For the love of hiking

It’s a weekend morning, probably a Sunday. I’m with my mother and my sister. I’m about seven years old, and we’re going for a walk up Lion’s Head. I complain incessantly, my exhaustion turning into grumpiness very quickly. I want my mother to carry me but I’m obviously too old for that. My sister and I whine. I plop down onto a rock, arms folded across my chest, glaring at the flora and fauna. Somehow my mother refrains from throwing us off the mountain. As I remember, we don’t make it to the top.

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We’re in Nature’s Valley, the place I love the most. It could be any year, from 2002 to 2013. We’ve camped there every December holiday since I was tiny. We leave the campsite and drive to the trail that leads to Salt River. The trail begins not far from the beach. We enter a dark forest, which quickly muffles the sound of the tourist-filled stress that we’ve left behind. The trees are gnarled; they curl and twist along the path, and the thick green leaves overhead protect us from the sun.

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Five tracks to take your mind elsewhere

Sometimes we wish our minds would just switch off, which is near impossible. Here are some tracks to allow your mind not to shut down, but to wander.

Ludovico Einaudi – Fly

Einaudi’s minimalist pieces are simple and yet they never cease to instil emotions you might not have known were hiding. The tentative strings play silently as the piano echoes on, a delicate yet purposeful pattern that takes you to other places. It’s difficult to dwell on the mundanities of daily life when your ears are being blessed by Einaudi.

Radiohead – Daydreaming

The name says it all. This song is dreamy and wistful, swirls of sound and texture merging to form something that promises to take each listener on a different path. I’ve attached the music video below, because it’s beautiful, but I’ve found that exploring this song without visuals is something of a surreal experience. Continue reading