Monday, June 13, 2011

The Day We Set Off To Bushmans Kloof

Bushmans Kloof, an idyllic getaway surrounded by the splendid Cederberg Mountains.
I have decided to split this journey into three parts starting with the day we set off. If you want to enjoy the whole experience, you will have to return to Driftwood Ramblings twice more...how's that for craftily 'snagging' you! 

Actually, it's once again a case of having too many pictures I'd like to share and not being able to limit my choices to only a handful. So, for anyone who finds my posts too long and drawn out (yes, I know you're yawning, already eager to click off to the next site on your long list of potentials!), there are hundreds of bloggers who routinely keep their posts of the short and sweet variety. I most heartily welcome the few of you who don't mind hanging in there with me for the whole ride :)


To continue reading this post, please click the Read more button below...

 
 

Firstly, we're off to Cape Town International Airport where we will be meeting my younger sister and only sibling, Carol, after her flight disembarkation from Oliver Tambo International, in Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city.  Her good friend Debbie will be joining us and hopefully there will be enough leg room for all of us in the car Carol has prebooked for hire. When she made the booking, she was only expecting three of us. I haven't told her I've invited all of you along, too.

Bear in mind that it's winter in South Africa. I do hope you've packed some warm clothing, especially for the evenings when the chill factor in the Cederberg can be quite dramatic. It's cold and rainy in Cape Town today, but we're travelling north and so hopefully it should be a bit warmer during the daylight hours and sunnier than it will be in Cape Town for the next few days, if the weather forecasters are up to speed on their game.  We are planning to take the drive at a leisurely pace with a couple of refreshment stops en route. 

Here we go... 
 
We are going to turn off the National Road, north of Cape Town and head into Piketberg  http://www.piketberg.co.za/gallery.html, a picturesque town situated in the foothills of the splendid Piketberg Mountain. We've heard of a very nice coffee shop cum gift shop that we absolutely must try. It's called Kochelmanders (the Afrikaans word for gecko) and they make the freshest, tastiest pancakes ever!

   You cannot possibly go to Citrusdal http://www.citrusdal.info/, one of the farming communities and towns we by-pass on our way to the Cederberg and the citrus growing capital of South Africa, without stopping off at one of the many quaint farmstalls to taste and purchase this season's fresh fruit. This is by far the best stall. The elderly gentleman operating the business is incredibly hospitable, urging everyone to taste not only his delciously juicy, sweet naartjies, oranges and grapefruit, but also to try his baked sweet potatoes, done in a pot on the coals. They are truly mouthwatering and are cooked as they come, straight from the earth, no seasonings or any other additions. The Citrus (orange blossom) Honey is particulary good and I bought the best pumpkin I've ever had from this stall. Just look out for the signs welcoming you to stop in the fields on either side and the distinctively painted exterior, bright purple and lime green...you can't miss it! Debbie took this picture of Carol and me...and I took the one of the two of them, below.



 Our next stop is Clanwilliam...
Next up, we stop off in Clanwilliam  http://www.clanwilliam.info/index.php?id=1, the last little town we pass through where we will have a light lunch at one of the little coffee shops.






We will enjoy their delicious bobotie, a speciality South African dish introduced by the Cape Malays and made with minced meat, a special blend of curry spices, raisins and almonds, topped with an egg custard and baked in the oven. It's exceedingly good served with fluffy, steamed white rice,  fresh peas, baked pumpkin and a simple, fresh salad of lettuce greens, firm plump tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and sweet onions.




A lovely old Church in the main road in Clanwilliam just a short way along from Nancy's Tea Room.




This attractive old building marks the split in the main road through the town. As you can see, it had been raining shortly before the time we stopped to take this picture.



Nice old Cape Dutch building for sale...anyone interested?





The wall plaque just visible to the right of the doorway indicates that this building is a national heritage site and, as such, may not be demolished or altered in any way unless with the approval of the South African Monuments Council.




This lovely bauhinia tree (orchid tree) was in full bloom and shows off the attractive neighbouring property so well, it deserved being photographed on our way out of town.




We had to pop in at the Clanwilliam Living Landscape Community Project http://www.socialresponsiveness.uct.ac.za/activities/culture/landscape_proj/overview/ and peek inside the Living Museum...there is much information to be gained here, but we were unfortunately time-constrained and so only managed a quick walk through.



The interior walls of the rectangular structure that accommodates the Living Landscape exhibition, are lined with a life-size, panoramic, photographic depiction of the area and the floor is painted to represent the surrounding topography. A series of 'window-boxes' each contain historical artifacts found at the particular site represented on the panoramic landscape.  

 

I had not seen this type of representation before and found it most fascinating.



The Khoisan people, historically indigenous to this area, made extensive use of things such as ostrich shells for transporting water.



If memory serves me correctly, these skulls are from dassies (rock rabbits), through the ages. The caves in the Cederberg are teeming with these little hyraxes (rodents).



John Parkington, a Professor of Archeology at the University of Cape Town, was the driving force behind establishing this centre. He has authored several works on the archeology of this area, in particular of the Bushmen Paintings which is his speciality.



The San people http://www.encounter.co.za/article/49.html  were traditionally hunter-gatherers and lived entirely off the land. Many of the plants (roots, leaves, bulbs and bark) they used for medicinal purposes are widely used in the manufacture of modern pharmaceuticals.



Typical Cederberg rock formations at the top of the Pakhuis Pass. Tucked away in a secluded shallow cave, a lonely grave bears the ashes of one of South Africa's greatest Afrikaner poets, c. Louis Leipoldt, a man who loved nature passionately and who grew up in this area.


Such a simple yet eloquent statement for a remarkable man.

This pretty creeper serves as the only adornment along with the rocks and mosses at C. Louis Leipoldt's gravesite. The surrounding views are breath-taking and the overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility makes it an enviable final resting place.


We are now going to begin the downward climb to the valley below where our destination awaits. Come along everyone, hop back into the car...


Debbie and Carol are beating us to it!
If only there were time to explore these rocky outcrops!

One last look around as we pull out of the parking bay at the gravesite...

The clouds are building up...we need to get to Bushmans Kloof before it starts to rain as the last part of our trip is on a gravel road.
Winterscape at the Cederberg (6th June 2011)

Bushmans Kloof...an appetiser of what you're in for :)

TO BE CONTINUED...





















30 comments:

  1. Well, aren't you the lucky one. I'm glad to be along for the ride though!

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  2. Every time i read your blog and see your pictures, i say to my husband....honey, we have to go back to Africa......it's such a beautiful country......we need to save up and then we will come and spend a few weeks in Africa....
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    Greetings Bianca xx

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  3. I so love to travel along with you! Great post and amazing pictures!

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  4. What an interesting place. It's so different from where I live. Sounds like a fun adventure with your sister and friend.

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  5. Desiree, Thanks for the wonderful first day's ride. In all our travels across SA, we've never been to Clanwilliam. Wonderful photos. And I loved the Living Landscape project. I will be back. Jo (PS) My post tomorrow is a continuation of our [bike] trip in the Cape during recent holiday.

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  6. Super pictures...reminds me of New Mexico here in the US.

    PS: I realize we American's export lot's to other country's. I can understand Coke and Hershey's Chocolate bars...but a real estate company ????...go back and look at the sign in the lawn of that building :-)

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  7. Hi Desiree. I love all your photos, and this looks like a wonderful trip. You and your sister are very much alike by the way! I see that you do like having your little coffee shop stops - and quite right too!! I love the way you are describing OUR trip - like, we're getting back in the car now! Feels as if I'm really there with you. Pity our dear friend Carol is missing out on this particular trip, but, guess what, she's off on ANOTHER jaunt! Hee Hee!!

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  8. The only thing that disappointed me about this post was that it stopped! I'm ready for MORE! You are my absolute favorite travel guide!

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  9. Well, I love reading your long, informative posts! Thanks for taking us along, hope everyone isn't too squished together in the car. It looks like you had a wonderful time with your sister and her friend. That's a great pic of you and Carol on the steps of the fruit vendor.

    I just love looking at your photos of the countryside in South Africa. It's so beautiful and so different from what I'm used to. How cool that the poet Leipoldt was buried out in the middle of nature, which he loved so much.

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  10. That was fun!!!! Such interesting sights.

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  11. All I can say is Wow! That is beautiful! Lucky woman!

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  12. You are so lucky woman that you life in such a beautiful country !! o wowwwwwwww...great pictures.......i really loke your blog always a present for me....xxx...xxx...

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  13. Hi Desiree, oh, I'm so glad we could all fit in the car with the three of you ;-)
    I know what you mean about having to decide which photos to choose for your post .... so thank you for using as many as you could. It's fantastic seeing everything through your eyes.

    Now, I have to say, it's breakfast time back here and I'm reading about all those delectable meals. The pancakes sound great. I'd even find space for the bobotie which sounds so exotic and tasty! My tummy was literally growling by the time I'd gotten to the end. Wonderful!

    The scenery is fabulous as are the photos of you, Carol and Debbie.

    Never worry about putting too much text in your posts either, Desiree. Love it all :D)

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  14. Oh you are so good at stringing us all along aren't you? It was pretty hard squishing back into the car after that lovely bobotie lunch which by the way I could taste while reading your wonderful descriptions. I cant wait until we get there.... will it be the next post that we eventually arrive?

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  15. Beautiful country but also looks rugid in places.That was a very good tour. Thanks

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  16. What a fabulous place. SA is a place I've never been - can hardly imagine the topography you've shown....amazing.

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  17. Oh what wonderful photos thank you so much for taking those of use who never go anywhere along for the ride..
    and wow what a ride.

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  18. South Africa has such a rich and dramatic culture...I'm so glad you could travel with your dear sister.

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  19. I shall hang in for all 3 episodes. It is the only chance I ever get to visit South Africa and hear the funny names of the food and visit these wild and wondrous places!

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  20. I love the way the living museum is set out, with the landscape and the windows. I would be fascinated to have a search around it.

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  21. you SNAGGED me!
    what a journey...just glad it's not over.
    that farmstand...so brightly colored...to the awesome landscape shots...and the archaeology stuff which i LOVE...and the rock gravesite...OH and did i mention the skulls??!! love it all!
    so...how cold does it get in winter?
    thanks for making room...for all of us!

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  22. I am a friend of Carol's from Australia. I am enjoying following your trip so far. Great photos and tell Carol I said "hi"

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  23. I have thoroughly enjoyed the trip so far just what I needed to cheer me up at the moment. I do understand what you mean about selecting photos to share I always have this problem.

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  24. Wow..always such a visual treat when I visit..i love the tea room...and all the gorgeous scenes of nature...fabulous!! Thanks for capturing my soul once again...beautiful beautiful photos!
    Victoria

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  25. Opps! I read #2 before I read #1. I hope I'm dressed appropriately for the trip! I love all the places you are taking us! Beautiful!

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  26. Amazing photos as usual! You make me feel almost as if I were there, too. I have to say, that the pictures in front of the citrus stand made my mouth water for some fruit. Thanks for being such a great tour guide! I am so happy for you!

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  27. Desiree, This is such a great opportunity for me to get to know a part of the world I am not all that familiar with.

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