The Oudebosch Story…as told by Linda Muir.
“We had a dream…”
Piet and I met each other in 1993 and started dating. Soon we realized that we both have a love for the countryside. He always dreamed of a piece of land with a few sheep and springbok. I dreamed of a guesthouse on a farm. Should we have children – we thought – we would like them to have the privilege of farm life.
For many years, 1993 – 2000, we bought Landbouweekblad every week to look for farms for sale – the farm had to be close enough to the Cape, because Piet would still retain his business. We especially looked at the Klein Karoo – Montagu area.
After several weekends of searching and considering all options, we still had not found the right spot. Although Piet was born in Still Bay and we spent many holidays there, we never considered the Riversdale area. Until the end of 2000 …
After a wonderful holiday in Still Bay, Piet went back to Cape Town on January 2, 2001. Some friends and I decided to go horse riding at Louis Stegmann’s farm. When we arrived, I decided instead to take a short hike and explore the area.
At the Oudebosch entrance was a gate with a sign, “No entrance, trespassers will be prosecuted.” Armed with a camera, and with the thought that I would do nothing wrong on the farm, I climbed over the gate. Even as I walked down the lane of pine trees, I realized … this is something special.
When I reached the homestead, I knew this is where we would live. It was such a sure sense – I just KNEW! I asked the Lord that if He wanted us to buy the farm, we would work very hard here. I immediately called Piet and told him not to buy another Landbouweekblad, I’ve found our place!
When I told him where I stood, he immediately knew where I was, he told me that this farm belongs to Louis’s aunt, Helena Lubbe. He had mentioned to Louis that should the farm ever be for sale, he would be interested in buying it. Because we never looked in the Riverdale area, he had forgotten to tell me about the place.
And then his wife discovered the place by accident on January 2, 2001!
Piet phoned Aunt Helena and told her that I was standing on the farm and that I was sure that this is the place we’ve been looking for. The farm was not in the market, but after several discussions and negotiations with Aunt Helena, we became the owners of Oudebosch!
At that stage we lived in Kenridge in Cape Town, and used every available weekend to come to the farm. Our first project was to convert a laborer’s cottage into a neat little house, which today is called Grysbok.
Guests from near and far have stayed here – too many to mention. Many weddings, conferences, team building, birthdays, family gatherings and sociable visits have taken place here.
Guests have a choice of fishing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, horse riding, quad biking or just quietly sitting on their porch and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
May Oudebosch warm the hearts of its visitors and let them return every year for many years to come.
Thanks to my Creator … that we could buy the farm and that He daily gives us the strength to work here.
Thanks to Piet … for all your plans, and perseverance, enthusiasm and the fact that in difficult times you always have a plan! Thank you for sharing this dream with me. You have created a beautiful farm and the children and I am so proud of you!
Thanks to my two daughters, Heidi and Ilke … that you enjoy the place … we did it for you.
Thanks to my parents, Koos and Corrie La Grange …
Thank you that you believed with us in our dream right from the beginning. Thanks to years of hard work, genuine interest, ideas and enthusiasm you still bring to Oudebosch!
My father, Koos La Grange was among others responsible for the Grysbok project, he drove from the Still Bay to the farm every day and worked very hard. We are forever grateful to him for that.
He has also in subsequent years undertaken and completed several projects at Oudebosch, all the wooden floors in all buildings were laid by him, many parts of the garden was made by him, he built a chicken coop, the vegetable garden produced bakkie loads of vegetables one year, the bokbaaivygies was established by him, the granadilla plant was planted by him and many more!
He has been a guide to our guests on several trips to the mountains and waterfalls – they enjoyed his company and his wisdom and serenity so much that he left a lasting impression on them. His contribution is too large to mention.
My mom … for all the functions she did! Food cooked for guests, jam cooked, cleaned buildings, stood ready for guests, helped raise the children, took care of the farm, and so we can continue. Her positive attitude and great solutions to problems have helped us through many difficult times.
Thanks to all the friends and family who kept our dream alive, and still do!
Thanks to Oudebosch … that taught us gratitude… Gratitude for rain, for sunshine, for every new born lamb, for fresh water, for the good earth for fresh air and much more.
Thanks to our wonderful staff – Jan, Fransiena, Sarie, William and Peter-John. You are invaluable to us.
Oudebosch is still not finished … and we will finish! There are still dreams and plans and that’s what we strive for every day … one project at a time … and so we gradually come closer to the final picture.