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Heading out with mom

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Compiled by Meghan Spilsbury photos by Jess Fogarty

Looking to head out on an adventure with your mom for a little quality one-on-one time, but just not too sure what action plan to suggest? We did an office survey to find out what sparks the interest of moms inside and outside this outdoor-lovin’ publishing house.

A lady of numbers and mother of two, Heather Gradidge of our accounts department says she would definitely opt for some quality time with her kids on a hiking trail or two. ‘When you head out on a hike, often you find yourself without cellphone reception, so children are fully focused on the conversations you’re having. I’m a creationist and love to be outside enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us. It helps me to remember that everything is so much bigger than me, yet made for my enjoyment.’

Our SA4x4 intern Jess knows her mother pretty well. As a retired woman and pensioner, Val would much rather take a leisurely trip on a steam train, admire wildlife from a game vehicle, spend a few days on a houseboat or even watch the ground go by from a hot-air balloon. ‘It has to be something adventurous and exciting, but also, due to health concerns, not too physically challenging,’ says Jess. Single mom and receptionist Linda-Rose explains that after the hustle and bustle of a busy week, coupled with looking after her daughter on her own full-time, she would love to experience a relaxing adventure, like horse riding, with her little girl. ‘We love being outside, so a horseback riding trip would be an exciting challenge that would pue fonts

Caravan & Outdoor Life’s new editor, Simon (speaking on behalf of his wife, Gill) says that unless the captain of the hot air balloon is Tom Cruise, Ronan Keating or Brad Pitt, then she would be more inclined to indulge in a steam train trip to a new destination or spend a few days bobbing on a lake in a houseboat rather than risk ending up in a ball of flames. But who can blame her? Travelling and experiencing new things with one’s nearest and dearest has to be one of life’s most valuable experiences … especially when there’s a seven-year-old in tow.

‘My mom would love the opportunity to experience the Big Five up close, but not too personal. She would also jump at the chance to explore a new hiking trail, as she loves being surrounded by big, beautiful, open spaces, especially when climbing to new and different heights. Sea kayaking would also be up there on her wish list; because deep down she’s an adrenalin junkie. But it has been her biggest dream to sail the seven seas, so there’s no doubt in my mind that a houseboat or cruise would tickle her fancy! I would love to spend some time with her doing one or all of these things.’ So says Spencer Manuel, SA4x4 sales rep and newly appointed dad!

One of the newest members of our sales team, Bronwyn Cinnamon, knows that her soon-to-be mother-in-law, Ingrid, loves nature and spotting animals and birds, so game viewing would be high on her list. Ingrid loves hiking and keeping fit, so walks along the beach or in the mountains are a weekly routine for her, but for something out of the ordinary, Bronwyn reckons she’d choose a steam train. ‘Ingrid loves discovering how beautiful life is, and she appreciates it all, every little detail.’ My mom? Well, as far as I’m concerned, she is Wonder Woman, and she wouldn’t pass up any adventurous opportunity on offer. If I had to pick a few from a list for her, I would have to opt for hot-air ballooning, abseiling and paragliding. Mom’s definitely one for admiring a breathtaking view, even if she has to run up a mountain or climb down a rock face to find it.

Lyn Castle, ‘main mom’ of the building, says she would love to tie her laces and head out on a hiking trail, ‘It’s something I’d like to try – you know, one of those stay-overnight-in-a-hut hikes, but nothing too strenuous for a first-timer, though. I’ve done a few other adventurous things, like game viewing, which is always No. 1 on my list. I could also do a steam train trip. That’s a little more sedentary, so it would also be a great time to sit and catch up with my family: everyone gets so caught up in everyday life that we often don’t have a moment to just relax together.

Don’t forget, at my age there are some activities which are a definite no-no – we have to take care of our ailing bones – but if you look hard enough, you’ll definitely find something that suits you. After all, we live in a country that offers so much.’ If you’re looking out of the box for some mommy-and-me time, why not get yourself a copy of Mild to Wild by Fiona McIntosh, Mariëlle Renssen and Sean Fraser? It provides a detailed list of adventures and activities available to the wild-at-heart enthusiast in southern Africa. Offering fast facts, provincial pointers and area attractions, this guide is a fantastic reference when you’re looking for a challenge or even a gentle getaway. Serving up information on loads of locations, contact details for tourist offices, background knowledge on climates, currency, and accommodation choices, along with detailed maps and inspirational images, Mild to Wild is the ideal adventure advisor!

Mild to Wild, published by MapStudio, is available at most major bookstores nationwide.

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