Pirate of the Klein Rivier and other things in and around the village

Our village is one of those rural places in South Africa without any tourist traps. That alone makes it an intriguing place for the curious, exploration minded, traveler. And if you are one of those sheep following the mainstream … well we’re fine with it but, please, do visit all those famous attractions. Here we move (or not) in rural pace and take our time for it. A paddle in the Klein Rivier which flows over in one of the most amazing lagoons in this part of the world; watch birds (there are a few hundred different species); take a hike to one of the numerous waterfalls; ride one horseback through the vineyards or in the ‘veld’; enjoy the majestic views all around; chilling a sunset (and for the early birds the sunrise); have lunch or dinner out- or indoors or take a picnic where-ever; enjoy a wine tasting; read a book; etc. etc. Just enjoy Quality of Village Life.

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Not everybody sees my beauty

It’s sometimes quite busy with people wondering around in my park along the Klein Rivier in Stanford, South Africa. Only a few notice my beauty. I got terrible struck by a devastating lightning some years ago and since than a little bit disabled but still there is some life in me. But it’s so demotivating to hear some people say every now and than that I have to be removed. Seemingly unaware that I represent the power of nature.

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The Grape Harvest

Early Monday morning staff of Springfontein in Stanford, South Africa gathered together at the cellar. From there we all went to the vineyards settled in a great natural landscape. It must be a joy to start the annual harvest in such majestic surroundings in a strip of land between the lagoon and the ocean. The terroir of the Springfontein grapes is unique and the wines end up in private collections and upmarket restaurants in (merely German speaking) Europe.

See for yourself.

 

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From profession to hobby

Between April 2000 and July 2011 me and Yvonne owned Soekershof in Robertson. We restored and extended this historical botanical garden (with the oldest cactus -Anno 1910- of South Africa) and ended up with one of the world’s largest outdoor collections (>2600 species/subspecies/varieties/etc) of succulent plants including cacti. The garden was globally recognized in botanical/horticultural circles (except seemingly in South Africa). We were very honored when all the VIPs of de Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (USA) spend a day with us on their tour along all known South African botanical gardens and even more honored when they published about their South Africa tour and unanimously declared Soekershof as “Best Garden Experience” in South Africa. It was hard work; 7 days per week from 6AM to 10PM and all together we had in those 11 years 2 weeks holiday. We even succeeded in maintaining the first blog in South Africa with guidelines about water wise gardening with succulent plants. The blog is still online and still foresees in a need although we stopped submitting new items since the sale of the farm. The new owners (German/Italian couple) are not really gardeners. The garden, still beautiful though, serves now as ‘decoration’ for their guest house and restaurant but the number of different plants has strongly declined. Plants need care; especially water wise plants. Anyway with our removal we took our private collection of (merely) rare plants with us to Stanford. We still love gardening but also a more quiet “Quality of Life”.

Here a visualised update of flowers in our garden (most of our ‘secrets’ are small and hidden….):

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Just some shots along the lagoon

I can’t tell enough how privileged we are to live in Stanford (“Best Village Destination in South Africa”; for all who dare to discover the real South Africa beyond Cape Town). One of the ‘attractions’ nearby is the lagoon which is not only a bird lovers paradise but also a place to consider by travelers who prefer quality of life.

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And the ‘heat is on’ again

A ‘veld fire’ is not so easy to distinguish; up to 14 days afterwards it can flare up from underground. That’s what happend here this afternoon 2 days after. Luckily the local fire brigade was on standby (for checking up purposes) on a nearby farm. Now (Friday Feb 1 at almost 6 PM; a few hours after the flames popped up again it looks like this fire is under control for the time being….

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And the 'heat is on' again

A ‘veld fire’ is not so easy to distinguish; up to 14 days afterwards it can flare up from underground. That’s what happend here this afternoon 2 days after. Luckily the local fire brigade was on standby (for checking up purposes) on a nearby farm. Now (Friday Feb 1 at almost 6 PM; a few hours after the flames popped up again it looks like this fire is under control for the time being….

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Ain’t this Hottentots God beautiful?

Insects, none domesticated animals alike, are not patient when posing for a photo shot.  What the people of Cape Town are for other South Africans is the Hottentots God for insects; Relax, tomorrow is another day…

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Ain't this Hottentots God beautiful?

Insects, none domesticated animals alike, are not patient when posing for a photo shot.  What the people of Cape Town are for other South Africans is the Hottentots God for insects; Relax, tomorrow is another day…

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