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Camping Adventure at Blyde River Canyon fit for a 10yr old anyone?

I'm having dejavu. Travel with me in time for a moment wont you?. It’s 2019 and he is turning the big double digit number on 21st May 2019. He’s super excited and silly old me, I haven’t made plans. My head is racing and I’m stressed. “The last time I had a birthday party for him he was turning 3 years” … I think to myself and its thoughts like these that make things worse. I figure, listen I already do so much for this dude, I mean surely he will forgive me right? WRONG !

Listen he guessed this and that and just never stopped. And then one evening at home he looks at me and hugs me “mommy we honestly don’t have to do anything for my birthday, it’s really okay.” OMG if the chat between me and my sis didn’t land me in this final plan, I would’ve died a slow painful death knowing I’m the worst mom ever.

This was two days before his birthday… I KNOW Right! I’m bad aren’t I? honestly, sometimes procrastination brings me the most amazing creative ideas simply from the pressure.

I reflect on this today 9 May 2021 for two reasons… firstly I’m so thankful to celebrate mother’s day today, I mean I thought Cancer was a death sentence when I was diagnosed in 2020, so I appreciate every little moment of this second shot at life spent with family and certainly this little champ. Secondly… yup you’ve guessed it, it’s the 9th of May and his birthday is on the 21st… ONCE AGAIN I am struggling with thoughts of what to do for him and he keeps dropping hints in-case I forgot his birthdate… HELPPPPPPPP.

Its 2 days before his birthday and all I now needed was a Microsoft Powerpoint, a printer and a laminating machine and freaken creative juices flowing, oh yeah of course and a few phone calls to make things happen. I call my travel partner… Nthabi how was Blyde the last time you went? she replies "We hiked and camped but it’s awesome and has this and that"… So BINGO I had a venue but really haven’t thought this through. Needless to say it wasn’t going to be on his actual birthday, so on his birthday I had to do something else.

Haha of course I presented the weekend getaway…

I must say the highlight of the day was the excitement of him reading the cards and distracted by his own excited laugh as he read on. But a few days later he also received a gift from a friend of mine – a Copter, if I didn’t feel outshone at that moment, my goodness then I don't know...but patience Lerato, the weekend cometh you see.

June finally came and I made him pack for real, so he gets the feel of how we pack when we head out to the mountains. The day came and we hit the road, just the two of us on a very long roadtrip to Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga. Roadtrips are always fun so knowing how quickly he gets bored I had to make it a memorable one and get him to enjoy the best that the African sky can give. Guys I repeat, South Africa is gorgeous! Please please travel our country First!

We got lost around 8pm in the dark, ya’ll know backroads don’t have network so I couldn’t use the phone’s GPS to find the route… I was terrified for him because he was stressing me out asking if I know the direction, like only about a million times. I finally got him to sleep until we arrived at Swadini, Forever Resort.

We get to reception, grab the land pin that marks our spot and direction and we drive out. Guys I lie not, I have a DRAMA KING for a child. Its 9:30pm and so I take out my one-man tent to pitch so we can sleep (which CAN actually fit the both of us by the way). This one acts up…

Him: “wait, where’s my tent?

Me: we are using the same tent dummy

Him: No ways, please say you’re joking

Me: Uhm, no ways what? Did you see me packing a second tent? I don’t think so… Dude I told you we were camping come on.

Him: yes you did but I don’t see the tent that I can stand in. what is this? what is this, nnoooooo I’ll sleep in the car, there is no way I’m sleeping in a tent that I can’t stand in, I’m sorry I don’t mean to spoil the first night.

My Shock… I suppose I didn’t think this through nor communicate proper. (adrenaline junky epic fail).

I head back to reception to pay for the Military already pitched tents and hoping like hell there is one still available for us or else I was in trouble. Another BINGO, the universe was aligning and oh my goodness was this one soooo happy to have a military tent and a double bed with white sheets so he can clearly see creepy crawlies… wait wait wait isn’t this dude supposed to be a scouter? Forget that. Listen to me when I say even I felt like I was celebrating my birthday here. It was EPIC birthday I am hoping he never ever forgets in his life.

We spent 3 days there but trust me, i look back now and it feels like we spent a month there. My idea is always to try do as much as possible, we can relax at home... But I Know many disagree with me on this one... Holiday is holiday, meaning relax relax relax... Cool but that's not me. If you're ever going on an adventure with me, trust me, we start at 5:30 for the Sunrise and our day has begun hahaha...I digress...

Swadini – A Forever Resort is one of the most amazing places especially for family getaways.

Their Resort has so much space, something this mountaineer is crazy about. Listen, there was so much to do even I lost count of all the activities, but let me show you some pictures so you get an idea why I say book this place.

This place is huge, I mean huge. So we were at the camping site but there are Chalets as well. Tennis courts, Two massive swimming pools which by the way one of them is a heated pool. There were Go-Kart little cars that he loved playing with. We left his bicycle at home (never doing that again, trust me) so we had to pay for a bicycle for this little cyclist to do what he loves doing. We went hiking in two different areas but there are a lot of short trails which you can combine and make it longer and exciting. The one hike called Velvet Monkey Trail that we did crosses a massive river and another one we hiked was the... uhm let me clear my throat and brush my shoulder for this one... yes the Waterfall hike that Cassper Nyovest did and shot one of his videos at.... INSANE right, and it was just by accident we found that one. We got to swim in it as well haha - this one was so terrified.

Guys OMG what I must share with you which was the best activity by far for this weekend was the Blyde River Canyon sailing. I honestly didn't want to leave this. I was in total praise and worship which is a norm when I am faced with moments that raises my hairs and I see God in all this greatness. This is a MUST DO.

Oh dear I almost forgot to tell you that we returned via Dullstroom and let me tell you something... You are headed straight to hell if you pass Dullstroom and not visit Harrie's Pancakes... Lord have mercy ! I'm an addict!!!!!

Below are more pictures of Swadini Forever Resorts and activities we did there. Enjoy...

And as if you didn't know... This is the best sign that the mom has outdone herself... Like chip on my shoulder... allow me for a moment please and thank you

Headed home after an awesome weekend !

Just to close this one out, check out the video I made on this weekend

South Africa you are beautiful and I am privileged to call your Soil, My HOME!


Skirtgirlhiker or should I say 'SuperMom" or better yet "Best Mom in the Whole Wide World" signing out !!!

PS: I hope I maintain these surprises haha - Send me some ideas guys I beg haha

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May 18, 2021

This is beautiful .. I love your stories SkirtGirlHiker. Much love to you and young leader. Keep going strong everyday.

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