If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?
CS Lewis - Alice in Wonderland
We had been cycling through the intense heat and wide expanses of the Great Karoo when the sunset caught us 15 kilometres outside of Calvinia. Luckily someone advised us to pop in at Dirk and Sonja van Rensburg's guesthouse, The Republic of RusticA, and so we rolled through their rustic gate at 9 pm, dead tired from the heat, dust and distance.
And what a place to arrive at! Dirk and Sonja, two open minded and free spirited hippies, moved to Calvinia thirteen years ago and started building their own little utopia. Once you pass the white gate, it's like stepping into another world. Dirk collects all things old and rustic and creates installation art and furniture. Sonja is an artist who works with many different mediums - she also sells hand made garments in her own free-flowing style - check out her Facebook page for images.
The moment we walked in the fun started, and three days later we're still immersed in wonderland. Good food, great company, fantastic music and a magical setting. The property has countless little nooks and crannies where you can sit and relax - under the weeping willow that Dirk decorated with a rusty fish skeleton, swinging in the rickshaw outside the No-Cry Bar or lying on the daybed with a view over the lush garden. Two other locals came by for a Saturday night braai, and we all ended up staying until Monday morning - this is not a place you can leave easily!
We experienced so much magic over the weekend - we were even spoiled with blooms from the Queen of the Night cactus. It only blooms for 48 hours and opens up its petals in the moonlight, releasing its pungent fragrance into the night.
Dirk and Sonja have created a lush haven where you can forget all your fears and worries and step into a time isolated wonderland. Go for a visit and take the time to enjoy the best parts of being human: good food, laughter, music, dance and mind expanding conversation. I feel like I've made friends for life and will definitely be back for a visit!