So we had given up on the Morris family, thinking they would arrive the next day as they had been running late and missed the convoy out of Cape Town. So you can imagine our surprise that evening when we were sitting around the fire, only to see two headlights coming down the mountain road towards the camp site! The place is difficult enough to find during the day, but at night! With no GPS! Having never been there before! IMPRESSIVE!!
Or perhaps is was my fantastic directions and the bits of danger tape tied to gates fences and bushes at strategic points :)
Their new VW Amarok 2x4 made it with ease, even with a nail in the tire from frequenting building sites prior to departure from Cape Town
Here is a selection of photos taken:  
 
 
Here is a collection just in from Halyey's camera after their walk down river. This is only a small collection. The diversity of plant species is remarkable
 
 
What a week! We achieved a huge amount, but it is never as much as you plan to as this is after all the Karoo. Things happen at a slower pace here and that is exactly the type of tonic that most people need these days. We all lead such busy lives! Seems like we are on a treadmill a lot of the time. Great to be able to share this Karoo wonderland with friends and family. 
This week we set out a few days early to achieve a few major tasks ahead of the mass arrival. One was to get the water reticulation sorted so that we could get water to the bathroom, shower and main area aka the caravan. We also set the task of completing the installation of a flush toilet. Yes a flush toilet! The ultimate luxury appliance out here in the middle of nowhere. To add to that, we planned to create a shower with hot water on demand. We started with our fair share of obstacles like the water pump needing to be serviced before it would work, having to replace a 100 metres roll of 50 mm water pipe and run it down the mountain side. Then we had to drag the old section up the hill and connect it to the water tank that is about 250 metres from the river. All in a days work. The river was really flowing and the rapids just amazing. The beach below our caravan was almost non-existent and the water temperature on the chilly side as it must have been flowing off those snow covered peaks we saw around Ceres. The good news is that we achieved all the major tasks and what a difference it has made! We can now bring friends and family and offer them an oasis at the end of the rocky road. Have a look at the latest collection of pictures from this weekend. We ended up with 15 people and 4 dogs! The weather was not the greatest, as in there was a cool wind blowing a lot of the time, but we managed to ignore it and get on with the job at hand and taking time to canoe, fish, swim, eat drink and be merry!!
 
 
It has been some time since I have posted, but I just wanted to share with everyone the exciting feedback after our latest visit to Aqua Vita with ecologist Andrew Schofield and he was blown away by Aqua Vita. We will be posting elements from his report soon, but he has confirmed a number of our suspicions regarding the unique aspects of the land, the vegetation, the wildlife, etc. Have a look at the gallery of some of the amazing flowers that have presented themselves at Aquavita after the amazing rains that this region has experienced. Although an arid region with an average rainfall of around 150 mm per annum, the area has experienced at least double that. Andrew believes that some of the flowers that we will see this year, may not have been seen for many years and may not be seen for many years to come.
 
 
Hi folks, this is our first post. Our plan on this blog is to keep you updated on what is happening in the world of Aquavita. Please have a look at the web site and let us know if there is anything in particular you would like to see. This is an exciting project but it will require a lot of energy from like minded people over the coming months / years. But you know what they say about Rome! And we have taken the first steps.
Some exciting news is that we are engaging with DENC, the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation in the Northern Cape and are about to sign a conservation area agreement which will hopefully be the first step in conserving this beautiful area which has the potential to help extend the Greater Cedarberg Biodiversity Corridor. Aquavita sits on the Northern Cape side of the Doring river. The Doring forms our Western boundary and one of our neighbours is the Matjiesrivier Reserve which is part of Cape Nature, so it is a potential stepping stone or bridge between the two provinces. Come back soon and visit.