The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Monday, July 27, 2015

8,571 Miles Close to Home

A Warm Bonfire Turns Night Into Home

On Friday 10th July 2015 I left my home at Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, Michigan, USA (44°52’41”N, 85°31’46”W) and after about twenty-four hours of not necessarily comfortable travel I arrived at Richard Hobbs’ Buffalo Thorn Farm, not far from Modimolle, in the Limpopo, Republic of South Africa (24°47’59”S, 28°37’21”E).

The planning for this trip started over one year ago, when Pieter and Fanie began to scheme my return to South Africa after our weekend in the bushveld at Falmouth in April of 2012, which took place on the front end of a business trip.

It is amazing how a short weekend of hunting and comradeship in the great outdoors can forge the strongest friendship knot. While Fanie and I worked together for several years at the same company (which I left shortly after that weekend) and had the opportunity to create strong personal and professional bonds, Pieter and I only met for very short three days that many years ago. But those three days could as well have been three decades!

Besides basic luggage and an old Hoyt Razortech bow with all the necessary supporting elements I brought a single bottle of The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old Scotch which amanzingly enough survived the first night! But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Fanie and his family picked me up the the Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport and then we drove about two hours to Buffalo Thorn to be met by a warm bonfire tended by Pieter, who was talking with Richard and his wife Ana, both of whom I would get to know and admire over the next week.

After an embrace from Pieter, at least as warm as the burning fire, and proper introductions, I had the opportunity to quench my thirsty by sipping from a cold bottle of Carlin Black Label after a ten year hiatus.

Dinner main course was buffalo stew and dessert was a fantastic English style pudin with custard. Ana's cooking would set me back almost a pound per day over the next week!

Before the stress and strain of the trip and the amber warmth of The Macallan drove me into the land of dreams, we set around the bonfire telling tall tales and small lies, and the feeling I had was that I was just 8,571 miles close to home.


  1. Maravilhosa África. Seu lindo nascer e por do Sol, o fogo, o churrasco e o uísque para não esquecer o Hemingway.

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