Students in Utopia

Spontaneity is my favourite part of life, so I jumped at the Sunday invitation to a week away beginning the following day, with people I hadn’t even met before!

One of my best friends extended a last minute invitation to me for a visit to “some place out in Magaliesburg, just outside of Johannesburg. I would be going with a friend of her’s from Uni, Chris, and his two friends, Murray and Warren, that neither of us had met before. And then one of the guys that we knew (and are very close with) from our Europe Tour just over a year ago, Kyle.

Spontaneity with some bests  s best!

Spontaneity with some bests is best!

We hopped in the Land Rover, fresh from the Landy Fest a few days earlier, and drove to Utopia. Apparently, this used to be some kind of sex-related holiday-type location… But they told us that it’s not anymore, so we believe them. Chris’ family have a cottage there, which isn’t powered by electricity, something I only found out upon arrival. I actually still don’t know how the lights were working… Man, I am a city girl, and I love me some electricity!

Our hidden cottage in the veld of Magaliesburg

Our hidden cottage in the veld of Magaliesburg

What does one think when they hear students are going away for the weekend? Alcohol of course! We were with some proper lightweights of the drinking field, so after a mere two beers, in some cases, some injuries were occurring (as people fell down little rocky cliffs) and grasshoppers were singing Rufus Wainwright’s Hallelujah.

Private rock pools for some "welcome to Utopia" drinks

Private rock pools for some “welcome to Utopia” drinks

Utopia is situated just next door to a popular camping destination called Mountain Sanctuary, which has access to a stunning gorge/ravine. We took our second day to hike up to the West Pools where these crazy kids decided that jumping off 8m high rock cliffs into a rock pool would be a good idea. Granted, they had done it before, so it wasn’t that unsafe. I regret that I didn’t participate, but I went down the bum slide, and I know that next time I go, I’ll rock it! And hopefully it’s warm and doesn’t start raining again…

You have to aim it just right so that you don't land on murderous rocks at the bottom of the pool. Which is why it's so cool

You have to aim it just right so that you don’t land on murderous rocks at the bottom of the pool. Which is why it’s so cool

We watched the sunset of the Magalies mountain range. The journey to this perfect location was treacherous: 4×4 mode activated, singing 18 Till I Die, we showed the old toppies ahead of us how students tackle the rocky roads of Africa.

Chris shows off his 4x4 skills

Chris shows off his 4×4 skills

The old folk just watched us mad kids driving past the section of rocky road that they were unsuccessful in conquering

The old folk just watched us mad kids driving past the section of rocky road that they were unsuccessful in conquering

Dinner was perfectly South African: a braai of boerewors and sweetcorn, with melktert shots as well. Brandy and coke went around as we sat chatting around the bonfire, the evening just warm enough as summer dies out.

Though the weather looks threatening, all it did was freeze us once the sun had disappeared. Thank goodness we had consumables to keep us warm

Though the weather looks threatening, all it did was freeze us once the sun had disappeared. Thank goodness we had consumables to keep us warm

Where's the fence?

Where’s the fence?

We cleaned the house in record time on our last day. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that there were girls around this time? Though I must admit that my contribution was meager…

Kyle is missing from this photo (can't imagine why...). This photo was taken much to Chris' displeasure: who stands on a Landy!?!?!

Kyle is missing from this photo (can’t imagine why…). This photo was taken much to Chris’ displeasure: who stands on a Landy!?!?!

It’s always great to meet new people and try new things. I didn’t try things I wasn’t comfortable with, and that’s OK, there’s always next time! Also, no electricity meant I didn’t charge my phone for 3 days, and guess what? I didn’t die! (But it was close, obviously…) It was hard though! I want more holidays like this in my life: appreciating my beautiful country, and keeping active as well, which we did on our hike to the pools. This is the life I want forever, and I am so glad to be living it now!

At times like this, I truly love living in Africa

At times like this, I truly love living in Africa

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