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TRAVELBUCKET

Western Cape

END OF THE LINE

Turn tables are interesting objects which not a lot of people know about or what its function is, unless you have a special interest in trains.  I grew up around trains, but never knew that the picturesque town of Knysna had a turn table tugged away in its bowels. This is just another hidden gem of the Garden Route.  So, what is a turn table all about? Or before we go there, why am I writing about a turn table of all things under the sun?  Because I think it is worthwhile to write about it as it is not something often seen in South Africa.  I discovered this one by accident in the beautiful town of Knysna, next to the waterfront at an almost forgotten spot next to a parking lot.    On your next visit in Knysna head over to this GPS location to see it:  S 34° 02.393… Read more >

WANDERING IN WILDERNESS

When you visit the beautiful village of Wilderness, that lies in the heart of the Garden Route, you will experience rivers, lakes, beaches and forest, all within easy reach of each other.  With many accommodations to choose from this is a perfect base to explore from.   You can spoil yourself with some good eateries, adventure activities (kloofing, abseiling, paragliding), excellent farmers markets and beach strolls.  So, why NOT visit Wilderness? This is South Africa’s own lakes district.  There are various bird hides along the lakes system that you can, well, hide in, to watch some bird life along the lakes.  Find Gullilule and Malachite Bird hides for some splendid bird activity along the lakes. The chances are good that you will be the only person in the hide.  By far one of the best kept secrets still in the Garden Route! Stop at Dolphin’s Point and enjoy the view both… Read more >

PART 2: KEEP CALM AND TRAVEL SOUTH AFRICA

This is a following up on a previous post about travelling South Africa and some basic tips on what to do and expect. Money and the ATM   Plastic money (ie credit and debit cards) is widely accepted.  However, make sure you have some cash on you for tipping parking attendants, etc.  Do not you stuff your wallet with a wad of notes where everyone can see it.  Just keep a small amount in your wallet where it is visible to the public.  Keep the wad stashed at another secret place.  This also ensure that you have money left if things turn out for the worst! Take care when drawing money at ATMs.  In busy areas, there will be a security guard on duty.  Of course, Avoid ATMS that are in dark corners.  Be aware of accepting help from persons at the ATM as a lot of scams happen in… Read more >

A WEEKEND IN MONTAGU

An all girls weekend wandering took us to Montagu in the Boland region.  The town was named after the former secretary of the Cape Colony, John Montagu.   It was also known as Agter Cogman’s Kloof. With its picturesque setting Montagu is famous for the mineral springs nestled on the verge of the town, impressive rock formation as you drive westwards on the R62 towards Robertson, outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and rock climbing,  good food and local wines and of course the Montagu Dried Fruit Company. We used Paul and Shirley’s Koo Karoo Cottages as our base and explored the town and surrounds.  Our first wandering took us to the Old English Fort – declared a monument in 1999 – perching on top of the “tunnel” in Cogmanskloof about 4 km from Montagu as you drive towards Ashton on the famous R62. The fort was built by stonemason William… Read more >

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