We left Oudtshoorn late morning to drive the 238 kms to Swellendam on the tarred R62, then turned off on a quieter, concrete road, heading for Calitzdorp. The concrete road was the original road between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp and the first such road in South Africa, dating from the 1930s; theContinue Reading

The road from Oudtshoorn to the Cango Caves

We drove out of Oudtshoorn towards the Cango Caves but didn’t go in – I am claustrophobic – and just wanted to see the scenery closer to the mountains.

Langenhoven & his wife, 1926 (

Cornelis Jacobus Langenhoven (1873-1932) was a writer, poet, and philosopher who lived in Oudtshoorn and was perhaps best known as the author of Die Stem, the poem whose words were used as the original South African national anthem.

Oudtshoorn as a South African town dates back to the mid-1800s and is principally known for the production of ostrich products. I visited last year and in this post just wanted to walk around the town and take in some of the sights after a long day in the carContinue Reading

We left PE on a grey day for drive the 325 kms to Oudtshoorn, choosing to travel through the Langkloof on the R62 rather than along the coast. The Langkloof is a valley of c.160kms with a climate which is ideal for growing fruit – it is also very beautiful.

The Indian Ocean

Saturday’s heat and humidity had been tiring and so we decided on a quiet Sunday, wandering down the coast from Port Elizabeth with stops to smell the sea and perhaps see dolphins. The sea smells salty here, and fresh, and stretches forever as ‘proper’ sea should, very different to theContinue Reading

It had been the hottest and most humid day of our travels in South Africa and after walking around the town in the morning it was the end of the day before we felt able to venture out again. Fresh, sea air was needed and so we took ourselves to theContinue Reading

Port Elizabeth Donkin Memorial

The area around Algoa Bay, now known as Nelson Mandela Bay, was already inhabited 100,000 years ago by the Bushmen who were hunter-gatherers. They were gradually chased out by the Xhosa and other tribes. Europeans first found the site when Bartholomew Diaz landed on an island in the bay in 1488, andContinue Reading

Graaff Reinet used to have a railway station, opened in 1879, and the slow but steady disintegration of the railway network is told in this excellent blogsite with wonderfully evocative photographs. I can remember the excitement of taking on a second engine in order to get over the Lootsberg Pass before arrivingContinue Reading

The Obesa Nursery, Graaff Reinet

Hidden away behind the main street is one of the most amazing plant nurseries I have ever seen! The Obesa Nursery is Johan Bouwer – an extraordinary man in the real sense of the word. And here I was, in photography heaven, with a very sticky, and finally a non-moving lensContinue Reading