Monday, September 15, 2014

Farm worker fishermen in the Gamtoos Valley

Spending time in a place is more than just staying in accommodation establishments, eating in restaurants, visiting attractions end enjoying beautiful scenery.  The buzz word these days are experiences and an experience doesn't necessarily have to be an formal one.  Sometimes you see something interesting and making a quick stop can turn into a whole experience on its own.  Spending a weekend Shot Left in Hankey in the Gamtoos Valley while staying at The Milk House we ventured out on the Saturday morning to climb up to the berg window at Vensterhoek.  That was a whole experience on its own, but it was on the return journey while crossing a low water bridge over the Gamtoos River that we spotted something interesting and decided to stop. 

A number of fishermen, all farm workers from the area, were fishing in the river with throw nets and I wanted to investigate some more.  The KidZ immediately perceived it as something boring and wanted to stay in the car, but a stern warning from the Damselfly telling them they can't stay behind alone made them drag themselves after us.  After good rains the previous few days the level of the river was slowly rising and for some reason (I'm no fisherman so don't ask me said reason) brought some bigger fish.  The throw nets were all home made using net, rope and chain and whatever got caught was destined for the pot or braai that evening.

Although not every throw (perhaps not even every 10 throws) yielded a big fish, every one did bring out tiny little silver fish that were shaken out on the road.  The children would then quickly move in and throw them back in the river.  Drama Princess didn't let grass grow under her feet and quickly joined in, picking up and throwing fish back with gusto.  I don't know what the farm kids thought at first about this blond girl in pink suddenly moving in on their space but she didn't let that deter her and it quickly became a game to see who got the most fish to throw back.  Most visitors probably would never have stopped but to Drama Princess it was one of the highlights of the weekend.  Something she would never be able to do back home in the city.

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