Riding at the Cape in South Africa

by Hidden Trails 04/08/2007

Unforgettable is not the breathtaking landscape, nor the almost unbelievable history of this unique country and its wonderful peoples, not the exotic animal world and not because of the adventurers in the African bush, but because of a man who got nicknamed ‘Bushman’ by his guests and who has the unique gift to combine for us all these impressions to one comprehensible Composition.

Yes, without exaggeration, the right description of this trail is to call it, a piece of all embracing art, which we were privileged to experience. I see South Africa now with different eyes! On my trail I did not only observe the wonderful landscapes and superb horses but also met some very interesting hosts with fascinating tales, who we spent evenings with in witty, intellectual conversation with lots of laughter.

Of course unforgettable remain the long rides along the dreamlike beaches of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean from where, out of the saddle, we observed nearby whales. But likewise unforgettable were the two days we lodged in the old farmhouse Goedvertrouw (Trust in God) of Elrida. She told us about the old days…. she knew that things needed time to grow to perfection, whether it’s the bread or butter, which she makes herself, or the wine, which she also cultivates by her own after her husband passed away some years ago. One evening on her stoop, one of my dreams came true: once in a lifetime to feel like Tanja Blixen in OUT OF AFRICA, with classical music in the background, laughter in the heart and the eyes resting on the endless African landscape.





With professional foresight Carl manages to instil into the guests an open view for this country (and when on occasion this failed, his unique humour and the cool diplomacy of a man originating from Hamburg quickly got the situation under control!). And isn’t this what a traveller wants? To enlarge one’s horizon? And if this takes place on the back of a horse, what more could a rider possibly want?  


Birgit de Fries


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