Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!! We did something really cool for Christmas this year, and had some unexpected adventures as well. Here’s what happened...
For Christmas Eve, we had a very idyllic evening in mind. Our hosts on St. Ancothesa had told us about a stone cottage up in the mountains where they sometimes went for an exciting sleepover; we had no idea how exciting they meant until late that afternoon when we followed the instructions (and map) and arrived at about 6pm. It was not a cottage. It was a ruin; no windows, no doors, floor covered in cow dung. Oops. We hadn’t packed in our 2 hiking tents, so it was either driving back, or sleeping outside (dad suggested making a broom and sweeping but was quickly overruled). The adventurous side in my parents won and we decided to sleep outside in the open.
What a place to sleep.
We had an absolutely beautiful view; the clouds were ‘flowing’ over the Outeniqua mountains like a giant tsunami; the pure size and majesty couldn’t be captured on camera (I tried).
A hand-eating dinner...
With a great view.
The moon coming up.
The cherry on top of the cake was presents given to us by our hosts as we passed their house on our way up the mountain. It was unexpected, and was such a blessing to us all - it seldom happens that your expectations are overmet.
As it got darker we started a fire, and thought back on this year’s highs and lows. When we finished, it was after 10pm. We had excellent signal up there (as compared to almost nothing down in the valley), so we could check email, etc. Then we all got into bed and lay looking at the stars. I slept very little; 4am the next morning the sun came up.
Fire to keep the "beasts of the night" away (mosquitoes).
Christmas was a hiking day; we hiked up a (huge) mountain and found our very own Christmas tree on top; a quaint, single and lonely Pine tree gave us shade. Down was harder than up in ways, but we survived and got back to our house at 3pm.
Facing the giant.
On the way up.
Taking selfies under our tree.
Our fantastic view.
New Year’s Eve was relaxed; we worked through the day, and after a swim in the dam, had champagne and chips. Dinner was Mutton (something we don't eat often), but we didn’t stay up till 12am; we had work to do the next day.... The sunset was amazing though; the last sunset of 2014.
Last family picture of the year 2014 taken in the garden of our hosts, when we had to feed and close-up their animals...chickens, geese, duck and pigs.