(WARNING: not your typical WHV post ahead. CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK.)
In this, the 179th edition of the WHV, I look back at the week from Monday, September 24 to Sunday, September 29, 2019.
We spent slightly more than half of this time on vacation in the Cederberg mountains.
This Cederberg mountains frame and support a truly beautiful place, with as one of its many additional features the fact that mobile phone reception and other forms of modern digital communication have not managed to penetrate all that much.
(Because this time was spent for the largest part, as it should be, in direct experience mode, that is, “humans see, humans taste, humans run, the end”, the rest of this post contains many images and has morphed into a sort of holiday report.)
To be more specific about the how and the where, we hitched a super compact version of one of those self-contained Command-&-Conquer-like mobile bases, in the shape of a rugged-looking 4x4 trailer (all of this temporarily arranged), to our decidedly non-4x4 family carrier vehicle, and set off on a high gradient drive to a tourist farm in the Cederberg called Driehoek.
(Next time you see me, ask me about time when above-mentioned family carrier vehicle was physically unable to pull the same trailer out of Beaverlac camping. Oh wait, I did mention that in a previous blog post! You should still ask me about it.)
Close to the Stadsaal (“Town Hall”) caves, you too should be able to find this wonderfully preserved San rock art:
We also went exploring the Stadsaal caves themselves. This specific scene reminded me strongly of the composition of a Star Wars poster:
On our way back from the Stadsaal caves, we took a turn-off and went down the mountain to visit Cederberg Park on the Kromrivier farm.
Ostensibly this was about lunch, but the deeper purpose was experiencing the locally brewed NieuwBrew craft beer.
The hot day seemed to be perfect for a Weiss, and so I chose the Sandfish Weiss:
On this day, in that beautiful location, the Sandfish Weiss scored an 11⁄10 on the famous WHV Celis White scale.
After lunch and NieuwBrew, we paid a visit to the Cederberg Wines cellar for a grand old wine-tasting.
Again the visit was that much more special because it’s simply not that easy to reach, but here again the wines surprised with their quality. Our host Aubrey did a sterling job guiding us on this journey of taste and flavour.
On the way out, I was again pleasantly surprised to run into more craft beer constructed by the Cederberg Wines winemakers David Niewoudt and Alex Nel.
WHV score: 11⁄10, getting worried about how and when I’ll be able to acquire more of this.
On the Friday morning, I did a short run(ish) up the mountain(ish).
The scenery was epic, but the mountain(ish) was steep, and the wine and beer tasting of the previous days did my legs absolutely zero (0) favours.
Enjoyment 10⁄10, performance 4⁄10.
You would have thought that this would be a lesson, but no.
All of the endless gravel roads we took during the rest of the Friday on our visits to the caves and to the cellar called to me during the night.
On the Saturday morning, I girded up my loins, donned my trusty sandals, and off I went on my favourite running surface: gravel roads, surrounded by as much nothingness as possible.
After the first few kilometres, I took a turn-off onto a gravel road that we had not yet explored, with the idea to add a few more kilometres before turning back.
However, my keen sense of direction, where with “keen sense” I mean “utter lack of”, convinced me that the road I was on would eventually meet the turn-off on the very other side of the farm.
So I kept on running.
I did have a cut-off point in mind, where if I did not yet see the expected entrance, I would have to turn around.
After a few more kilometres of gravel road through beautiful nothing, and a few more upward adjustments of my turn-around point into over-exertion territory, I was experiencing an interesting bit of stress.
Based on only a hunch, substantially weakened by my sense of direction track record, do I turn around, or do I double down for the great reward of an epic run in the Cederberg?
DO I FEEL LUCKY, PUNK?!
Well, sneaky engineer chose door #3: Acquire More Data.
I flagged down a car.
The friendly driver knew nothing about Driehoek, at which point I started sinking into the hard ground.
Suddenly he perked up and said that in fact he did remember passing it a few kilometres back.
With the driver thanked and my stress greatly reduced, I switched back into running mode, now truly committed to close this particular loop.
After a few kilometres more, I finally arrived at the revered entrance.
My legs were feeling quite empty (thanks more beer and wine the previous day!), but there was still a little more enjoyment to be squeezed from the remaining kilometre or four of winding gravel road back to our camp, and so I did my best.
The run itself was a whole lot easier than writing a satisfying ending to this piece of text, a task that has me convincingly stumped.
P.S. I’m keeping this post here. It’ll be fun to read in a few years.