Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Table Mountain

I have a special affiliation with Table Mountain.  If I haven't been to Cape Town for a while I miss it like you miss a loved one.  When I do visit the Mother City I can't take my eyes off her... it... erm... the mountain.  One would swear I'm having an affair with her. So what if I do?  Anyhow, I usually try and visit Table Mountain every time I'm in town, even if its only for a trip to Signal Hill.  I wish I had time to hike up Lion's Head or the table itself while in town or just had the bucks to go up the cable car every time. This last trip I stayed in Tamboerskloof so at least had an early morning walk along Table Mountain Road, but in general Signal Hill it will have to be.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A reminder that we live in a wonderful world

We live in such a rush every day that most of us tend to forget what a beautiful world is out there.  Add to that all the bad news around and I think it becomes a case of people spending more time indoors "hiding out" than getting out there and experiencing nature.  Earth Day was celebrated on 22 April and I spotted this video on an Earth Day blog post on the Getaway blog.  How can I not use it in a post as well?  Watch it and allow David Attenborough to remind you that we live in a wonderful and beautiful world. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Table Mountain "selfie"

A quick three day visit to Cape Town for World Travel Market Africa had me slip out the exhibition at lunch time on day 1 to head down to the V&A Waterfront for a quick lunch.  Well, probably more sightseeing that lunch (as if I've never been there but I am the eternal tourist).  I ended up at the #LoveCapeTown selfie frame enjoying the view and before I knew it I was taking pictures for a German couple wanting to  have a picture together.  Then two Dutch ladies... and four from the UK.  One of the UK guys asked if they could take one of me.  Of cause they can.  So here I am doing the Table Mountain selfie frame touristy thing at the V&A Waterfront.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A St Francis Bay canal cruise

When you think of St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape, the first thing that comes to mind are the beautiful canal system with its upmarket black and white homes lining the waterways.  You can drive through the area to admire its beauty but the best way to really take it in is on a canal cruise.

Our recent weekend in St Francis saw us join Brian Cunningham of Brisan on the Canals and a bunch of ladies on their last leg of the Chokka Trail for a canal cruise on the Swan of Brisan.  The one hour long cruise took us up and down the canals which was first dredged by Leighton Hulett in 1967.  As I mentioned before, all the houses are white walled and black roofed (with quite a few of them being thatched) as this conformed building style was insisted on by Hulett who originally owned the farm on which St Francis Bay developed.  Brian pointed out interesting facts along the canals while there were gasps from everybody when he told us about the devastation of the huge fire that burned down 76 houses in 2012.  The vastness of the event only really comes home when you see the area first hand.  Just before sunset we cruised out onto the Krom River to see the sun set over the Kouga Mountains with a drink in hand (that's us having the drink in hand and not the sunset) before heading back to the guesthouse to disembark.  I can truly say that you haven't experienced and seen St Francis Bay until you haven't been on a cruise as the best part of the canals can't be seen from the road.
 
Just another reason to come and #ExperienceEastCape.

Disclosure: We enjoyed the cruise as guests of  Brisan on the Canals.  I received no further remuneration, wasn't asked to write a positive post and keep full editorial control.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I checked a Boomslang

Spending the weekend in St Francis a couple of weeks ago I was looking out a window after breakfast when I saw something drop from the tree down onto the paving.  I quickly stepped right up to the window for a closer look and spotted a boomslang slither along the wall.  I quickly grabbed my camera and ran outside just in tome to see him disappear into the shrubs in the flower bed.  I got the long lens onto the camera (yes my new camera) and snapped this pic of him through the garden.  By then a couple of other guests had joined me with cameras and he even had a GoPro on a stick stuck in there for a bit of video.

We could see he was getting anxious so we gave him some space to get out of the corner and he quickly made his way up the tree on the other side of the paving.  There he disappeared and only after a while did somebody spot him right at the top of the tree where I got the two photos above and below.  What an awesome sighting!!!

The average adult Boomslang (or tree snake) - Dispholidus typus - is around 100 – 160 cm in length but can exceed 183 cm (6 feet).  Males are light green with black or blue scale edges (like this one) while the adult females may be brown.  The Boomslang has a highly potent venom (hemotoxic) that gets delivered through large fangs that are located in the back of the jaw. They are able to open their jaws up to 170 degrees when biting.  It is generally a timid snake and bites generally occur only when people attempt to handle, catch or kill the animal so it is unlikely to be a significant source of human fatalities.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

St Francis Bay, South Africa's own Little Venice... or vica versa

Little Venice, a tranquil canal area in London, home to restaurants, pubs and relaxing boat trips....
 
St Francis Bay, a tranquil canal area in the Kouga region of the Eastern Cape, home to beautiful homes, restaurants and relaxing boat trips... and lots of sunshine.
 
St Francis Bay wins

Monday, April 13, 2015

Drive carefully at Seal Point Nature Reserve

The Seal Point Nature Reserve in Cape St Francis is home to the SANCCOB penguin sanctuary which is situated right next to the historic Seal Point Lighthouse.  From St Francis Way there is a short road that takes visitors to the lighthouse and SANCCOB centre and it is at this intersection that SANCCOB has erected this very interesting warning sign.  Can you name the animals you have to watch out for as you drive into and walk around the reserve?