I've just returned from a three-day weekend wedding celebration held at the De Hoop Nature Reserve in South Africa's Overberg region. How amazing it was to be surrounded by animals in their natural environment with very little fear of humans. Large herds of Bontebok and Eland grazing just outside our cottages, Zebra freely ambling past us, not to mention the baboons, hares (and tortoises!) and a profusion of different bird species.
The crowning experience was viewing several whales and a large pod of dolphins leaping and frolicking in the azure ocean waters. The rich abundance of indigenous fynbos was yet another delight. Proteas and Ericas and flowering plants of hundreds of unique species as far as the eye could see. It truly is a spectacularly beautiful place to visit.
And yet, despite spending the weekend absolutely marinating in the splendours of Nature, it was only as we turned onto the mountainous dirt road through the indigenous forest on the final stretch of our journey home yesterday afternoon, that I truly felt at peace again.
As the calm, cool green touch of the Green Lady caressed my soul, I knew that I was finally home... and my heart blossomed with joy.