Our Chasing Cars Roadtrip (Part 2)

Travel

The next part of our adventure was a night in the Golden Gate National Park where we stayed at Glen Reenen Rest Camp. By this time on our trip, Sean and I were so organised and accustomed to our little jobs when it came to setting up camp. Sean would set up the tent while I would unpack the table, chairs, supplies, gas bottle and get a rubbish bag sorted. Then he would pump up the mattress and I would make the bed. Quick, easy and neat – just the way I like it! It was this part of the trip where we started getting that “In-the-middle-of-nowhere-camping” vibe with the wild animals and being surrounded by the majestic mountains of the park.

After we had set up we went for a drive up to all the view points. Those mountains looked like they could have gone on for miles and miles, gone on forever. Vast, great, splendid and magnificent. How can one even describe such a sight? Our evening was ended off with yet another delicious meal made by my very handy boyfriend (Did i mention he cooked EVERY meal? I know…How lucky am I?) and a glass of Amarula which became a standard routine for every night before bedtime. Dinner was always followed by me washing the dishes and packing the equipment and supplies away so nothing got wet or stolen during the night. Something I loved about this place was the bathrooms and the communal kitchen. They were clean, had hot water and plug points and the facilities were sufficient. Sadly we only stayed here for 1 night – but I see us going back for much longer in the near future.

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Our route then led us to the peak of our trip and the campsite we would stay the longest…The Drakensburg. We stayed at a lovely campsite outside Underberg called Silver Streams Caravan Park. This was definitely my favourite part of the trip. How could it not be? Have you SEEN how beautiful it is in the Berg?

It really was a beautiful campsite. We set our tent up so it was facing the stunning view of the hills and mountains. There was no swimming pool but there was a stream that ran along the edge of the campsite (which was so much better than any old man made pool) and it also provided a swing rope which, of course, Sean used as much as he could. The bathrooms were clean, they had laundry facilities, a convenience store up the road, horse riding trails and waterfalls near the site too…we were more than happy to stay for 4 nights.

We went for a walk down to the little waterfall which used to rush with water all year round, but unfortunately they were having a drought so the tubes we hired were used to pretty much just float around on while catching a tan at the same time (I was not complaining). We also had the chance to go on a 3 hour horse ride through the mountain – I don’t know what we were thinking doing this in the heat we were experiencing – but in the end, the scorching heat was worth it. The horses we had were a little stubborn and misbehaved, but that was all forgotten when we got to the natural pool the horse trail led to. I have never seen anything quite this magical. It was literally as though we were in a movie and I was a mermaid about to dive into my crystal clear sanctuary. It’s clear blue water, the waterfall flowing into the pond and the smoothest of smooth rocks you could use to sit on in the water…it was literally like a photo you would use as your computer screensaver or something. If there is anything I would want to do again, it would be to swim in that beautiful pool again.

The day before we were supposed to leave, our trip was unfortunately cut short due to excessive rain and a flooded camp site. So we packed up and headed to Kokstad where we stayed at a BnB before we headed to our final stop…East London.

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We stayed 2 nights at Nature’s Rest in East London. Sadly, our trip was coming to an end and this was our last stop. I can’t say the service was too great and they didn’t have the best facilities but…It really was in a beautiful location and we made our time worth it (even though it was raining on and off too).

We decided to make our bed in the Kombi and move all our supplies to the middle of the tent due to the leak the tent’s windows had. I think we did pretty well when making our makeshift-kombi-bed, considering the circumstances. We were set up and ready for whatever weather could befall us.

Despite all the negatives of our stay at Nature’s Rest, when I look at the time I had with Sean, it could very well be one of my favourite times of the trip with him. We were absolutely content with just playing cards, doing some Sudoku, playing Mancala and watching series on my laptop…we were so content with just being in each others company. We laughed. We chatted about serious stuff. We chatted about light-hearted stuff. I was just pretty happy right there, sitting across from him in the Kombi with the fold up table between us. It kinda got me thinking, “Hey, you know…I could be stuck in a stationary combo for hours on end with you, any day.”

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Far too quickly, we were on our way home. Our adventure had come to an end. 11 of the most magical days spent with my best friend and partner in crime. I dream about this trip more than I care to admit. I think about it daily. Today I had to take out the tent again and clean it and fold it back up and pack it away properly. I had been putting this off for over a month…maybe I just didn’t want to let go quite yet of the incredible adventure we had.

So, I now think and plan and dream of our next adventure. Our next trip as the Travelling Wilbury’s. We are now, avid and professional campers. We can face any conditions. We will be prepared. With Sean’s strength and cooking skills and my constant organising and OCD tendencies…we will be able to conquer any old camping mishap and be willing to chase and cars.

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Often my mind drifts back to the time i walked with him and saw the stars, or when we swam in that mermaid pool or when we were playing cards and he was slaying me, a single thought never fails to pop up…”THIS is what I live for. These are the times I want to share with him forever.”

 

God Bless,

The Transformed Adventure Seeker,

Roxanne

 

 

 

Our Chasing Cars Roadtrip (Part 1)

Personal, Travel

This is one holiday my mind always goes back to and my heart always longs for. The holiday I went on a roadtrip with the love of my life who also happens to be my best friend.

It all started with wanting to go camping in Hogsback for a night or two. Then my dad jumped in and said, “Or…why don’t the 2 of you do a camping roadtrip up around Lesotho to the Drakensburg then back again. You can take mom’s kombi too. It’s perfect to travel in.” It took no convincing at all for Sean and myself to decide…That’s exactly what we want to do!

After months of anticipation, planning and excitement…we had planned out a route that would take us through Graaf-Reinet, Gariep Dam, Goldengate National Park, Drakensburg, East London and back home. My mom’s old model VW kombi was packed with all our camping gear, food and supplies…and we were en route to our first destination – Graaf Reinet. IMG_3741.JPG

I never actually realised how beautiful this little town is. It is clean, the people are friendly and it holds so much history and culture. We stayed for 2 nights at Profcon Resort, a little campsite in town. There was a lovely gazebo provided on our campsite and had clean ablutions, hot showers and a swimming pool (which we used VERY often). Whilst we were there we took a drive up to Camdeboo National Park to see The Valley Of Desolation – how remarkable. Just another part of South Africa where God was showing off His divine majesty. We also got to explore an old military museum in the town centre. All of these activities were always followed by a swim in the pool to try rinse off the blistering heat of Graaf Reinet. This was also where Sean and myself had to stock up on a cooler box, ice, a fire grid, pins for the tent and camping chairs – because we are idiots and forgot some of the vital items needed for camping. But hey, live and learn.

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On our way to Gariep Dam we decided to make a quick stop in Nieu Bethesda to see the infamous “Owl House” which I had written an exam on for my first year in English. I had always wanted to see it so Sean agreed to stop off (even though it took us on an hour long detour). It is a lovely, quaint little town with an artsy vibe you can’t ignore. The “Owl House” though, I would not say is as bubbly as the word “artsy”, more creepy actually. Alas, creepy or not, I believe this house is something any tourist or “lover of beautiful things” should see. All I know is, Miss Martins (the deceased owner of the house) must have been cooked!IMG_3885

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We left Nieu Bethesda and headed for Gariep Dam, we stayed here for 2 nights. Hot is not the word I would use – Blistering? Searing? Sweltering maybe? But, despite the heat, we were luckily traveling quite early in December so the campsites weren’t too busy yet. This left us with a great amount of options, including sites with massive trees which shaded us from the sun. While we were there, even though it was what felt like 45 degrees, Sean and I went on a little hike around the dam. The dam was sadly very very dry. Though this did give us more space to explore and gave us more of an idea on how desperate this part of the world is for water.

I think my favourite part of our time there had to be the one night where we just could not sleep because it was just too hot. So Sean and i got our swimsuits on and decided to go for sneaky midnight dip in the pool. I was standing outside the tent waiting for Sean to zip the door closed when something told me to look up – I should thank God every day for making me look up that evening – to behold something so indescribable. The black sky was lit up by millions, billions and trillions of stars. The sky was so clear you could see the milky way spread up above and over our heads. As though this evening could not get any better and could not be more blessed – We were walking hand in hand, both of us looking up at the sky and talking of it’s excellence, a shooting star shot straight across the sky. We both saw it. Together. How many people get to say that? It’s these little brilliant moments in my life I could cling to forever. It brought the biggest smiles across our faces and I remember just looking to my side, to this divine human being I was walking with and I leant over and gave him a big sloppy kiss on his cheek and I squeezed his hand. It is so odd how that sort of thing can make you all gooey inside. The stars I tell you, they are the most romantic thing.

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I’m going to leave this post there for now. I could write about it forever and a day. So I think it’s best I break it up into parts.

Watch this space for more stories on our unforgettable adventure

 

Love, Light and Blessings

Roxanne

 

Synergy Live 2015

Festivals, Travel

Synergy – one of the best festivals I’ve EVER been to – Seeing as though we are reminiscing about 2015 and all…I’ll tell you a bit about it.

It was myself, Sean, Sean’s brother (Patrick) and 3 of his friends (Mike, Sam, Sim – they are too cool not to be named). The Crew. The Crew ready to kill it at Synergy in celebration of Patricks 21st. Man was it an awesome crowd to jol with at a festival like this.

 

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I would honestly choose this festival over Rocking The Daisies…anytime. Less people. Less pressure. Less fuss. More fun. Nicer people and more…I don’t know…space? I like space…space to dance and do my thing. Daisies has a serious lack of this where Synergy had just the right amount of it.

The campsite is one thing I will most definitely rave about. It had us in awe throughout our time there. Despite the fact that we were trying to set up our tents in gale force winds, the site and positioning of the camp was beautiful. Lot’s of space; so you not camping on top of eachother. We also had an emaculent view of the dam that ran along the side of the festival. Waking up to this in the mornings was more than we could ask for (even if you had a slight hangover).

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The different festival tents were spaced out perfectly…each having their own feel to them with the sickest sounds. From a psychedelic trance tent to a summer vibes beach bar to the ¬†epic Main Stage which had a line up of acts such as Matthew Mole, Al Blairre, Jeremy Loops, Sibot, Shortstraw and Crystal Castles. It was….insane! The only downside, I have to mention, was the fact that you couldn’t bring alcohol into the festival area. This obviously then means that you will be spending money unnecessarily on alcohol you actually already had. It’s not a problem though if you don’t drink, like myself (we’ll get into that later).

 
The vibe was pumping. The music was insane. The people were friendly. The campsite was stunning and not to mention the food was lovely and they even had an awesome Iced Coffee and Fresh Juice van.

This was MY kind of festival. I can’t wait to see what Synergy 2026 has in store for us!

 

Watch this space for my “Surviving the Festival Season” post…coming soon!

Love and Light,

Roxanne

 

 

 

Living in The Mother City

Personal, Travel

2015 has most definitly been one of my better years.

Falling in love with someone that makes me feel a new sense of thrill in life, making friends I don’t think I will ever forget, studying something I absolutely love and enjoy, going on adventures I think about everyday and of course…living in one of my favourite cities.

 

Cape Town is one of the most sought after cities in the world with it’s lush greenery, the magnificent mountain ranges, constant flow of “things to do” and its well known reputation for being one of the ‘vibeiest’, cosmopolitan spots around. It has clean water (clean enough to drink) and well maintained roads. Though this city indeed does have all these much wanted characteristics. It has its weaknesses too.

Constant traffic, lack of parking then paying criminal prices for the parking you MIGHT find, the cliques among the people that live there which are hard to avoid, the constant feeling as though you need to dress or look a certain way and just the general expense of living in such a profound city.

Just little things. Those little things that can put you in a small period of rage or make you feel irritable or even sad.

No. These things do not make me dislike this beautiful city. I’m not sure anything could ever quite do that. But little things I think this world could do without.

All in all though…it boils down to what you allow in your day to day schedule. The people you surround yourself with. The places you choose to go to. It can, in the end, all be avoided too. That’s what’s great about the city…it is your oyster…you have options, copious amounts.

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I love living here. I don’t like being away for too long. If there is one thing I can say about The Mother City, is that God sure spent a heck of alot of time in creating it. The mountains, the ocean, the beutiful vegetation, the stunning beaches…it all boasts about its Creator. Everywhere. All round you. All the time.

Last year, 2015, Cape Town was good to me. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me there this year.

God Bless!


 

Mozambique You Beauty

Travel

1 week after I got home from Israel, I up and left with my dad for Mozambique.

My dad got his boat, fishing rods and a mate set and were good to go. Me – still with my foot in a brace – all set up with my bikinis, sun tan lotion, mosquito “repellents” and our GoPro…I was as ready as I could possibly be for a trip to Mozambique for a 10day fishing trip.

A long 3 day trip later. We arrived at our humble abode near Morongulu…which is around 8hours from the South African border.
My dad was at home. A hut just at the foot of the beach. The locals, which have become his family over the many years he has come here. The coconuts. The matapa. The fishing. It is my dad’s piece of heaven.

Ive been coming here for years with my family. Ive seen the way the locals live. Their simplicity. Their humbleness. You can’t help but have that rub off on you…make you appreciate all you have. The children are beautiful. So much innocence and ignorance in the way they play and ask the tourists for sweets. They know no better than what they have. And they are happy. They learn to look after themselves from such a young age. In a country like this…its all you have.

Ive seen the way the beach can look like a wreck after an extreme high-tide with all the washed up coconut trees and seaweed.

Where I was really able take in the wonders this place has to offer was out at sea. There were 3 days in a row that i went out fishing with my dad. I always thought the part where you race out into sea against the raging waves was the fun part, damn was I wrong.

The ocean is so…i don’t know…vast? Well, obviously…it covers 70% of the earth…but when you are out there on your little boat, you are so small. So insignificant compared to what God has put into this earth. For instance, I had the magical experience of seeing the most magnificent wales breaching so close to our boat. Whole families of wales swimming, playing, jumping and leaving myself, my dad and David bewildered. They are the most magnificent creatures (alongside elephants). They go about their own business, making sounds I could listen to all day. Man, what a pleasure to see them EVERY time we were out there on the ‘wide ocean’ (yeah I just quoted from Crystal Fighters).

Also, on our adventures at sea, I, yes me Roxanne, caught an 8kg Wahoo. But in my defense, 8kg is one HELL of a fight. Funny to say, but what a rush. And seeing my dad so happy that I had caught my first big fish, was all I needed to be so content with that small moment in life.

On our way back from Mozam my dad spoiled us with a trip through the Kruger National Park. I think we underestimate how blessed we are as South Africans to have what we have. In that one day that we cruised through the park we saw warthog, giraffe, hippo, fish eagles, hyena, wildebeest, buffalo, impala, zebra elephant – elephant and giraffe being my favorite. Seeing those elephants – those massive and so powerful animals – so close to our car was breathtaking. It was a blessing seeing the little (or massive) elephant families walk across the dry riverbeds. The moms being so protective over their babies.

This world we live in.
Damn, He sure paid attention to every little detail didn’t He?

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The Final Chapter – My Adventure In Israel

Travel

Shalom…So we come to the final chapter.

I guess in the end, it was all about healing, self seeking and growing. I can say though, that I got so much more out of this adventure than I expected.

Healing takes a lot more than just a few months away from home. It takes longer. It takes more. But not from what other people do for you or what they teach you. It’s about what you allow in. What you WANT to learn and accept. I was able to find that I wanted to find peace within myself before I found it in someone else – whether it be in a friend, a family member or a love.

Someone told me once while I was at Yotvata, and I will always cherish this, ‘Don’t think you only loved the way you did because of him. Its so much greater than that. You have that love IN you. You are able to share that love with others. You have the ability to love that way regardless of who it is or what they did to you. You are able to love in ways so many other people cant. Don’t forget that’. I believe this now. I really do. And I know, that I have so much more love to unlock and share. Though I still love and will always love this person, I need to trust that God will send someone whom I can love even more. Even greater.

For now, “I am truly alone and I like it” as Keaton Henson says in his song Lying To You. I want to accept being alone and enjoy time by myself. Finding out what it is I love. What it is I truly do adore. Use this time to grow according to God’s word.

My next step is to start doing things I have never done before.
Start swimming in the ocean even though I fear it. Surfing (maybe). Go fishing with my dad more because you really get to appreciate the world around you.
Travel. Ahhh travel. To see things and places I have yet to experience. And it doesn’t have to be far. Even just here in my own country.
And yes, dance like no one is watching. Feel the sand between my toes and embrace it. Watch the sunset and spread my arms, soaking in all the beauty and love that really does surround us AT ALL TIMES.

Be kind. Be humble. Be friendly. Be You. Its the best way to go.

So if I can leave you with any piece of wisdom or advice that is really close to my heart (actually I am going to share 2 pieces) – God First….always. And I will leave you with a piece of a song I leave with many people. This extract comes from the song ‘You – Keaton Henson’. Do yourselves a favor and have a listen. It’s life changing.

“If you must Fight, Fight with yourself and your thoughts in the night.
If you must Work, Work to leave some part of you on this earth.
If you must Live Darling one…..Just Live”

All my love
God Bless
Roxanne Kotze

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My Adventure In Israel -Part 4-

Travel

Its time to get right down to the family I was part of at Kibbutz Yotvata.

One person I met, who actually needs a whole post dedicated to just her, was a young Dutch girl from Holland, Mirjam. Ahh, Mirrie….my heart is filled with so much love for her. The softest and kindest of hearts. She was one person that would stand through all life’s storms and chaos on her faith and love for Christ. I still told her, and I share this with everyone, that if God’s only purpose for me to go to Israel was to meet her, I couldn’t be happier with His plan. I was lucky enough to have her as my roommate and eventually, a best friend, a sister in Gods love.

It was myself, Mirjam and my next dedication, Nir, who were, well, 3 peas in a pod? Nir, my funniest, craziest, silliest and most wonderful Israeli friend. Man, did I have fun with him. Nir is someone who really just doesn’t care what people think when he pulls those funny faces and comes with his quick, witty remarks. I have him to thank for teaching me to be outrageously silly in front of whoever I wanted to. He helped me find a part of me that was able to talk about deep things, or laugh at the stupidest jokes or dance like an idiot without being embarrassed or ashamed. I will forever be grateful for that.

I was able to work with some really amazing people, and get to know them.

Almog, for instance. A heart of gold. A stand-up guy who knows what he wants and is willing to work hard to get there. An Israeli friend, Itay, still said that one day, he is going to send his daughters to him to either marry Almog, or his own daughters – i couldn’t agree more (sorry Almog, but you have no choice).
Then there’s Tal. A man with one of the biggest hearts. He is always able to make anyone laugh when he starts talking about Ace Ventura or Borat. And another thing…this guy can DANCE.
There is Silvina from Uruguay, a little girl with a big voice. Dynamite really does come in small packages. She says what she feels and just doesn’t give a flying duck (I’m not going to curse here, so duck will have to do). But with all her craziness, she has a soft heart and a love for people you cant break. I learned that if anything, she is a friend EVERYONE needs.
I worked with incredible people like Nave – a big sweetheart who didn’t say much but expressed himself on the dance floor every Shabbat. His dance moves will never be forgotten. Juliana, who was also one of my roommates, the Princess of the Dates. She really is one of the most beautiful and cutest things that walk this earth. Anne and Daisy were two Dutch girls that joined us in House Nr. 3. Both being at Yotvata once before, they knew all the “ins and outs” and were always able to wangle ‘off days’ or trips with our boss. Anne, also being someone that tended to just look after all the volunteers as a whole – if we needed to know something, we’d ask Anne. Two, beautiful natures I was lucky enough to come across. Abigial, a young Kibbutznik who I have very close to my heart. What a beautiful girl, Im still waiting to see her on the front cover of all the magazines. Tash, a crazy Australian who could put a smile on anyones face. A favorite expression used by her friends at Yotvata was “Where’s Tash”….she was always wondering around or just plain missing. I had some of the strangest, most lovely conversations with her.
There was Hun, a Korean boy who would always ask another South African volunteer, Pierre, to translate little “expressions of love” into Afrikaans so he could read them to me in the mornings at breakfast. Man, that guy never failed to make me smile. Maayan, an Israeli worker who is now traveling all over Europe. A free spirit with so much love for everything around her. Her soul shone at all times and I was always mesmerized by her creativity and kind spirit. Shaked and Ina, the 2 Israeli girls I firmly blame for my fractured foot – I mean come on, giving me vodka at that time?? Really!!! Yet alas, I had such a good ‘jol’ with them. I got to know Shaked a bit better over time and realized more and more how a like we were. Music, life and the Kibbutz was what we talked about and it was some of the best evenings I could have asked for. Pierre was another South African volunteer who I was able to speak “die taal” with. He always had love to share and a beautiful heart. Itay, an Israeli I got to know while watching Batman or playing chess. I could always have the most interesting conversations with him, hearing his side of things then giving mine. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone, and I admire that. And of course Nathan, our Brit. Wow, did this guy make me laugh – with his appropriate and his, well, not so appropriate comments . As I mentioned before, I went shopping with him and its exactly there that I got to know the great guy he is. I learned some things that made me realize how strong he is and he taught me…’STOP caring what other people think’. Marine and Eva, the twins that lived on the Kibbutz. I will never forget them coming to me one morning to give me a necklace that was given to them about a year before. Their words were something like this, “This was given to us by a friend to give ‘hope’ and strength with our last year of school. We have noticed that you seem a little down lately and we thought it was time to pass this ‘hope’ on.” They gave it to me at the exact time I needed it. I now wear that chain close to my heart.

There were so many people I met who I wish I could have gotten to know so much better. Beautiful people like Kevin (the Ballagan – big mess – from Korea), Diego (a big softie from Colombia), Daniel (Diego’s right hand man from Colombia who was always up to something), Hannah (a little gem from Sweden), Karam (one of the most beautiful Koreans I have come across), Lorena (a beautiful and soft natured soul from Colombia), Gisse (Ecuador), Paula and David (they met at Yotvata and have had the perfect romance since then) , Oliver (California – this guy has the most dry sense of humor you’ll come across), Svenja (Germany), Olivia (Germany – We had some STRANGE conversations while working), Shai (a friend of Tal’s who I was lucky enough to get to know), of course there was also our Volunteer Leader Voulla. Ah, the mother of all the volunteers. We were all so privileged to have her look after us all, make sure we were doing ok, have her to talk to about anything, take us to the hospital in the emergency of a broken foot….the list goes on. Someone I really do have a very special space for.

Closer to the time that I left, I made a very special friend. Someone who has stuck himself like glue to my heart. Not only did we become really good friends, but we clicked…you know, sometimes you just meet someone that you just get a long with right from the start (though that wasn’t exactly the case for us) and you are able to talk about anything and everything. I was lucky to have that with Lior. In such a short time I got to know him so well. Share so much with him. As well as learn so much from him too. He now, heads off to the army for around 4years. The possibility of seeing him again until those 4years are up are very slim…but I will forever be sending love, peace and blessings his way…in all of his trips, adventures and training.

That goes for all these beautiful people I met at Kibbutz Yotvata. I know that the chances of seeing a lot of these people again are really slim. I know thats life. Thats travel. And as we meet people we appreciate what we had with them then move on, meet new people. Different people. But, I know that a lot of these people meant too much to me to just replace or forget or have no attachment to. No sir. I plan on seeing you again. Or as many as I can.
Some day
Some where
And until then,
God Bless
Roxanne xx

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