#GLAadventure Weekend

When Mercedes Benz South Africa invites you to be a part of an adventure weekend featuring the new GLA, the bush and some mountain biking, it’s impossible to say no. In-fact, it’s impossible to not jump up and down and squeal like a stuffed warthog (at least not in front of grownups), which I totally didn’t do, of course.

The weekend was part of a series of adventures throughout South Africa to showcase the new GLA and to put this (my new favourite) car through a series of challenges. I was invited to attend the inaugural adventure as blogger and social media person (do we have a word for us? if so, share please). I also happen to know how to ride a mountain bike** which must have helped with their selection criteria somewhat.

The first #GLAadventure took place last weekend in The Pilansberg and I (In very bad wifely form) left my husband at home to unpack and move into the house we had moved in to THE DAY BEFORE to join an amazing crew in the bush for a weekend which promised to be spectacular.

I got to hang out with the Captain of the Mountain Biking SA team, Justice Makhale (possibly the nicest guy in the world. I may just have a bit of a sporting hero crush now). Mzingisi “Ziggy” Ranaka, the winner of the adventure weekend (Ziggy is awesome friends, this man could bottle his energy and sell it), Khaya Dlanga – social media influencer of note. If awards were given for selfies, Khaya would be on the receiving end of many of them. Look!

I call this one ‘The Sunflower”

 

 

The Sunflower

The rest of the team, headed up by Director and Producer Peter Heaney (The man has pet chickens people!) ensured we got to hang with a ridiculously great bunch of people for 2 days.

I arrived at Pilansberg National Park on Saturday, just in time for lunch and a glimpse of the yet-to-be-seen Mercedes GLA. It’s one hot little vehicle that packs a serious punch. I particularly loved the way the seat-belt squeezes you just a little bit tighter – which apparently is the norm for most Mercs – but I’ll take it where I can I suppose.

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The Saturday festivities had started with a sparrows poep hot air balloon ride, so after lunch we were given a few hours to relax in our tents. Sorry, yes, I said tents. This was my style of ‘glamping’ though as the tent had a bed, a fridge and a plug point so my needs were pretty much sorted. I even got to game drive from the comfort of my duvet – as the animals came to us. I spotted these rather cute pyjama donkeys from my door and a sweet little dung beetle on the road.

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Dinner that night was held in the lodges restaurant which was lovely and chilled…and an early night as we knew there was a cracker of a start on Sunday at 5 am.

Sunday morning started off early and misty – and only the GLA looked good in the cruel early hours of the morning. Showoff.

#NoMakeupSelfie
#NoMakeupSelfie
Just chilling with Justice Makhale in the boot of a GLA. As you do.
Just chilling with Justice Makhale in the boot of a GLA. As you do.

I don’t mean to brag or anything but I Got To Drive My The GLA All The Way To Sun City and it is glorious!

We arrived at the Sun City Adventure centre and after a short briefing session “If you see a rhino you must just ride faster, OK?” we set off on our bikes while the rest of the crew jumped on 4-wheelers and disappeared for hours. I suspect up to no good, but who can say.

Riding with Justice is bucket list kinda stuff and he could not have been nicer about it. he even hid his laughs when I fell off (3 times… mud, OK!) and helped me climb on my bike and clip in when my cleats were too full of mud to do so myself. Yes, he literally held my bike in place while I got on, and pushed me off. No, he didn’t make me feel like the loser I was. Yes, I am a little bit in love.

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The 3 of us rode around the most gorgeous bushveld for a few hours and were more than happy to oblige when Peter requested we cycle at deathly speeds through huge muddy puddles and rivers. Anything for a good shot you know, and also, Justice was far too clean and I needed to get him to match my hot look. Look:

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At the end of the ride we were shattered, and filthy and happy and I could not stop smiling. I still can’t believe that I had the opportunity to ride with Justice Makhale. Best weekend ever right?

Unfortunately, being in the middle of the bush, there was no place to clean – so after a brief hosepipe shower (Kearney, keeping it classy) we set off on the final adventure of the weekend, and undoubtedly the most important; Lunch.

Lunch, however, was to take place on the top of a mountain which meant conquering my ridiculous fear of heights and climbing in to a cable car. Cameras were rolling the whole time so I tried to hide the vomiting and screams as much as possible. Thank goodness for my sweet cable-mates who held my still muddy hand and promised me a pizza if I was a good girl. I was. I got delicious pizza.

Oh, we're going in that thing? Aw-sum.
Oh, we’re going in that thing? Aw-sum.
Ziggy. Laughs  in the face of danger.
Ziggy. Laughs in the face of danger.

That whole thing about “conquering your fear”? – totally true. The view from the top of the Harties cable way was worth every anxious sweat drop. It was incredible and not even the photos do it justice. But I’ll try:

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I even made a funny and pretended to jump over the ledge. Because I’m such a nerd I cropped out the deck below. I’m pretend hardcore like that.

Look ma, no hands!
Look ma, no hands!

Lunch on top with this view was an incredible way to end a very special weekend. A huge thanks to the team at Mercedes Benz South Africa for inviting me to join in on this epic adventure, and to the entire cast and crew who made it all happen.

You can follow Mercedes Benz South Africa on Twitter @MercedesBenz_SA, Facebook and Instagram 

The end result? A wicked cool YouTube video!

** Although apparently you forget how to when riding with a professional and fall of and cant get back on and in general just look and act like a complete noob. 

That's A Wrap!
That’s A Wrap!
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My February Must Haves

February – the month of ‘lurve’ and here’s what I’m hearting right now:

1. Samsung S4

I’ve really surprised myself in the past year – I went from using a MacBook Pro to a dodgy Dell (not my choice) and more recently have switched from an iPhone to (gasp!) a Samsung Galaxy S4. Many people have asked, with pained voices, ‘but why’? Here’s why:

Imagine you ate a bowl of oats every single day for 2 years. At the end of the 2 years you got a box of oats in a thinner, longer box. But inside was just oats. The same oats you’d been eating for the past 24 months. 

That’s how I feel about iPhone. Love the things but really, yawn. 

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2. iPod Nano

One of the Apple products I wont deviate from is the iPod – I’m a happy owner of the Classic er… Classic, the shuffle and most recently the latest Nano. It’s little, and cute and purple. Plus it’s half the reason I go to gym.

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3. Houzz

Right – so last month I told you my favourite website was property24. This month it’s anything to do with houses and interior design. Because, well… we have finally found our dream home! (More about that in my next post). This app allows you to join QnA forums on anything from fixing a leaking sink to remodeling your bedroom. It’s full of inspiring and beautiful photos and ideas and it’s also bound to terrify your husband into credit card subservience (Costly Smegg appliances, anyone?)

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4. Le Creuset

We were lucky enough to receive a whack of Le Creuset goodies for our wedding – including 3 delicious cast iron pots. I’m not delusional and understand that food probably tastes the same after cooking in them – but man alive – they’re just so beautiful to look at – and make cooking a whole lot more enjoyable. They also have the added benefit of weighing a million kilos – so my guns are looking sharp. 

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5. “Gone Girl” by Elizabeth Flynn

Having put down a few books lately due to them being as exciting as a packet of spots socks I was ecstatic to stumble upon this read. It’s superbly written, easy to get into and full of suspense and intrigue. I had a post book sad after reading this one – read it and let me know what you think.

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6. Modern Family

Definitely not a new TV show but still the funniest one I’ve seen. I feel like it’s the ‘Friends’ of the 2000’s – you know, the kind of TV show that you can re-watch episodes of, and never get bored. 

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7. Plants

As a kid my parents would drag me to Keith Kirstens nursery – wailing and screaming – so they could buy plants. Nowadays I drag my husband wailing and screaming and am obsessed with anything green and grow-able. I’m really looking forward to digging in (literally) into my new garden and making full use of our new space. 

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8. Cars

My current SUV, gas guzzler that it is, has served me well – but it’s time for a downgrade to a smaller more fuel economical car. I’m currently deciding between a Mercedes B Class or BMW 3 series. Any advice from a petrol head would be much appreciated. 

9. Fro-Yo

Obsessed. Fill my tub with your berry flavoured deliciousness, and get.in.my.belly.

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10. Trail Running

Loving this sport the more I do it. I have a faithful running buddy Shan and we take part in as many night races as possible. We even do pretty well considering the wine vs. training issue we find ourselves in.

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Our ‘Where’s Wally’ themed race for Halloween 2013.

 

 

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