Large labyrinth in Elands River Valley

=The Herbal Labyrinth Uitenhage in the Elands River Valley. Here are (from left) Christina van Rooyen, Carina Erasmus and Charmaine Lesch looking at some of the herbal plants.                       Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK
=The Herbal Labyrinth Uitenhage in the Elands River Valley. Here are (from left) Christina van Rooyen, Carina Erasmus and Charmaine Lesch looking at some of the herbal plants. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

The Elands River Valley near Uitenhage boasts one of the largest labyrinths in South Africa.

Labyrinths are ancient and date back to more than 4 000 years ago. A labyrinth is cleverly designed for walking a relative long distance in a condensed circular form. It is said that this symbol is ideal for meditation or prayer walks and that it helps to naturally quiet the mind, enhance feelings of calmness and peace.

That is to say, if you are walking and doing it the right way!

“A labyrinth is not a play park or something to do for the fun. It actually represents the path of life, a journey to our own centre and back again out into the world,” said Carina Erasmus from The Herbal Labyrinth Uitenhage.

Labyrinth walking distance: 1.3 km

The local labyrinth actually was the result of a dream that Carina’s mother, Charmaine Lesch, had. The mother then together with her three daughters designed and built the labyrinth. They have carefully placed each stone, all of which were collected from the area, to form this complicated design which has a diameter of 48 metres.

“The centre of a labyrinth represents our own centre. The centre to self, a place we all have access to but, we unfortunately don’t always know how to reach,” said Carina.

Apart from the spiritual experience, The Herbal Labyrinth Uitenhage was also designed to be a source of most known herbal plant species in the country. One will be able to walk the distance of approximately 1.3 kilometres in 35 minutes, passing all the wonderful indigenous herbal plants all of which have exceptional medicinal values.

Charmaine, who has an extensive knowledge of herbal medicines said, “Our natural resources are under pressure as a result of over-exploitation. Therefore we wish using this labyrinth to establish an environment where herbal plants can be protected and nursed.”

“There is a global urgency to manage our natural resources responsibly. Humans also are dependent on plants, we need them as a source of food and as natural medicine.

“The purpose of the labyrinth is also to educate and inform people to make a conscious choice between herbal and chemical medicines,” said Charmaine.

The mother and daughters wish to thank Ettienne and Sandra Petzer for granting them the opportunity to create the labyrinth.

When all are completed, The Herbal Labyrinth Uitenhage will host herbal tea parties, planting workshops, herbal medicine workshops and herbal educational events.

It is situated at the Monte Vista farm in Elands River Valley, which is 23km from Uitenhage and 9.5km from Uncle Freddies at Rocklands.

The official opening will be held on November 4th.

The public are invited to come and discover for themselves how walking this labyrinth naturally quiets the mind and entrance will be free.

  • For more information regarding the Herbal Labyrinth Uitenhage call 066 099 0180.
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