Swellendam in South Africa is known as an historical town but except for a small part (museum area) it does not really look like it. But it does have a history and a mindset of ‘independance’ culminating in a declaration act a few hundred years ago. About 700 houses are only occupied for a few weeks to one month per year an are mainly owned by fortunate Belgians and some other European nationals. We went there (since 2 years) to visit ‘Boer Bart’ (Farmer Bart) from Holland who likes to have a few weeks of sunshine during the European Winter. Anyway we hit the road early in the morning and most pictures below are made through the windscreen and windows of our car while driving.
The lagoon near our village is a true birdwatchers paradise with over 100 bird species in and around. It’s also a haven for peddlers and other manual ‘propelled’ craft. Hiking trails and diverse accommodation to suit individual needs and budgets. For the quality minded traveller on a road trip in South Africa and willing to experience the ‘true South Africa’, >100km beyond Cape Town, our village and surrounds surely has something unique to offer. I love it! A photographer’s paradise!!!
Shot along coast in Gansbaai, South Africa. For people traveling off-the-beaten-track: From Hermanus/Stanford turn right into ‘Die Kelders’. Follow this road until there is a sign (=right) to a National Park. On this road first turn left. This is a dead-end road with parking at the end. Take the path towards the ocean and enjoy. Also historical caves. For the local people it’s the free entrance to the park (entrance fee of Cape Nature Conservation is a rip off because of missing and neglected/dangerous infrastructure such as stairs and pathways to beach and caves). This ‘freeway’ is a very safe one with stunning views of surroundings and small (chameleons, birds, etc) and big (whales/sharks/dolphins) wildlife.
With the pictures I took last week Friday, and published on this blog and the other, I did a little bit of photoshopping. I took for both pics my car, the road, the horizon and a bull as main elements. For the color imaginary I also borrowed a beach boy from Hermanus. It’s all about proportions but I upscaled the bull in the B&W image on purpose. This mighty thoroughbred philandering bull has so much offspring that even South African president Jacob Zuma should have respect for this majestic animal (no offence Mr. President)…
Oh… uh…; Thanks for the unknown reader who added this blog to Blogdash.
Love to make pictures with sunset and sunrise. Last week Friday morning I went with the bearing in mind that everybody was still asleep. In the village yes but outside in the rural part of Stanford farmers and their workers begin their day as soon as the first light appear at the horizon. It was a bit drizzling at the acres where they just harvested but that gave some of the pictures an extra dimension. Did not have to use Photoshop for colour adjustments except for changing one picture into B&W and some ‘cutting edge technology’…… All pictures made with my Sony A77 VQ camera and I only used the Sigma 70-300 zoom. I adjusted the camera to landscape photography.
Guesthouse ‘Fraai Uitzicht’ (‘Beautiful View”) in the Klaas Voogds hamlet in the Western Cape, South Africa does not only offer the guests stunning views from the restaurant terrace or amazing surprises to look at in the own garden but also a look at the guesthouse itself is worthwhile to stay there for a couple of days. And than I’m not going to describe the mouthwatering dishes that are prepared in the kitchen. This superb guesthouse qualifies with ease for five stars but the owners stick to their 4 stars for marketing reasons. Well …. let’s have a look.
Not mentioned in any known travel itinerary is the shop window in Stanford, South Africa. It’s in the main Victoria Street at the Stanford Hotel. It’s there where The Angel of Stanford resides. Every now and than ‘shebeen owner’ Penny van den Berg redecorates the windows with her ‘girls’. And that is quite a process of meticulous fitting the right dresses, the right wigs and the right gadgets for the right occasion. This week Penny is in heavenly spheres and all her thoughts are with angels. Her installations are a true art. She does not only use the windows but also the space behind thus also using the old shopping counter and the cupboard behind. From her childhood onwards Penny has been collecting dolls in all sizes; from a tiny Swedish ‘Pippie Langkous’ to life-size fashion dolls. And there is something more to it as well; every time when a known villager passes away Penny adds a candle behind the window and this candle, accompanied by a picture of the deceased, will burn until after the funeral. For all on a road trip in South Africa and co-incidentally in the area it’s worthwhile to take a turn into Stanford. After about 1 kilometer the window is on the right.
In my (our) other blog you can read all about our privilege of living in this wonderful village; somewhere in nowhere between Gansbaai and Hermanus in the Western Cape, South Africa. It’s a truly green village and honestly I don’t think there is any village or town in the Western Cape where per head so much solar power is utilized. Except for the (main) Victoria Street where most of the restaurants and shops are located there is an abundance of green all over the place. Herewith a visual impression with some pictures I made this morning. It’s a green portrait of a wonderful village.
The hike (approx. 5 km) took a few hours and we had to climb and descent rocks, walk through a fern forest and follow a stream but the reward was amazing and refreshing: the hidden waterfall of Stanford, South Africa and only the very, very privileged know about it. Not that we are that ‘very, very privileged’ but our friends are and they have, after 16 years Stanford, obtained the key for the gate. A paradise for whoever want to take photographs of waterfalls and streaming water; frogs and other creatures, fynbos and other precious plants. Well we guess that the Garden of Eden must have looked alike. Our time was limited this Sunday morning for there were also lunch arrangements but we definitely will return for a day or longer to picture it all.
No photoshopping with this picture although I’ve used elements of it in several ‘imaginaries’. This is South Africa off-the-beaten-track or to be more specific; the Papiesvlei Road near Stanford in the Overberg region in the Western Cape. If you follow this road you’ll see somewhere in nowhere a traffic light (“Robot” in South African English). If it’s red keep on driving and if it’s green the restaurant is open and Henny (the local BBQ-specialist) will make you a delicious Farmers Dish with a real good Steak in the way you like it! And for a price that’s almost pre-historic…. Most tourists behave like sheep and packed in comfortable ‘cattle-buses’ only see (not ‘experience’) the known tourist traps. The few more adventurous travelers see and feel the true inner beauty of whatever country of region they explore. Going ‘nowhere slowly’ is most of the time cheaper as well…