All I want for Christmas (and the new year)
It's that time of year again – a time to reflect on all our blessings and to look forward to plans for the new year. My plans for 2013 include lots and lots of travel in and around South Africa. I know I won't get to do all of it, but here's my wish list for the next year:
1. Take a long weekend at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat (and enjoy a picnic and spa treatment in the shadow of the Cederberg Mountains. Not necessarily in that order).
2. Visit the Overberg during whale season (June to December).
3. See the wildflowers of Namaqualand during spring.
4. Experience the Sardine Run on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
5. Go hot air ballooning over the Magaliesberg mountains.
6. Eat at The Tasting Room in Franschhoek and enjoy a meal cooked by one of the country's best chefs – Margot Janse.
7. Hike along the beaches of the Wild Coast.
8. Take the SkyCar at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban and photograph the incredible views.
9. Visit the Neighbourgoods market in Braamfontein more often, and try out the one in Cape Town when I visit the Mother City.
10. Take a public art walking tour of Johannesburg with Past Experiences.
11. Learn to cook with Ma Betty in Oudtshoorn and learn more about Xhosa tradition and culture.
12. Visit the sacred sites of the Bhangazi people in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
13. Learn to make cheese at Finest Kind farm along the Garden Route.
14. Visit Knysna’s Rastafarian village.
15. Finally visit the battlefield sites of KwaZulu-Natal.
16. Take a cycle tour through Alexandra township.
17. Have high tea at Ellerman House in Cape Town (and view its incredible art collection afterwards).
18. Visit Sutherland during winter (it’s the coldest place in the country – but the stars are magnificent).
19. Have a sangoma (traditional healer) take me on a visit to the Fertility Caves near Clarens.
20. Go on a West Coast seafood safari and dine with my feet in the sand.
21. Partake in a silent retreat at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal.
22. Go slackpacking along the Hoerikwaggo Trail, which traverses Table Mountain.
23. Interview Pieter-Dirk Uys (or his alter ego, Tannie Evita Bezhuidenhout) on a visit to Darling.
24. Take a helicopter flip over the beautiful Drakensberg.
25. Take more holidays, rest more, be more in the moment and be more thankful everyday for living in this incredible country that I call home.
That’s it. Here’s wishing everyone a fabulous festive season and 2013.