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YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE TRANSKEI : THE KEI BRIDGE

For most of us this bridge confirms that you are officially crossing over from the Eastern Cape into the former Transkei. Running parallel with the new bridge over the N2 you will notice the old stone bridge to your left when driving eastwards.  Find the road to the old bridge and have a look at it.  I was quite impressed at the engineering skills considering the period in which it was built and the machinery available to create these types of structures. The steel bridge built by Westwood Bailie Engineering Works from London and completed in 1879 so nearing its 150th year soon.  Although the bridge’s length will not make the Guinness Book of Records, as it is only 0.46 kilometres long, it is still used by local farmers and pedestrians in the vicinity.  Attempts to build a bridge over the Kei River started in 1877 when materials were shipped… Read more >

SOCIAL DISTANCING AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS MAKE LOCAL FAMILY TRAVEL POPULAR AGAIN

With all the new rules and regulations and do’s and don’ts that influence our lives during the Corona virus pandemic I am pretty sure that our behaviour while travelling will change.  COVID-19 has changed the tourism scene dramatically  –  accommodation is running on LOW capacity BUT the same amenities are still available with certain changes that need to be adhered to. Airlines reduced their capacity to adhere to safety regulations (and tickets more expensive) and all of a sudden crowded beaches and touristy spots do not sound as appealing anymore.  So, what will be appealing now?  I think that solo journeys to more isolated places and camping in isolated spot away from your neighbour will become more popular in the future than ever before.  It is as if camping and overlanding was invented for this COVID-19 pandemic.  With the necessary precautions (mask and sanitizer at the ready of course) you… Read more >

RIVERSDALE – ALL ABOUT MOUNTAIN PASSES AND FYNBOS

Riversdale (Afrikaans Riversdal)  is an agricultural town on the N2 beneath the imposing Langeberg mountains to the North and rolling farm lands to the South.    What is the claim to fame for Riversdale and why do we write about Riversdale?  For us it is one of those towns that you just pass by very carefully as their traffic police is very active and we never really take time to explore.  So, recently we made a day trip to  Riversdale and to see what there is to do. The town is surrounded with fynbos, ericas and buchu is growing wild.  Fynbos  is also one of the main export products of the area.  Buchu is that  very distinctive smell that you get when you approach Riversdale on the N2.  The  natural beauty of the area is also  very popular with hikers and boasts several hiking trails at Boosmansbos and Grootvaderbosch. To the… Read more >

A BLESFONTEIN EXPERIENCE

A last-minute decision for a weekend break to Sutherland over the Easter Weekend and the hunt was on to find available accommodation that suited our trip and type of experience we wanted to have.  As it was Easter, we had limited choices in town and we were fortunate enough to find our happy place at Blesfontein. Blesfontein is a working guest farm about 28 km south west of Sutherland on the Bo-Visrivier road.  It is more or less a 40-minute drive from Sutherland to the farm and with the little Jimny it even took us a bit longer as we spotted some game and flowers along the road.  You do not need a 4×4 to reach the farm, but we will recommend a vehicle with a good ground clearance as it is gravel all to the way. At Blesfontein you experience the Karoo lifestyle and rhythm.  This is the ideal… Read more >

THROUGH THE MOORDENAARSKAROO TO SUTHERLAND

This time we took the little Jimny a bit further into the Karoo on our ladies trip.  We had a look at the map and said, yes, that road through the Moordenaarskaroo, that is the one we want to take to Sutherland and the Roggeveld Karoo, little did we know that we chose a shake rattle and roll road! We were wondering what was happening in the Moordenaarskaroo to be blessed with such a name … so we went to explore.  As the road snakes through the harsh and washed-out landscape there is not much to see – no animals, no man, no murderer – yet, there is a certain beauty to the stark scenery.  There are a few theories about the name Moordenaarskaroo.  Firstly, that  it is named so due to the extreme heat and cold, because both can kill you.  The second theory is that a couple of… Read more >

HELL ON TWO-WHEELS

by Inge Triegaardt I was just out of school when the unexpected happened. I was getting ready to go to university and become a chic business woman, when I woke up one day and my adventurous father decided to spoil me with an old Yamaha 250XT scrambler. Gone were the days of working so hard to get rid of my sporty, tomboyish style and wearing my high-heels (which I never managed to master anyway) were put on hold. I was all to happy to follow in the footsteps of my forefathers. Exploration and traveling was in my blood, I was born that way. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity and nothing could stop me. I was going to ride around the world with the wind in my hair and not a care in the world. Dad started out with lessons in safety and responsibility (doing his parental duties),… Read more >

ANN’S VILLA – A GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST

This national monument, formerly known as Webster’s Hotel, was built in 1864 and lies at the foot of the Zuurberg Pass has a colourful history spanning decades.  The year 1867 marks the year that diamonds were discovered along the Orange River and fortune hunters flocked to the mining sites via every known route.  The Webster Hotel was conveniently situated and benefitted from this as they offered accommodation, food, a smithy and a well-stocked retail shop on the premises.  Business was good.  When and how the name changes from Webster’s hotel to Ann’s Villa came about is not clear from old papers, but today it is still known as Ann’s Villa.  From old records it seems that a school was started 24 years after the villa was built.  The teacher for the school, stayed in the first room upstairs in the villa.  It seems that the Websters also paid the teacher’s… Read more >

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