Visiting the Rural Relatives in Kokstad

We have been staying on a farm in rural KwaZulu Natal where cell phone and internet connection is limited. It is possible to get the odd Whatsapp message coming through. It is a waste of time bothering with Facebook, Duolingo or WordPress!

Today, however, we have come to Port Edward to stay with our niece for a couple of days.   Here, the internet connection is good so I can catch up with our travel report.

11 December 2019

This morning it was still raining in Howick.   I have a friend in a frail care facility here so before leaving our campsite, the Earl and I went to have breakfast and then to visit her.  As it was before 09:00 it was difficult to find an open restaurant but with the help of Trip Advisor, we discovered Yellowood Café.  We were a little surprised that it was situated on a farm called Fairfell, and was, in fact, a heritage site. The house which is now the restaurant was built of quarried stone from the edge of the cliff by Sir George Sutton in 1870.  Most of the wood used came from the indigenous Yellowwood forest of Karkloof.  To get there we had to negotiate a narrow, tree-lined, gravel road.  It looked deserted but when I went in to check I was assured that we were welcome.


It was really cosy – awesome food and fire too!


A wonderful view of Howick Falls 


Stunning even though it was misty

After a lovely visit with my friend who I haven’t seen for three years, we returned to camp, hitched up the caravan and made our way to Kokstad.   It was indeed a relief when the rain finally stopped halfway to our destination.

Barbara and Andrew, our hosts, had a delicious lunch waiting for us when we arrived at their farm, now in the hands of their son, Murray who lives in the main farmhouse while they have a lovely cottage a short distance away.

The farm is full of wonderful memories as we visited almost annually when our kids were growing up – they had five and we had three – all of similar ages.  Theirs are all married with kids of their own now and so there is a whole new generation of rural kids growing up around them and they are awesome!

We have been having a wonderful time catching up with them all.

12 December 2019 to 15 December 2019

On our first morning, there was a gentle knock on our bedroom door.  It was 13-year-old Seth all ready to go fishing with his great-uncle!  So off they went to try their luck at the dam before breakfast.  Sadly conditions weren’t quite right so nothing was caught!  Seth keeps chickens and supplies his grandmother with eggs with the brightest yellow yolks I have ever seen.  So breakfasts on the farm have been amazing.

We have seen a lot of our niece Joan who has three small children.  Caleb is four and the premature twins, Joshua and Jesse are now 16 months old and after a traumatic start to their little lives, they are thriving.   They were so tiny when we saw them in January.  Big brother Caleb is their hero and although I thought he was a bit rough with them in the paddling pool, they screeched with laughter and only cried when he got out of the pool!


Caleb and baby sister, Jesse


Granny Barbara and Joshua


Caleb splashing the twins which elicited excited peels of laughter from both of them


The twins thoroughly enjoying their swim

Ann also has three adorable children, Caitlyn is 9, James is 7 and Sarah 3.  Even though James is so young he can drive!


This is the John Deere Gator parked outside his parents’ home on the next farm

All on his own, this young boy, drives this vehicle to visit his grandparents.  Yes, on farm roads, but he is incredibly skilful and very responsible.


James arriving to collect Uncle Earl to go fishing at his father’s dam


The dogs, Sam and Poppy, make themselves comfortable


And they’re off at great speed down the bumpy road.  Great-uncle Earl holds on for dear life!

Caitlyn complains that now that James is driving, she no longer gets a chance!  However, she doesn’t seem to mind too much.   She’s been driving since she was seven too.

Not only does James drive, but he also keeps his own chickens and braais his own meat!


The Earl turning chops for the family


James has his own little grill


And knows exactly how to use it


Grandpa Andrew, Jesse and Caitlyn waiting for dinner


Caleb and Sarah eating the chicken that James cooked


A lovely spread to feed the family

More on our adventures to follow.








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