Our first day, Saturday, was spent at a place called Fairy Knowe backpackers.
The kids went the night before to enjoy a drum circle with about 15-20 drummers. Because of the weather being so bitterly cold right now, they chose to leave Axel with granny&grampa who delivered him to them on Saturday morning and stayed for breakfast before heading on to Knysna where we would have the second day of our two days away. The place was full of really interesting carved-what shall I call them?- decorations, like this elephant and rocking horse.
These creatures (Rhino and wild cat) were made of driftwood.
The place has chalets, rooms with tons of beds and then tenting sites...which is where my kids stayed. The sites are set between magnificent, giant milkwood trees.
It was also the first time I'd seen plants grown in sack cloth against walls. Everything from succulents to ferns of all kinds. Very interesting and doing well
The trees are also dripping with vines which make a beautiful green canopy over the tents.
Each tenting site also seemed to have its own "theme" and this was their "signature."
Axel LOVED IT being a spider-man addict, but when it came to touching the spider, he was a little hesitant. lol Even between the sites, there was neon (glow in the dark) "spider webs" leading you to the fire pits and general entertainment area. I can only imagine how cute/spooky this must have been in the semi-dark.
It had been decided that I would do NOTHING while I was there, which delighted me no end. While the men handled getting breakfast on the go, Izelle, Axel and I walked around the area. The pathways are beautiful, some are just holes in the bougainvillea (still in bloom??) which was great.
We walked among the chalets and looked at the view from the top.
We found a hammock swing which Axel enjoyed......
Almost too much
Got back to the camp site to see the men collecting twigs and such, to start the fire to make our breakfast.
The kids dragged all the way from home, their very own barbecue grid which ended up being a laugh when we saw exactly how many grids were there for the taking. Oh well, better to have too many, than none at all.
While Daniel got the fire and breakfast going....
And Izelle got coffee going for us while we waited....
Axel decided that it was weekend, and eating Marie biscuits (Maria biscuits) and marshmallows was breakfast enough for him.
The backpackers is pet friendly and dogs are welcome. They even have baskets alongside the fire places and stove heaters for the pets. Im not sure if these were visiting dogs or belonged to the backpacker owners, either way, they were having a ball with Axel and hanging around for some left overs.
It was a super stress free enjoyable time as Justin's smile testifies.
Justin got involved with buttering the toast that came off the grid while I totally loafed, because at home...I'm IT for everything. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the time out.
Milkwood trees have the most amazing trunks, all gnarly and strangely beautiful.
These trees thrive in salt water and I almost wonder if that could be part of why their trunks are so gnarly? The delicate, pale-golden flowers of the milkwood are borne in clusters along the ends of the branches and they have an unusual sour-smell. The flowers are followed by juicy, dark magenta-colored fruit that are enjoyed by birds and baboons. Once peeled of their outer skin, they have a grape-like taste. The milky latex, which gives the tree its common name, makes the leaves and the bark unpalatable to grazing animals. A superficial scratch to the bark reveals a bright red under surface - the color of fresh blood. The wood is very hard, heavy and strong. In the past, it was used for ship building, bridges, mills and ploughs. It is very durable even when wet and it shrinks little with drying. It also has tons of medicinal uses from broken bones to dispelling feelings of claustrophobia. So if anyone is on meds for that...you may very likely be drinking the milky sap from this tree.
Breakfast was finally served and this is what it looked like. Toast, with tomato and onion plus a piping hot cup of coffee. I loooove the burned taste of bread off a grid.
I couldn't resist these photos of Izelle and Axel playing.
So, we had eaten and had coffee, spent time with the kids and it was now time to move on to Knysna (pronounced nice-nuh) There we were to meet my friend Anne who's accommodation we were sharing. She is house sitting and with permission from the owners, offered for us to come and join her.
We left the kids feeling light hearted and ready for the next stage of our fun two days away from the nitty gritty of our regular life.