What a wonderful two week break we had on Rietvlei farm outside Montagu on ‘Route 62’ just off the Garden Route. The farm was a fully functioning wine and fruit farm with peppers on the side. The pepper harvest was well under way whilst we were there and each day we got to throw the spoilt harvest to the pigs and goats. Needless to say Joel & Eli thought this was great. In fact, Eli got so into it that he took to throwing all his food to the pigs which became a bit of a problem!

Time seemed to really slow down as we had no TV or access to the outside world other than trips into Montagu itself. Even then we never found out what was going on in the world which was welcome relief. Like most people we’re so used to 24hour access to news and views that we forget to switch off, thankfully on a remote farm you have to switch off. For entertainment on most days we had to make the tough choice between feeding the animals or watching the peppers being loaded onto the lorry with a fork lift truck. A tough choice but one that had to be made!

We enjoyed a few tractor rides around the farm, and Dean was given a quick lesson on how to drive a tractor, but sadly never got to do it as Joel wouldn’t ride the tractor with Daddy (driving in a car is scarey enough!).

 Joel eating grapes fresh from the vine. When Dean asked Farmer Koos what variety the grapes were Joel responded very loudly "Green", they were in fact Chenin.

Eli looking a bit concerned about where this tractor ride may be going.

Superman came along and got very muddy whilst Eli took to this tractor lark like an old hand.

We had a few trips out and about to some local attractions including a game drive, bird sanctuary and a fairy museum.

Kudu cow and calf on our game drive

Eli couldn't handle the excitement and zonked out on Daddy.

Listen Daddy... I can hear the 'tick tock', Joel is in love with the crocodile from Peter Pan! This was at Birds Paradise in Robertson.

Joel at the fairy museum in Swellendam, we spent ages searching for Tinkerbell!

Having taken his mountain bike with us, Dean was initially excited about the riding potential (the farm website said there were 3 trails) but sadly the trails were poor and he spent most of his time battling through fynbos and having his legs ripped to pieces by the thorns and when not doing either of those he was mending punctures! See post below He did manage a 40Km ride in Montagu on Thursday which he really enjoyed as it was along proper tracks and puncture free. Dean also had quite a nasty fall down one hill and has a nice scar on his forearm now.

The only downer of the holiday was the bout of diahorrea we had during our last five days. Eli seemed to escape quite lightly but the rest of us were hit quite hard, especially Joel who spent one night vomiting (thankfully no photos of any of this). Despite this we still had lots of fun.

Here are some general photos of our holiday..
Enjoying the pool

The swing was one of the biggest you've ever seen with an arc of about 7 metres, Joel loved it and laughed himself silly as Daddy pushed him

Life on the farm was varied

The new slimline Daddy making a casserole on the braai, this was our only means of cooking for two weeks so we just had to eat out

Relaxing by the pool

Little else to do but watch the animals

Eli almost 16 months

This herd of ostrich were regular visitors to the farm

A muddy but happy Joel

Giving new meaning to a pig and a poke!

Cute or what!
Having spent two weeks on a farm we definitely have a new appreciation of the life farmers live and how tough it is for their families (we’re definitely praying for Richard & Sal in new ways). The farm came to life early and went to sleep late, with ‘Farmer Koos’ leading his workers by example.


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