Maarmanshoek, A corner in the Free State

The turn off to the farm, Maarmanshoek

The turn off to the farm, Maarmanshoek

It really is nice to be back on this ‘little’ farm nestled in Maarmanshoek. Dina and Dirk welcomed me again with open arms, and it really feels like home from home. The three puppies recognised me as well, and were jumping up and down at my arrival.

Shadows on the track, Maarmanshoek

Shadows on the track, Maarmanshoek

It was a long 38 hour journey from Australia to South Africa with long transits and flights, but all went really well. Even Dirk only waited 5 minutes at O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg to fetch me, after dropping eldest son Connie off. 

Puppy Thessa is still playful st heart, Maarmanshoek

Puppy Thessa is still playful st heart, Maarmanshoek

Nothing much had changed here in Maarmanshoek the last 6 months, puppy Thessa grown a bit bigger, but still likes chasing balls. Itty, the old general, enjoyed sleeping in my room most, Daisy and Thessa came for a visit too.

Puppy hotel, Maarmanshoek

Puppy hotel, Maarmanshoek

And the lavender in front of the laupa had grown immensely.

The lavender grown a lot since my last visit, Maarmanshoek

The lavender grown a lot since my last visit, Maarmanshoek

However, there are some bigger changes for South Africa.  Shortly after I left and flew back to Australia last December, the then current president got stood down and was prosecuted for corruption. No surprises there then. There is hope for a better future for this country. From what I hear, the new president has potential. This gave me new hope for a quicker or better option to apply for my visa extension. Ha Ha, that was short lived, as I found out with Pieter. He even rang someone in higher places in Pretoria, but even that didn’t help.

I can apply for a 3 month visa extension via internet, processing time is about 10-12 weeks. This doesn’t help me, when I am somewhere up north. All I need is just a wee transit visa to return Zimba to this farm, pack my stuff and fly out. Pieter seemed more frustrated then myself. Kinda funny, as he always kept telling me ‘this is South Africa’ whenever I asked a common sense question, he couldn’t answer. This time I told him. He quickly regathered his wit and said he had a good friend in Namibia called Nico, where I could leave Zimba when I finish. Himself or someone else would gather Zimba shortly after and return Zimba to the South Africa. I wasn’t surprised really, he has friends everywhere. And this would make my trip easier. I met Nico shortly after, he just happen to be in Newcastle, his origin. He was more then happy to help me out. Cool, that’s sorted.

The farm in the corner, Maarmanshoek

The farm in the corner, Maarmanshoek

Pieter also got in touch with the local insurance broker, who sorted out my car insurance. Zimba just needs a car tracker system, but that is quickly done. I am still amazed the lengths Pieter goes to in helping me out. All that, because I made pretzels on his farm. Otherwise we wouldn’t have met. A bit like that movie ‘Sliding Doors’. Or how I call it, Should have, Could have, Would have. And I am glad I did.

Matching Zimba, Maarmanshoek

Matching Zimba, Maarmanshoek

This gave me ample of time to organise Zimba and myself with stuff I possibly need. The idea is to go via Blydes Canyon. There’s plenty of waterfalls in the area too.

Dirt tracks through the Free State, Maarmanshoek

Dirt tracks through the Free State, Maarmanshoek

From there, in to Kruger National Park, which should be amazing with lots of wildlife. I will leave South Africa from there to visit Mozambique. Still no plan. For now, it is to enjoy the beauty of the Free State.

Flower fences, Maarmanshoek

Flower fences, Maarmanshoek

There’s no Farm without horses. Plenty of space for them and all other animals.

Vintage farm, Maarmanshoek

Vintage farm, Maarmanshoek

Looking even more impressive in front of the Drakenberg escarpment.

Horses in front off the Drakenberg escarpment, Maarmanshoek

Horses in front off the Drakenberg escarpment, Maarmanshoek

Dina and Dirk were busy organising their and their kids lives, always something to do it appears.

The view to the southern corner, Maarmanshoek

The view to the southern corner, Maarmanshoek

The last day was spent finalising my travels. Bit of a shame, as the weather has been close to perfect the last few days, sunny and calm. Similar to my first day spent here, 6 months ago.

Red sunset, Maarmanshoek

Red sunset, Maarmanshoek

Sitting out on the porch watching the sunset was the perfect end for this day, and my adventure here in Maarmanshoek. For now.

 

 

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