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HIKING THE SLIPPER

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The Lady Slipper hiking trail- or any hiking expedition for that matter- should preferably not be done unaccompanied. Fortunately for me, my friends are quite supportive and even join in some of my adventures.

The Lady Slipper gets its name from the shape of the rock, which looks as if it has been glued to the side of the mountain. It resembles an upside-down lady slipper and can best be seen when you look at the mountain from a distance.
The reserve and mountain belong to the Mountain Club of South Africa in the Eastern Province and a permit is needed to enter the hiking trail. The rugged trail is approximately 3.2 km up and down and takes anything from one to three hours to complete.

Taking on the Lady Slipper trail is not a walk in the park. Young adults and teenagers reach the top huffing and puffing and boastfully flaunt a bruise or two. The older generation, however, celebrates when reaching the summit by gulping down heart and blood pressure tablets with suspicious looking fluids …

CUNCAS IN CALDAS

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I am at a stage in my life where I no longer need to impress anyone and deem it much more rewarding to collect memorable moments than worldly possessions. When the sun goes down and the bra comes off I want to look back and say  “No regrets - it was a day well lived!”  
The best way to create meaningful memories, in my opinion, is by traveling. Finding hidden treasures and experiencing magical moments is my idea of bliss.
Small towns nestled in the lush green valleys of Pontevedra are the jewels of Galicia and Caldas de Reis is no exception. The birth-place of Alfonso VII, the first Emperor of Castile and Leon, is often referred to as the ‘spa-town’ and lies at the confluence of the Bermana and Umia rivers in the province of Pontevedra.  
The municipality profits from having curative mineral water renowned for its temperature, which fluctuates between 30 and 46 degrees Celsius. Its unique composition is believed to aid with the healing of respiratory, rheumatic and skin conditions. Unsur…

WHERE MONKS WALK

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Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Oseira (Galician) or Monastery of Santa Maria de Oseira (Bear in Latin), is one of many National Monuments in Galicia, Spain and imbued with the old Romanesque culture. This medieval Catholic Monastery is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Galicia and known for its historic and artistic value.  Surrounded by the San Martina mountains (Serra da Martina) and nestled on the banks of the Oseira river all add to its beauty and splendor.  It, therefore, comes as no surprise that Queen Sofia awarded it the Europe Nostra prize on the 15th of October 1989.  Situated in the isolated Arenteiro Valley, 22km from Ourense in the municipality of San Cristovo de Cea this Trappist monastery forms part of the very famous and popular Camino de Compostela silver route. 
It was established in 1137 by Alfonso VII and integrated into the Cistercian Order in 1141 when Saint Bernard of France, sent a group of monks to occupy the monastery.  Sadly they had to leave the mo…

UN PAN UN CUERPO || ONE BREAD ONE BODY

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Cristovo de Cea, a small village best known for its Pan de Cea (rustic artisan bread), is situated in the north-west of the province of Ourense in Galicia, Spain.  Pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela have to pass through this alluring town to reach the capital roughly 60 km away. 

It is in such small towns and villages, off the beaten track, where I usually discover the hidden treasures and unappreciated delicacies unknown to most.  My love for cuisine and its relating culture and people, combined with my wanderlust, have brought me once again to a picturesque and unique travel destination with the added advantage of Galicians having a long bread-making tradition called Pan de Cea.  Spanish carbs are definitely some of my best friends!.

In comparison, this bread differs considerably from most artisan bread found elsewhere.  The recipe for this special bread has been passed down from generation to generation from the 13th century onwards.  The annual Festa Pan de Cea (Festival of…

EL VERANO EN VIGO // SUMMER IN VIGO

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Galicia, the inimitable multicultural land, with its medieval history and Celtic festivals, its Roman past, ancient cathedrals and centuries-old monasteries, left rock-hard footprints on my heart.  Old-world picturesque villages, where time seems to stand still, are situated on every turn and corner.  Hundreds of archaeological relics and ruins, all tell a story of Galicia’s colorful and sometimes mysterious and dark history.
I was eager to set foot on Spanish soil for the first time and although I was understandably tired after almost 30 hours in transit, nothing perks up a tired body like a hot shower, a glass of this land’s magnificent wine and my first introduction to Galician cuisine.
Vigo, the largest city in Galicia, is situated in the province of Pontevedra in north-west Spain.  Not only is Vigo known as ‘The city of the Olive tree’, the ‘City of Emotions’, or the ‘City of the Sea’ but frequently referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Atlantic’.  This unique city was going to be my …