Loves and life on the Garden Route in South Africa

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

Is South Africa the best place to road trip? September 22, 2014

Is South Africa the best place to road trip?

 

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

 

Knysna Oyster Festival June 22, 2014

So the next big event we will be having in the beautiful estuary town of Knysna on the Garden Route in South Africa, is the annual Oyster Festival. This festival which is on from the 4th to the 12th of July, is fun filled with lots to do for all the locals and visitors to our town. From sports events to wine tasting and oyster hot spots, there is something for everyone

Knysna Oyster Festival webpage

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Also not to missed, the local design and food market on the 10th of July
Local Design and Food Market

 

Markets galore! June 21, 2014

Saturday mornings on the Garden Route in South Africa, are a great time to explore the many local markets in the area. I am going to be taking a British and a Swiss volunteer to there such markets this morning. We will start at the Wild Oats market for breakfast with a choice of many different culinary delights from around the world. Then it’s on to the Mosaic and Scarab markets to trawl for local arts & crafts, African curios locally designed clothing and handcrafted jewelry with a stop at the factory making paper from elephant dung. All these markets can be found on the outskirts of the small town of Sedgefield and are a huge attraction every Saturday. Photos to follow later

Wild Oats Community Market

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Beautiful breads!20140621-102437-37477966.jpg

Traditional South African vetkoek (fat cake)20140621-102500-37500259.jpg

Freshly squeezed fruit juice, smoothies and chai tea20140621-102615-37575574.jpg

Pastries and cakes from the German baker20140621-102658-37618660.jpg

Artisan bread from local patisserie, ile de Pain20140621-102806-37686284.jpg

Olives galore!20140621-103134-37894558.jpg

Traditional koeksusters, the sweeter and syrupy the better20140621-103235-37955794.jpg

Love these hand crafteed wooden rabbits and people20140621-110203-39723527.jpg

Proteas, indigenous flora to South Africa and also our national flower20140621-110244-39764480.jpg

The Mosaic Outdoor Market20140621-110507-39907433.jpg

Vintage stall20140621-111751-40671924.jpg

Beautiful bonsais 20140621-112206-40926064.jpg

The minstrels 20140621-112318-40998001.jpg

Dreamcatchers20140621-112437-41077986.jpg

T-shirts with a South African feel20140621-112624-41184570.jpg

Fairy and fantasy gear for kids20140621-112910-41350473.jpg

Amazing wooden furniture20140621-113013-41413981.jpg

Incredible mosaic art20140621-132902-48542654.jpg

Prints on paper made from elephant dung20140621-135156-49916925.jpg

Mosaic protea flower on a vase20140621-135238-49958339.jpg

Yummy cheeses20140621-135454-50094440.jpg

A stall thats profits goes towards anti-canned lion breeding and hunting20140621-135528-50128404.jpg

The oddest vegetable I have ever seen!20140621-135601-50161605.jpg

Droe wors or as it is translated into English “dry sausage’, also a traditional South African treat20140621-135643-50203756.jpg

Wild Oats Community Farmers Market

Mosaic Outdoor Market

Scarab Saturday Craft Market

 

The Outeniqua Power Van March 7, 2014

The Outeniqua Power Van

I am planning on doing this next weekend! It looks great and the Power Van takes you through the Outeniqua mountains on a 2 and 1/2 hour trip! What a lovely way to see nature!

Trips on rail with the Outeniqua PowerVan are of the most popular tourist attractions in the South Cape ,Garden Route. This is a unique eco experience and you can enjoy the Garden Route from the comfort of rail busses in exclusive groups. Daily trips between 07:00 and 21:00 are available.
Travel in the Outeniqua Mountains, one of the most scenic railway passes in the country. Experience the forest and four passes, waterfalls and six tunnels, fynbos and proteas, bird and animal life and the panoramic picnic area.
Outeniqua Power Van

Outeniqua Power Van
The Outeniqua Transport Museum serves as the departure and arrival point for both the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe and Outeniqua Power Van. It houses a large collection of steam locomotives and carriages dating back to the bygone years. The Museum offers hours of exploration and intrigue while your children can enjoy a ride on the miniature steam train.
We also have excellent catering facilities available at the Tewani Coffee Shoppe or the Stimela Restaurant.
· Special trips for special occasions can be arranged
· A minimum of 20 passengers are required.
· Booking is essential.
· A picnic at Power – with a spectacular view – is included in all these trips. Passengers bring their own picnic basket.
Outeniqua Power Van
Outeniqua Power Van Contact the Outeniqua Power Van: 
· Outeniqua Transport Museum
· 2 Mission Road, George, 6530
· E-mail opv@mweb.co.za
· Tel. +27 (0)44 801 8239
· Fax: +27 (0)44 801 8246
· Cell 082 490 5627

The power van trip was amazing! Felt like being back in a bygone era! My mother and aunt loves it-especially going through the 7 tunnels! Definitely worth doing.

 

Another great blog from the “Going Homeless Project” :Photostory : Clifford’s Cave February 5, 2014

You can find the webpage at:http://www.goinghomeless.co.za/photostory-cliffords-cave/

Photostory : Clifford’s Cave

August 15, 2012 by stu | 4 Comments

While hiking to Victoria Bay from Wilderness along the old Tjoe Tjoe Railway track, i encountered the cave dweller Clifford. Here’s the photostory.

the front door

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You can read about the Going Homeless Project’s time in Wilderness here

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