Birth Series – Two Miracle Babies & An Unexpected Cesarean Delivery.

I have had this desire to share a series of birth stories on my blog for a very long time. I love reading about different births, as each is so unique. I feel that it is so important for women to have an open mind before they bring their own baby into this world. We often set our minds so strongly onto the way we want things to be, but things can, and so often do go their own way. And, in that moment, knowing we want what is best for our baby, we will make ourselves vulnerable, and allow for what needs to happen, to happen.

This series will be sharing the story of many women who have each had their own unique experience at birth. My desire is for you to feel that you can relate to just one, and I truly hope that at least one story will help you. Know that some of these experiences are extreme, and the purpose isn’t to scare you, but to rather give you the peace of mind, that in the end, it is all worth it.


34016872_1936629416360782_3361209498537558016_nTWO MIRACLE BABIES & AN UNEXPECTED CESAREAN DELIVERY 

I am starting this series with the beautiful birth stories which belong to Kia Johnson, mother to two and South African TV and Radio Presenter. Kia was told, like many women that she would struggle to fall pregnant naturally. She is now called ‘Mom’ to two gorgeous children who are now 6 and 3.

Reading about Kia’s deliveries made me realize how lucky I was with such a straight forward birth.

“When I heard the news from my Doctor that I’m going to struggle to have kids naturally due to growths (polyps ) he had found inside my uterus (and recommended in vitro fertilisation) I felt a part of my soul go numb. I hadn’t wanted children at that time but I wanted to at least have the ability to do so naturally. I remember being in tears, it felt like I was in mourning, and for the longest time I was, it was just over a year when I finally made peace with what I was told.

After letting go of the idea of having children I decided to focus on my career which helped tremendously. It was however in that exact moment, when I wasn’t thinking about it, when I had given up all hope, that I fell pregnant with my daughter. I was in a state of shock for the longest time but also in a state of bliss, I couldn’t believe I was pregnant! So many things ran through my head as I was aware that I was not 100% okay in my womb, but the feeling of having this life grow inside of me did manage to push those thoughts aside albeit for moments. I was careful though and went for all my checks. I was so grateful, I prayed and rejoiced and just kept saying thank you for my precious miracle.

Like we all do I started chatting to everyone about pregnancy and the birthing process. 885719_960864343937299_2848662267234838086_oSome people gave good advice and others were a little ‘off the mark.’ I have to be honest though many people painted sunshine and roses and that’s what I expected. When reality set in my pregnancy had a mind of its own. I was nauseous every single day until the day I gave birth. I also opted for a natural birth and gave my Doctor quite the scolding when he told me my daughter hadn’t locked into position and I might have to have a caesarean. I was determined that it won’t happen to me and I will give birth the natural way.

But I was not prepared for what happened. I went into labour a few hours after my doctor had predicted I would, I counted the contractions, I breathed and tried to be calm. It was regular like clockwork. Till this day I wonder about that, how on earth can something so primitive in us be so timeous.  After 18 hours of labour, I just wouldn’t dilate, my Doctor tried everything and nothing worked. When my daughter went into distress we had to do a caesarean or she wouldn’t make it. Right there I couldn’t have cared if I gave birth to her through my ear I just had to get her out.

18893016_1561423837214677_4237598658673611921_nWhen she was born she screamed like a trooper. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and so tiny, with her little hands and feet and it was right there that I felt as if a hole in my heart was filled because of her.

After giving birth to my daughter I was told by my Doctor that my polyps will come back and I have to be prepared so I thought ‘oh well at least I have one child.’ A few years later however I remember one day I just felt quite odd. Till this day I don’t feel I can explain it properly but it was a sense of  peace and being the type of personality I am as I constantly worry, I knew it was unusual for me to feel this type of calm. But something had happened, I just knew it. It was as if my hormones had slipped right back into a balanced space. Could it be that I was just sick or could I be pregnant? Unlike the signs with my daughter (my breasts were getting unusually big and I couldn’t eat sushi it made me so sick ) I had no definite physical indication that I was pregnant so I was sure I couldn’t be but I decided in order to give myself some peace of mind why don’t I get a pregnancy test to make sure. The first one I took came out positive. I decided to purchase another test and this one came out unsure. The third one I took came out positive.

Due to the indecisiveness of the test I had to see my Doctor. He did an ultra sound and told me he it looked like I had a missed period but to be absolutely sure I had to come back 3 weeks later. When he did the ultra sound the second time around he found a heartbeat, I was 7 weeks pregnant! Another miracle!

This time around I was certain I would deal with my pregnancy far better than my first one. I was wiser after all and had more confidence but, I was so wrong. My son had decided to lay with his spine against my spine, this was not the ideal position at all. I carried quite small, most people couldn’t even see I was pregnant. The pain from him lying on my spine was unbearable at times. In the first three months I was under tremendous stress and almost lost him. I remember standing and packing my daughter’s clothes into her cupboard and not being able to move from the pain I felt. I just stood completely still. My husband took me back to the Doctor and this time I had to go on hormone medication to keep my womb strong. With this pregnancy too I remained nauseous throughout the entire time.

11147227_984390921584641_4146296007356228442_n

I gave birth to my son via caesarean. I will never forget the moment he came out I almost froze. He didn’t make a noise, I heard nothing just complete silence. All I kept asking was ‘why isn’t he crying, why?  It was only a few minutes later that I heard him give a good scream, it was the best sound I ever heard, like music to my ears. When they brought him to me he was so tiny and beautiful. I loved the feeling of having his tiny body on top of my chest. He slept by my side the entire time I had to stay in the hospital, I just couldn’t bare to not have him close to me.

21768053_1679172785439781_5475012372583849563_nMy children are now both six and three and they are expert chatterboxes who keep me on my toes everyday. Their love is unconditional and the moments we share are so precious. I don’t get much sleep, I get sick a lot, I have to be stern in discipline and time outs exhaust me but gosh when they give me kisses, tell me they love me, clean up their room (okay my daughter is the only one doing it for now but still a bonus!) or when my three old shouts ‘bubbles bubbles’ for bath time I know that I am truly happy and blessed and wouldn’t trade these moments (even the tough ones) for anything. I feel so proud that they chose me to be their Mom.”

– Kia Johnson | Instagram

 


 

*Would you like to share your birth story with women around the world? Email me your story to onemodernmom@hotmail.com before the end of July 2018 to be featured. Did this story touch your heart? Did something similar happen to you? I would love to hear your feedback. Keep getting updates to this birth series by subscribing to my blog. You can also get updates by following my social media accounts: Facebook | Instagram

Advertisements

Our Families Dream Night At Aquila

As parents, we often find ourselves dreaming of doing special things with our kids. Things that we once did that we loved and cherished so much. In our case, it was taking our little guy to a game park. Game parks have always been a very treasured memory of David and mine. We visited one soon after we started dating, and just fell in love with being there. That slow life, and being completely surrounded by nature and rustic beauty. That smell of thatch and wood and the delicious hearty meals that we enjoy. It’s sitting around the fire having drinks and being totally absorbed in the stories the game rangers share of their experiences. It’s absolute bliss.

This dream came true when we visited Aquila Private Game Reserve this past weekend. We couldn’t wait to finally have the opportunity to share our love for this experience with our little boy. We were told by a couple of people that he would be too young and wouldn’t enjoy such a long game drive, but we in fact experienced the opposite. We arrived a bit late on the Friday, which resulted in us missing out on the longer afternoon game drive, which actually worked out for us, as it was getting cold, but it also meant that we had the afternoon to relax a bit and to enjoy watching the two elephants stroll on the mountain side in front of our room, have some coffee and then take him to swim inside the Tranquila Spa which has two heated pools.

IMG_5788IMG_5791IMG_5805IMG_5793

We then got ready for a delicious dinner.

Before dinner, we headed down to the Pub for a drink which has the most incredible kids play area as well as a kid sitting service. Olly wasn’t feeling well, so we didn’t make use of the service unfortunately, but it was totally kitted out, neat and hygienic. The pub is super cosy with fire places and couches. Everyone was enjoying a drink to warm up while watching a bit of the Football World Cup.

The meals are buffet style, and NOBODY is left out. There is so much variety, and everything was delicious. Before going, we actually had people raving about the food and telling us that they were jealous because it was so delicious when they went. I couldn’t agree more. I loved that the restaurant was totally kid friendly and very casual. We didn’t have to feel that we needed to keep Olly quiet or seated the entire time. They also cater for the kids with food which is fantastic. We were enjoying this so much, I actually forgot to take any photos!

We then headed back to our Premier Suite and climbed into our warm, cosy beds. I loved that they put hot water bottles on our bed, already filled up knowing how incredibly cold it was. Our room had a main bed, a sleeper couch, a bar fridge and coffee station.

IMG_5804

We woke up early the next morning, it was icy cold and windier than it’s been in a LONG time. We layered up and headed down to the reception ready for our Private Game Drive. Memory was our game ranger and we just fell in love with him. He has been a ranger for over 20 years and has experienced almost everything. He is so passionate and just loves every single one of these animals so much. It was a bit of a struggle at first with the wind and cold air, but the sun soon started to shine and Memory made it so worth the while. He allowed my little boy to sit in the front with him where it was warmer and answered all of his 3 and a half year old questions.

IMG_5710IMG_5820

What makes Aquila so special is that it is home to the Big 5, yet it is just a 2 hour drive from Cape Town. But it gets better – Aquila is like a rehabilitation reserve for their animals. As an example, their two male elephants were once used at another game park for Elephant Back safaris. This means that they had been ‘trained’ in an inhumane way to obey commands, etc. They were used to make money. I love that they have saved these beautiful animals from such a terrible life and have replaced that with a new home that is on their on their +/- 10000 hectare conservancy.

IMG_5833IMG_5836IMG_5839

If you’re holding your breath for a Kruger type experience, then Aquila isn’t for you. Aquila is about educating their guests, and installing a love for these beautiful animals in the hearts of young children. Instead of having uncountable wild animals, they instead have a smaller amount, which they know the story behind. They have studied their behavior and understand their emotions and way of doing things. Due to their space, they respect the animals and only have a certain amount so that they can live a happy life in the space that they each need.

IMG_5711

They also have anti-poachers who follow their Rhino to ensure that they are not harmed. This truly makes my heart happy. They are known for their responsible tourism and have a non-profit, conservation and comprehensive anti-poaching solution which offers free anti-poaching training to game rangers working on African private game reserves that are home to rhino and elephants.

We had the opportunity to see their Elephants up close at the water hole, these boys have become best friends since growing up together, and it is truly something special to see. We also saw a family of hippos, Zebra, a Giraffe family, a pride of lions as well as various Buck and a female ostrich doing the mating dance for her male friend. The buffalo were beautiful but seeing the Rhino up close, and having the opportunity to have my little boy see them was quite an emotional experience. I really do pray that we are able to save these spectacular animals, so that my son can show his kids them one day.

IMG_5813IMG_5700IMG_5817

Our two and a half game drive went by in the blink of an eye, and we were sad to end the drive, despite the icy cold wind. We then headed to the restaurant for a divine buffet breakfast. We were planning on doing the Quad Bike Safari, however it was just too cold, and Olly wasn’t well so opted out. Olly was also going to go on a very special Children’s Adventure on their own Game Drive to see the Rhino Orphans with the other kids. Here they would have had the opportunity to be educated at their level on these rhinos and do activities in the ‘wild’. This was sadly cancelled due to the weather, but we were somewhat grateful as he wasn’t well, and actually fell asleep soon after. We had booked ourselves a back, neck and head massage at the Tranquila Spa, and luckily they catered for us and put us into a couple treatment room as he slept throughout the entire thing on a chair in the corner of the room.

Now, this massage should be an entire review of its own! It was something that still feels surreal. When it was over, David still looked at me and said ‘ Now, that’s how a massage is done.’ We both had written on our form that we wanted to our aim for the massage was for muscle relief. They understand exactly what you mean when you tell them the pressure you want, and I have never had that before. It was incredibly relaxing and we did leave feeling loosened up. It was such a treat, and I can highly recommend booking yourself in for a treatment at the Spa.

IMG_5793

We really had such a special time at Aquila, and I do believe that my son was the perfect age for us to take him! He didn’t seem to take note of the long game drive and was very alert and excited, asking questions the entire drive. Aquila is DEFINITELY family friendly. They really cater well for children. We wished that we had braved the cold and taken our little guy down to the Star Safari down on the lawn in the evening, but we were exhausted after a long day, and were ready to just climb into our warm beds and to read Olly the incredibly special multilingual book they had left waiting for him (which is available here: https://www.florenceandwatson.co.za

Words will never fully be able to describe how much this night was at Aquila for our little family. Thank you for having us! Your beautiful place is so close to our hearts.

I want to take this moment to mention that Aquila is currently running 5 Winter  specials which you can read more about here: http://bit.ly/2HuINIS

Aquila has some beautiful social media accounts, so to keep up with all of their news and specials, you can follow them here:

Facebook
Website
Instagram

Win This Mothers Day!

COMPETITION TIME

Motherhood is challenging. It’s beautiful and it’s rewarding in so many ways. But you only truly understand just how hard another Mom works on a daily basis once you become a Mother yourself. The lists are endless, and very seldom are we ever thanked for all that we do.

P123-8P123-9

 

This month, we celebrate Moms! Every mom from every walk of life. We salute you for all that you do. We appreciate you for all of the sacrifices you have made for your children and for your families.

And, we want to reward you, and to encourage you to take a moment to yourself this month!

P123-18-Edit

One lucky Mom will be winning a R1000.00 Spirit Jewellery voucher to spend either online or in-store, a pair of gorgeous Poppy Divine PJ’s valued at R900.00 and a voucher for you and a girl friend to have some ‘you’ time enjoying a Foot Soak and Massage at Rouge Day Spa valued at R150.00 each.

P123-54-Edit

The total value of this special Mother’s Day competition is R2200.00.

In order to enter, please visit my Facebook or Instagram account to enter!

The winner will be randomly selected. Please note that we will be checking that each entry has been successfully completed.

Please note: Rouge Day Spa is located in Cape Town, you may still enter if you are an SA resident, but aren’t in Cape Town, and you are welcome to gift your voucher to a friend who lives here!

rose cafe vouchers1 (1)

GOOD LUCK, and may you all feel appreciated and relaxed this Mother’s Day! This competition is only open to South African residents! The prize is not refundable and may not be exchanged or returned.


Photos: Criene

Creating A Capsule Winter Wardrobe.

3T6A5518

It certainly seems as if Winter is approaching here in Cape Town, and although we are all looking forward to the rainy week ahead, it also means we have had a very sudden change of wardrobe!

Funnily enough, this past year has been a real eye opener for me as an individual. I have done some soul searching, I’ve been trying to figure out my identity a little. Wondering what type of things I like, the style and trends I enjoy following, and with that, comes figuring out what I feel comfortable wearing. How you dress certainly defines you to a certain degree. Being a mom, I have to have those staple items in my wardrobe that shout ‘comfort’, but we are lucky to live in a time where we have so many talented designers that have the ability to make good fashion comfortable!

3T6A5528This Concealed Button Stand Blouse from Label Collections is super comfortable and can be dressed up or down. I loved how light weight it was, and it is also incredibly soft. White isn’t always the most practical colour, however, they do have a few other colour options available. But, there really is something stunning about a white blouse. A definite for every woman’s wardrobe! The shoulder has a delicate pleat detail which adds that extra touch of femininity. I recently attended a Country Road event that was hosted by Kerryn Fischer. She showed us how to embrace the new season; through food, drink, music and clothing. She explained and challenged each of us to try to have a wardrobe which consists of just 33 items, including your accessories, etc. For many this could be a huge challenge, however, having a capsule wardrobe for Autumn/Winter & Spring/Summer actually makes you put a lot more thought into each item you purchase. This is one of those pieces that would fit perfectly in my capsule wardrobe because it can be worn all year long, as you can roll and button the sleeve up, turning it into a 3/4 sleeve for warmer days.

I have also fallen in love with these Pants with tie detail. I feel that the style compliments 3T6A5681my laid back, but chic lifestyle perfectly. The pants have an effortless feel to them. They can, too be worn with anything. A pair of sneakers, or throw in a pair of wedges for a night out. They are warm, but light weight. The fabric has a little stretch to it which helps to prevent any creasing. Dream come true, right? These are the perfect pants for a busy mom who is up and down all day. They are fitted and elasticized around the waist, which means you won’t find yourself having to pull your pants up all day. They also have a loose fit, which gives you the freedom to move around when playing with your kids. These are one of my favourite pairs of pants this Season!

Sneakers: Adidas (Spree)
Beanie: Country Road

 

Next on my list is this beautifully soft knitted Waterfall Cardigan with faux leather cuffs. It is light weight, and hangs in a very flattering way against your body. With the fit being slightly loose, rather than tight – it allows you to wear a long sleeve beneath it for the cooler months. This cardigan looks gorgeous with a pair of leggings and some heeled boots which is a staple for Winter. It could be worn with a belt for a more sophisticated look too. I am a sucker for a beautiful cardigan, and this one by Label Collections is certainly on my list!

IMG_6224-Edit

This outfit is slightly more out of my comfort zone, but I just love how it looks together. Ideally, it would be gorgeous with a pair of heeled boots for Winter. Both the jersey and skirt are from the new Country Road collection. This Winter Floral Wrap Skirt surprised me with how versatile it actually is. It can be worn with so many different options. It is incredibly comfortable. I am unable to locate the cardigan online, but if you happen to stumble upon it in store – I was amazed that it wasn’t scratchy, as it looked as if it was. It is soft and lightweight and incredibly warm! I love the flared arm too. Makes it just that extra bit special for your capsule wardrobe. The colour is an absolute YES YES YES for this season, and is also very versatile when it comes to trying to match it with other garments in your wardrobe!
Witchery, Country Road & Trenery are also home to some stunning accessories this season! I am loving their scarves, bags and purses.

Lastly, for now – this is my typical go-to for this time of the year. A good pair of jeans and a chunky knit jersey! I am loving the frequent pop of red this season. It is so fresh and just brightens up every outfit so perfectly! This Cable Swing Knit Cardigan is also from Country Road, and it is bound to keep you toasty for the coldest of days this Winter! I love the patterned detail and would actually choose a size up instead of having it fitted to allow myself to wear a thinner long sleeve beneath as you may need to remove it when indoors as it really is warm!


 

Now, in ending, my challenge to you is to stop buying things for no reason – don’t just buy something because it is on sale! Sometimes, investing in the slightly higher priced pieces are more valuable in the long run as the quality is better, and the garment is timeless. This means that it can easily be added to your Capsule wardrobe resulting in less clutter, and being able to mix and match everything.

I’d love to know about some of your finds? We are so lucky to have so many incredibly designers in Cape Town, and I hope to stumble across some as I begin this new quest in finding myself and my own unique style. Do share your finds with me!


* A huge thank you to Radz Photography & Devin Trull for the images.

A Night In Hermanus: A To The Point List Of Things To Do!

Planning a night away can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re wanting to find something special to do. If you aren’t familiar with an area, you can really end up at some interesting places, which can really either be a hit or a miss.

I took my best friend away for a night in Onrus, just a 15 minute drive from Hermanus. It was just the two of us, no kids. It was a late birthday gift, and we wanted to have two days of fun. We wanted to try some new experiences. So, I took those matters into my own hands and did some research. But, I wanted to try them out for myself. So, that we did. Continue reading if you’d like to hear about what we did, where we stayed and where we ate while we were staying in Onrus.

 
Where did we stay?
C’est Ca Cottage: Onrus
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21051956
Price: R1203.00 per night

Although it was a short stay, we decided that we wanted to stay somewhere that would feel homely to us. We found the gorgeous C’est Ca Cottage in Onrus which was everything we wished for and more. Our host, Stuart was friendly and helpful and really made us feel at home. The cottage is in a separate area to the main house, which means that you have your own privacy and space, but are still close by in case you need anything. The cottage is stylish and was so well equipped. Had we left absolutely anything behind, we would have been sorted. They even had a mini dishwasher in the kitchen! The beds are super comfy too! I can highly recommend checking this place out as an option if you plan on visiting the area. It is just a short drive from Cape Town, and in walking distance to Onrus beach!

 
Where did we eat?
Oskars:
Shop 7 Carriages Centre, Main Road, Hermanus
Instagram.com/oskarscafeandbakery

 


On arrival, we made our way into Hermanus to get a couple of essentials for breakfast. Having visited Hermanus at least once a year, I had enjoyed delicious breakfasts at Oskars before they moved to a new space. They have now moved to the Woolworths center close to the book shop, and seem to have changed a little bit – but in every good way possible. They are home to the best carrot cake and cheese cake I have ever tasted. We treated ourselves to a slice of cake and a Coconut Iced Latte. Their deli and bakery is so beautifully and tastefully decorated, and really leaves you feeling happy when you visit. They do also do breakfast and lunch – however, I still need to pop in for a proper meal sometime!

 
Do take note that they are closed on a Sunday, so be sure to visit weekdays, or on a Saturday in normal working hours. You don’t want to miss this.

Dinner:
Molteno’s
Molteno Street, Onrus River, Hermanus
Contact for reservations:  028 316 2658

We were quite persistent to have dinner at a different restaurant, until we arrived and realized that their online menu was completely different to what they actually had to offer, as well as totally overpriced. So, we took our Airbnb hosts recommendation, and found ourselves at what he referred to as ‘the locals go-to pizzeria’. And how glad I am that we finally listened! The restaurant was cosy, and buzzing. We had great service, phenomenal pizza and good wine! The pricing is standard and we had a lovely evening. This restaurant has been around for many, many years and when you visit, you will see why! Do make a reservation to be safe, they do get very busy, especially in the holidays and over weekends.

Lunch:
Lizette’s Kitchen
20 on 8th Street, Hermanus

Another recommendation by our host of our Airbnb, as well as by another local from the area who referred to this beautiful place as ‘the place in town that the chef’s like to go to eat’. We decided that we wanted to try something slightly different. Lizette’s Kitchen was started by Lizette herself. Her website shares this: “Lizette’s culinary history includes four years as Executive Chef in the Franschhoek Valley, followed by a similar position at the famous five star Caravelle Hotel in Saigon, home once to war correspondents from all over the World. Subsequently, Lizette joined the Sailing Club Group, where Sandals restaurant was established, later escalating to four restaurants within three provinces, featuring a fusion of Western and Asian specialties’. It is here, with the amalgamation of these experiences, that Lizette’s cooking style was born, focusing on excellent flavours and freshest produce.​​​”

30709152_1776114399075743_3598407060005458290_n

My food was delicious and a real experience! The portions are large, which means you certainly are getting value for money.

There were quite a few children there with their families, however, I couldn’t shake the thought of being happy I didn’t have my busy three and a half year old son with me due to no fencing (apart from low bushes) separating the lower area to the main road. So, do keep this in mind when deciding when to visit. Perhaps drive past and check it out for yourself before making your decision. They do have lovely kiddies options on their menu.

 
What experiences did we do?

Millionaire Tasting
Benguela Cove
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, R43, Hermanus, Western Cape
Price: R40pp for tasting of one wine | R55pp for tasting with two wines

 

BANNER

I am a sucker for sweet things, and especially something more decadent. When I heard about this Millionaire Tasting, I just had to try it for myself. We had a few hours to kill before we could check-in to our accommodation, so this was a perfect stop before continuing on our way.

The Millionaire Tasting is paired with two dessert wines, their very own Noble Late Harvest and Matilda’s Secret Natural Sweet. I personally found the wines very sweet, but I suppose the name is a give away. I had never had a dessert wine before, so I didn’t know what to expect; however, I could totally understand why these were paired together.

Now onto those Millionaire’s – I’ve never tasted something quite so close to perfection before. They were divine, and just the right quantity to not overpower your taste buds.

Tasting

The setting was breathtaking, and it was a perfect and relaxing start to our short getaway.

The lovely lady who was our hostess, gave us an indepth short description on each wine, and was divine. We really enjoyed having her give us the breakdown and we found her to be happy to answer any questions we may have had.

The décor of the tasting room was absolutely gorgeous. There was a fire lit, and music playing. Every corner has something unique that stood out to me. For a large place, they have really managed to make it something special.

 

 

This is a lovely place to stop by on your way into Hermanus.

They do various other tastings which include:

– Oyster & Wine Pairing
– Gourmet Tasting Menu Experience
– Vineyard Safari & Wine Tasting

*Please note that Benguela Cove does also have a restaurant which I have not yet been to, so cannot give my own personal review on. My review is based on the tasting room!

Pirate Golf:
Benguela Cove

31934476_1793394407347742_6187641035523358720_n

Yes, I did mention that I didn’t bring my son along, but that didn’t stop us from jumping at the opportunity to let our hair loose and have some fun playing Putt-Putt. Benguela Cove’s 18-hole adventure golf course is a new addition to the wine estate.

Don’t for a second think that you can’t join in if you don’t have kids, we had such fun, and lots of laughs playing. Neither of us being overly coordinated, I think the kids playing did better than what we did.

 

 

This course has been created with so much love. I was astounded at how much effort had been put into making it so special. Each hole has something awaiting you, and I really did appreciate every little detail. It is a perfect stop if you have kids tagging along, as they have a chance to do something fun and to stretch their legs. But, also a perfect activity to do after a tasting or lunch. They do have a little shop there which enables you to buy snacks or something to drink in case you don’t want to sit and eat something at the restaurant.

It’s always fun to do something different, and this was definitely a highlight for me.

Horseriding:
Heaven & Earth Trails
Karweyderkraal Farm Cell 1 No 7, Hemel and Aarde Valley, Hermanus, 7200
http://www.heavenandearthtrails.co.za/

View

As one does, you save the best for last – and this is exactly what I’ve done. For a little background – I am (WAS) terrified of horses. I had a bad experience many years ago, which had left with a fear of even being in close proximity to a horse, not even just being on one! For anybody that knows me, they’ll be laughing right now, and they are likely to not believe what they’re about to read. Hence, so many pictures for evidence…

Now, my best friend whose birthday we went away for loves horses. If she could choose any activity, it would be to go horse riding. So, I arranged with Danie from Heaven & Earth Trails to go on a trail ride with her because I knew just how much it would mean to her. We kept this as a surprise until the night before. I’ve never experienced such excitement from another human!!!

To be totally honest, I was rather terrified the night before and leading up to it. But, this is my year of facing my fears and experiencing new things! There was no way I was backing out. With my little boy always asking to go on pony rides, I knew that it was important for me to push my fear aside so that he wouldn’t become fearful.

We took a beautiful early morning drive to the farm, and were greeted by Louzanne, the trail and field guide instructor. Within the first 10 minutes, she already had me feeling confident and more comfortable standing next to my beautiful horse. Knowing my fear, she paired me with the perfect gentle giant, Mr T. Her love for the horses is absolutely contagious and truly makes you realize just how special they are.

 

 

 

We were finally all ready to head out on our Standard Trail. This trail took us through the beautiful fynbos, wild flowers and the pristine mountain scenery. Louzanne, having many years experience working in Game Reserves and having done horse back safari’s in amongst some of the Big 5 has a vast knowledge of the environment that surrounds us, and stops along the way to explain amazing things. This isn’t just any horseback ride, but a phenomenal experience that you leave having learnt so much more.

What I really loved about our ride was what Louzanne and Danie’s objective is about the business – they just want people to understand the horses and to leave feeling a sort of connection with them. They want you to have a positive experience that makes you see the beauty in each of the horses.

The time flew by, and I was sad to leave. I couldn’t believe the connection I had with the horse I was riding after such a short time. They just want love and affection, and want to trust you as much as you put your trust in them.

The team is just wonderful, and you’ll love how well-loved the animals on the farm are.

This was an unforgettable experience, and I will definitely be back again.

 

Heaven & Earth Trails has the perfect trail and horse for everyone. Depending on your experience, they can match you to the ideal ride. Be sure to book in advance on their website to avoid any disappointment, and check out their terms and conditions regarding their weight limit, what to wear and what type of rides they don’t do.

I can’t thank Louzanne and Danie enough for changing my perspective on horses, and for helping me conquer my fear. They truly are beautiful animals, and I am so excited to have had the opportunity to experience a horse ride in a positive light.
If you were like me, and too  have a fear, this has got to be the best place for you to get your good experience that will change your perspective forever! Challenge yourself, make your booking and go! It will be life changing.
*Might I add, that although my friend is a far more experienced rider than me, she still thoroughly enjoyed going at a slower pace for me. So, she mentioned that she can still  highly recommend it for a group that is of different levels.
Please note: Kids are also welcome! They have many children who come, and Louzanne has some exciting tricks up her sleeve to keep them entertained for the full duration of the rides. Tempting? You bet!

Have you had the opportunity to explore beautiful Hermanus and surrounding areas? Be sure to share your favourite finds and things to do there!