The rat-race. It’s one that we all at some point in our lives must run. We spent the better part of our childhood preparing for it – registering, learning the course, training day in and day out. And all at once we are thrust upon the track, the gun has sounded and hundred upon millions of our brethren leap forward alongside in the pursuit of…in the pursuit of what though? Money? Success? Happiness? On whose terms, and happiness as dictated by who? For surely there is more to life than simply work for work’s sake. Enjoyment must be found in aspects other than submitting one’s work on time (ironically, something that I chase at this very moment). For as well as society runs in that we all know what is expected of us in terms of behaviour, etiquette, and the way we are to comport ourselves within the working world, I sincerely believe that everyone, at some point in their professional lives needs a break (something I’m about to take right now, I still haven’t had breakfast – and that may result in the use of profanities to colour my writing).
The wonderful thing is, despite popular belief that in order to attain said break one must enter one’s vehicle with the supplies needed to keep you alive and well for 5 – 7 days as you trek across the southern peninsula to arrive at a campsite hundreds of kilometres from any form of civilisation, there exists quite the little gem within the heart of the eastern suburbs of the capital city itself. Not a moment’s drive from the properties for sale in Woodhill lies a little known water hole with a massive personality- and it awaits your arrival in providing you with a break worthy of Kit-Kat.
The resort is known only as Nkwe. The path that leads off the main road seems to burrow its way into the hills, amongst trees and shrubbery (the trees, good lord, you’ve never seen anything quite like it. Standing on either side of the road they tower above all who pass beneath the, their age unfathomable, their stories great yet forever unknown, as they have surely spanned countless decades, and will surely span countless more). The sounds and sights of the modern world that we know so well fade into the background the further that you drive, until all that is heard is a silence that was never thought possible in the midst of the urbanised environment that is Pretoria. The very texture of the land sees to change, the slopes becoming gentler, colours becoming brighter and more vibrant – the air itself, sweeter and seemingly more breathable than ever – perhaps the only other time I’ve felt this way was upon first seeing the golf course at Woodhill
It’s the small things that we don’t realise we need in our lives in order to see continued functioning within the 21st century city-scape. We become so caught up in gaining our pleasure and ideas of self-worth in pleasing everyone else that we forget to look to the wellbeing of ourselves as a priority. At some point, all of us need to step back, take a breath – “recharge” if you will. And Nkwe provides all the necessary tools to do this, as the description in beauty and wonder below will tell.
Upon passing the last line of trees that guard the jewel that exists within their midst, one stops to catch one’s breath (a necessity in the continued fruition of your personal life and growth, if I remember correctly). A lake lies before you, it’s glassy, undisturbed surface speaks of depths undiscovered and its waters of life-giving energy, the cool liquid inviting you in as though an old friend. The waterfall on the far side winks at you with cheek, as the rays of the sun catch the endless fall of the substance that crashes against the rock beneath it, carving out a path through which to be reunited those waters that had come before it, and now sit calmly, patiently, the liquids of the deep slowly being fed into the river that runs from the lake to distribute the crystalline fluid to the far reaches of the park. Tall cliffs stand on the northern borders of the lake, their craggy faces smiling at the awe that is etched into yours.
These are the places of which I speak when I say that we need to revisit the basics in life in revitalising our bodies and minds, ready to take the next step in- oh wait your car! Not something I’d ever want on the receiving end of an exclamation of surprise, yet the safety factor is one that we are ever wary of – and not something that Nkwe will ever fail at, for the seclusion provided by the marvel that it is, stands to rival the very security of Woodhill itself.
(The lack of cursing certainly means that breakfast worked).