TRAVELBUCKET

Western Cape

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 >

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 >

A STEP BACK IN TIME – MATJIESFONTEIN

Matjiesfontein owes its existence to one single person who had the vision and mission to create something from nothing in the middle of nowhere.  This man was James Douglas Logan, a Scot, born in 1857 and arrived by accident in South Africa when his ship was wrecked near Simonstown in the Cape Peninsula.  He found work as a porter at the Cape Town Railway Station and later became district superintendent.   He married Emma Haylett and bought in farm in the Karoo, called Tweedside, sunk some boreholes and planted fruit trees, against the advice of some local farmers, and made a huge success of it.  At the same time Logan was involved in developing Matjiesfontein as a recuperating facility for suffers of respiratory problems.  But this was not the end of Logan; he had some more plans up his sleeve!  He was also the proud owner of the longest private telephone… Read more >

LADISMITH TO LAINGSBURG

Our first trip of 2021 was a ladies only trip to explore the village of Matjiesfontein, but first we want to share the beauty of the road that lead to Laingsburg.  Beauty of another kind. We were up early as to be ready to hit the road at 06:00 when the curfew lifts and before the Karoo heat creeps into the day.  Our first planned stop was to have a champagne breakfast in Seweweekspoort to welcome some new things that we had worked hard on to get into place.  A first stop of many during the day to to capture some moments and moods. The pass is approximately 17 km long and and crosses the river no fewer than 23 times. Almost all the bridges over the river have been upgraded and completed.  Do take care still, because you might encounter the odd roadworks in progress.  First back to a… Read more >

A KAROO FARMHOUSE WITH THE PERFECT LOCATION

by Inge Triegaardt If you ever find yourself daydreaming about the beautiful Karoo Landscapes, the bare mountain ridges (sometimes capped with snow), the warmth of a fire in the winter or the cool shade of the big ‘stoep’ around a homely Karoo cottage, dream no further. Snap out of it, NOW!! Pack your bags and hit the road, we will meet you at our favourite Karoo Farmhouse. It is situated at the foot of the majestic Towerkop Mountains a mere 15km from Ladismith on the famous Route 62 that dissect the Klein Karoo. In the fertile Dwarsriver Valley where the most sophisticated wines are being developed from lush green vineyards, Arusio Farmhouse @ Towerkop awaits you. Driving on a well maintained gravel road, admiring the beautiful views, you might think that you have left the Karoo landscape behind when you turned off the R62. Here you will soon switch your… Read more >

DAY TRIP FROM GEORGE : SOPHY GRAY’S FOOTSTEPS

If you love architecture and interesting stories, follow the footstep of Sophie Gray around the Southern Cape.  This is an easy day trip with enough time to have something to snack at some of the amazing farm stalls in the Garden Route.  You can start the trip at any point and travel in any direction.  It all depends on how you feel and where you are staying.  Our starting point will be in George at the St Marks Cathedral at the top end of York Street.  Travelling towards the mountain you will find this little Anglican church on your right-hand side.   Some of the interesting facts is that the stained-glass windows came all the way from Germany.   It was recovered from a church in Germany during the French Revolution, brought to England and then found its way to South Africa.  The church dates back to the period of 1850 and… Read more >

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 >

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