Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Buen Camino: Day 1

Lao-tzu said, 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' In my case, it was one local and two international flights, and one overnight train to Sarria (Galicia) before I could start my walk to Santiago De Compostella.

My mother, who has been walking the Camino from St Jean Pied De Port ( since 25 April, met me at the station this morning at 7am. We hit the road immediately after that, with our walking group - two Dutch and two Belgian - eagerly enquiring to my wellbeing and enthusiasm for this adventure. We each talk in our own language - mine being Afrikaans - but somehow language isn't really a barrier. Lesson 1.

It soon started to rain, continuing to do so with bouts of sunshine during the day. To put it in perspective, I walked in 13 degree pelting rain with intermittent sunny periods in my poncho sauna. Lesson 2: how to take your poncho off without breaking your stride.

With 9km to go to our destination for Day 1, Pontomarin, my feet felt the strain for the first time. 3km to Portomarin, and I stopped talking to everyone. When we started this morning, the tic-tack sound of our walking sticks drove me crazy, but this afternoon the mechanical swing of my arms and the steady beat kept me going. Lesson 3: go with the swing of things.

We arrived at Portomarin around lunch time, quickly heading for hot showers before lunch and, the highlight of my day, a siesta.

I did not expect today's 22km leg to leave me untouched - physically or emotionally - but fortunately it's nothing too extreme. I suppose the real test will be to do it again tomorrow.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Camino: T minus 77 days

A bucket list entry for my mother, walking the Camino de Santiago has been a regular topic in our household for some years now.  As each year passes, grand plans are made, until finally mother-dearest hit 50 and realised that she's not getting any younger.

The date has been set.

In April she will head off to complete The French Way, 780km's in roughly 30 days, from St. Jean (France) to Santiago (Spain), and I will join her for the last 100km's of her journey.

My leap to participate in this great adventure has come as a surprise to most; most of all probably myself. If you knew me, you would know that I'm outdoorsy in the sense that I like my wine on the balcony. I don't exercise (rinsing out my mouth with wine after that cuss word) and I love my luxuries.

Therefore, this attempt to walk 100km's over 5 days, carrying everything I need myself, classifies as a radical undertaking.

Monday, February 10, 2014

365 Paintings for Ants exhibition

Finally. The long wait is over!

Lorraine Loots exhibited her 365 Paintings for Ants in Cape Town, with the final eve coinciding with First Thursdays. Despite having to work at The Winery's new pop-up, I was able to swing by Lorraine's exhibition in Spin street.

Seeing them online does not do them justice. They are much smaller than I thought and much, MUCH more detailed than I could imagine! I thought the magnifying glasses were a nice touch.

I am thrilled to call two of these tiny artworks my own since the whole collection is sold out, and am looking forward to adding from 2014 to my collection.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Behind the scenes: The Parlotones

In association with Sony, well-known South African band, The Parlotones, offered two lucky fans the opportunity to use the Xperia phone to document the behind-the-scenes action at each of their concerts during summer.

Guess who was one of the lucky fans?

I joined the band at Kirstenbosch on Sunday, 4 January, and they were very gracious about me sticking my camera in their face! The phone was very easy to use - albeit strange to use a different brand than my own - and had very handy apps for editing photo's.

You can view (and hit like) on my album on Facebook HERE, adding to my chances to win a brand new phone courtesy of Sony.

The below pics were taken with my own camera.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Amazing Almenkerk

Following our previous disastrous visit to Elgin during the worst storms the region experienced - also known as Survivor Elgin - we managed to enjoy THE MOST PERFECT Round 2 visit to Almenkerk.

Almenkerk Wine Estate was the last of our 3 stops, and Joris offered us an irresistible option upon arrival: sit and enjoy the view with some wine, and then we'll do the technical tasting in the morning. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Paintings for ants

I'm not sure how I stumbled across Lorraine Loots' #365paintingsforants but it is one of the Instagram feeds that I check religiously. Lorraine posts a minuscule portrait each day, so detailed that one often forget that they are the size of a coin!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Truth be told...

Paris has never held any temptation for me.  I did not understand the fascination and warm fuzzy feelings it brings to mind, or how sensible girl's eyes glossed over with misty romance when dreaming about the city.

I don't particularly care for croissants or crepes. For the life of me, I cannot understand or follow the simplest French phrases. You would have thought the impatient French manners would have been right up my ally; instead I became tannie Emsie.

Paris was a blur of fine fashion, crumpled maps, broken sandals and suntanned shoulders. 

But now I get it. Even teeming with tourists, the Sacré Coeur was one of the highlights and you cannot help but be overwhelmed with the wonder of worship.

The first two days passed without seeing the Eiffel tower, and then on the third I came out of the Metro and around the corner to the breathtaking view of this iron latticed tower. 

I get it now. 

One of my many holiday snaps...