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TRI THE BELOVED COUNTRY BY KIM VAN KETS

What makes a working mother and average athlete decide to take on a massive physical and mental challenge to run, cycle and kayak the perimeter of South Africa, covering 6772 kilometres in less than five months? Meet Kim van Kets; the most inspirational lady born and raised in rural Eastern Cape…

“Hello to all the lucky recipients of the Umngazi Newsletter!  If you are on this mailing list you have obviously already been introduced to paradise.  People often ask me which is my favourite part of RSA (and I should know, having pretty much seen it all!) I can answer this question without hesitation: the Wild Coast, HANDS DOWN!

It is the most heart-breakingly beautiful part of the Beloved Country.  Especially in the windless 25° winter days resplendent with aloes! The Wild Coast beaches are woven into my DNA and dominate my memories of childhood.  I learned to walk and spent my holidays and every birthday at the Mazeppa Bay.  My grandmother’s family spent 3 months at Hole in the Wall every year – travelling there by ox-wagon from near Umtata.  I have walked, hiked, camped, fished, run, been gilly for my father on endless stretches of its beaches.  I Iove it with a possessive, passionate fierceness that makes my chest hurt. The sheer drama of it. The fact that it is both sweet and wild in a way that is disappearing fast. The fact that so few people know it like I do. What a privilege to have run every bit of it in both directions, overdosing on its beauty. There is a homestead made up of 3 huts and a mielie field near Brazen Head that has a sweeping vista North towards Umngazi…..that is precisely the spot on this planet that I want to live in most. Whenever life becomes overwhelming or exhausting I am able to transport myself there in a heartbeat.

Tri the Beloved Country: An epic adventure running, cycling and kayaking the borders of South Africa: 6772km

Her story is a positive and enthusiastic “off the beaten track” South African adventure and is both amusing, anecdotal and inspiring.  It tells of the physical and mental challenges of the journey but focusses on stories surrounding the people and places she encountered along the way, including those of the ancient Kalahari farmer who pronounced her to be a “Ramkat” and the Nama goatherd who seemed doubtful about her gender and anxious to be rid of her.  The book is also a wonderful South African travelogue and is studded with nuggets of history and fascinating trivia about the plants, animals, characters and places as well as brief summaries of important life lessons the journey highlighted for the author.  It will leave the reader feeling up-beat, inspired and eager to explore the splendor of the Beloved Country and its people.

For further info on Kim’s book, please visit Exclusive Books or Bargain Books, or order directly from Kim on her email kimvankets@gmail.com or visit her website www.kimvankets.com.

To win a copy of one of Kim’s books, send your name, email and contact numbers to marketing@umngazi.co.za and answer the following easy question: What is your favourite Wild Coast activity?

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