Loves and life on the Garden Route in South Africa

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

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

 

Tranquil weekend March 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — shadreyer @ 11:06 am
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I just have to show off these beautiful photos of the Knysna heads that I took on Sunday morning. So very beautiful

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Wolves and trampolines August 26, 2012

Filed under: Chevonne,Out & about,weekend — shadreyer @ 5:13 am
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Saturday was our day to have my man’s 6 year old daughter, Chevonne, for the day and whenever we have her we also try and make it a day to remember. So at 9 am sharp my man went to go fetch her and it was off to Harkerville market for a farmer’s breakfast. We then jumped back in the car and drive to nearby Plettenberg Bay where we did a bit of shopping -shoes for her and provisions for our planned picnic. By now it was nearly lunchtime so we headed back in the direction of Knysna stopping enroute for our planned treat for her, a visit to the Wolf Sanctuary. One of the things that I really am hoping to instill in Chevonne is a love of animals and nature. Her Dad also wants to make sure she gets to do new and exciting things as she doesn’t get the opportunity to go out much when at home. The Wolf Sanctuary is home to two separate packs of Timber wolves. Each pack has about ten wolves, male and female, who come from all over South Africa. Some of them are ex-pets as wolves are not easy to domestic being wild animals first and foremost. The sanctuary is also home to Black-backed jackals and African Wild dogs aka Painted dogs. African Wild dogs, unlike the jackals, are extremely endangered and also beautiful creatures.

While standing watching the wolves in their large wooded enclosure an ambulance came whizzing past on the nearby highway, sirens blaring. Well, that set the jackals off who started howling and then the wolves too started. They all ran around, tension in the air, snapping at each other slightly. It was quite incredible to watch and almost a little scary. These beautiful creatures that looked like big tame dogs suddenly showing all their natural wild characteristics. It was really quite something. A few minutes later and the wolf family were back to chilling out by their water hole in the sun looking once again like someone’s family pet.

The sanctuary also has another side too it, home to many farmyard animals and a couple of emu and ostrich too. We had bought feed in the form of a bag of pellets so spent the rest of our time with Chevonne feeding the animals. Then it was time for lunch and some fun in the children’s playground. Playing ball with her dad and trying out the trampoline-which she was convinced would break.

In the drive home after all of that I don’t know who was more tired, her or me. Anyway it was a great day out, for her without a doubt as she got to see the wolves ‘who huffed and puffed and blew the piggies houses down’ and for us to get to have a fun day with her and visit the beautiful wolves too.

For this in South Africa in the Garden Route the Wolf Sanctuary is in Harkerville on the N2 between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna and well worth a visit- especially if you have kids!!!

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Canadian Timber wolves

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Chevonne making friends

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Chevonne learning how to drive-a natural!

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Chevonne mastering the trampoline

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I’ll huff and I’ll puff…