal
2nd favorite
They are well fed
Patiently waiting for my next adventure 😁
2022 is that you!

To more free therapy, thank you for visiting my blog and reading about my hiking experiences. To more adventures. I had so much fun 🤩 and discovered lots of hidden “treasures “.

Until next time, stay fabtastic people . Moira

Drakensberg

I know I spoke a lot about my friend that I go hiking with to catch up, however, I also hike a lot with three other friends of mine. We call ourselves The Amigos, don’t ask how we got to that name. LOL.

Earlier this year one of them told us about this company that organizes hiking trips for few days. It was exciting to learn that we can have guided hiking for the whole weekend. We were excited and we said to this friend of ours, “hell yes” sign us up. It so happened that their next hiking tour will be taking place outside of Johannesburg. I got more excited for the experience, not only am going to hike two days in a row, but also in another province. Yay!! The best part about this trip, it was taking place during my birthday month (June). So, I took it as my birthday present from me to me. We were going to a popular nature attraction place called Drakensburg, it’s situated in KwaZulu Natal province yet also on the verge of the Eastern Freestate. We were getting the best of both worlds.

We started preparing for the trip, got an itinerary for the weekend, we were all set. When I checked the itinerary, I realized that we had to meet up somewhere for our transport as we were all using a bus. We were also meeting new people who signed up for the trip as well. The first thing that caught my eye was the departure time; 4:00am. Listen I am not a morning person, I know it sounds strange for someone who hikes, but getting out of bed in the morning is quite a struggle for me, let alone when it’s winter. This trip was happening right in the middle of winter. I remember my other friends (who don’t hike) said that I am crazy to go climb mountains in Winter. I am always fine though after I am out of bed, the problem is getting out of bed. Listen, when the day of the trip finally came, I was ecstatic.

Coffee time

We arrived at the place on time and off we went, the trip was a 3–4-hour drive. Another great part about this trip was the fact that I was not driving. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I will do anything to get out of driving anywhere. I want to go places but can someone drive, please. Luckily, my friends know this and they are always happy to pick me up and they drive me to our adventures. Anyway, back to the trip, the road trip was amazing, we stopped halfway to get breakfast and coffee of course. No day starts without a cup of coffee for me. It was Friday morning when we left for Drakensburg, we arrived there within 4 hours, and immediately even before checking in, our tour guide told us we will be hiking about 15km at a place known as uThukela. Words cannot explain the beauty, tranquility that I experienced there on that hike. We even came across a Gorge/waterfall. You must know that when I see water, I am like a child impatiently waiting to open gifts on Christmas day. So, we spent a bit of time on this Gorge, the sound of water, I am telling you, you forget that there is another world outside such place. Remember I said it was so cold on the day, but that did not stop me to take out my shoes and dipping my feet in that Gorge. I thought to myself, I am here for it all, everyone looked at me like I’m crazy. My friend asked me “Moira are you insane” I said yes am going in. OMG, I yelled out every curse word I could think of. LOL. The water was so cold I cannot even begin to explain, but it was so satisfying. I knew right then that I am going to have a fabtastic weekend. We hiked through gorgeous forests, surrounded by mountains, far away from civilization. All I could hear were birds chirping, wind blowing, and it was so peaceful, I could hear myself think. The conversations in between were also amazing, we got along well with other people we had just met for the first time

The water was freezing 🥶
15kms’

Day two came, we woke up bright and early for our next hike, this one was 23km long. When I heard this the night before that we will be hiking 23km, I thought to myself,” Moira what were you thinking.” We were going to hike in the Eastern Freestate, so it was a 1hr30 minutes’ drive, again I didn’t mind because I was not driving. We were going to the place called Sentinel Peak -Mont-aux-sources. We were going to end up on Tugela Falls (the second-highest waterfall in the world). The hike started very well, and I was blown away by the tremendous beauty I saw that day. When we were 8km into our hike, the tour guide told us for us to get to Tugela which is 3166m high, we will have to go up the chain ladders (I was thinking to myself, Moira you are afraid of heights, are you sure you going to do this. Well, we continued with our hike and we got to the ladders, at that time I was so nervous my hands were shaking. Before I tell you about what happened there, let me digress a bit and tell you a story about those ladders. I grew up not far from Sentinel Peak, I grew up being told by my grandmother, my mother that no one should ever go climb those chains because there is a huge snake with seven heads (LOL, I know right) that swallow’s people if they go up there. Apparently, it swallows people if they made it angry and the weather changes drastically, it becomes misty you cannot see a thing. So that’s the story I had in my head when I took this trip, even though now am an adult I know that was an old wive’s tale.

Back to the story, we get to these chains my nerves got worse, in my head I’m thinking, well since we have to come back the same way through these chains, maybe I can suggest to all my fellow hikers leave their bags with me , I will look after them until they come back. After all, they will be gone for an hour or two. I ended up saying my thoughts out loud and everyone was so supportive of me, motivating me to climb, ensuring me that I will be fine. I also asked if anyone has ever fallen down the cliff. By the way, those chains are not steady so as you climb, they move a bit so that was terrifying for me. Over and above that, when you look on the sides, it is a very long way down, nothing to hold on to if you let go. Everyone motivated me until I said okay, I will do it. I let few people go first to make sure I will be fine. My time came to climb, again I was praying, swearing, you name it I did it. Words cannot describe how terrified I was. Got over the first set of ladders, and there was still another set to climb. By this time, I am talking to myself I don’t even know what I was saying. I was so happy when I got to the top 3166m high, the adrenaline kicked in, and I felt like a conqueror. Off we went to get to Tugella waterfalls, It was worth every moment of terror, my goodness, the weather changed from warm to misty and then to drizzle. We finally took a break, took out snacks and relaxed a bit, as we must hike back and go down the ladders again.

Satisfaction after climbing 🧗‍♀️ the ⛓ ladders

We started hiking back and we got to the ladders, while I am sitting there waiting my turn, I asked the tour guide can he not get the helicopter to come get me. He was so nice, he acted as if he didn’t hear me, and he was just talking me through my nerves assuring me that I am going to be okay. At some point I forgot his name I called him by some random name. My turn came and I started again praying, swearing and all, and I eventually made it. I was so excited; I could not believe that through that tremendous fear I did the unthinkable. I gained mental strength that day, I did not let fear steal my joy and my experience. Thinking back, I know I am going to be much stronger and not fearful next time. Yes, I will go back, there is so much to explore in those mountains, they are sure calling me back. To get to the Sentinel Peak we had to leave our bus a few kilometers away because the roads were not great, we needed 4x4s. The tour guide organized them to take us to our destination and back to our bus. So, when we were back from hiking, we waited for our transport and it didn’t show up at the time we agreed up on. One of the hikers suggested we get a lift with the guy driving an open van where we can all fit. We got excited to experience seating at the back of the van. We hopped in and we were packed in there like sardines, but it was so much fun. The sun was almost setting, so we had an awesome clear view of the sun set and mountains. The road was bad, gravel and huge stones. So, we were being tossed up and down like we were fat cakes in the pan. It was so funny when we kept on tossing up and down, we laughed until we cried. What an experience, that ride brought back memories when I was a teenager, my grandfather had the van and we used to always ride at the back.

Contemplating if I should go up the ladders 🙆🏾‍♀️
Top of Tugela
I did it 😁

I had so much fun on this trip, my very first weekend away hiking. There will sure be more of these for me in the future.

Until next time, stay Fabtastic!

How it started!

What started as an add on to my exercise routine became my love. In 2018 a good friend of mine invited me to an 8km hike for catch up, I thought to myself what.. hiking.. me. Against my good judgment, I said yes. I wanted to see my friend and catch up and so the date was set. The day finally came, woke up early at 5am, I couldn’t believe my excitement when I drove into the parking lot of Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens Roodepoort (South Africa). The place was beautiful, breathtaking. In my mind was thinking, hmmmm, I might just be onto something here. We started our hike and from that day on all I wanted was to hike.

The serenity that these mountains, trees, flowers, birds, and the rest of nature brought was priceless. I now call hiking my meditation time. I feel close to myself when I’m out there. Never in million years have I ever thought I will be out and about climbing rocks every other weekend. People who have known me for years will tell you that I always feared things that have to do with nature. Creatures like spiders, lizards, bugs, etc. yet here we are. The first few times when I told my friends that I am now into hiking, they didn’t believe me (some actually laughed), they said there is no way I am hiking. One day I decided I’m gonna go face my fears and experience the Mountains. I challenged my fears and self-limiting beliefs head-on – I do not regret at all as I realised that these were thoughts without experience. The experience of that first day took my breath away, the beautiful moments and time alone were priceless. Being out there taught me that fear clouds opportunities and erases possibilities and limits the ability to move beyond the place in which the mind is stuck.

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens- Johannesburg
SERENITY 🤩
PEACE

I can proudly say I am officially a hiker.

Until next time, stay fabtastic people.

Moira