Post authored by M.Sc. candidate Oluwaseun Gakenou
It has been a busy and crazy few months, so it was a wonderful break from the normal to take a trip with the EucXylo group to Alpaca Loom and the Meulwater Botanical Gardens at Paarl. It is winter here, and often wet, so we watched the weather forecast for two weeks to get a sunny Friday.
It was about 45 minutes’ drive to Alpaca Loom and the group members had their first opportunity to connect with each other in person since most meetings have been online. As we drove past the gates, we were welcomed by a beautiful llama. Kim bought some “muesli”, which was used to feed the alpacas. We made our first tour round the park and admired and took pictures of the art works and woven materials made from the animals’ wool. It was great to enjoy coffee and tasty snacks on the deck, and to finally spend a bit of time together (at regulation distance and wearing masks!).
After the Alpaca Loom visit, we set off for the Meulwater Botanical Gardens. Here, we went for a hike! This was led by Alta and Chris (the mountain climber). Leandra equipped us with water, snacks, and nuts. Some of us got tired at the very beginning of the hike, as it has been over 5 months since we had any form of exercise due to the lockdown. We took several breaks, joked and drank water and ate our snacks. And as a group, we made it to the mountain top!