South Africa

Hogsback: a must visit for Lord of the Rings fans

21st January 2015

Hogsback, Eastern Cape

 

I am very lucky to have wonderful parents who love to travel and who have instilled in me that same curiosity.   I’m therefore very proud to say that I have seen some South African wonders that many people haven’t.  This of course includes Hogsback, a little gem in the Amathole Mountains.

 

This December, after our annual beach holiday with the whole family (always such a treat!), we took a little detour going home.  Our last stop was a tiny town in the woods in the Eastern Cape, called Hogsback.  A beautiful town full of fairies and mysteries – and a lot of hippies!

 

There isn’t too much to do in town, so you’ll have to go into the woods.  There you’ll find some of the most beautiful hiking- and mountain biking trails, leading to even more amazing views.  We hiked to one of the largest waterfalls, Madonna and Child, astonished at how beautiful this part of our country is.   Slipping here and there, the quick walk down to the falls and back was definitely worth it!

 

Later that evening, we looked at some fairy statues and had yummy pizza (with the most toppings that I’ve ever eaten on a pizza) in a cosy pub.  The next morning we visited The Edge with its famous labyrinth, one of the biggest in the world.   It’s on the edge of a cliff, supplying us with spectacular views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.

Labyrinth, The Edge

 

I was told that the town’s name came from the close-by mountains, looking like pigs with upright back hair.  These mountains and valleys in front of them provide the most spectacular view.  We enjoyed the clean, fresh morning air while watching a never ending stream of clouds rolling over the mountains and into the valley.

 

But what does Lord of the Rings have to do with anything?

 

My favourite part of this little town was all the Lord of the Rings references we found scattered around.  (For those who don’t know:  I am a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan!)  We stayed in Away with the Fairies, where each room is named after a Lord of the Rings character.  We stayed in Samwise for the night. What fun!  There is an outdoor education centre, named Hobbiton, for example.  I was in absolute Lord of the Rings heaven!

 

Some claim that JRR Tolkien stayed in Hogsback and that this magical, mysterious little town was his inspiration for Middle Earth.  They say that the views around this beautiful town fascinated him so much that he based the his stories on these views, especially Mirkwood.

Whether this is all true, I am not convinced.  I do, however, like the idea very much…  The idea that I was in the place that inspired one of the world’s greatest storytellers to such lengths that he wrote this place into some of my favourite books.  I can live with that. 🙂

 

If you ever get the chance and you are in the mood for some mystery, stay a night in this magical little town.  Wander around and allow yourself to believe in fairies once again.  If you want to go,  just go.  Just travel!

 

B 🙂

 

The bathtub on the edge of the mountain at Away with the Fairies

 

The 15m high tree house at Away with the Fairies
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