When walking earlyish one morning ten days back, the trail group were not alone. “As we crossed the wetland, I spotted the tracks of the Cape Mountain Leopard in the mud and could be fairly sure that it had passed through recently given the rainy weather we’d been having (pictured). A special sighting for the guests. Walking along the jeep-track, we made easy progress along the mountain side, passing the time in continued conversation regarding comedy and moving on to current affairs…” said guide Jeff.
The days continue to shorten but we have been spoilt with mild winter sun which seems to slow time down. On the same day I happened upon homing pigeon racers at the Houw Hoek exit (pictured). I stopped to learn a bit more about this sport. I met Team Caldeira who have been racing since 2004 and were training their birds for a competition in Laingsburg that weekend. They released the birds in batches, each flock taking height on release, circling for a few seconds and then confidently heading the one hundred and ten kilometres home. I called them this weekend to hear the race result. Great news. One of their birds won the Laingsburg race covering 259.8 kilometres in four hours and seven minutes. That’s averaging at 63 km per hour. Second place was only thirty seconds behind.
Last week a regular artist visitor treated her husband to a weekend away. With cooler evenings we had the fires going and made Thai butternut soup. We have a new way with kingklip, it includes mushrooms, capers and Sauvignon Blanc. Our regular sent a note to say “thank you for being a friendly and safe space”. How our worlds and wants have shifted. We are so grateful for being able to offer wide open spaces for wining, dining and walking. All of this within sixty minutes of Cape Town Central.
In the words of Helen Bonham Carter addressing Maggie Thatcher while playing Princess Margaret, “sometimes, time off is the most sensible thing to do”. We agree. The days may be shortening but this too will pass. Soon.