Monday, 2 November 2015

Moving across the river to Parys

I've had a very unsettled and disjointed year commuting between Johannesburg, where I grew up and have lived since I was five-years old, and Parys, where Celliers lives. We started seeing each other late last year and while I was initially there on weekends, I've spent many a long weekend and snatches there during the week for much of this year.

I've found it really challenging to focus on work, planning events, participating in activities and keeping up with friends and family while living out of a bag (often on both sides, not just in Parys), getting used to a new town and adapting to children.

A move was in the pipeline for months and it has taken a while to get a good gap with few commitments Jo'burg-side to make the transition.

I'm mostly moved and find myself now packing clothes from my cupboard in Parys into a bag to stay in Jo'burg.

My mom is also moving to Parys! Yes! I know, it's great news. We found her a lovely house two blocks from us and one block from the river (we're also a block from the river - around a bend from mom's house) and so she moves, with Bracken - our 19.5yr old cat! - at the end of this month. I'll be fully moved by then too - when my kitty arrives in Parys.

It's a big move for both of us but as we both work predominantly online with little necessity to be in any specific place, it works.

We're looking forward to small town living too. Potchefstroom, where I spent Standards 6 and 7 at school, is only 45km away in one direction and with Sasolburg and Vanderbijl 45km away in the other direction if we need specific shops or a mall. Everything else we need is in town.

Of course there's the Vaal River for paddling activities and plenty of dirt roads and trails for running and mountain biking. We have the Parys parkrun every Saturday morning and it takes me less than five minutes to jog easy to the start venue from home.

I finally got my instant family to come to the Parys parkrun about two months ago.
Ruben and Kyla have done three; Celliers has done four (and he set a new PB this past Saturday on his own - without the kids)
And, it only takes 1h15 to drive to Jo'burg. 125 kilometres. It can take this long (or longer!) to drive from Sandton to Fourways.

The only problem with this proximity is that Parys is close enough to drive through relatively easily... Which will make it tough to pass up activities unless it really is worth making a 250km round-trip. Parys is close enough to Jo'burg for it to take a while for me to learn to let go.

Of course I'll have no shortage of activities to keep me busy in Parys. I have, of course, got a number of locations on the cards to map for orienteering, including an Extreme O event... I still have my regular work for clients, organising of Forest Run and FEAT (and probably a Metrogaine - in JHB and Parys) and a project that Celliers and I will be working on together in the new year.

Then there's the garden that I've just started on (we pulled out everything that was there and I have a totally clean slate to work on), the children every second week (for the whole week and weekend) and a bunch of paddling, playing and exploring to be done. Life will certainly not be dull nor short of activities in this Free State town.

I'm back in Parys on Wednesday and aiming to do a 10km night race in Potch. A good opportunity to mingle with other runners from around the place.

Although I've always lived in the city I've always felt like a country lass at heart. I'm looking forward to a quiet December to find my feet and to settle into my new home.


Anonymous said...

Oh man - I'm so happy for you!

Conrad van den Berg said...

Ah, at last your recent references to Parys makes sense - thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best with your new life. My only visit to Parys, except for drive-throughs when the N1 still ran through the town, was a family gathering at Otters' Haunt on the Vaal River just outside Parys a few years ago. We enjoyed river rafting with our hosts Graeme and Karen Addison, and it turned out that Karen is a good trail/adventure runner, so you might still bump into her if you haven't done so. Keep up the writing - I enjoy your posts.

adventurelisa said...

Hi Conrad,

Parys is lovely. Quiet (except on weekends when Gauteng comes to visit) and pretty. Lovely to be on the river.

I do know Karen. Our paths first crossed many years ago and we see each other often (yesterday too). She's currently heading the Parys parkrun and she and Graeme still run Otter's Haunt and various activities. We had an adventure race around there about 10 years ago and from what I recall I think it will be great for a section of my Extreme O that I'm planning on creating ;)

Although the N1 is now on its own, there's an expensive toll gate just after (not even 1km) South of the Parys turn-off from the N1. As a consequence we have a lot of trucks coming through town, which really shouldn't be there. Our roads get into a real mess because of this and while they've just been repaired, the municipality really does need to make another plan (like moving the toll gate away from us).