My name is Nico Botes and this is my very first blog post.
This blog will be a story about me and my woodworking journey. I will start by telling the tale of how it was that I came upon this hobby and with time my projects as they came to be. So please enjoy my tale.
It all started when the Universe spoke to my Aunt who then convinced my Father to do that one impulsive thing in his life. Back in 2011 my Aunt saw an article about the Camino (Camino de Santiago)
The Camino is pilgrimage that originally treks from the French border to a Cathedral in the town of Santiago in Spain. So as my Aunt convinced my father to join her on this journey I found myself being pulled along with them against my will. I was still studying at this point but this was by far the biggest challenge I have ever faced.
Being limited by time, due to my studies, we decided to hike a part of the Camino route traveling a total of 160km from O’Cebreiro to the Cathedral in Santiago over a period 9 days. This proved quite an arduous adventure, walking 20-30km each day. But we made it. Got the stamp and got the t-shirt to prove it as well.
This adventure of ours sparked a new interest of hiking in our family. As is with the Universe it made another visit to my Aunt and told her about a hiking trail. Now this was a trail with quite the reputation. THE OTTER. (Otter Trail)
The Otter hiking trail is a very beautiful and difficult hiking trail that is situated on the coast of South Africa near the Knysna forest. Having heard of the difficulty of The Otter we started training. We went hiking in the streets, hiking in parks and nature reserves. But this wasn’t enough. We then decided to go on a proper hiking trip in preparation for The Otter.
In September 2014 we went to Mpumalanga, a province in South Africa, to a hiking trail called Suiker-Bosch-Fontein. This was a short 2 day hiking trip over beautiful, yet difficult terrain.
This is where my woodworking story begins.
On this hike, my brother-in-law sparked an idea in my mind. He mentioned it could be cool to write the names of all the trails he has hiked onto a walking stick to remember them. On these hikes we use walking sticks. Usually just normal sticks, sometimes just a broomstick without the broom. So I got the idea here to engrave onto the walking stick all the places that I have hiked using that hiking stick and give it some personality.
At this point I was on a break from my studies and was done with all external exams for the year. So I was bored. But I remembered the idea of engraving the walking stick.
Early in October 2014 I drove to nearby mall, went to the art/hobby shop and bought myself a cheap, small set of woodcarving chisels. And that is where it all began…
Enjoy this little teaser of what is to come.
That is all for now.
Crazy Oak out.