When I started climbing, I never thought I’d become so addicted to it. Since my first day at the climbing gym, I met new people, learnt new things, braved many fears (sometimes terrifying). I have seen amazing places that are quite untouched by masses of people. Truth be told, I kind of feel as though I’ve stepped into an exclusive world of amazing people who have a lust for adventure. These people venture fourth into a world of amazing beauty to do what many fear. Surprisingly, these are some of the most down to earth and friendly people in the world.

In everyday life, we tend to forget about the great outdoors. People live in a rat race, full of cars, and big office blocks with air conditioning. They sit behind their desks and computers each day, climbing in and out of elevators, eating ready-made meals, sitting in front of a TV at the end of their day hoping for an escape from this reality that they live in, but never finding it.

What an amazing world we live in. There really is so much beauty in it, and all we need to do is pack a bag and head out of the city, even if it’s for a day.

So, as we check the gear, prepare lunch and have breakfast, that morning cup of coffee being an essential starter to the day, we pack the car and leave at around 6am. Our destination: Bronkhorstspruit Dam (or Bronkies as we call it in our little community). The task ahead: a day of climbing. Being the most experienced climber in the group, with Hannes being my second in command, it is our task to teach Tinus to climb, but I also have to teach Hannes a few things as well, because he’s been out of it for a while now. I really don’t mind though. I get to spend the day doing something that I love, and I also have the opportunity to spend the day with two of my best friends, and I get to usher them into the world that I am so passionate about.

A view of Bronkies from the Crag!

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We are all connected. Humanity is an interdependent web joined together by the planet we share, the air we breathe, the collective unconsciousness, technology and human networks.

We live in cities and villages, in the cold north and the warm south, in forests, savannahs, by the ocean and on top of the hills. We are closer than we think.

In the 1960s, Stanley Milgram conducted the Small World Experiment showing that each of us is connected to everyone else by short social networks. This is the Six Degrees of Separation. At Earthdance, we bring together thousands of people across the world and harness music, dance, technology, prayer, education and people power for peace, sustainable culture and humanitarian aims. Think of it as the Six Degrees of Global Unity.

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We have all no doubt seen this often used advertising slogan splashed across the world media, but do we ever stop to think about it. In this opening article I will introduce you to the main theme of my essays, as well as the style in which they will be written.

It is often said that the root of all evil is money, but this is just humanity shifting the blame. I feel that what lies at the root of all social, economic, environmental and spiritual problems facing the world today, is our loss of connection.

We do not feel connected to the natural world which we are a part of and we have most definitely lost our connection to our fellow man. Some might say that this split occurred as Homo sapiens became fully self-aware and thus was part of a natural evolutionary process. This works as an explanation, but it does not suffice as an excuse for what has occurred as a result of our detachment. Our disconnection from the planet has led us to become the perpetrators of environmental catastrophes. Species extinctions, clogging the atmosphere with our pollutants and huge losses of biodiversity as our cities spread across the earths’ surface. The loss of connection with our fellow human is plain to see.

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“Probably the most beautiful kloof in the Magaliesberg Mountains, Tonquani is the picture of what most people would class as the perfect water feature that they would love to adorn their house except that this one goes on for Kilometre after Kilometre. Stunning tree fern lined pools of crystal clear water interspersed with giant rocks go to make this walk an unforgettable experience.” (Quote  – Footprint)

The Magaliesberg Mountain Reserve

The Magaliesberg Mountain Sanctuary

Once again, I’m at a loss for words. as I mentioned in my Kloofing blog, places like these are really special. There’s just something unexplainable about being in Nature and enjoying it to the fullest! Especially when you’re there to do the impossible (at least it seemed impossible at the start of the climb). The rejuvinating affect it has on you really is something else, and this time, the sense of accomplishment was greater than ever! I never thought i’d start trad climbing so soon. Originally I did sport climbing but now there’s more to the climbing. it means more now than what it did, considering that in trad climbing there is a philosophy of ‘Leave No Trace’. Let me explain…

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Grootkloof in the heart of the Magaliesberg!

Grootkloof in the heart of the Magaliesberg!

There is no doubt that Nature has a way of opening ones eyes and helping to completely relax you in every way, almost rejuvenating you, wait, it does! Truth be told, there is a rather spiritual connotation to being in a place of immense beauty, such as this, especially when you’re outdoors. That rejuvenating feeling I mentioned earlier is probably as a result of the immense amount of natural energy in this area of the country.

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