TRAVELBUCKET

South Africa

DASSIESFONTEIN

It is hard to miss the Dassiesfontein farm stall on the N2 whether you are approaching from Caledon or Botrivier.  It sort of sits in the middle of nowhere.   From the outside it looks rather small, but once you enter one is amazed on how well it is stocked to the brim.  There are way more things than you can dream of – vellies, garden goodies, funky clothes, black stoves, woven baskets, pretty chandeliers, wooden cheeseboards, crystal glasses, etcetera.  Imagine something and I am pretty sure that you will find it somewhere in the shop.  The best of all is that you can visit often, as the merchandise regularly changes and something new and interesting is added. You really need more than an hour to browse through all the merchandise – that is besides enjoying the delicious no fuss meals that they serve.  When last did you eat kaiings… Read more >

SPITSKOP ON PRINCE ALFRED’S PASS

Take a day trip to Spitskop and enjoy the scenery deep in the Knysna Forest.  If you follow the Prince Alfred Pass that links Avontuur to Knysna you will pass the turn-off to Spitskop.   Take your own refreshments as there are no facilities along the road.  It is a slow drive as the gravel road may not be in a good condition and in any way, you should not be in hurry because the road is at times very potholed and maybe, just maybe, you will spot an elusive Knysna elephants. Along the route you will find a couple of picnic spots with the beautiful names like Valley of Ferns, Ysterhoutrug and Diepwalle.  In the shade of some indigenous trees at Ysterhoutrug picnic spot you can light a fire for a braai as there are designated areas.  This is also a good stop for the children to stretch their legs as… Read more >

CINDERELLA’S GARAGE

We all know the fairy tale called Cinderella from our childhood.  I think I have found the garage where they park all the pumpkins that are in need of repair or not in use! The “garage” can be rated as one of the best visual farmstalls in South Africa, if not in the Southern hemisphere!  It is hard to miss it with all the colourful pumpkins in front of the store when you following the R60 between Worcester and Robertson. The farm owner grows pumpkins in a wide array of forms and sizes, the one as beautiful and pleasing to the eye as the other when displayed under the tree in front of the shop.  Travellers are attracted by the colourful display and stop to take some pictures. You can take as many pictures as you like, the only requirement is that you make a donation to the local school… Read more >

MALGAS PONT – THE LAST HAND OPERATED PONTOON

A pontoon is a simple floating barge designed to get vehicles across a river, and the word is often shortened to pont. If you like to explore the back roads of South Africa the route through the Overberg that will take you to the pont at Malgas across the Breede River is a worthwhile, one of a kind experience. What makes the Malgas pont rather special?  It is the only remaining hand-drawn pont of its kind in the country. There are at least two other pontoons that comes to mind when writing about this topic, but they are not hand-drawn – the one over the Kei River in the Eastern Cape and the one at Sendelingsdrift in the Richtersveld crossing the Orange River in the Northern Cape but it is not the same as the hand-drawn one at Malgas.  I am adding these two pontoon crossing to Wallace’s travel list! The… Read more >

PARRIE, THE STINGRAY

What an amazing experience we had when we visited the famous stingrays in Struisbaai harbour!  I was absolutely mesmerized by them and took a zillion pictures ….. Parrie is not just another stingray.    He or she (I do not know how you distinguish between them) has been featured on local television in recent years. Stingrays and manta rays (there is a difference) are cartilaginous fishes.  So, what is the difference between them? Stingray is a group of rays with about 100 species while there are only two species of manta rays. Manta ray is much larger and heavier than stingrays. Stingray has barbed stings, but not manta ray Stingray could be harmful for humans, but there are no accidental attacks on divers from manta rays Manta rays are found mostly around tropical waters and barely in subtropics, whereas stingrays inhabit tropical, subtropical, and occasionally temperate marine waters Manta rays get… Read more >

GEORGE – A PERFECT DESTINATION

LOOK OUT FOR THOSE GOLDEN OLDIES  Do you like golden oldies with a story?  Then this is just what you were looking for at Mauritz Lammers Antiques.  From crockery brick-a-brac to stately old furniture and much loved books.  Take your time to marvel at all the pieces on display and take some home if you wish.  You just might find something that you like here. A good place to keep you busy on those unexpected rainy days. Where?  On the N2 opposite the Sasol garage Kraaibosch, George.               THE OLD TOLL HOUSE ON THE MONTAGU PASS This is a historic building that was lovingly restored by some local enthusiasts and also the very first toll road in the Garden Route.  On a Saturday morning you can have pancakes and coffee to support a worthy cause. What to see?  Admire the lush green mountainside and… Read more >

WE LOVE OUR LANGUANGE

LET ME INTRODUCE some typical South African words to you and when next time you are having a braai with some of the locals you can pop in a couple of these words and they will be more than impressed with you!  Are you ready to learn some of our local lingo. If you understand the word“ja-nee” (yes-no) you are truly South African.  Absolutely no one else in the world would even consider putting two opposites next to each other to express confirmation, but we are familiar with that expression. The same goes for the meaning of the word “tjaila”.  This word, originating from Zulu, has been adopted into all South African languages and used to tell everyone when it’s time to go home. “Jislaaik” – (pronounced yis-like). It is normally uttered as a surprise or in outrage.  I cannot think of any English word with the same descriptive meaning. … Read more >

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