Honeymoon Travels–Chapter Six–Getting rubbed up the wrong way

After spending so much time in the dining room, it was essential to find activities to work off all that energy. This was not difficult because at Cathedral Peak you’re spoilt for choice. However, we thought we’d spend our first morning walking around the grounds and seeing what was available. (If you’ve just landed here – the previous chapter of the Honeymoon Travels can be found here, here, here, here and here)


The afternoon sun casting beams through the majestic Drakensberg peaks

Not many people are accomplished rock climbers and as fascinating as I find the sport (no, really, I’d rather watch climbing on TV than rugby), I confess that I am a rank amateur. If, however, clinging to a rock face by your fingernails with several hundred metres of nothingness below is your idea of an afternoon well spent, then you will find Cathedral Peak a most agreeable base from which to launch your expeditions as there are a number of slopes and faces just waiting for your knuckles, knees and toes.


A Secretary Bird soars among the updrafts with thousands of feet of rock as a backdrop.

On the other hand, if garish dress and losing little balls takes your fancy, then there is a professional golf course as well as a miniature putting course on the property. Here’s a great tip (and you got it here first folks). There are several golf courses in this area and you might want to plan a golf break in the Drakensberg that affords you the opportunity to play a course every couple of days. After a month (and a fair wad of cash) you will either have completely satiated your golf appetite, or you will swear on your granny’s cat’s grave that you will NEVER, EVER touch a golf pole again in your life.


It’s not all ropes and knuckles. There are splendid walks in the lower hills. Just be careful during wet weather. If you look carefully, you can see the misty spray rising above a swollen mountain river.

For us, it was archery. Bows and arrows are available for hire, but we’d brought our own and we spent a few happy hours on more than one occasion getting in some practice.

Walking is another pastime in which you can completely have your fill. Whatever your level of fitness and whatever mode of perambulation you prefer; rambling, scrambling, hiking, strolling, there’s a path for you. I am indeed fortunate to have hiked several kilometres in and among the Drakensberg mountains (in the days before I had a decent camera) and if you should venture out here, I can assure you of many moments of heart-filling, eye-watering, breath taking beauty. In South Africa, there are a large number of hiking/mountain clubs, full of great people who are absolutely brimming with good advice

After these energetic pursuits, you may feel like (or need) the salubrious ministrations of a professional masseuse. Cathedral Peak, thoughtfully, has one on the premises, and I thought it would be a nice romantic thing if the two Chipses indulged in a little honeymoon pampering.

I’m trying very hard to be all metro-sexual about this, and I take full responsibility for the error, but I specifically asked for a ‘Therapeutic Massage’, lest the rubbing lady think I might want something more…um…exotic and less than conducive to ongoing marital bliss. Cathedral Peak’s massage facility is within the small gym and when it was my turn I assumed the position on the massage bench and waited for her to begin.

I confess I haven’t been through the Geneva Convention with a fine toothed comb, but I am absolutely certain that there is a section dealing with inhumane tortures (avec or sans oil). Within the first minutes of the hour long session, the masseuse ‘found’ more knots in me than a pirate ship’s rigging. She set to, to rid me of these knots with such passion and determination, that I’m sure several departed torturers of old were queuing up in Hades to pat her warmly on the back.

No patting on back for yours truly, however. It was all knuckles, elbows and very possibly a knee or two. The pain was so intense that I was ready to confess to crimes as far back as the Crimean War. It was all made worse by the undignified position in which I was lying – on my front (with no way of defending myself) and my face pushed into a hole in the bench, trying not to drool while gasping. When I asked her if every customer suffered this much pain, she innocently replied, “No dear, only the Therapeutic Massage clients – and only if they have knots.”

So now you know. If you want one of those relaxing, pampering, sleep inducing massages, just say so. They’re very professional there you know.


The early bird and all that….
An Olive Thrush getting the worm.


About Freud Fission Chips

Despite the banality of the name, FFC has led an intensely varied life. Grateful for surviving almost three years as a 'troepie' (soldier for non-South African Readers) in the Angolan war, he determined to wring as much out of life as possible. Currently providing Business Analysis services, trading on the stock market and developing web pages to pay the bills, FFC also dabbles in wildlife, landscape and people photography, writing, and far too many interests for his own good. He has also travelled extensively in southern Africa (working on the sound theory that a moving target is more dificult to hit). These peregrinations also include over 1500kms on foot through some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. It hasn't all been plain sailing, beer and skittles, and endless beds of roses... Chief amongst the prerequisites for surviving Africa, with its mind-bending characteristics, is an appropriate sense of humour.... So, for now, he will be recounting the amusing among the annoying, the frustrating wrapped in the funny and extracting the mirth from the melancholy... Oh yes, there might be some alliteration too.
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9 Responses to Honeymoon Travels–Chapter Six–Getting rubbed up the wrong way

  1. Very funny, Ala, you outdid yourself on this one. Only those who have been bruised by a “masossager” can relate!

  2. Pingback: Honeymoon Travels–Chapter Seven – Mini episode on wheels | Freud Fission Chips

  3. rangewriter says:

    Aren’t you recently married? Perhaps it’s best to leave the massage to the new wifey! 😉

    I’ve discovered that I get antsy and bored in a massage. And they cost a heck of a lot of $$, so I’d rather curl up with a book or a fun blog like yours.

    • Dear Rangewriter,
      Flattery will get you absolutely everywhere (provided your passport is up to date 🙂 ). I am humbled that you enjoy the blog and I sincerely hope you will take pleasure from many happy visits.

      We, my better half and I have found that doing what one loves, without the dictates of stereotypes getting in the way, leads to a much more fulfilling life. We’ll thus be equally happy laying cables, baking, sewing or lying in the bush waiting for *that* special photo of some or other animal or creepy crawly. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful soul mate.

    • PS – thank you for popping in – I really appreciate your visit and kind comments.

      Best wishes

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