Garden Route Peregrinations

Knysna-panoramaAfter a lengthy flight via Hong Kong and Johannesburg, I arrived at the George airport and waited patiently for my luggage – the last suitcase off the trolley, though I had already seen it, so was not concerned. Into my chariot for the month – a VW Polo, so very similar to my home car…and I was off.


The Garden Route is one of the beautiful parts of South Africa. Flanked by the Outeniqua Mountains on one side and the coast on the other side, it is a vast tableau of green, brown and yellow colours, with seemingly endless plains (veldts) and steep mountains, with passes to traverse to reach the Karoo (Semi-desertlike) within. I spent my time in and around George and along the coast.

I travelled over to Sedgefield from George. On the way, I stopped at the lookout looking towards Wilderness.


Having been to Sedgefield previously, I wanted to look through the Market, so found my way there on Saturday. there are actually three markets there – food, outdoor and craft markets. There were lots of people there – apparently in Summer it attracts even more people and the Island can be overrun with traffic. Ironic, considering that Sedgefield is know as Slw Town. I enjoyed wandering around the markets – and had a nice coffee at the roastery that is on site. The musicians provided fine entertainments and there were several people dancing along with their foot-tapping music

I also looked around the Island, wandering around the lagoon and the neighbourhood. Sedgefield is also known as the first Slow town in South Africa.

There is a lake, a lagoon and several beaches at Sedgefield. Here is a photo of the lagoon



sedgefield-a-frameI liked the a-frame houses there. I have always liked these, but have never been able to live in one – I did once live in a cathedral ceiling house and enjoyed the sense of space that one gets from having the sloping ceilings.






To go along with the Slow Town There are of course turtles in Sedgefield – both mosaic and live turtles. I missed being able to take a camera shot of one crossing the road in front of me, as I drove out – it wasn’t that slow!

On the back road between George and Sedgefield, this is taken from Kaaimans Bridge. Notice the colour of the water. Apparently the black colour comes from tannins.


I also spent a few days in Knysna, in a very nice hotel, on the water at Thesen Island. Knysna is a place, where people from Cape Town, Johannesburg and overseas, often buy “Beach” houses. they are quite often empty of course, but there is quite stringent security to protect the resident places.

My examining place was a school on the hill overlooking Knysna and the Knysna Heads.


The school was damaged by a tragic fire, started far away, which caused huge damage to the district about 18 months ago. Here you can see where they are repairing the damage to the hill and  also notice the two houses – the brick house has been destroyed by the fire and the timber house – only next door – is untouched.

The hotel was called the Turbine, as it was developed after the closing of a power station. Inside are the turbines, that previously had run, to provide electricity to the area. The hotel was full of remnants of the power station, in the corridors and the rooms.


The hotel was quite luxurious and boasted great views over the lagoon of Knysna. The lagoon debouches through the Heads into the Indian Ocean.


On my way to Cape Town, I stopped at Mossel Bay, further towards Cape Town. It broke the lengthy journey to Cape Town. It is a large bay, with the wide Santos beach and a nature reserve on the Peninsula.


And so to Cape Town, where my tour continues for ten days. I am right next door to the Newlands Cricket Ground, where yesterday the Blue Bulls played Western Province in the semifinals of the Currie Cup (rugby). This game was won by the Western Province, who just held out after extra time to win 35 – 32. My view also includes the Kirstenbosch Gardens, the Rhodes memorial, and up to the back end of Table Mountain.

I have been in Cape Town before, so have not felt the need to explore too much yet. Not quite as exciting as my Garden route Peregrinations!

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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