SSS: The Free Spirited Hout Bay experience

Location: Hout Bay, Cape Peninsula

A lot of people are looking to get in touch with their spiritual side…and it is therefore no coincidence that we get a lot of requests for experiences that are a little different from the usual. I personally loved curating this experience, because I got to hang out with some of my favourite peeps from Houtbaai, and Suna got to hang out with some doggies. So it was a win-win! We really hope that our guests will enjoy this experience as it is definitely out of this world… no pun intended!

Perfect Hideaways outdid themselves with accommodation for this one. Maison Noir goes beyond imagination. Is this place even for mere mortals? Luckily there are many meditation and yoga spots on this property where one can find the answers that you seek. The house is laid out in a collection of A-frame buildings almost as if it’s mimicking a traditional Kraal. A highlight, well, one of the many highlights, is the seamless indoor-outdoor spaces, surrounded by a series of serene pools of water, which many a koi are lucky enough to call home. Besides that, there is nothing coy about this house - it is an architectural masterpiece. Inner peace is within your reach after one night here, but you may have to stay another night just to really cement it in!

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So with inner peace in tow, Suna took off to Sacred Ibis and I took off to the mountains of Hangberg, sacred in their own right.

Brent from Karbonkelberg Tourism and his beautiful family showed me the true beauty of Hangberg. The history of this area is incredibly rich Hangberg and goes back many many years to when the Khoi use to stay there in peace and harmony, long before the Dutch settlers came ashore. Brent has so much passion about his heritage and roots and it is beautiful to see how his sons are learning to walk in their dad’s footsteps. This precious knowledge simply HAS to be taught to the next generation.

Donita, Brent’s wife, is a herbalizer and specialises in traditional herbal medicine for a range of treatments. She showed us her nature bundle and where eons ancient wisdom lay before us. Dawid se wortel, kanker bossie, bucchu, rooi wortel (the one that gives you voooma!) are just a few of these magical remedies.

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After the magical hike in the mountains, we were quite thirsty! So enter Urban Brewery! The brewery design is unique and the attention speak to the love and attention these guys put into their operation. I heard a rumour there was a beer there that I just had to try… the Monkey’s Paw! My spirit animal was happy and satisfied! Geoffrey, the owner, knows his beer and keeps everything sustainable…which links back to why we want to add this spot to our experience. Get this: they keep all the waste (from the beer making process) and give it to local farms in the area to use as compost, and one of those beneficiaries is Sacred Ibis.

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Once you enter through the gates of Sacred Ibis you are welcomed with warm smiles but also with some burning sage and the wing of an owl. Michelle and her husband Gordon are human beings, but they have taken being human to another level. They are the kindest, most humble and gentlest people I have ever met and they love, care and heal others openly and freely. There are no airs and graces here, they are done with those earthly notions. They’ve lived lives well examined, they’ve studied under tribesmen, they’ve lived with the poorest of the poor, they’ve spent time in the trenches and I think, after everything they’ve witnessed and experienced, they started Sacred Ibis. A place where human beings can feel abundant love by re-connecting to their roots, their Maker, their Source… whatever you call it. Either way, come with an open mind and an open heart. We think our guests will love getting to know them, and partake in the festivals, ceremonies and community outreach projects that they run. Suna was lucky enough to attend a dream catcher workshop with Michelle, and I believe she also dabbled in some card pulling. Apparently she pulled the ‘Bat’ from the Medicine cards which explains her ‘batty-ness’, or so I thought! It actually means that Suna needs to face her fears and find her way to a new understanding. I think I might need to drop her off at Sacred Ibis a few more times… he he!

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We also have a special treat up our sleeves for our potential guests, and I think this has been the highlight for Suna. We arranged a special visit with Debbie Caknis, who is, amongst many things, an animal communicator. Debbie started ZeroPointHealing, a holistic healing and teaching practice based in Hout Bay. It offers a variety of alternative healing therapies, as well as courses and workshops. The best part is that animal communication is one of the subjects! We decided to meet Debbie at DARG, the domestic animal rescue group. They are also based in Hout Bay, in fact just down the road from Sacred Ibis. If you have never been for a visit, do yourself a favour and just go. This organisation works on the front line, they do what many others don’t have the heart to do, but because they love animals so much, they do it, despite the pain and the suffering it causes them. A dog rehomed or a mere wag of a tail is reward enough.

One of their cutest, but sadly, longest residents, is a dog fella named Sparky. Debbie decided to have a conversation with him, and apparently, he had quite a lot on his mind! Debbie started off the session with some healing crystals and reiki, and when Sparky was calm and relaxed the tête-à-tête begun. Being able to communicate with animals is beneficial to both the animals and humans as it creates a closer bond and facilitates the animals’ well-being. We are therefore so thrilled to be able to include Debbie in this experience. Imagine if more people took the time to listen to the wisdom that animals have to impart.

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As mentioned earlier, a lot of guests want to get involved in the community. We believe strongly in responsible tourism, and want to show the South Africa behind the pretty postcards. Therefore on this experience, we will be joining Gordon and Michelle as they prepare food for their soup kitchen called Gracie. According to the website, Gracie is a simple act of kindness in a very harsh and broken world. They grow their own organic veggies and transform them into soup for those who are homeless and living on the margins in Hout Bay. Gordon and I harvested some of their beautiful veggies so that Michelle can show Suna how to make her special veggie soup. Her secret ingredient is tumeric, also known as ‘the golden goddess’. This magical spice is high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. According to Michelle, a golden goddess herself, also great for anti aging. That clarifies why Suna had seconds and I swear she wanted to go back for thirds, I had to hold her back!! We ended off a magical afternoon sitting around a fire, listening to Michelle’s beautiful drumming and singing. Our souls were soaring like eagles high above us, and somehow we knew we found a spiritual home, a place where we can still dance despite the pain of this broken world.

We would love to show our guests that there is more to Houtbaai than what meets the eye. It is often in the news due to conflict and unrest and it is clear that the people who live here, have a story to tell. We just have to listen.. Perhaps it will be through people like Brent, Michelle, Debbie, Gordon and even Sparky that we may have an encounter with the unseen, the holy and the sacred, and then maybe, just maybe, see that we are all connected and that there really is only ‘one love’. Peace!