TRAVELBUCKET

South Africa

FULL THROTTLE

Knysna was and is one of South Africa’s favourite holiday destinations and these days another different attraction iss added to the scene. At first you will think this is all about bikes, but while browsing through the display you will notice there is much more than wheels to this living museum (if you want to call it that).  You will notice the passion, the history and a story behind each bike on display. The Motorcycle Room is Colin Studen’s happy place.   He takes old and new bikes which were heading for the dumpster, regardless make and model, and turn it into a memory (like Copper). It is his happy place and not only filled with his happy memories, but also happy memories of every boy, no matter the age, that visits the room.  When we visited on hubby’s birthday I kept an eye on the expressions of fellow visitors.  It… Read more >

THE OLD TOLL HOUSE, GEORGE

Wondering what to do on a wet or beautiful sunny Saturday morning in George? Take the gravel road up the historic Montagu Pass, –  it is one of the four passes that traverse the Outeniqua mountains – and you will stumble upon the old Toll House.  The gravel road leading up the 8km long pass is signposted from the N12 towards Oudtshoorn.  Starting from the George side and travelling up the incline the first and only building that you will come across on the pass is the stone Toll House. Until the building of Outeniqua pass as we know it today the Montagu pass was the main route between Cape Town and Grahamstown. The Toll House dates back to year 1855.  According to old records the toll was a whopping two pennies per wheel, a penny per draft animal, two pennies for losloop animals, and half a penny for each… Read more >

THE BARE BEAUTY OF THE KAROO

The Karoo with its long dusty roads may seem quite barren and desolate and without life if you visit for the first time, but do not be fooled.  Here you will discover fossils and interesting plants, look closer and you might be surprised at what you see and hear.  Make return trips, in different seasons, and you will experience the Karoo like never before! Heading north or south Graaff Reinet is sort of the resting point and leg stretch for motorists.  It is the heartbeat of the Karoo with blue skies and wide open spaces yet it has a beauty and a charm of its own. Make that trip, even in the middle of the winter, when it is freezing cold and the water stops flowing in the waterpipes because of minus temperatures.  This is a time to dress up nice and warm, muffled against the cold with  beanies, scarves,… Read more >

WHICH ONE? ROOFTOP VERSUS GROUND TENT

It is quite difficult to decide which is best: a rooftop tent or a ground tent. The truth is that both have advantages and disadvantages and there are a few factors that will determine which one will work best for YOU.  So let us have a look at the broader picture. A rooftop tent is the easiest way to sleep off the ground.  You will have to decide why this is important for you and your family.  We as a family prefer to go for a ground tent as we do not want to carry all the weight on Wallace’s roof as it becomes a bit top heavy then.  Top heavy in a Landy spells danger going down slopes – it always feel like Wallace is going to topple over. The pro’s and con’s One of the pro’s of a rooftop tent is it helps when your campsite is uneven… Read more >

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker or… Read more >

YOU HAVE MAIL IN TWEE RIVIERE

If you mistake Twee Riviere for Twee Rivieren you will end up in a totally different province of South Africa.  The one is on the R62 in the Eastern Cape, but you can easily overshoot it as well, and the other one is in the Northern Cape where you enter the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  Today however we are visiting Twee Riviere in the Eastern Cape, about a two hour drive from the friendly city of Port Elizabeth. The little hamlet has its origin as far back as 1765 when land  was first allocated to Jacobus Scheepers.  Once a blooming farming community over the years it also fell victim to the economic trends and hardships and today it is a real rural community.  One beautiful feature of Twee Riviere is the Belfry Kitchen in the hoofstraat.  Make sure you pinch yourself, because you can soon forget that you are in the… Read more >

A LOADED FARM STALL – DASSIESFONTEIN!

South Africa has great farm stalls dotted all over our beautiful country and Dassiesfontein is one of he top notch ones.   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… Read more >

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