A lucky life, and a fortune telling session at Fordoun in South Africa's Midlands Meander

This morning, in South Africa’s Midlands Meander, at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains, living a Travelife, I had an appointment at 9 AM with a traditional South African healer.

I was staying for a long weekend at Fordoun, one of South Africa’s best luxury destination spas. It’s simply beautiful in a very natural way.

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Best of all, perhaps, the people behind Fordoun are just amazing.

I’ve had the most wonderful time meeting everyone from the owners to Jules, the general manager, to the ladies at the spa.

So even if I’ve been by myself for three nights on my annual solo trip somewhere in the world, I haven’t felt lonely even for a second.


This morning, Dr. Elliot Ndlovu, director of the Spa at Fordoun, was scheduled to take me on a walk around his herbal garden, which is on the Fordoun estate.

Then he was to analyze my life the traditional South African way — basically with a bag of items that included the head of a statue, some shells and a few bones.


The lovely ladies at Fordoun had suggested I meet him, in between my many spa sessions, and so I said yes.

I was certainly curious to see what a traditional African therapy session was like.

The view from my terrace.
I just love waking up to this.

I was a little late for my session.

This morning, you see, I’d woken up later than usual and then I’d stayed in bed for about an hour — which is something I only get to do about once in ten years.

Not that I have a rigid schedule to follow, as I do get to decide my own time and schedule everyday.

But I’m usually raring to get on with my day, every single day, and most of my 14 waking hours seven days a week are packed with things to do. 


But this morning, as birds chirped and the world came to life outside, I lay in bed answering emails and messages on my phone and iPod.

I almost never do this as I’m usually on my computer the moment I wake up. Checking emails and messages that have come in during the night from all over the world is usually the very first thing I do under normal circumstances.

But today, I didn’t even bother to open my computer. I just looked at everything in my world via my Blackberry and my iPod.


Huffing and puffing a little later, I met up with Dr. Ndlovu right by the entrance to his herb garden.

His garden is full of traditional herbs, supposedly good for everything from stress to diabetes.

It was all very interesting to see as the plants as these were so different from what’s available in Asia.

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However, the clincher was the consultation session with Dr. Ndlovu, that I can only describe as similar to a fortune-telling session in the Western world.

We entered his consultation room, full of animals skins and tribal artifacts, and I sat on a drum across from him. 

Then he put on a tribal coat, got down on his knees and asked me to blow into a bag.

After I’d blown into the bag, he flung the bag across the floor so that the objects in it scattered across the nguni skin on the floor.

Then he proceeded to tell me about my life, based on how the items in the bag had landed on the floor.


He said: “You have the perfect life. Everything is going well and there is nothing to change. Just keep going in this direction.”

I didn’t know whether he was joking. How many times does someone tell you that you have a perfect life, after all?

So I asked: “You mean there’s nothing wrong with my life? Nothing negative?


He nodded.

Then he looked more closely at the objects on the floor and said: “There are a couple of people jealous of your life, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.


Then he proceeded to give the details of my supposedly lucky life. Unfortunately, I can’t print the rest of our discussions here.

But I left the session in a bit of a disbelief about how someone could tell I had the perfect life from objects strewn across the floor from a cloth bag. I’m sure you can identify with this sentiment.


But when I recounted this to someone at Fordoun later, including the “perfect life” bit, she took everything very matter-of-fact and said: “He’s very good. He was spot on with my life. And you should see how people come from all over the world just to consult with him.

Oh my goodness.

Maybe I am lucky in life, love and everything else, after all, in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.