TRAVELBUCKET

2015

KAKAMAS – POOR PASTURES – NO WAY!

In Khoi Kakamas means “poor pastures”. I think that they got it wrong!  Make an effort to visit the region surrounding the Orange River and you will appreciate the fact that the river brings life to the surrounding area where temperatures soar in summer and experience freezing desert temperatures during winter. The town came about between 1800 and 1900 when there were a war and a worldwide depression.  People of the area were bitterly poor due to rinderpest and drought and came to the church for help to survive.  In exchange for care the local people, under supervision of Japie Lutz, dug and built a canal system by hand.  This system is still in operation even today.  The system includes two tunnels of 97m and 175m respectively, turning the area to a greenery. Augrabies Falls surely is the  most visited place in Kakamas, but there are some other interesting features… 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 >

A DRIVE THROUGH SEWEWEEKSPOORT

A magical place if you love to be impressed by mountains.  This is also the place to go if you love geology and geography – both are interesting to me and I get lost when visiting this poort – as these mountain range is part of the Cape Fold Belt and you will observe some contorted rock strata along the route.  This is also an area rich in flora. Not only aloes are noticeable on the slopes and along the road, but you will also find some rare indigenous plant species like the Aristata protea.  Go prepared with binocular and camera and something warm in winter as you might encounter snow covered mountain tops which creates a bit of a chill factor. The original construction of the road started in 1859 with convict labour and lasted for three years. On final completion in 1862 it was also accessible for wagon… Read more >

A LONDON RED BUS IN MOSSEL BAY?

A ride on a red London bus is still on my bucket list, but I was not really expecting to find a red London bus parked in the Garden Route.   This was a leisurely Saturday outing on a winter’s day in August in search for some good old-fashioned, value-for-money food.  And this is just what we found here. This no frills-no-fuss fish and chips take away is located on the water’s edge in Mossel Bay Harbour.  Things work simple here – decide what you want from the minimalistic menu, place your order, pay at the window, get your order slip and go on the top deck until your food is served in a white Styrofoam dish.  That’s it. With the smell of sea and fresh fish in your nostrils you have a fantastic view over the glistening water of the bay  towards the Outeniqua Mountains, which also forms the back… Read more >

GRYSBOK TRAIL @ NMMU

It was an early rise and shine on a Saturday morning for a walk on the Grysbok trail.  The whole of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) campus was declared a Private Nature Reserve in 1983. The 830 ha is dominated by the St Francis Dune Thicket vegetation.   This fynbos vegetation is highly threatened due to agricultural clearing and coastal development. Despite some problems with invasive Australian Acacias the vegetation is in very good condition.  The trail meanders through the reserve, providing opportunities for observing the exciting fauna and flora of the area. Do take time to visit the reserve on different times of the year to experience the whole spectrum of the flora and fauna.  There are two trail options that can be walked, a 3.2 km or a 2.5 km loop. Both trails cover relatively flat terrain and are suitable for moderately fit people and no bundu… Read more >

A WEEKEND VISIT TO HOGSBACK

During December of 2013 we took a quick pre-Christmas break to Hogsback to celebrate our daughter’s successful academic year.  The road took us high up into the Amathole mountains amongst cloud and rain.  As we arrived at the beautiful Hogsback Arminel Inn the rain was pouring down and our hopes to do some walking diminished.   So we were on to plan B at J R R Tolkien’s place of Hobbits and fairies! Plan B included driving the road (indicated on maps as a normal road, but do not be fooled as this has degraded to a 4×4 track) from Hogsback to Seymour, which was on hubby’s to do list,  as well as picking up some caches in the area.  However the weather did not have a sunny outlook so we followed the road less traveled  through the forest to Keiskammehoek Thanks to Geocaching we passed traditional huts and villages,… Read more >

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