Gypsy Life
palm palm


Sandy M
April 14, 2023


Unlike many parts of South Africa, Clarens has four definite seasons. We are well and truly into Autumn – and it is spectacular!!!

Every hour the landscape seems to change. The leaves are changing from green to golden yellow, to red.

The poplar trees change in a mix of colours. The oak trees change from the top. Our majestic oak trees have crowns of red. Our neighbours tree is completely red.

April is the month when the wild cosmos is in full bloom!

This past weekend we went to the Easter Steam and Cosmos festival at Sandstone Estates, between Ficksburg and Fouriesburg. It was an incredible day out!!

Standstone Estate is a privately owned farm. The owner has a passion for steam engines and military vehicles. He opens his farm to the public twice a year. This is the first time that we have been. We would definitely recommend it.

We were transported on a vintage bus from the carpark to the main event. Then we rode on countless military vehicles, including a Rattle and a Buffel!

They even had an old military ambulance, which was just begging for Gypsy Van Life Make over!

Time to Fly!
Sandy rekindled her love of flying! Sandy and our son Keegan flew in a vintage Tigermoth biplane! WOW!!! A once in a life time privilege. They flew in close formation, so they could see each other and really share the experience. As they were not nervous passengers, the pilots had a lot of fun – banking left and right, low flying along a meandering river. What a flight!

We could hop on and off the stream train all day.

It was such happy vibe. All the passengers on the train, young and old were just loving it. Views of the cosmos fields, the air field, the plans flying over head. The army vehicles driving along side. Don’t forget about the ox wagon pulled by a team of long horn oxen. We were glad to see that the ox wagon had a touch of gypsy with some hand painted detailing. The hissing of the steam, the tooting of the engine, the excited cheers from the kids, (and Sandy) made us feel like we were living in a bygone area.

The steam powered tractor, made us wish we were wearing our steam punk gear! So much skill and coordination to get that monstrosity of an engine to move forward.

As we were returning from the airfield, we witnessed the most perfect moment. Time seemed to stand still….

This single image is a perfect culmination of the days highlights.

Our family was driving in a “Buffel”. Each one of us had our heads popping out the soldier…

Next to us the Stream Train was approaching, steam and smoke billowing. Behind us were other military vehicles. There was a tractor with a trailer full of hay bales. There was a donkey cart. There was the ox wagon with its enormous span of oxen. Cosmos fields flanking all sides. Majestic mountains in the distance. Storm clouds just added to the drama of the scene. The vintage Chimpmonk aircraft were circling high above, then, for the finale the two Tigermoth Biplane’s flew from the far end towards us, then flew low level directly over head!!

The spontaneous scene could not have been choregraphed with more precision. WOW – yet again!

We were having so much fun, that we were among the last to leave, which was perfect golden hour for a photoshoot in the magnificent cosmos fields. The farmer plants the fields specifically so that they can be in full bloom over the Easter weekend. This years display of beautiful cosmos flowers did not disappoint!!

The Happy, Hippie, Gypsies just loved playing and running in the fields.

Put this event in your diary for next year. It is defiantly worth a visit.

For more photos and videos, pop on over to our social media.

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