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  • Mara Hermann


Paging through some of the earlier editions of the Mountain Getaways I came across an article entitled “Of days gone by”. It was a story given to me by the late John Murray with a photograph of his parents in their car on the Magoebaskloof pass in 1938. I used a quote by William Allen White “I am not afraid of tomorrow for I have seen yesterday and I love today”. Never has that been more relevant than now. Time has moved so fast that I am left a little breathless. Living with the uncertainties that we face at the moment, it is sometimes difficult not to be afraid of our tomorrows. And yet, somehow, we have survived these challenging times even if it feels like not much has changed. People have come and gone, some have sadly passed on but others have survived and are running their businesses with the same enthusiasm as before. Magoebaskloof and Haenertsburg has been growing into an amazing area which is becoming a destination of choice in Limpopo.

As I page through Edition One, printed on newsprint in August 2007, I see so many familiar faces. The articles were short but they were interesting. I see names of people that are no longer here, the birding articles by the late, much-loved Ben de Boer as well as others by Lindsay Sanderson and Sue Ettmayr. Printing was a challenge back then, there were no fancy machines and electronic communications were still a challenge. I remember with a smile the nights I spent at Northern Press in Polokwane with Douw Hurter, getting the magazine printed. The first few were rather “unusual” - mostly cut skew, printed too dark with some parts of the pages cut off, but it was a huge amount of fun and remained that way up to the day I handed the Mountain Getaways over to Lisa and Deon. We covered so many events; the Spring Festival, the Berry Festival… and who can forget the Soccer World Cup in 2010 when the world came to Haenertsburg! We have told happy stories and sad stories. We have welcomed people and greeted visitors as new friends.

The success of this magazine must be shared with all the contributors and the very loyal and supportive advertisers. It is impossible to mention all the names, but you know who you are! With all that went wonky through the years, you trusted me to “get it right the next time”. With the help of technology; a fantastic team at Rapid Printers and sheer dogged determination, we got it right... Eventually. But things move on… Fred and I have chosen to give up our "stable" life to become nomads. It has its challenges…. we have hung onto our tent poles in raging storms; had rivers burst through our lounge and came back to find our tent destroyed by wind after visiting the local hang-out in Bathurst to watch the rugby. But meeting our fellow campers and sharing their stories remains an amazing way of life. We will be back on the Mountain, one day.

Now, it is time for new energy, new insights and a different era for the magazine. It is with a light heart and much excitement that I handed the magazine over to one of my best friends, Lisa Martus and her partner Deon Pienaar from Love Limpopo. Be careful, Deon has a split personality, he sometimes becomes a Frenchman called Dijon Pinard! With their contagious enthusiasm and love for the people of Magoebaskloof and Limpopo, I know that we can look forward to an interesting time!

Thank you to the Mountain community for reading my stories and thank you Lisa and Deon for taking over my magazine.


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