A bowl of yellow and red fruit rests on a brown table in the lounge of our Bees Knees rental villa, in the Wilderness, South Africa, where you can enjoy a magnificent ocean view right from your lounge.

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Loving the secret season at Ballots Nature Reserve

This very strange year that has knocked the whole world for six has been almost surreal for us. While the rest of South Africa battles with a broken economy, joblessness, hunger and intense frustration, we are reveling in the most beautiful winter at Ballots. We have been able to walk freely through the nature reserve, smell the sea, listen to the birds, track the zebra and enjoy the many trails through fynbos, forest and along the ocean fringed cliffs.

This has not stopped us from feeling a deep empathy for people whose lives have been so devastated and we do what we can to help, either through food donations, cash donations or sewing masks for those who can't afford to buy them. But the gentle peace and tranquility here has given us the space to think about what's really important in life, and being at one with nature and caring for those around us is what it all comes down to for us.

This was the first year that we could not travel to Greece, either to sail our beloved Pegasus around the Greek Islands, or to visit our newly renovated stone farmhouse on the island of Lesvos and get it ready for the European summer. The feeling of being trapped was at first overwhelming, but slowly the forest and the sea worked it's magic and we have got into the rhythm of waking up and going to sleep in a season never before experienced by us. Every year we, like the swallows, set off in May to go sailing and only return in August, and now for the first time ever we have been here winter. And what a remarkable time this has been! Throughout May and June right up until today, day after day has been crisp, sunny and glorious. Every 10 days or so a soaking rain settles in, the wind spreads the pollen from the fynbos around and then it's back to another string of blue champagne days. We have been surprised and delighted and now maybe we will have to rethink our travelling in the future!

So, now that South Africans are allowed to travel locally again, take advantage of Cliff Top Houses 25% off special until the end of October and come and experience this secret season with us.

Longing for Lesvos
“SIGA-SIGA” or The Year We Bought A Farm in Greece

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