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Road Trip 2016 – Final Chapter

SA Road Trip 2016

We arrived in Mossel Bay at around 6pm and found our hotel with ease.  The Ocean Hotel were having a winter special and were we in for a surprise, what a room, they were even going to organise us a shuttle to one of the restaurants in town but we opted to have dinner in house.

 

What a fabulous meal we had too, their restaurant was great even though it was just the two of us; it gave us a great opportunity to take pics of the restaurant without us disturbing other patrons.

 

Besides our stay over at the Cathedral Peak Hotel, this must have been the second best stay over. After a great nights rest, it was an early breakfast, check out and off to explore Mossel Bay before our last stretch home.

 

Mossel Bay – Although it is today best known as the place at which the first Europeans landed on South African soil (Bartolomeu Dias and his crew arrived on 3 February 1488), Mossel Bay’s human history can – as local archaeological deposits have revealed – be traced back more than 164,000 years.

The modern history of Mossel Bay began on 3 February 1488, when the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias landed with his men at a point close to the site of the modern-day Dias Museum Complex.[2] Here they found a spring from which to replenish their water supplies. Dias had been appointed to search for a trading route to India by King John II of Portugal, and, without realising it, actually rounded the Cape of Good Hope before landing at Mossel Bay – which he named Angra dos Vaqueiros (The Bay of Cowherds). Dias is also credited with having given the Cape the name Cabo das Tormentas (the ‘Cape of Storms’), although King John II later changed this to Cabo da Boa Esperança (the Cape of Good Hope

 

A cold front had moved in so it was overcast and rainy and I always find this adds something to pics taken

 

 

 

After exploring as much as we could of Mossel Bay, we were off and homeward bound, with one or two stops along the way to take a pic or two as were now in the yellow Canola patchwork fields of Swellendam.

 

Let’s not forget going past a town called Riviersonderend  – always wondered how river could be called a River Without End, that either means it never ended anywhere, because as we know a river either ends in a lake, dam or the sea , so it just recycled itself, and carried on flowing. This is the explanation found on Wikipedia.

Riviersonderend is a small farming village with a peaceful rural atmosphere, situated on the main Garden Route between Cape Town and Mossel Bay on the N2 – 160 km from Cape Town, and is surrounded with farms. The town offers the tranquility of beautiful mountain and river scenery, a nine hole golf course and a host of other activities. The town is also only an hour away from several beaches.

There is uncertainty about the origin of the name Riviersonderend.

Willem ten Rhyne, who visited the cape in 1673, referred to the river, with its source in the mountains, as the “sine fine flumen” (“river without end”).

In 1707 Jan Hatogh, a horticulturist employed by the Dutch East India Company and a seasoned traveller, referred to the river as the “Kanna-kan-kann”. This word was possibly derived from the Hessequa word “Kamma-kan Kamma” which, roughly translated, means “water, endless water”. The Hessequa were a local tribe of herdsmen.

We arrived home tired but in one piece with lots of tales to tell, this trip was one of the most interesting trips I have been on.

Thanks to David for asking me to go with him. Very much appreciated.

www.afrobeatdrumming.co.za

 

 

 

 

SA Road Trip 2016

SA Road Trip 2016

 

We arrived in Grahamstown late afternoon and our main concern was to find accommodation, this was not going to be as easy as our previous stop overs. There are numerous Guest Houses and B & B’s to choose from, but not in our price range. Although the local Arts Festival was over, most places were full; we were eventually directed to a Hotel called the Stone Crescent Hotel, 8km’s outside the town.

When we called to book, the price was just perfect for a one night stay over or so we thought.

When we arrived their credit card machine was not working, they had no Wi-Fi (now that is just not right, how on earth can a hotel have no Wi-Fi. That of course is the draw card to stay at any hotel, guest house or B&B, is the Wi-Fi and when it is free, what a bonus.)

After paying for our accommodation in cash we were taken to our rooms, one double bed and one single. It was a roof over our heads, so we decided to make the best of it, and is was for just one night anyway.

So we had to trek all the way back into town for dinner, found a great little restaurant and had a great meal. Evening went well, met the owner who was very chatty and he suggested we go via  Bathurst, Port Alfred, Kent-on-Sea then on to Port Elizabeth and the Garden Route. It was a slight detour but he reckoned it would be worth it. David and I discussed the detour and decided it would not be too much out of our way.

Grahamstown has a population of about 70,000 people in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is situated about 110 kilometres (70 mi) northeast of Port Elizabeth and 130 kilometres (80 mi) southwest of East London. Grahamstown is the largest town in the Makana Local Municipality, and the seat of the municipal council. It also hosts Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, and a diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Grahamstown was founded in 1812 as a military outpost.

St. Michael and St. George Cathedral is the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown. Grahamstown also has Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Ethiopian Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Pinkster Protestante, Dutch Reformed (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk), Charismatic, Apostolic and Pentecostal churches. There are also meeting places for Hindus, Scientologists, Quakers, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslims.

We awoke the following morning to tepid water in the shower and could not get out of the hotel quick enough. I still intend to give scathing revue on Trip Advisor soon. So into town we went to have coffee and breakfast and then did our tour of the city. We had been getting so many warnings about the cattle on the road in the Eastern Cape and we had experienced no problems thus far, until we walked about Grahamstown. Besides the huge bull grazing on the centre island of the road as we came in, there were these three donkeys outside St Michael and St George Cathedral, they were rather early to take part in the Nativity scene for Christmas though.

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As always it was the churches that caught our attention and after spending an hour or so in the town we were on our way to Bathurst.

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We found Bathurst to vey quaint and very very Bohemian.

Bathurst – Many of the original settler houses and other buildings have been preserved, and there remains much of the look and feel of an English village of the early 19th Century. The Pig and Whistle Inn, at the heart of the village, is reputedly the oldest extant pub in the country. Built in 1821 by Thomas Hartley, a blacksmith who came from Nottinghamshire with the Settlers. Later accommodation was added and it became known as the Bathurst Inn. Legend has it that it was nicknamed “The Pig & Whistle” by the men at the nearby 43 Air School in WWII.

While time has moved slowly in Bathurst, there is an increasing population of artists, academics (Rhodes University is only 40 km away), and retirees.

Bathurst hosts a pineapple museum whose building is shaped like a 17-meter-tall pineapple

After popping into a shop or two we were on our way to Port Alfred.

Port Alfred was established in the early 1820s by British settlers who were moved into the area by Lord Charles Somerset as a buffer between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa people. Originally it was two separate towns (settlers arriving on the west bank in 1820 named their settlement Port Kowie, and those arriving on the east bank named theirs Port Frances.

Later, in 1860, when Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred visited, the name was changed in his honour.

The port

In 1839, William Cock and George Hodgkinson started to block the natural river mouth to the east and canalise the present opening to the sea. By 1841 South Africa’s first man-made harbour was opened after completion of the stone lined channel between the ocean and the Kowie River. This allowed high-masted sailing ships with their heavy cargo to dock at the wharf.

I reckon we might have stayed longer in Port Alfred than anticipated; there were just so many good photographic opportunities to not to be missed.

Next we whizzed by Kenton-on-Sea

by passed Port Elizabeth and stopped in Jefferies Bay, not sure why we did though, just your normal surfer’s paradise, but none the less we stayed for far too long.

Because of this we missed all of the Garden Route and got to Mossel Bay around 530/6pm.

We had booked in advance for our accommodation in Mossel Bay and wanted to get there at a descent time.

I have promised Davis that we will do the Garden Route sometime in the future – now there is our next road trip in the making.

We were now entering the final part of our journey home, but that will be the final installment, coming up soon.

Thanks to Wikipedia for info gathered, and don’t forget to check out David’s website http://www.afrobeatdrumming.co.za

Cape Point 2016

Had a great trip to Cape Point on Saturday 17th September 2016

Cape Point is in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve which is part of Table Mountain National Park.

Once a year we locals have the opportunity to get into all of the South African National Parks for free.

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If you are lucky enough you will spot Zebra, Eland and various antelope,  well we were not that lucky but we did spot Caterpillars,  Cape Cormorants, Tortoises, Baboons, Ostrich, OH and yes a Blesbok

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Needless to say Miss Daisy was the centre of attraction , she sat and posed for the visitors and was quite happy to be in a pic with someone.

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The original Lighthouse we built in the late 1850’s but was apparently built in the wrong spot and so was decommissioned and the new one built lower down and closer to sea.

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The new Lighthouse sports the brightest Lighthouse light in South Africa and can be seen 60km from shore.

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Cape Town Harbour 

City Lights 

Chris Godden shared a Flickr photo with you.


Chris Godden shared a photo with you from the Flickr app! Take a look:
#flowers #macrophotography #macro

SA Road Trip 2016

SA Road Trip 2016

Our journey home after leaving Kokstad would take us through the following towns Mount Ayliff, Mount Frere, Mthatha, Butterworth, King Williams Town and our stop over the night Grahamstown.

We were of course warned about “be careful of the cattle on the roads”, “be careful of the Mini Bus Taxis”, oh and watch out for “pot holes” in the roads. To be honest the cattle and taxis were well behaved and the roads were not that bad, here and there some of the roads we traveled on did need some work done.

After a good night’s rest we were on our way and left Kokstad early the following morning. Unfortunately we did not have much time to explore, but yep you guessed right, could not leave without a pic of one of the churches.  Once again in doing this blog found out some interesting information about the places we would travel through.

Kokstad is a town in the Harry Gwala District Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Kokstad is named after the Griqua chief Adam Kok III who settled here in 1863. Stad is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for city.

The town is built on the outer slopes of the Drakensberg and is 1,302 m above the sea level. Behind it Mount Currie rises to a height of 2,224 m. It is a centre for cheese and other dairy products.

Kokstad is currently the fastest growing town in KwaZulu-Natal, with approximately 50,000 people residing there.

The following two towns sounded so; oh I don’t know if romantic is the correct word really, maybe the word I am looking for is Victorian, anyway I envisioned these little towns in the rolling misty hills of Natal being traditional Zulu villages, only to find them wet, muddy, grubby and just so run down.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the following information

Mount Ayliff is a small town in the eastern Eastern Cape province of South Africa, near that province’s border with KwaZulu-Natal. In the census of 2011, its population was recorded as being 5,367 people, of whom 98% described themselves as “Black African”, and 91.5% spoke Xhosa as their first language.

 

Mount Frere is a town located in the Eastern Cape province, previously known as the Transkei region, of South Africa. Its name in Xhosa is kwaBhaca, or “place of the Bhaca people”, who settled here while fleeing the advance of Shaka Zulu.

Next stop Mthatha to get some provisions for the road.

Mthatha, formerly Umtata/uːmˈtɑːtɑː/ is the main town of the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality in Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The town has an airport, previously known by the name K. D. Matanzima Airport after former leader Kaiser Matanzima..

From 1976 to 1994, Mthatha served as the capital of the Transkei bantustan, under the name of Umtata.

Many of South Africa’s black leaders  Walter Sisulu, Bantu Holomisa, and Nelson Mandela — come from this area, and the retired Mandela visited his home village of Qunu a few kilometres south of Mthatha. On 2 March 2004 Umtata was officially renamed to its current name Mthatha.

Butterworth (also known as Gcuwa) is a town in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Butterworth has a population of 287,780 and is situated on the N2 national highway 111km north of East London

The area around Butterworth was populated by Khoi San people, however they were gradually absorbed into the Xhosa people who arrived from further North through means of force.

Now I did not know the following info about Butterworth – This is where historiographer and travel journalist Vuyo Bengu Makasi comes from. It is also the birthplace of Marmaduke Pattle, the highest scoring RAF ace of World War 2.

We crossed the Kei River and just had to stop to take a few pics from the old bridge. Then we were off again and onto King Williams Town.

 

We were whizzing by most these towns as time was not on our side , we needed to get to Grahamstown  timeously to find accommodation.

We had a quick stop over in King Williams Town to stretch our legs and of course take a few pics, yes of course once gain of the churches on the main street.

King William’s Town is a town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa along the banks of the Buffalo River. The town is about 30 minutes’ motorway drive WNW of the Indian Ocean port of East London. The town is part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

King, as the town is locally called, stands 389 m above the sea at the foot of the Amatola Mountains and in the midst of a densely populated agricultural district. King William’s Town is the second most populous city in the Buffalo City Municipality, with a population near 100,000 inhabitants.

The town has one of the oldest post offices in the country developed by missionaries led by Brownlee..

The area’s economy depended on cattle and sheep ranching, and the town itself has a large industrial base producing textiles, soap, candles, sweets, cartons and clothing.

The town is also home to “Huberta,” one of the farthest-travelling hippopotami in South Africa. It is preserved in the Amathole Museum in the King Williams Town CBD.

It was on our way from King Williams Town to Grahamstown that we had a little altercation with the law. We were travelling along completely unware that one of headlamps was not functional and so we were pulled of the road by a traffic cop, who started to issue a fine but then held out his hand and made a silly remark about why feed Zuma, when we could give him some cash and be on our way. We refused of course and he sheepishly let us go, but we were a little on edge after that.

We arrived in Grahamstown without any further incident, but still pretty angry at the arrogance of what had transpired.

Now to find accommodation, but I will leave that for the next part of our journey.

Thanks to Wikipedia for most of my research and of course don’t forget David and the work he does through http://www.afrobeatdrumming.co.za