The Tortoise sets the pace

From Capetown to George and Knysna for work, but not until after a day spent looking around. There is a Botanical Garden in George. The highlight there was a bird hide, from where I was able to watch the Weaver Birds literally weaving their magic. The male builds a nest – which look like little balls hanging like Christmas tree decorations from branches of the tree. The female then inspects the nest. If it does not come up to scratch, then she proceeds to destroy it – mmmhhh   sounds familiar…..?  Smile

A couple of days in the tourist town of Knysna. There are very beautiful views here, but probably the most spectacular views are found out by the heads. Here I was able to climb above the mouth of the harbour and take some photos of the sea and the surrounds

A day in Plettenberg Bay and lunch on Beacon Island – a tourist resort. Built right on the sea, this resort has a hotel/restaurant and some rather lovely grounds. The old swimming pool was washed away by the encroaching sea and the resort is almost an island at high tide, with a bridge for the guests to the beach over the water. I looked for the sign which gave the depth of the deep end of the old swimming pool, but was unable to find more than a lonely pole sticking up out of the water. From Beacon Island the beach goes seemingly endlessly to the North and to the South the Robberg Penisula, which is a nature reserve.

A weekend in Sedgefield provided respite from the concentration of the week’s work. Sedgefield is a small town between George and Knysna. One night was spent here at a Wine tasting. this is a regular event for the members of this club and they made me feel very welcome – despite the beating handed to the Springboks by the all Blacks the previous weekend – or maybe because of that?

In the weekend I travelled to Meiringspoort. One of the passes connecting the Klein and Groot Karoos through which the original settlers travelled. How did they do this?!! They must have been very intrepid pioneers Everything in South Africa is large-scale! Meiringspoort is a large gorge  – about 20 kilometres in length surrounded by high craggy mountains. The road has about 20 bridges or passes, all crossing the same river and each with its own name or story. There is a memorial in the middle of the gorge where one of the early pioneers carved the name of his fictional elephant on a boulder – Herrie’s Stone is an early example of graffiti, now enshrined as a national monument.

Also in the gorge is the Skelm – a waterfall tumbling into a dark pool, which legend has it, is bottomless. A beautiful mermaid was said to live in the pool at the foot of the waterfall. Hardy plants cling to the precarious rockfaces, while birds and baboons abound in the cliffs and crevices

Travelling back we went down the Montagu Pass – literally a road of clay and stone down the side of the mountain range. We did meet a car coming up but managed to (almost literally) scrape past each other.

Swartsberg Pass  Swartsberg pass 2

Back at Sedgefield and time for a run around the Island – enjoying the clean feel of a countryside untouched by the demands of large-city life a place where people live in harmony with the natural beauty around them rather than forcing the environment into something it does not want to be.

Life moves slowly in Sedgefield. Known for its tortoises, the saying among the locals is quite true….The tortoise sets the pace

Sedgefield tortoise

About David Adlam

I am a conductor, composer, clarinettist and examiner for Trinity Guildhall working in Auckland, New Zealand and overseas
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