Past Meetup

Soulful Umshanti River Resort - Grootvadersbosch & Marloth Nature Reserve Trails

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[18 Going] -- Soulful Summer Long Weekend Away - Wednesday 21st – 25th March 2018 (Wednesday the 21st of March is a public holiday) - @ Umshanti Private Resort @ Buffeljags Dam just past Swellendam. Rated as one of the best relaxing Summer venues by those that were there last time – included in our stay: a group river cruise on a double-decker barge, this will be private for our group to the end of the gorge, nature trail up to the waterfall, use of canoes 6 x canoes in own time at the resort, stunning swimming spots & the high light being the visit to Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve Near and exploring some of the different trails we have not yet done on our previous group visit, located near Swellendam - http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve/ - We will also be visiting Marloth Nature Reserve and doing the Duiwelsbos Waterfall, that we have not able to do from our previous visits. Marloth Nature Reserve - http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/marloth-nature-reserve/ is also located in Swellendam. After our visit to Marloth Nature Resort, we will also visit the Berry Farm - http://www.theberryfarm.co.za/ - in Swellendam. These two Reserves offer the perfect hiking days out in the coolness of the dense indigenous forest especially in the summer months.

PLEASE NOTE - THIS WILL BE THE ONLY EXTENDED SUMMER 2018 LONG WEEKEND AWAY

Cost: R 1,[masked] per person or if you are not able to pay the full amount, then a 50% deposit to secure your booking with the balance to be paid on the 1st of September 2017. This will be a self- catering option, with shared communal lunch and dinner.

"VERY IMPORTANT" -- Please email first or call me directly (Do not just mark yourself as going on Facebook / Meetup) to check for availability and to book on - [masked] or for more info, contact Iain Macdonald on Tel:[masked] or[masked] - When making a booking, please can you send me your cell number, email address, name & surname and number of people going. You can also send me a message on "whatsapp

There are only two requirements to join this event. One is that we have spoken on the telephone, so that I can to give you a sense of what is on offer before you book. The other is that you need to have done one of the regular Sunday walks that I offer in the past 6 months or at least one of the regular walks in the six months leading up to the event. This structure / qualifying requirement has been put in place, so that I can gauge your fitness levels and determine whether you will be able to cope with the hike on offer. Joining in on at one of the walks before the event, also enhances the sense of soulful connectedness, as you will know some of the people going. The weekends away offer a combination of adventure of soulfulness, relaxation, group sharing of the day’s experience and time out is allocated for quiet time. By joining a walk I also get a chance to meet you and you will get to know what is on offer in person. This weekend away will be suitable for most levels of fitness. This extra time on the trails on these weekends away provides time to connect with the beauty of nature, including plenty of opportunity for taking pictures. There is also own time allocated on these weekends to explore the beauty of place where we are staying. Often there is an opportunity to swim, if it’s warm enough.

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This will be a 5 day / 4 night away trip, starting on the Wednesday (public holiday) from 12.30pm, with arrival no later than 3pm for the start of the event and our opening sharing circle and ending on Sunday afternoon 4pm for our closing circle get together and sharing.

VERY IMPORTANT -- Please check that you can commit to these times before joining. You will need to take the Thursday & Friday off from work to make the most of the Summer Weekend away

Included in the payment will be your self-catering accommodation for both nights and the various guided activities on offer. Suitable for Most Levels of Fitness, but some minimum fitness is required.

The self-catering accommodation where we are staying at is located 12km just past Swellendam or 3hours from / 230km Cape Town. Wherever possible we will share the Transport in getting there.

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What is on offer:

What is on offer: Three Hiking Trails – *** We will be doing a different section of the Bush Buck Hiking Trail 13km @ Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve on the Saturday. This will certainly one of the highlights of the weekend with our visit to the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. This is the most significant stretch of indigenous afromontane forest left in the south-western Cape, with nearly all of the 35 typical forest tree species, including red alder, ironwood, stinkwood and yellowwood. Rare forest emperor butterflies and multitudes of birds await you at Grootvadersbosch. *** The second Trail will be the Duiwelsbos Waterfall Trail in Marloth Nature Reserve. This lovely hike starts at the Koloniesbos parking area. Hikers make their way to the beautiful Duiwelsbos Waterfall via the cool green indigenous forest. On the trail you’ll see the reserve’s rich plant and wildlife, including fynbos, birds and small animals *** The Third Trail will be from where we are staying and it will be part of our day out on the river barge. As you can only get there by boat. We will return to the impressive waterfall that offers a stunning swim spot. We will also explore more the river gorge and the trail that go along the side of this spectacular area and awesome spot.

At our stay Umshanti Resort @ Buffeljags Dam where we are staying, there will be own time on the Friday, to swim, or use the 8 x canoes free of charge on the dam or swim. On the Sunday we will be doing a river boat cruise a on a double-decker barge for up to 35 people, this will be private for our group to the end of the gorge up to the Waterfall, here we will go for a walk to the waterfall, following the trail through the forest. We will have our lunch on the boat while enjoying the stunning views. We will also be able to swim of the double decker barge. There will also be allocated own time for relaxation or Soulful reflection time out and star gazing opportunities under the night sky. A high-light from last time the huge amount s of birds that fly over the accommodation area for Sunrise and sunset.

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Umshanti is a small private resort, set on the Buffeljags Dam, just 12 km from Swellendam, offering peace and tranquillity, adventure and excitement. We will be staying in three Chalets with a communal boma.

Our accommodation is situated on the banks of the Buffeljags dam, accommodating 22 guests comfortably in 9 x bedrooms in 3 x chalets. Each cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, and bedding is provided. As the accommodation is a proper chalet, it is ideally suited for a summer trip away, no matter the weather. Swimming can be done in the beautiful mountain dam or in the swimming in the waterfalls. It is the ideal place for anyone looking to escape city life and just relax, or for those who want to get out in nature and enjoy outdoor pursuits.

It is the ideal place for anyone looking to escape city life and just relax, or for those who want to get out in nature and enjoy soulful outdoor pursuits.

I look forward to you joining us. Love and blessings. Iain

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PLEASE NOTE:

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"This is the only moment that is real. To be here and now, and enjoy the present moment is our most important task. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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ABOUT THE UMSTANTI RESORT

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Umshanti is a small private resort, set on the Buffeljags Dam, just 12 km from Swellendam, offering peace and tranquillity, adventure and excitement. Accommodation is offered in three cottages. At Umshanti you can enjoy nature’s wonderland with thrilling 200 m zip line ‘foefie slide’ rides, boat cruises, swimming, canoeing, hiking or mountain biking to stunning mountain pools, water skiing, and more. Umshanti offers fun for everyone. The foefie slide’ is an extra activity you can do at R110.00 per person

Breathtaking mountainous backdrops surround you at Umshanti, with, of course, the shimmering expanse of the Buffeljags Dam in the foreground. Staying at Umshanti, you couldn’t get closer to the water’s edge without getting your feet wet!

The resort is tucked in between the folds of the majestic Langeberg mountains just around the corner from the historic town of Swellendam – nine kilometres further down the N2, to be precise. The 250 km drive through from Cape Town, through quintessential platteland landscapes, takes approximately three hours. Upon reaching the dorpie Buffeljagsrivier, swing a left just after the correctional facility next to the N2. A few tricky twists on unmarked gravel roads will soon have you arriving at Umshanti. The on-site houses are well maintained and set in lush surroundings right on the dam’s bank.

What makes Umshanti so appealing? Well, for starters, they don’t allow any day visitors. You’ll get the message from the hangman’s noose draped over the ‘no day visitors’ sign at the entrance.

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ABOUT – GROOTVADERBOSCH & THE HIKING TRAIL

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On Saturday we will be visiting Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve located 45min from where we are staying. The permit for this trail will be an extra R40.00 or you can use your wild card

==> TRAIL MAP ROUTE – http://www.mapometer.com/walking/route_4041881.html

About the hiking trail: Bushbuck Trail - Roughly 13 km, is a series of loops and circuits that include the Melkhoutpad best reserved for hot days. Set in amongst the canopy of the indigenous trees along the Duivenhoks River (that runs past Vermaaklikheid further downstream), it is a great trail for bird and tree spotting. It includes the Fonteintjiesbos, Melkhout and Stinkhout circuits that take one past a bird hide, enormous Californian redwood trees that are incredible they are so tall (they may not always be here as Cape Nature is busy reclaiming the area and cutting down exotics), and through the forest filled with yellowwoods, stinkwoods, saffraans and scolopias.

MORE ABOUT THE GROOTVADERBOSCH NATURE RESERVE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=B9UuR0cFlK8

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Originally known as Melkhoutskraal, the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve encompasses 250 hectares of indigenous forest in the Langeberg region, close to Heidelberg. The name translates to “big father” in honour of Roelof Oelofse who owned the land in 1723. It has only been a reserve since 1986 and was declared a world heritage site in 2004.

This is the most significant stretch of indigenous afromontane forest left in the south-western Cape, with nearly all of the 35 typical forest tree species, including red alder, ironwood, stinkwood and yellowwood. This is an excellent birding destination with more than 196 bird species regularly spotted. Hikers are likely to bump into bushbuck and spot baboons and smaller mammals when out on the trails. Sighting the forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the rare ghost frog would be the highlight of a visit here, as they can only be found in this particular forest.

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve conserves a significant section of indigenous forest that has most of the typical 35 forest tree species, including yellowwood, stinkwood, red alder and ironwood. Areas in which exotic trees were planted between 1896 and 1913, including camphor, eucalyptus, ash and Californian redwood and oak, are being reclaimed for indigenous species.

The reserve is home to two species only found in this particular forest, a subspecies of the forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the ghost frog, as well as a host of bushbuck, grysbok, baboons and smaller mammals. Leopards are occasionally spotted. This is a birder’s paradise with 196 species recorded within the reserve, including the rare striped flufftail, Layard’s titbabbler, francolin, black and booted eagles and the beautiful sunbirds and sugarbirds. Located in a transitional rainfall zone between winter and all-year rainfall regions, the vegetation is primarily mountain fynbos, with about 1 200 plant species documented in this region.

The edges of the forest and the nearby mountain fynbos provide some particularly good examples of endemic bird species such as the Knysna woodpecker, Knysna and Victorin's warblers, the forest canary and the Cape siskin.

There are two bird hides set within the forest and amongst the 200 odd bird species you may spot are the paradise flycatcher, the crowned eagle and the narina trogon.

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ABOUT – THE Marloth Nature Reserve

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We will be visiting this Nature Reserve when we do the Duiwelsbos Waterfall Trail in Marloth Nature Reserve. Marloth Nature Reserve is hidden away in the imposing Swellendam Mountains, between Swellendam, Ashton, Barrydale and Suurbraak. Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa and has many interesting cultural-historic features. The peaceful reserve, which is[masked] hectares in size, is managed together with[masked] hectares of privately owned land. Marloth Nature Reserve is named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents, petitioned the Minister of Lands and Forestry in 1928 to set aside part of the mountain as a nature reserve. During 1981, the reserve was enlarged to include the rest of the State Forest and the Swellendam hiking trail was opened.

The reserve’s vegetation is predominantly mountain fynbos, with patches of forest. There are several species of protea and more than 25 species of erica, most of which flower in November. Marloth, like the rest of the southern Cape, has hot summers and cold winters. The higher mountain peaks are occasionally dusted in snow during the cold winter months.

Indigenous Forest Walks. These trails lead into the cool green depths of the indigenous forest remnants where rock pools, waterfalls and ancient trees wait to be explored.

Most of the animals that occur at Marloth are relatively small, shy and not easily spotted. Klipspringer and grey rhebuck occur in the fynbos, while bushbuck keep to the forests. Baboons are numerous, while leopards still roam the mountains. The Cape sugarbird is the most conspicuous bird, but black eagles, buzzards and harriers can also be seen Plants Spring is the best time to witness the colourful display of mountain fynbos. Many of these protea, erica and reed species occur

Now here else in the world. Originally, the indigenous forests covered a much larger area but, after years of exploitation by the local furniture and wagon industries, only isolated patches of yellowwood, stinkwood, wild olive, hard pear and ironwood are still found in the damper kloofs.

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Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life ~ Steve Jobs

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If you are not sure of the level of fitness required or would like to find out more about this adventure or to check for availability and to book on - contact Iain Macdonald on Tel:[masked] or[masked]

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This meet-up group forms a combined part my websites http://www.intuitionwalks.com and www.awakening-intuition.com (http://www.awakening-intuitio.com) and the online Facebook section – https://www.facebook.com/groups/intuitionwalks . I have been offering these walks since 2003 and with a subscriber list in Cape Town of over 2500 people. This group offers a great alternative to meeting like-minded people.

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The scenic surroundings will provide an ideal space for relaxation and re-connecting within. Not to mention connecting with like-minded people who share similar soulful interests

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==> TOTAL COST & HOW TO BOOK

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Cost: R 1,[masked] per person or if you are not able to pay the full amount, then a 50% deposit to secure your booking with the balance to be paid on the 1st of September 2017.. This will be a self- catering option, with shared communal dinner options.

Included in the payment will be your accommodation for the 4 x nights, self-catering accommodation and the various guided activities on offer.

*** Please note that bookings will be on a first-come first-served basis with payment, so book early to avoid disappointment.

==>My Banking details are listed below. Payment secures your place.

Please note that bookings will be on a first-come first-served basis with payment, so book early to avoid disappointment.

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MY NEW BANK DETAILS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

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Please email full details with confirmation of payment including - [masked] ([masked])

STANDARD BANK / Iain A. Macdonald / Current Account / Account number -[masked] /Branch Code -[masked] / Corner Lower Long and Hans Strydom Street / Cape Town – South Africa / Please email full details with confirmation of payment including / Full Name and Surname / Contact numbers / Number of People / Occupation / Level of Fitness

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PLEASE NOTE NEW TERMS OF BOOKING.

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As all payments are done for accommodation and Permits, no refunds are on offer. Once the event is fully booked, then your spot will be replaced. The other option is that you try to find someone who has done the one regular walk to take your place then it is a straight swap. If something should come up at the last moment and you are not able to join, between 7 and 14 days prior to the date and only if I have a wait list of people and the spot can be refilled with some-one who has been on one of the regular walks before, will a refund will be offered if I can refill your spot. Anything less than 7 days prior to our departure day, NO REFUNDS on offer and your spot will NOT be re-advertised. People tend to make other plans and bookings in the last week are very hard to refill and I normally don’t have a waiting list. The above prices are all VAT inclusive. I reserve the right to re-schedule or cancel a tour should the minimum number of people not be attained or if the booking is cancelled by the outsourced operator; in this case a full refund will be offered.

For more info or directions, contact Iain Macdonald on Tel:[masked] or[masked] or [masked] - Please note that bookings will be on a first-come first-served basis with payment, so book early to avoid disappointment.

“Please note -- no Pets or Children allowed on this Soulful Weekend Away”

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It is my intention to offer activities or weekends away / retreats in different part of our beautiful country that offer a sacred soulful space to connect like-minded people who share similar soulful interests. Below is a list of various events planned.

For a list of previous weekends away, events, nature walks, Multi-day hikes and retreats that have been on offer - https://www.facebook.com/groups/intuitionwalks/events/?past or for a list of up and coming events - https://www.facebook.com/groups/intuitionwalks/events/

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Hosted by - Iain Macdonald - From Awakening Intuition Nature Walks, Retreats, Soulful Weekends Away, Events & Hiking – Connecting Like-minded people - From – http://www.intuitionwalks.com /&/ http://www.awakening-intuition.com - your online Free Resource Centre for practical tools to enhance & support your awakening Journey. Over[masked] Body Mind Soul Consciousness Articles, Relationship Advice Articles, On-line movies, E-books, Quotes & Sacred texts are listed.

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MORE INFO ABOUT YOUR STAY

==> ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATION

This self -catering chalets are perfect for large groups of friends or families. Each house has a private braai area outside with bench and wooden chairs. Kitchens are fully equipped and they supply bedding. Included will be a cruise on a double-decker barge for up to 35 people. We park in a gorge

where you can braai, take a canoe trip to the waterfall, hike up the mountain, swim or just relax. An ideal family spot for a weekend breakaway! Three houses with 9 beds each – one room with a double bed, one room with two single beds and two rooms with three single beds. Each house has a fully equipped kitchen and bedding is provided. Unfortunately there is only one bathroom per house, but there are 4 showers in a separate building. The kitchen which is fully equipped with incl. detergent, microwave, large stove and oven as well as 2 fridges. Also included is bedding, bath towels, equipped kitchens with crockery, glasses, cutlery, pots and pans, toaster, kettle, fridge, oven & stove, microwave, dish cloth, dish washing liquid, dishwasher tablets and toilet paper

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==> LEVEL OF FITNESS

@ -- For this Soulful Weekend Away on the 21st – 25th of March 2018, this will be suitable for most levels of fitness, as the walks will be not be longer than 90min

@@ -- If you have any doubts about the type of walk or pace in terms of fitness level, please call and I can advise accordingly.

@@@ -- It is always my aim to offer routes that are accessible for most people, but some minimum level of fitness is always required.

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ITINERARY – Summary

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WEDNESDAY

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=> Meet from 12.30pm – It’s a public holiday ;-) / => Please no arrivals later than 2pm********* / => Check into our accommodation as allocated / => For those arriving at12.30pm time to relax and time to explore the reserve and see what is on offer / => 3pm Opening Circle and Group Sharing – Start of Soulful Weekend Away / => Approx. 5pm - Start fire around boma area, for evening braai / => (Star gazing walk / experience – will be weather permitting)

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THURSDAY

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=> Breakfast – provide your own / => 7.am – Group Morning Check-in circle / => 7.30am - Depart to the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve for our hike / We will be doing a different section of the Nature Reserve, not covered last time. / => 8.30am – Start of the hike – 7.5km / => 12.30pm – Lunch on route / => 5pm – Depart back to Umshanti Resort / => Approx. 6pm - Start fire around boma area / => 7.30pm – 8.30pm – Communal shared vegetarian delicious self-catered dinner / => [You are welcome to bring meat for yourself but we will not be doing a braai]

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FRIDAY

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=> Breakfast – provide your own / => 8.am – Group Morning Check-in circle / => 8.30am - Depart to the Marloth Nature Reserve for our hike / => 9am – Start of the hike – 5km / => 12.30pm – Lunch on route / => 1.30pm – Coffee / Berries at the Berry Farm in Swellendam / => 2.30pm – Depart back to Umshanti Resort / => Afternoon of Soulful own leisure time, swim canoe, ect.. / => Approx. 6pm - Start fire around boma area / => 7.30pm – 8.30pm – Communal shared vegetarian delicious self-catered dinner / => [You are welcome to bring meat for yourself but we will not be doing a braai] / => (Star gazing walk / experience – will be weather permitting)

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SATURDAY

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=> 8.30am – Group Morning Brief Check-in circle / => 9.30am Depart for our river cruise, lunch on Boat & walk to the waterfall, with swimming stops, return back via walking trail / => 12pm – Lunch on the boat / => 3pm – Arrive back at the Accommodation / => Afternoon of Soulful own leisure time, swim canoe, ect.. / => Approx. 5pm - Start fire around boma area, for evening braai / => (Star gazing walk / experience – will be weather permitting)

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SUNDAY

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=> Breakfast – provide your own / => 8.30am – Group Morning Brief Check-in circle / => 9.30am – Optional shorter trails from the accommodation or own time to swim, canoe or relax / => 1pm – Lunch back at the accommodation / => 3pm - Group Closing Circle and end of Weekend Sacred Experience / => PLEASE NOTE: To join weekend you will need to be part of the end closing group get together / => 4pm Depart back to Cape Town /

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@=> What is included:

Accommodating 22 guests comfortably in 9 rooms in 3 x self-catered accommodation, with twin or double beds. The house has an open plan kitchen. Bedding and bed, bath towels, equipped kitchens with crockery, glasses, cutlery, pots and pans, toaster, kettle, fridge, oven & stove, microwave.

@=> What is not included:

Food for meals. This cost does exclude the cost of the trail at the Grootvadersbosch & Marloth Nature reserves. The cost will be R40.00 for the permit or if you have a wild card you can use that to get in. This part will be payable on the day when we arrive.

You are welcome to bring your own coffee / tea / soft drinks / alcohol / snacks

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Fully equipped Kitchen with stove and oven, microwave, kettle, fridge, crockery and cutlery.

Electricity: YES / Bathroom: Warm/cold water available / Pots, Cutlery and crockery supplied: Yes / Linen supplied: Yes / Towels Supplied: Yes / Fireplace: Yes / Swimming: Yes / /Walks/Hikes: Yes / Special interests: birding, / Braai facilities: Yes / Bathroom Facilities En-suite, Shared bathroom / No Smoking in Rooms: / Stunning Mountain Views and private garden: / Cell Phone Reception: YES

/MEALS ---

Breakfast and & lunch each person will organise for themselves.

Bring your own braai meat for the both nights night and drinks, wine, ect. However we will each bring a side vegetarian dish to share with the group.

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==> DIRECTIONS

FROM CAPE TOWN

More details to be sent out closer to the time with map included. Umshanti Resort is located is located 12km just past Swellendam or 3hours from / 230km Cape Town. – More details to provided closer to the time

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* For more info or directions, contact Iain Macdonald on Tel:[masked] or[masked] or [masked]

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About Iain Macdonald and your Host for this Soulful Weekend away

I have a great passion for personal growth, spiritual development and holistic living. Inspiring others and encouraging their development brings me great personal reward and satisfaction

I am an event organiser connecting like-minded people and facilitating a sacred nature experience and enhance sense of community since 2003. I organize Nature walk on Sundays - http://www.intuitionwalks.com ) around Table Mountain Cape Town and surrounding areas for those who are looking to calm the soul and rejuvenate the body, or who enjoy meeting like-minded people who share similar soulful interests. Also on offer are Monthly Group Activities, Two Yearly Sacred Retreats, Multi Day Hikes & Relaxing Group Weekends Away. These walks are ideal for spiritually minded folk to meet and connect and enjoy a nature experience. My extensive previous experience as a Guest Manager in the hospitality industry has been in valuable in this regard. “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

For a list of previous weekends away, events, nature walks, Multi-day hikes and retreats that have been on offer - https://www.facebook.com/groups/intuitionwalks/events/?past or for a list of up and coming events - https://www.facebook.com/groups/intuitionwalks/events/

I am also a reiki practitioner and have an advanced internationally recognised counselling skills diploma.

I promote conscious networking through the Awakening Intuition Network ( http://www.awakening-intuition.com ) which I founded in 2000. This listing also offers you an article-update and words of wisdom shared from Intuition - Your online Free Resource Centre for practical tools to enhance & support your awakening Journey. Over[masked] Body Mind Soul Consciousness Articles, Relationship Advice Articles, On-line movies, E-books, Quotes & Sacred texts are listed.

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