So… we were away for a couple of weeks. Our first proper break in eighteen months. We had a lovely lady, Florrie Du Pisanie, taking care of things with the help of our wonderful staff – Xolile and Siyanda. A first for the staff. They made pizza’s without us! They seem to have passed with flying colours if the comment about the “yummy pizza’s” in the visitor’s book is anything to go by! We have been teasing them now that we will soon just sit on the stoep while they run the show!
It has been quite a nostalgic time for Witvoetskloof with a few visitors with special bonds coming back to the farm . Both Mikki Van Niekerk and Rozier Steensma (previous managers) returned to celebrate their birthdays here in January.
Mikki has promised us some photos of the ”old days” at Witvoetskloof. She and her husband were managers here close on thirty years ago when it was still a functioning fynbos flower farm . Really interesting hearing their anecdotes. The one I liked most was about Mikki fighting a fire with a group of the women who worked here. The wind was very bad and they were getting tired and afraid and weren’t winning, so she said : “ Nou moet julle maar bid, dames!” (“Now you will just have to pray, ladies”). Which they promptly did! Lo and behold the wind changed and immediately took the fire away with it.
I especially laughed when she reported that she then said: “ Ai, mense, plaas dat ons dit al lankal gedoen het!” (“Oh people, we should have done that long ago!”).
Michael, Mikki’s husband, also confirmed the story that Billy Robertson, one of The Fynbos Trail guides, tells about elephants at Witvoetskloof. Fascinating stuff! Michael says that the Tulbagh earthquake caused a shift here (can you believe it?) that affected the water supply! Whilst excavating to restore the flow to the dam an elephant tusk was found!! Amazing…
The beautiful picture we received from recent Arum Lily guest, Natalie Goldsmith, captured my heart, I must say. Looking at it, I can understand why people want to come back to this special place.