For a while now, I’ve been writing about amenities with regards to what has been built around the enclosed neighbourhoods of the Pretoria east region, predominantly in terms of shopping malls and lifestyle centres of the highest calibre – Which is all fine and well, for who wouldn’t enjoy the marvels and splendours of the built environment when they cater to your every need in the seeing the very best in shopping amongst international and local brands alike. However I have neglected the more subtle tastes of South Africa’s capital, the hidden gems unspoken of in the tabloids and news bulletins. For example, I’m pretty sure most of us have heard of the large-scale expansion that Menlyn Mall is currently undergoing – scores of new stores that are set to cement the shopping centre’s place on the map of as one of the largest upon the African continent, huge amounts of publicity and funding complimenting the massive upgrade in greatness and glory. Personally, I cannot wait – the array of choice that is already available within the walls of Menlyn in astounding, the addition of more just plain mind-numbing.
In getting to my point – Yes, malls and clubs and pubs and bars are all fine and well and a lot of fun (a lot of fun – the times to be experienced when frequenting, for example, the nightlife Heron Hill stand to astound and amaze). Yet there are always those moments of pure magic that appear unexpectedly to remind us why life in the eastern suburbs is all that it is described to be. And I had one of those moments yesterday.
We were extremely lost. Having been invited to a party at a friend’s house, our GPS, as GPS’’s do, decided to have a bit of fun with us in leading us in squares (literally, squares, the thing told me to “turn right” four times in a row). This was a ways down Lynwood road, in passing exit signs for Silver Lakes Golf Estate and Silver Stream Estate in our attempt to reach our final destination. Eventually it got to a point where my co-pilot and I decided to ditch the party and drive until we found something that made up for the stress that had been visited upon us by the little black box suckered to the inside of the windscreen (Garmin really needs to sort their stuff out). And drive we did – the plots became bigger and further apart, the cars we passed more and more infrequent as the sun moved from its gentle mid-morning rays to a scalding heat, beating down relentlessly upon the hot tarmac. We had almost decided to call it a day when we came upon a sign that simply read:
“Nkwe, turn right”
Our curiosity piqued, we obliged turning off the main road onto a mercifully shaded path that seemed to lead into the heart of the hills ahead of us. In following the roads signs dotted along our newly plotted course, we arrived at…well, I’m not really sure how to describe it. It was a lake, certainly, of average size, relatively deep. But it was also so much more.
I swear if I ever bought into Homes in Heron Hill, it would be so that I could live closer to this new-found treasure that we had stumbled upon. A waterfall, a lake surrounded by cliffs – and as I watched, body after body would fling themselves off the edge of said cliffs into the abyss, a look of sheer ecstasy coming across their faces as they lay suspended in nothingness, before breaking the water with a deafening crash, returning to the surface, the aforementioned look of ecstasy now replaced with a sheer disbelief in what had just happened.
Needless to say I jumped out the car and made my way to the top of those cliffs as quickly as I could, clothes and all, to take part in what has no doubt been one the highlights of my year. Time and again I threw myself into the water, absolutely thrilled that my prayers had been answered in finding refuge from the stressors of life is such spectacular fashion. I think I may have jumped off those rocks a good twenty or thirty times, varying between dives, flips and the good old pin-wheel of death – losing control of oneself mid-air and flailing ones arms in order to regain one’s balance, much to the entertainment of all those watching.
In reaching the crux of my story, and hopefully my point – there is so much that lays undiscovered to those of us who do not yet fully know the lands of the east. So much to be appreciated and enjoyed. And it is something that I one day hope to be able to do as a result of the excellent proximity provided by the estate that is Heron Hill.