In Hogsback we don’t chase cars or pavements, we chase cows. These four legged, agile, garden trampling, flower gobbling, leather cladded creatures stroll leisurely from garden to garden, munching on anything and everything.
Considering that the cows we have here in Hogsback, can graciously jump over fences, there is nothing much that you can do to keep them out of your beloved garden. It must be all the special herbs and spices that they munch on all over the village that gives them superpowers beyond imagination. I no longer think that the cow that jumped over the moon is just a story. That particular cow must have come from Hogsback.
So I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking there is an earthquake. My whole cabin is shaking and my cat is hanging onto my hair in fear and trepidation. A quick squizz out my window quickly reassured me that it is not the mountain that is shaking, it is a very large cow scratching herself on the corner of my cabin, in the moonlight.
My fear turned into fury. I managed to hobble into my slippers and grab a stick. By the time I reached the bottom of my stairs, the gathering of grazing cows had danced down to the next level of my garden munching on takeaways of snow drops and other remaining delicious greenery.
If anyone thought that cows are slow moving, gracious animals, I want to dispel that notion straight away. They are, as I have mentioned, agile sprinters, jumpers and record breaking endurance munchers that could easily represent us at the next Olympics.
So before I knew it, I was standing, in my pajamas, with mud soaked slippers, in the moonlight, at the bottom of my garden, wondering #whattheheck. Those who know my garden will know how steep it is, and those who know me, will also know that I am not your average, jumping, running, athletic type. To get back up to my cozy bed will be a long haul in the dark.
When a cow was found in the main road, not quite alive, my cow story became a murder mystery. Who killed the cow? I just want to state for the record that I was not involved in any way in this part of the story. As a matter of fact I had a firm alibi. The fact is that I really liked cows, up until the point that they trampled the remaining remnant of my blossoms not devoured by the goat mafia that terrorise my abode from time to time. So no, I wont hurt a cow.
They say that when life deals you lemons, add gin and tonic and throw a party. So I have decided to stop being a cow-ard and make my “hide”-away a cow sanctuary. Bring your mother in law, send your ex, book in your boss who is making your life a misery…for that matter, send all the cows in your life and come and hang out at Ilifu! So what if I don’t have a prize garden, and if things are going a bit wild! We will figure out a way to make face masks from the abundant cow turds and biltong from the rest.
Ilifu has a wonderful view over the valley and Tor Doone and we can even see Hog 3 from my Ilifu cabin deck. Waking up early to experience the sunrise is a must do!!! The autumn colours are also coming into their own. So we are definitely having an early Autumn this year.
Every time I come back to Hogsback I realise how blessed I am to be the custodian of a little piece of heaven on earth! I miss this place terribly when I am not here. I would love to get the weird and wonderful creatures here in Hoggies to tweet more about whats happening and post photos and inspirations from a very special place… So here is a summary of what others are tweeting, facebooking, youtubing, and posting on social media about Hoggies…
If you tweet/post/blog about hogsback, please remember to add the hashtag #hogsbacksa to the tweet/post/blog to make it easier for me to track online.
Hogsback – when God creates so much beauty, all u can do is stand in awe with smiling satisfaction.Cherise Fourie
Sunrise over HogsbacksStarways Arts Centre
Away With The Fairiesrobertschrader
A frameRaymond Marzo
Here are some tweets and links to blog posts of what our visitors says…
"@hogsback: Lovely blogpost+ photos of our little paradise here in #hogsbacksa @hogsback goo.gl/NqlvV #lp #ttot Hidden gem!EasternCape
RT @leavyrdailyhell: PHOTOS: Away with the fairies in mystical Hogsback, South Africa – goo.gl/5bu0bhogsback
This photo of the ecoschrine has basically gone viral on twitter for the last year or so it keeps popping up on twitter.
Hogsback, Eastern Cape, South Africa (Hogsback Eco-Shrine) bit.ly/WiRPM8Craig Walenta
It would be great if visitors could get a better sense of the weather on an ongoing basis as it can change every second…..So my aim is to get the hobbits in Hogsback to tweet whenever the weather change… Could keep them busy!
@hogsback what’s the weather like in hogsback this morning. Hogsback weather station Is showing a temp of 2.7degC!SA Storm Chase
Freezing cold here in #hogsbacksa. I feel like snow…. @hogsback @hogsbackinfo pic.twitter.com/jtwctdDcvuMaggie Verster
@storm_sa If you don’t mind me asking… Where do you get your forecast info for Hogsback? I’m always on the look out for snow falls there.John Erasmus
Some news and requests for outreach projects here in Hoggies. I have already got a few promises for computers. The power of twitter to reach a small magical community! Ps we need MORE working old computer (not older than pentium pls)
We need computers for our community Jikani project in Hogsback. If you have any WORKING ones standing around waiting for a good cause, …Maggie Verster
And then there are great videos about Hogsback….Check this one out!!
Breezing through Hogsback fb.me/JbA9uw8VHelen Richter
The people here are amazing, zany and just incredible. Someone said that it is basically an open air asylum…..
@maggiev @hogsback Thats where the Great Mr. Trevor Webster lives nowadays. I learned a lot from the legend.DA FOSTER
Some interesting events happening on an ongoing basis….
A wonderful cycling tour coming up in Hogsback. slowriding.za.com pic.twitter.com/EP5AEXRvj9Maggie Verster
The slowriding bicycle ride link is actually slowridingza.com #hogsbacksa @hogsbackMaggie Verster
Jeffrey Mauer the owner of Cycle Torque in Beacon Bay East London has jumped at our SlowRiding experience and is sponsoring the following prizes for our SlowRiders.Early Bird Entries from East London – the first 15 SlowRiders from East London who sign up to join the Tour and pay their booking deposit before the end of March 2013 will win: A water bottle with a free Cycle Torque Service Voucher valued at R100 insideEarly Bird Entries from anywhere around the country – the first 10 SlowRiders from everywhere who join the Tour and pay the full Tour Fee by 5th Apirl 2013 will win:A Front LED Light valued at R200 each plus an 18 Function Multi Tool value R200PLUSEarly Bird Entries from anywhere around the country – all entrants who book for the Tour and pay their full Tour Fee by the 5th April 2013 go into the BIG LUCKY DRAW to win one of our two fabulous prizes:An Avalanche MTB bike – sponsored by Cycle Torque value R 2 100.00ORA Tour Discount Voucher – R 2 100 cash back – sponsored by SlowRiding ZAFor 2 lucky Weekend Post Readers – in conjunction with the Weekend Post, we are offering a free entry to the first SlowRiding Tour taking place from the 27th April to 1st May 2013.WE HAVE A WEEKEND POST WINNER – Congratulations to Shona Bell and her partner.We hope you are going to enjoy the most Awesome Adventure!Group Discounts – For those who book as a group and pay their deposits by the 10th April 2013 – minimum of 4 or more – SlowRiding will pay a cashback discount of R250 per person in the group – so rustle up your friends and family, and get some cash back towards the cost of your fuel for the trip up to Hogsback.For those who don’t win one of these prizes – don’t worry – we have a stack more prizes that will be revealed as we countdown the days to the SlowRiding Tour.Slow Riding South Africa
@maggiev @hogsback slowridingza.com attractive site. On which Eastern Cape are the tours? Home & contact page don’t say.Linda Aragoni
Some general tweets and facebook bits………
Proper night out in HOGSBACK last night..saw the most amazing sunrise of mylife! Off 2 the waterfalls 4 dops & a braai with the crew nowWesley Thomas
Hiking in Hogsback # goodlifeVuyo Vuyokazi
Lost in Zingnuka #hogsback #trailrun @RunTrailcoza @DOITNOWMag @GetawayMagazine @gomulti yfrog.com/moul7sljJacques Marais
Hiking in the Hogsback forest pic.twitter.com/jte4axmI61Mahalia Gadlela
Welcome to HogsbackUngena nje ubuliswa ziimfene ezikhuthuke impundu, amabhadi!Olwetu ????.??????
@VayaMzansi heading for Durban early June. And Hogsback for Christimas in July.BERYL
@ACollocott yes – leaving EL – head for N2 to KWT and then lto Alice (R463?) – stop-go in place and then turnoff to Hogsback – c u soonJenni Bessesen
@oliverwhyte in the #forest #hogsback #roadtripping #easterweekend instagram.com/p/XokyntMgkO/Saul Lipchik
@OR enroute to East London then onto Hogsback for a wedding going to be an amazing couple of daysAndrea Collocott
Eastern Cape Road Trip tomorrow!!!!!! Cannot wait to shoot Bernard & Natacha’s engagement shoot at Hogsback!!!! Yeeeeepa!!!!! <3Aglow Photography
An awesome weekend with the family in Hogsback pity that it was so short.Melvin Kent
Gooooood Morning! A rather chilly one but looks like it’s going to be another glorious day in Hogsback so why not pop in at Butterfly’s. We have our awesome MEAT FREE TUESDAY DEAL = 10% off all vegetarian meals….. includes our delicious breakfasts, pizza, pastas & a whole lot more.Open 09:30 – 20:00 (kitchen closes 19:45)See how one meat free day a week can make a whorld of difference!!!Butterfly’s Bistro
back from AMAZING!! Lesotho trip.. ate mequenyas, drank maluti beer and spent 3 days with hippies in an eco-village high up in the Hogsback mountains, stunning!Oliver Wetmore
Ooh wat a nice day we had!- at Hogsback, HobbitonThabisa Masiba
Hogsback today. Hoping for a freak snow storm. I have faith in global warming.Lisa Weideman
In Hogsback now. where the hell are the hobbits.Michael Way
So….?? who opened the freezer door? It’s 7 degrees in Hogsback right now…about to start a fire….definitely a duvet day, and isn’t it just so nice when you can….to all you hardworking friends out there…here’s to me right now…hahahaha!!! Have an awesome day and keep warm everyone!!Serendipity (Hogsback)
All 3 tickets booked guess we will be having an African Xmas !!!Desray Fry
Hogsback great, back to reality! oh poo!Heather Summers
Morning walk in#Hogsback forest then breki then airport#EastLondon and home!Goodbyes are :(Rhonda Savage-Julie
planning a Hogsback adventure with Maryke Pretorius!Melvin Iverson
@rhondastours: Now that walk in #Hogsback was just awesome!Took some amazing pictures!#willbbackRhonda Savage-Julie
On our way home from Terra Khaya,Hogsback. Looking forward to electricity and dryness. Had an awesome once-in-a-lifetime experience with good friends. Love the eco-friendly,hippie way of life,but much more aware of all our modern blessings xxKerry Winn
Thank you to all the special girls in my life in Hogsback for a stunning evening. MwahRene De Lange Vorster
Wow we saw the stone circle, some cool arts + crafts and 39 steps waterfall. Had a port tasting and gonna get ready for the wedding in hogsback soon. Wet but beautiful!Roelien Parkin
So…ideas on wedding venues?!!?Donnay Nel
It is rainy days like these, that I miss Hogsback and lying in front of the fire. Only thing better, would be 2 in front of the fireLee-ann Schwartz
Hogsback!!!! Whoop whoop can wait!Roelien Parkin
So, there’s this small matter of a wedding, a 50th birthday, and a gathering of friends to ride and run a few trails in Hogsback. Pretty chuffed.Jacques Marais
This time tomorrow, we’ll be on our way to Ashfield-on-Hogsback. Rain, kathemba’s, mushrooms and forest fairies:) Happiness Conrad Hanekom<3 See you there Amy & Jason – topless bar? ^^Tash Nel
Some youtube videos about the lovely accommodation options here…
Breezing through HogsbackeTGskKyfMpah1H8AavkXaQ
Hogsback Christmas in July 2012riekdog
"HOGSBACK!!! Bring on LOTR" Rachemurphy’s photos around Hogsback, South Africa (hogsback lotr)tripadvisortripwow4
Fly Fishing in Hogsbackjustinandersen
Adventures in Hogsback, Eastern Cape- South Africabrunitogg
Hogsback chapel restoredddispatchonline
Little Hogsback chapel turns 75ddispatchonline
Away with the Fairies Video Tour Hogsback, South Africamattis10000
Then there is the snow…..
Snowfalls at Hogsback in June 2010bubidave
First winter snow in the Hogsbackddispatchonline
Prayer Trail, St Patrick’s chapel, Hogsbackelsasteyn
Spring in Hogsback_0001.wmvelsasteyn
Some accommodation options….
King’s Lodge Hotel : Hogsback, South Africa2570saplaces
KINGS LODGE HOTEL accommodation in Amatola Mountains Hogsbackscatterhub
Hogsback Inn : Hogsback, South Africasaplaces
Hogsback Accommodation – Hogsback, South Africa www.hogsbackcottage.com – Bookings: 076 1111 951hogsbackcottage
Kersfees, en soos gebruiklik bevind ek my in die misterie van die onsigbare dorpie Hogsback.
Weg van die gejaagde lewe van inkopiesentrums wat uit hul nate bars van mense wat koorsagtig aan die shop is om vir oulaas die kersfees vreugde, voedsel en nodige (of dalk heel onnodige) laaste geskenk wat nog onder die boom gedrapeer moet word, te vergader….
Weg van die strate wat telkens onverwags roekelose ietwat alkoholies gestremde mense voor jou kan laat opdoem en wat aan die betekenis van Kersfees net ‘n vae gedagte toelaat…
Weg van enige iets wat my daaraan kan herhinner dat die verdien van ons daaglikse brood eintlik in die sweet van ons aangesig verdien moet word…
Hier op die berg, waar die rus en vrede so stelselmating vanaf jou aankoms dag vir dag jou gebeentes indring totdat die ware vrede wat verwesenlik word deur die geboorte van Christus, nie anders kan as om deel van jou gees en wese te word nie.
So het Kersoggend dan ook aangebreek met die welkome mis wat stadig van onder van die vallei af instoot, al hoer teen die berg en tussen die woudagtige boomreuse deur totdat dit voel asof jy omring is met ‘n snoesige wasige kombersie…. Wat mens onwillekeurig laat dink aan die liefde van Jesus….
Siende dat die mis vandag gepaard gegaan het met dreigemente en spore van hemelse waterstrome, is die Kersdiens verskuif vanaf die arboretum waar eeue ou bome na die hemel uitryk en boomstome van gesneuwelde reuse as sitplekke dien , na die St Patrick klipkerkie gelee in ‘n soortelyke geskikte sprokiesagtige omgewing.
En voordat die Christusfees gesels amptelik kon begin, het ‘n donkie die binnekring van die klipgeboude plek van samekons binnegekom om soos lank tevore die blye boodskap af te lewer . Dit het die gebeure laat ontvou van ‘n Christuskind, gebore in ‘n stal, met engele wat sy koms besing en herders wat sy koms met eie oe kom beskou. Maar ook van ‘n donkie wat hom weer moes help wegdra na veiligheid as die mensdom in die vorm van ‘n aardse Koning dink hy kan die Jesus kind se koms ontken. Die gedagtenistog na die offer wat die Jesuskind uiteindelik vir ons moes bring, het my weereens in verwondering gelaat oor die blessing wat ek kan beleef om deel van Sy verlossingsplan te wees.
En toe ons die klipgebou uitstap saam met mede verlostes, vanaf oorspronge ver wyer as die grense van ons geliefde land, het die lowergroen uitsig, vars en helder en skoon daaruit gesien. So asof dit ons daaraan wil herhinner dat die koms van die Jesuskind en Sy offer vir ons aan die kruis ons ook weer skoon en vars teruggee aan die wereld om die skoonheid van Sy verlossingswerk aan die mensdom te vertoon.
En daarmee wil ek aan al my facebook en ander vriende ‘n Geseende Kersfees toewens en ‘n nuutgevulde geesteservaring wat julle ook skoon en vars aan die wereld sal laat vertoon!!
Groete uit die skoon en vars Hoggies!!!
[This post was reposted with permission from Facebook- thanx Ellie]
It is almost time to get ready for the real Christmas in December and I have not even had a chance to reflect on Xmas in July!! Thankfully Elrieka reminded me about it by posting her little video that she made when they spent time with us at Ilifu. So thankfully a picture (and in this case a video) says a thousands (or more) words. So here it is.
This was a glimpse of what the young-ones were up to. There were very many of them (I stopped counting) and they were sleeping in layers all over Ilifu. The noise levels scared away any hope of catching a glimpse of Knysna loeries and send all boomslangs slivering into hiding.
The golden oldies (Me, JD, Roy, Mittie, Lorentz and Hilda) took a far more sedate view of the occasion. My new out-laws displayed their magnificent cooking prowess and hand-cooked pasta and all kinds of other delights which were very much appreciated by all. JD spend the entire time in his pyjamas watching rugby and we darted in and out at the various celebration events in the village. The sub zero polar bear swim was well attended by blue looking humans- hopefully I will get that video uploaded before next Xmas in July. The celebration dinner at Ilifu was a joyous affair and all the cooks and table decorators have to be commended.
Thank you to everyone who made it such a memorable occasion and shared the time with us in our paradise abode!