Baden, Western Cape.

A view over Baden

Baden Resort, showing the cold pool, the club house, some chalets and the camping areas

Kathy and Martin were waiting for me at the arrivals barrier in Cape Town, ready to drive me the two-hour journey to Montagu and Baden. I felt a little paranoid to discover that John had left as I was arriving, but I needn't have worried, he was off to Bloemfontein to compete in the Confederation of Hunters Associations of South Africa's Interclub Competition. There were 32 teams competing and John had been chosen for team C of the Cape Hunt. This was wonderful for John, considering his terrible motorbike accident. He has recovered so well! In the competition, the Cape Hunt's A team came first, John's C team came 10th, and their B team came 17th. It looks like some sorting of the teams needs doing - or maybe it was just down to John's expertise!

John (in front with the white jeans) with his fellow team-mates.

The weather at Baden was lovely and Eric and I even managed a dip in the hot spring. The wonderful thing about life in Baden is that little changes. Although, that said, one major change I noticed is that many of the apricot trees have gone, as John has diversified into sheep and lucerne. The price of fruit has been steadily falling and both sheep and lucerne give immediate and sustained returns, so it makes economic sense.

There's not a lot of wildlife there, on the edge of the Karoo, but we did see buck, and some fresh baboon spoor, although fortunately not the baboons. There was also the cobra in Louise's kitchen that Eric went to dispatch at nine o'clock one night - a normal event in life on a farm in South Africa!

Ouma Kitty (Alta's mother), Ouma Emily (Richard's mother), Richard and Alta, the benefactors of the feast that was Sunday lunch!

Carine, Martin, Richard and Kathy and a tiny representation of the vast Sunday lunch.

Baby Richard with Louise and Eric enjoying Sunday lunch. Unfortunately, 
John was missing, as he was shooting in a competition.

I felt a sense of belonging as I was welcomed to Sunday lunch at the main house, where four generations of Knipes sat around the table. I was also invited to dinner with Lorna; with John and Louise; with CJ and Miemie; and to drinks with Martin and Carine. I felt very privileged. We had such fun, I definitely want to return, perhaps next time with David. Thank you so much Kathy and Eric, and everyone at Baden.

Cheers from me, Miemie and Kathy, while enjoying Lorna's wonderful spread!

From the left: Miemie, CJ, Eric, Kathy, JC and Lorna, all enjoying the kudu, 
as only CJ knows how to cook it.

I also enjoyed spending some quality time with Richard and Louise.

Now, after all that food, I definitely need to go on a diet before Tammy's wedding in Perth next month!

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