Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Amazing Patchwork, Gingerbread House...

Perhaps, I’d better explain…here there is nothing …A house, yes, but no jolly little village.  Plettenberg Bay is the last town, the closest town and that is thirty-eight miles away. In the immediate area, nothing! No people, no cars, no doctor, no corner shop, no fire department; nearest neighbour, about three miles “as the crow flies”.  What is here; is  an enormous and unending silence, and hidden away in all this huge emptiness is everything we’ve come to see…
Over the Hills and Far Away

D’s been building this nest of his, by hand, for a few years now; his only helper, his son.  While he was slogging away in the bundu here, P was keeping the home fires burning, closer to civilization until 2010, when she joined them. Another year or so and it should be finished along with more projects for this slice of natural fynbos.

 Patchwork, Gingerbread House

Their home has grown organically and sprawls on the ridge of highland, an Afro/Euro fairy-tale on a mountain in the Cape.

Arriving in the dark with no artificial lights outside; headlights and starlight revealed what little we could see of the home where we would be staying. With the exterior giving nothing away, we went into a huge great room, stone floors, wooden walls; the glow from a Chimenea adding its amber warmth to the candlelight. Later, gathered around the old table, warm and well fed, the muddy valleys seemed very far away.

Clear skies the next morning signalled the end of the stormy weather. Daylight revealed a sparkling world, no dust to mar the endless views. Seeing the ‘Cruiser, with thick frost all over her canvas roof, had me grateful for our warm bed; what a frightful thought, we could have spent the night out in the bush…shiver... it would have been very, very cold. And then there were the baboons (and the leopards)! 

'Cruiser Thawing Out

You can’t really see the frost in this pic, but you can see the steam rising from the top of the vehicle as the sun hits the canvas.
"Howdy Pardner" Porch

Stepping out of the warm house early that morning, into the cold, brittle light was stepping back in time. The wooden house, already bearing the patina of weathered age, stretched out along the ridge in front of me.

Gardening Natural Style

A long veranda running the length of the building (“Western Style”) was fully furnished.  Cushioned chairs placed against the walls face the driveway, boarded by a strip of pretty, bird-filled, indigenous garden with a shallow
 Garden Edge - Mind the Drop

Just beyond the garden, the deep gorge of the Keurbooms River lies some two-hundred metres below; a steep descent we tackled later that week.

Malachite Sunbird

On the other side of the gorge, rose the opposite mountain, even higher than this one, blocking the rapidly rising sun…The veranda was in shade, the car-park was in shade but it was very early. 
Soon sun would wash over the whole ridge and the front-row seats on the veranda filled up rapidly; with coffee mugs in hand, we watched and marveled as the ‘hood come alive… 

Next…wild side walkabout...


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