Just Like Oprah

Just like Oprah

For this particular Blog I considered a mini thesis for those people looking to “Semigrate” to either this or a similar village on how to survive village politics as well as financial hints and tips for those less fortunate not to have inherited or won a million or two, but that may just be boring and a little self indulgent, instead I decided that like Oprah I would share with you “My favourite things of Clarens”, now those who have not ever seen Oprah (surely there can be no one left alive on the planet who has not seen at least one show?), one or twice a year she has a show and explains to her adulating audience what her favourite things are and they range from cup cakes to cars, what happens next is the envy of everyone watching as every studio member goes home with a boot full of gifts. It’s the hottest ticket on TV. Anyway I digress (must say ever since Garth, my editor sent me on a writing course, my language skills have increased to grade 6 levels, “Thanks boss”). Like Oprah I will tell you what my favourite things are in and around Clarens, unlike Oprah you will not be able to pack them in a boot of a car, it will be up to you to experience them for yourself, that means getting in the car or on the bike and coming to the best village in the Free State if not Southern Africa. “Ok so without further ado” lets get on with it, the list is in no particular order and by no means all the things I like to do

1) Happy hour at the Highlander: Friday 5.30pm - 6.30pm is an institution in the village,anyone who is anyone is there, it’s a great way to unwind from the week and meet up with the locals, Steve and Dylan are the barmen, Steve is a lunatic and Dylan is not far behind. Great guys though and they always remember what your favourite tipple is.

2) Fertility caves: Situated about twenty kms from Clarens on the Fouriesburg road, this is one of , if not the biggest sandstone overhang in the Southern hemisphere. It’s a truly spiritual place and well worth the trip.

3) Spending the day taking photographs in the village or surrounds: Now if I am honest I could spend every day doing this, its just the best and if I combine it with riding the Triumph then I am in heaven. There is so much to see in the area, that the choices are endless, I am hoping to do a combined two day ride that takes me to all the dorps in the Eastern Free State, as well as allow me to take some great photos and look for stories.

4) Riding the motorbike with friends on the best road in South Africa, sitting on the stoep of the Fouriesburg country Inn and just talking crap: This ranks up there with number 3, usually on a Sunday afternoon a few of us will meet and take a quick blast to Fouriesburg, some 35 kms away, what’s getting better is that recently my daughter Gabriella wants to join me, Gabby is a great pillion rider and enjoys the fast sections and sweeping curves as much as I do.

5) Climbing the hill behind Berg street and just taking in the view: I don’t do this as often as I should, usually take a cool drink and an snack with me, once at the top there is a large rock tat I sit on and just watch the world go bye, its Rush hour Clarens style.

6) Watching the Boks play or Super 14 with my mates Jaapie de Clerq and Carlo di Mezza: Usually meet at the Mont d Or Hotel, this I enjoy as it’s a good opportunity to just chill out , have a few beers and a few laughs. There is usually a good crowd and the atmosphere is good, the fact that the rugby is shown on big screens also helps.

7) Sitting with Wingman on the stoep of the Grouse and Claret: Usually discussing the weekends sports, world events and Goromonzi Farmboy business over a cup of coffee or a beer (depends on what time of day I stop), this is also a good spot to watch the world go bye.

8) Clarens Jamboree: Now this year was the first time Tania, Gabby and I attended and what a great time we had, music, food , kids , dogs, beer, friends. If you are here in December (usually held the nearest weekend to 16th December) then you have to make a plan to be there on the Saturday night, you wont regret it.

As I said these are just a few that come to mind and I have not even mentioned Snow, the yearly Village vs Farmers cricket match, Sunday afternoons sitting at the Street Caffe watching the tourists go home and you know that you live here “that’s pretty cool”

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