Loves and life on the Garden Route in South Africa

Through the eyes of volunteer coordinator and crazy cat lady, Sharon

Hillbrow – Between Heaven and Hell August 27, 2014

Filed under: Out & about,South Africa,youth — shadreyer @ 1:30 pm
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“Award-winning filmmaker Clifford Bestall goes back to the place where he grew up to explore this microcosm of chaos, crime and corruption in urban South Africa and discovers a place where human spirit, hope and enterprise triumph.George ‘the brick’ is an aging boxer, a hard-lived survivor. Around him and his gym are the characters that make Hillbrow the high-rise melting pot of South Africa.Busi and Mimie are female boxers, punching their way out of their troubled backgrounds beyond the South African borders. Les is a local nightclub entrepreneur with an eye for an opportunity.And Bernice is a frail old Jewish lady – one of the very few whites still living in Hillbrow.This beautiful, personal film elegantly draws them into its fold as their stories unfurl, revealing a rich seam of today’s urban South African experience”

Hillbrow – Between Heaven and Hell

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First thoughts of Prince Albert, a little Karoo town August 9, 2014

Filed under: Nature,Out & about,South Africa,weekend — shadreyer @ 5:42 am
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So I’ve just woken up in Prince Albert. We arrived yesterday at about 11am with a lovely 3 hour drive from Knysna to George, then George over the Outeniqua mountains to Oudtshoorn where we then took the road to De Rust and stopped for breakfast at the Village Trading store. Leaving De Rust we drove through the beautiful Meiringspoort and came upon masses of troops of baboons on the road. On arriving in Prince Albert after passing several wine farms, we stopped at Gay’s dairy for some cheese tasting and to stock up on cheese, yoghurt and the most delicious farm fresh creamy milk.

We then met my friend Kathryn who manages a farm here and had a glass of wine at the Swartberg hotel coffee shop before visiting the farm she manages with the help of her 3 week old pet sheep, Shaun.

My partner and I then took a long stroll through the town getting our bearings and looking at the beautiful historical buildings. Prince Albert is a little over 250 years old which in South African terms is fairly old. The town itself is quite flat and built on a rectangular plan with small canal ducks running down the streets which they call “lei water”.

After a quick freshen-up it was off to the NG Kerk “potjie aand” where R50 got you unlimited plates of “potjiekos”. This is a traditional South African meal whereby vegetables and/or meat are cooked in a cast iron pot on an open fire and it’s positively delicious! We tried numerous varieties of beef and of course Karoo lamb (which is famous for it’s flavour).

My partner and I then went to a local pub in the bush to catch a local provincial rugby game on TV so met a few of the locals who were extremely friendly and invited us back again tonight. Exhausted and full we returned to our beautiful historic house we had hired out and collapsed!

Now it’s time to get ready for a full day ahead of us in this small picturesque South African Karoo town for another full day and lots of photos!

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Prince Albert road trip August 6, 2014

Filed under: Nature,Out & about,South Africa,weekend — shadreyer @ 6:40 am
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My partner and I have been dying to explore the small town of Prince Albert situated at the foot of the Swartberg Mountain in the Karoo, for some time now. It was also the home to the Attekwa who are an indigenous Khoi-Khoi people of South Africa.

Our accommodation that we have booked is an old church converted into a self-catering house called “Bid Huisie” which translated means “Prayer House”. This weekend we are off driving from Knysna via Oudtshoorn and Meiringspoort- which I hear is spectacular- to get there.

Prince Albert is known for it’s olives, figs, cheese, mohair, wine, Karoo lamb and glorious hiking trails. There are plenty of historical Cape Dutch, Victorian and Karoo buildings with no less than 19 national monuments. There are a surprisingly lot of tours available and we have booked a historical afternoon walking tour and for the evening the “Ghost walk”.
I also have a friend there who does horse trails so hopefully we can explore a little on horse back too.

As it is also their Winter School, there are lots of other things on the go from markets, cooking competitions and art exhibitions

An update and photos will follow

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Bid Huisie on the Prince Albert tourism website

Prince Albert brochure