Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
The reason I wanted to post this is to show you the view from the graves looking across the farm towards the mountains in the distance. With this kind of view its no wonder they wanted to be buried there?
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A short distance up the road from the Old Toll House you will come to Montagu Pass Bridge (also known as Keurrivier se Brug). I stopped just after crossing the bridge and climbed down to the river to get a pic of it. What an awesome spot. Ideal for a picnic and perhaps a quick dip on a hot day. I did find out afterwards that the vicinity of the bridge is supposed to be haunted by a man in a grey suit. I didn't see him though. Pity, I could perhaps have gotten a photo of a ghost. Imagine the amount of publicity I could get with that. Tomorrow in Part 2 we will travel up the narrow and steep part of the pass.
Source - Garden Route Direct
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Hops are actually the female flower clusters, commonly called cones or strobiles, of the humulus plant. The hop plant is a vigorous climbing herbaceous perennial, and is trained to grow up strings in a field called a hopfield, hop garden or hop yard when grown commercially. Male and female flowers of the hop plant develop on separate plants, but because viable seeds are undesirable for brewing beer, only female plants are grown in hopfields which prevents pollination.
When we passed this field in December, the plants were still in the growing faze and there were no hops on to photograph yet. The hops in this area near George are only grown in a couple of valleys of the Outeniqua Mountains which must mean that the climate in these valleys must be ideal for hop growing but the surrounding area isn't.
Monday, January 18, 2010
I have said so before I will say so again. I love small town museums. They are never pretencions and tells it as it is. If you want to know more about a town and its history, just look for it's museum and go and loose yourself in it. The CP Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn is one of these where one can go and be transported back in time.
This beautiful sand stone building was opened in 1907 as the Boys High School. The building reflects a late Victorian Colonial style of a classical building. The tower is 30 meters high and is decorated with Corinthian ornaments. The oxtangoual "koepel" (dome) is rounded off with a wrought iron crown while on both sides of the central clock tower the facade is symmetrically designed. Both sides end with verandas bolstered by sandstone pillars in the Tuscany building style.CP Nel Museum is named after Charles Paul Nel. He was military man, businessman and collector of antiques. His collection was so valuable that it had received full recognition from the Historical Monument Commission in 1938. In 1963 when both Oudtshoorn boys' and girls' schools amalgamated, the school building was in such a state it was nearly demolished. But thanks to intervention by former old boys, the building was saved and CP Nel's collection, by then under the administration of a Board of Trustees, was moved there in 1972.
In addition to a number of other exhibits, another one that stands out is the only Synagogue to be situated in a museum. What makes the Synagogue so amazing is the fact that it's still being used on occasion.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Afterwards the Rugrats were still very excited and couldn't wait to phone the grannies and tell them what they had done. Up to then they had been extremely bored with nothing but (spectacular) scenery to keep them busy, but this made their day.
GPS: 33°29'17.23"S, 22°32'17.60"E
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Legend has it that a beautiful mermaid lives in the pool at the foot of the waterfall. During the 1996 floods a story circulated that she had been washed out of the pool, down the Groot and Oliphants rivers and out to sea where she was caught in a fisherman's net and taken to the CP Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn. Follow this link for more info on Mermaids in the Karoo.
Scource - Prince Albert Tourism
GPS: 33°24'30.83"S, 22°33'28.95"E
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Although the town is situated in the arid Karoo, its a very fertile are and gets its water directly out of the Swartberg mountains. I was amazed at the fact that the town still has working (what we would call in Afrikaans) leivore. They are small channels that are used to run water through a town. If you needed to water into your garden or fill up your tank, you would open your little "channel gate" and it would flow in. Such a system would work purely on gravity with water flowing downhill all the way. Some of the old towns like Stellenbosch near Cape Town still has working systems like this one as well.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
After a short distance there was a spot to pull over and everybody stood on the edge looking down. We stopped and hopped out to see what they were looking for. What was waiting below was probably the most spectacular part of the Swartberg Pass. The road was turning back on itself a couple of times and it was incredibly steep down to the bottom. I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel and make my way down it.
Rights at the bottom of the pass just before you join up with the tar road going to Prince Albert there is a valley with a welcoming cool stream and shady trees. We stopped next to the river and couldn't get our shoes off quickly enough to get our feet into the soothing water. A perfect end to a perfect drive.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Driving up the southern side of the pass is actually the easy part of it. The road isn't too steep and its mostly a gradual climb to the top.