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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Adventure in Hartbeespoort

View of the Hartbeespoort Dam from the aerial cableway
Mr. Deep and I know that sometime in 2017 we will be leaving South Africa. When this will happen and where we will go are questions that we don't have answers to. Living with this uncertainty is not easy. This is the part of the story when the lead characters realize that their script only has a few pages left but they are not ready to exit the stage. 

We simply aren't finished with South Africa. We have an endless list of places that we still want to visit, restaurants where we want to eat, neighborhoods to explore, markets to browse. We haven't even spent enough time enjoying the roof deck at our own house. Regardless of all of our efforts to maximize our time here and our constant and consistent knowledge that living here was temporary we, it turns out, wasted too much time watching TV, sleeping, surfing the Internet and doing who knows what else. 

Because I'm the kind of person who relies on lists and goals to get me off my ass, I've come up with personal challenge which I'm calling 20 Adventures. The goal of 20 Adventures is for me to have 20 South African Adventures. Likely I will have to have more than 20 because a few might end up being too boring to warrant a blog post. Mostly, I will try to explore new places and experience new things but as 20 Adventures was designed solely by me and for me, I can return to places that I have been before if I want and still count it as an adventure. Mr. Deep will be roped into joining me for some of these adventures but I alone am responsible for achieving the goal of 20. 

This past Saturday we had our first official adventure (19 to go.) We visited Hartbeespoort in the North West province located 45 minutes from our house. We have been to Hartbeespoort before when we visited the elephant and monkey sanctuaries but usually we are just passing through on our way to Pilanesberg or to Madikwe. We haven't made the time to explore the area. Located in the Magaliesberg Mountain Range, there is a man made dam in Hartbeespoort called (of course) Hartbeespoort Dam. 

The Ops team planned the whole adventure. First, we took a ride on the Harties Area Cableway for great views of the dam and the surrounding areas.



A little massage parlor at the top of the mountain
Deep relaxation in the grass
Photo by Mr. Deep. The cloud and its shadow.
Live music. There are also several restaurants and bars at the top. 
Following a period of relaxation at the top of the mountain we drove about 20 minutes to lunch at a place called Die Ou Pastorie. You might think it's strange for a restaurant to have the word die in the name but Die in Afrikaans means "the." Die Ou Pastorie translates to the old rectory which was what it was before it became a police station and before it became a guest house and restaurant. We sat in the garden and had a lovely lunch. Side note there are so many restaurants where you can eat it gardens in this area of South Africa. Maybe one of my adventures will be a post about eating in various garden settings. 
In the garden
In true South African fashion the adventure we planned turned out to not be the real adventure at all. After lunch we were ready to head home when my car wouldn't start. The battery was dead. We knew it was the battery because the day before I had taken my car in for service at the dealer and it was suggested that I purchase a new battery. As I had not any any issues with the battery, I declined. Fortunately the always prepared Mr. Deep sprung into action and the ResQ battery charger saved the day. As we headed for home we discussed when we might be able to take my car back to the dealer for a new battery. The challenge was that Mr. Deep's Jeep was in the shop and we were sharing just one car. 

As we drove we saw a gas station with a garage. Mr. Deep said "what the hell" and we drove in to see if they could possibly replace our battery. Sitting in front of the garage were four workers. Mr. Deep explained our situation and two guys immediately got to work removing our old battery and searching their inventory for a new one. Within 20 minutes we were on our way home with a new (or possibly used so lets just say working) battery. As they worked on my car, I noticed the employee work schedule posted to the wall and I'm pretty sure they two guys who helped us were named Surprise and Respect. 
Surprise and Respect working on Schmool
Sometimes we use the phrase T.I.A. which stands for This is Africa to remind ourselves not to get frustrated when things don't work correctly. But the phrase can also be used in a positive and loving way. It's not every day that you can you take in a gorgeous view, eat lunch in a fancy garden and then pull into a garage only to find people who are just waiting to help you with a smile? More adventures to come...


For some reason there were several shelves of these pumpkin chews for sale at the garage.

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.