Monday, November 25, 2013

Grandchildren update

This weekend John sent me photos of the family. They're all at "home" in the Drakensberg at the moment.They have four horses at their home and seem to be enjoying this exercise enormously.  
 Eryn leading a mare with little Bethany riding bareback

Debbie (ahead) leading a gelding carrying young Elijah

17 month-old Israel being lifted onto his dad's horse

Note: Not one of these little ones get their horse-riding ability from their paternal grandmother. Although in my forties, I took part in a charity out-ride over a distance of 43km, I had never before been on a horse (and boy, did my nether regions let me know this) and never again got onto one.  It's a strange phenomena: I love all animals but am petrified of a horse. I cannot even keep my hand open to offer a horse sugar cubes! 

Over the weekend, John took Eryn (10 1/2) and Joshua on a serious hike up Cathedral Peak. Now here I can relate: I have hiked quite a number of the Drakensberg Passes with and without Grant over periods ranging from one to four days. New Year 1999, Grant and I joined Debbie's parents and all the young people (now our adult, married children who've produced these beautiful grandchildren) on a week-long hike from George to Knysna across the Outeniqua Mountains - distance 110km. 

Cathedral Peak * is a free standing mountain3004m high,  in the Drakensberg range. As a family we first climbed it in the mid-eighties when the then 14 year-old John introduced us to hiking in the mountains. When I see the gully below which is almost at the top of the ridge, I can remember arriving at this point at midday (we'd been hiking since before sunrise)  and the utter exhaustion  but also the exhilaration the first time we ever did it! 
*Do please click on the link to see a view of the mountain. 
Eryn, front and Joshua up ahead in the gully leading up to Cathedral Peak

Intrepid hikers since a young age
Joshua enjoy a cuppa at Bell Cave. Eryn is already in the tent! 

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead.


  1. Wow, what a wonderful and adventurous family! I'm impressed.
    I can relate with you about horses. I would never have gone on such a long ride, believe me. Every time I got on a horse, it dumped me, didn't matter whose horse or how old I was. Mom and Dad had someone try to teach me when I was a teen.
    I finally gave up the attempts in my late 20s or early 30s. The horses always knew I was afraid.
    I used to love hiking up real mountaineering, but my brother Clint and I were always climbing around the hills of BC's Okanagan Valley when we were kids.
    I sure enjoy seeing photos of your grandchildren.
    Luv, K

  2. Love seeing the family out enjoying nature, and horses. The Drakensberg photos take me right back to the hike I did with John.

  3. Such a great life . Imagine camping up in the mountains. Lucky kids.

  4. What a great experience for the children and the parents. I'm amazed at your fear of horses since you are so wonderful with animals.

  5. Stunning scenery. I enjoyed the story about your riding experience. 43K is a long way to go when one isn't used to it. I love the photo of your two grandchildren on the grassy knoll. Hugs. xx

  6. hi. wonderful scenery up the mountain. Great adventures for the family and I love the horses.

  7. Wonderful series of family photos, Jo! I love the horse and riders and the mountain scenes. Looks like a great place to camp out! Have a happy day and week ahead!

  8. Thank you so much for your birthday wishes! That' very attentive of you. Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos of your lovely grandchildren. One of my granddaughters is also called Erryn, but with double "r" , as you see.
    Have a great time if possible with your children and grandchildren.

  9. Its wonderful that they can share all this with the kids. Kids need to enjoy the outdoors and experiences like this cause so many of their friends don't get the opportunity.

  10. Looks beautiful ! It's strange but I had the same reaction towards horses all my life they scared me ! It was horrible when I had to drive Dario to his riding lessons. I couldn't go through the stable with all the horse heads hanging out of their boxes ! Since a few years I am not scared anymore, I even pet them and feed them with carrots if I have the occasion. Isn't that strange ?

  11. Great shots but Especially the last one!! Almost like a fairy tale!

  12. The scenery on that hike is amazing, but that's longer than I'd enjoy these days. I've never ridden a horse in my life!


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