… One of the few ‘left overs’ of our previous adventure (Soekershof, with maze, cactus labyrinth and succulent garden). In the workshop we had several local artists/craftspeople (one of them with an international reputation) who sold their (hand made) products to visitors who could appreciate true South African made arts and crafts. And it’s so fulfilling to know that all of them were able to uplift themselves from poverty and gathering an above average income from their own home and/or workshop.
The new owners transformed the workshops in a (money generating) trendy restaurant and accommodation. In South African tourism there is nowadays hardly any place for a truly mutual beneficial initiative between proprietors and artists/craftspeople. Most of the crafts for sale along the roads and on markets are from abroad … For the tourists there are also state and private funded ’empowerment’ initiatives where local people hone themselves in craft making… Some of these survive, most unfortunately not.
Tree huggers are a rare breed of the human race. They hug trees, seemingly unaware of damaging (even killing) the life of the bark of the tree such as mosses, epiphytes and fungi that have a lively mutual beneficial exchange with the tree. Especially in the ‘Platbos‘ (meaning ‘Flat Forest’) near our village which is the Southernmost remains of a forest that covered South Africa’s lowlands for millions of years. Five million or so years ago a climate change (less rain, increasing average temperature, etc.) caused a change towards fynbos and savannah grasslands. All those details can be found in the mentioned link.
Recently I scanned the forest for an upcoming photo shoot with a complete team including stylist, make-up artist etc. and photo model; Just to find the right spots for the right pictures and I was amazed by all kinds of details I noticed on my walk through this 40 hectare large canopy-forest. And I made some snap shoots during my hike but I’ll go back for more one day or a week…
‘Platbos’ is owned by ex-Capetonians Francois and Melissa Krige. Strangely enough it seems that not many local people know about the unique character of this biome right on their doorstep but visitors and camping guests from far and far away know to find their way.
At the edge of the forest is a Cretan Labyrinth made of snail-shells (huge ones….)
Oh .. for the tree huggers amongst you; the pamphlet of Platbos is very explicit about bee swarms living in tree hollows and also mentions puff adders and tree snakes (poisonous snakes). 😉