Monday, 6 March 2017

The Ness of Elsa and Leon

It was after a great deal of anticipation that Hennie and I climbed into our car and headed via the R74 in the direction of Nesshurst, home to Leon and Elsa – special people who always make you feel at home and part of the family.

Our communication and negotiations had begun earlier with a careful enquiry regarding the state of the road. An encouraging response was received from the Nes –people.

“The road is as beautiful and smooth as Minki’s calf ……and the host and hostess are sitting and eagerly waiting for a visit from the Lord and his Lady!”

Our reply was
“Thank you so much to the people of Nesshurst.
Would it be convenient if this side of the mountain were to arrive and rest their weary feet on the 18th February? This is the day the Lord of the Manor will take his dear wife out on an excursion in the hope of a new blog post. We do hope that this date will be agreeable to all?”
At the robot, turn right, under the subway, around the single bridge –
straight into the mother of all road-works.
This is a huge project accommodating the anticipated supply from the
planned inland harbor at Tshiame to the N1.
 Three new river bridges, a bridge over the railway line and a bridge
over the N5 from Harrismith’s closest suburb –Wilgepark
are being built. Approximately 150m after the bridge, the detour
will start and the newly tarred road will twist and jive for about 2km.
After this, follow the road to, “Phutaditjaba” also known as, “Putonyourpyjamas” and hit the R74 past Sterkfontein dam."” In Leon’s own words, “As soon as you are able to see the choppy waters of Sterkfontein dam, you will know the turn off is close by."
At the left turn you will head towards the imposing Kerkenberg Mountain. 
We follow the Piper as he leads us onwards. 
We turn off without batting an eyelid as this is the only thing to do – otherwise we will find ourselves on the bad road from Bezuidenhouts’ Pass which is impassable. We most certainly do not want to head to Durban in a wreck of a car!
We passed Beef Masters

We drive over the dam wall, up and over a small hill and are surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Nesshurst horses and the road to the homestead. 
The chairs under the trees are the first sign that a lot of enjoyable hours are spent here visiting with friends and family.

This is how we spent many happy hours from late morning till early evening and what a memorable experience it proved to be!
Leon and Elsa also share a passion for the beauty of the past and have established a farm museum.
Remnants of a transport ox-wagon which has survived the ravages of time.
A large door is opened and this is what we see.
A Cape carriage “slap bang” in front of our very eyes!
Leon told us that he bought the carriage in his youth as he has always had a love for horses and the Wild West.
Beautiful details inside of the carriage and the hide of a Caracal which Leon tanned himself.
We talked about the early days and the wagon making industry of Paarl
The wagons were designed and produced specially for South African conditions.
The transport industry grew and diamonds were discovered
Diamond diggers arrived by ship and bought wagons with which they headed on into the interior.
The wagons had to be able to move fast as time was of the essence in the rush for discovering diamonds.
The transport industry flourished and “Wagon-makers” Valley and its people blossomed.
A “Breiklip” used in the tanning and processing of raw hides,
hangs from a beam along with some “osrieme” or leather strips.
Interesting tools used by farmers of the time
An interesting drill. 
Cream separators and milk cans.
A yoke and harness against the wall. 
Leon’s childhood clay oxen – a typical toy played with by children in the past.
Household items
Butter boards, pans and forms, irons, coffee grinder, butter churn and sausage maker. 
Medicine chest belonging to “Kosie” Leon’s father. 


The day sped by far too fast…..

Once again thank you so much to the Writer and his wonderful Queen for such a wonderfully special time.

We look so forward to the next book from Leon’s pen!

Till next time