Monday, March 15, 2010

Chapter 3 - Week 10

February 9th...over five weeks and there are still new adventures.

Still no rain, so the hot days seem even hotter as everything continues to dry up. Yesterday it wasn't that hot, but it was windy. I was working on video editing in the bunkhouse (which stays delightfully cool) and ended up closing the door because the wind was blowing in dust and stuff. Today the wind is gone but in exchange it's hot...95 plus (F.)

I continue to take folks into the forest...usually to the waterfall.

That's my favorite ride and fortunately the favorite of most of the guests. It's from 2 1/2 to 3+ hours round trip depending on the ability of the guests. And except for the first 1/2 mile, most of it's in the shade of the forest, so even when it's hot at the stable it cool(er) for most of the ride. And of course there swimming once we're there. I have a group coming for a ride up there today at 4:00pm.

Pieter and his son went on a ride...his son was so comfortable he went to sleep!

I continue my love affair with Dinkum.
BTW notice my Cossack Riders T shirt. (Honorary Member)

It was clear that while Beauty is potentially a great horse, he wasn't cut out to be a lead least not now and was making guiding difficult. So I've been riding Dinkum and we're really getting to know each other. I'm developing a level of communication with him very much like the last horse I had at the ranch. Just a change in body position will take him from a walk to a canter. And he's usually pretty good with neck raining. He also is very responsive to holding and petting.

Looking through Dinkum dashboard.

Down the road towards Hoekwil I've been seeing "Big Tree" on a sign for weeks. Today Edda and I went in for me to have a look. It's a 800 year old Outenigua yellowwood and is 107 ft tall. The park around it is beautiful and about 10 degrees (F) cooler than on the road. Since today it's really hot, it was a nice change.

Most of the major shopping for the house is done in George. But there are two stores that are closer.

There's a store just a couple miles down the road.

There is a very limited stock and few people live near it.

The store in Hoekwil is also small but is just across from the school and near the church.
It is a very well run little store with a nice inventory, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

It reminds me of the store in Nordland on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend.

And like the store in Nordland, they make a great cup of coffee.

Brus and I took the kids to Friday night drum session.

That's Pieter as in Fire Dancing Pieter

Zoya and Arian

And Brus had a good time too.

And today I went to the Hoekwil School and talked to Zoya's class. Zoya is in the 7th grade.

Lots of the kids were barefoot. This isn't a financial or social's kids who like to go me.

A student presents the morning Bible reading.

My class was really fun. The students were lively and curious.

I gave my camera to a student named Daniel and he shot a bunch of great ones.

The class was wonderful. The school could be a set for a 1930's movie. But the quality of their education seems good. Using a North American map I showed them where I was from and a little about America. They were interested in Native American tribes so brought some information about the Hieda and Navajo tribes and was wearing a shirt with a Hieda design.

I sang the Inuit song and Ghost Riders. They loved it and joined in on the chorus.

The other day Brus and I drove down to Mussel Bay, a big resort town.

I've decided not to do a two week volunteer thing at the Knysna Elephant Preserve. I'll visit them but Edda said that I must do some exploration of other areas of South Africa and is helping me put together a trip. There's a bus "hop on hop off" that she said would work great for me.

But that's three weeks away and in the mean time I continue to have a wonderful time with the horses, the family and their friends.


I decided the boots were too hot and guess what...Converse hightops with short chaps!


  1. What a wonderful trip and adventure. I am enjoying your blog, Dave. I can't wait to hear and see more. Hugs! - Nancy Brown Toland

  2. Wow! Your photos are wonderful, Dave! What are you gonna do without a pony when you return to PT?? I gues the two-wheeled one will have to suffice. I am so happy for you that you get to do this. I'd love to spend so much time around horses!

    Can't wait to see/hear more.