Unexpected Surprises

(This will be of special interest to anyone who has taken a picture, or anyone who is interested in the mechanics of photography.)

 Sometimes a random string of events, that are perfectly timed, can lead to something totally unexpected. Fiona & I were lucky enough to slip away for the weekend up the West coast. I  could not help putting up a post about this little moment that had us both bewildered. So simple in its form and yet so enchanting.

We had been driving around for some time in a remote area on our coastline, When the inevitable happened. Fiona needed to use a bathroom! So did I, but I was not going to admit to it at that stage.  We drove for approximately 27km to an old VOC Farm House. ( It used to supply salted fish to the Dutch East India Company Ships passing Cape Town). This farm house was built in approximately 1744, so its safe to say that it is quite old. It has not changed much in its design but now has a small eatery with bathroom. Just what we needed. Fiona was first in the door with me following in hot pursuit. I was stumped, pipped to the post because of  an old swollen, wormhole riddled door that does not really close properly. Out of respect for the door, I was not going to force it but politely held it while Fiona did the necessary (To the victor go the spoils). 

It was at this moment, just pushing the door gently enough to get it to latch that I noticed it.

Everything was just right for a very brief moment. Amongst the myriad of tiny worm holes there was just one that was all the way through the frame, at just the correct angle. Along with the perfect time of day and the ideal amount of sun. This created the perfect focal length for what was going to be the subject of our discussion for the next few hours. 


A perfect image of the farm house projected on the door frame wall. Fiona did not know what I was going on about at first, but we both landed up staring at the image in disbelief.

No one was going to believe us on this one. It was changing fast but Fiona quickly said we should grab the camera to try take a picture. With childlike excitement I went back to the car, got the camera and tried to re create the chain of events that created the image. In this short time the sun had moved and the quality had been lost. So I went outside to see if I could get into the frame of view. The above picture is what Fiona managed to get. Mere moments had past. The farmhouse picture was blurred and stretched but we had this picture to remember the moment.

I have seen the theory of pin hole cameras before and I understand the principle, but I have never actually seen it like this. Totally natural in its origin with a celestial shutter. We both debated the randomness of the events as well as the perfect timing to witness it.

Road trips and exploring can be fascinating and exhilarating if you take the time to notice it, or in this case race to the nearest 18th century farmhouse toilet complete with worm hole projector door fame.

Great Picture Fiona. Well done I think its the best one you have taken of me to date.



Lets Ride

Well the silly season is in full swing. This means a few noticeable changes, ( I will leave that post for another time). One change that any casual observer will notice is the huge influx of traffic and congested roads. Therefore making it a great excuse to utilize the recently repaired bike for a little sight-seeing (any plausible excuse to take the bike out at this stage works for me). We set off nice and early to a market on the other side of our peninsular. Lets see how the other half live.


Not a bad place to park the bike and start our day


Fiona and I both were thinking that we should have brought our swimming stuff with us as  the water looked so inviting (bit odd to be driving a racy 1000cc motorbike in full jackets , gloves and backpack spilling over with mask, snorkel and fins (one thing at a time Dan….One thing at a time.)

We strolled around taking in the sights and sounds, drank great coffee, then made our way to the harbour waterfront as I have a thing for boats. (I came to the startling realization last year, I am actually interested in most things).


If I am not mistaken we counted six boats like this one pictured above, in various stages of decay. I remember this boat not that long ago being a working vessel. Quite sad indeed. The vessel owners are not getting permits to continue fishing. So they sit neglected, until the inevitable happens. Our country’s fishing permits have had a serious shuffling, in an effort to make everything more “politically  correct”. Thus all the permits were re-allocated. I even heard of an inland woman’s knitting club getting a permit. To remain PC we must have fisher woman. Even if they don’t actually fish or even know what blue water looks like. It looks good on paper and that gets votes. I wont even start talking about the permits sold off to a foreign country where all the toys come from as I don’t want to get negative about it all.  Governments really do strange things for the short-term while their people struggle.

The good thing is the local kids have the best marine jungle gym and play area, If you don’t mind rusty steel and broken glass. Ok, lets be honest, I am a bit jealous of these kids.


We took a few min to watch how (lets call them salvers) remove the more valuable components of the vessel with nothing more than a hack saw blade and elbow grease. One thing Fiona noticed, as the kids were climbing all over the remains of this boat is they were repeatedly saying O BAMA. Yes that’s correct South African kids between the ages of 10 and 16 were calling out O BAMA! Whilst swinging on the ropes like agile spider monkeys.  We could not work that one out. Anyone have any ideas on that ? One kid in particular approximately 10 years old (pictured above) managed to hand over hand from the jetty to the boat and back faster than I could tie my shoe laces.( yup, that’s me getting jealous again). He would have a bright future in rope access rescue.

The day turned out far better than expected. We had wonderful weather. My bike runs really well and I even managed to get convince Fiona for a much-needed ice cream stop. A win win on all fronts.

This day out has inspired me to visit my local pier. The last time I dived there I managed to obtain a great fishing rod and a full set of lures. However most of my time was spent wrestling a particularly ornery octopus for a water logged cell phone.( It was a bit ridiculous on the part of the octopi as it wasn’t even a particularly good phone) Seems everybody is getting tech savvy these days.

Thanks for reading


Back Yard Adventures

I am writing this post with two facets.

One:  A story with a short video

Two:  To ask the readers some much needed advice.

Fiona and I really try make a concerted effort to utilise the free time we have available. We try plan an outing whenever time and finances allow. This normally involves a few hours driving to the chosen location. When we can’t get away we try to make the most of our area (Our Backyard). I was looking through a few of our video clips the other night and it really dawned on me how lucky we are that we live in an area with so many interesting possibilities in terms of adventure.

One such occasion was not that long ago when Fiona had been working a particularly tough 24 hour shift. I got a call that evening telling me that the following day was going to be a brilliant weather day and that she had to fill in an overtime shift that evening so could we possible do something during the day to get a change of scenery. As we had only a few hours we had to make the most of it. A few min into the call a rough plan was formulated.

The next morning we met at the start of a trail not far from my house,still in her uniform and sleepy she quickly got changed in the car and we set off on the walk. As Fiona had worked the whole night and was bit grumpy. I decided in the interest of consideration and fairplay that she should carry the backpack . This was in fact very clever on my part as it gave her something to moan about and kept my little sticky fingers away from the “Treats” hidden within. A win-win on all fronts. Well even though the first hour was slow going resembling two 10 year old  kids kicking stones on a dirt road whilst on their way home from school, we however pushed on.

After way to many ” I can see my house from here jokes” as well as the usual lunch time location negotiations (not dissimilar to the UN discussing hostile troop movements) we finally made the summit and had well deserved rest then lunch.


What started as a very slow gelatinous day turned into more than we could imagine. Wow what a view indeed.


Swartkop peak looking towards Cape Town

Recharged and bellies full we followed the mountain ridge all the way down to Cape Point. We bush wacked the last bit and met up with the tar road that took us home. We made it home with two hours to spare before Fiona’s next shift. Legendary timing and a wonderful day.

Below is a short video of the walk and the view that will be of interest with regards to the remainder of this blog.

Whilst I was sitting on the summit overlooking the bay I was reminded of a trip that I have been wanting to do for some time. We have been itching to do some more adventurous kayaking. A few people have suggested that I should attempt to cross the bay. This would involve stopping past Seal Island and to be honest I don’t feel like becoming the latest statistic on the next installment of shark week. I have done this voyage a few times on various boats, once even alone on a small inflatable! Not fun at all as it’s just one huge vista of water with nothing much to look at other than the odd seagull and the finishing point far away on a bent horizon.

What I am very excited to do is paddle from Cape Town or at least Hout Bay around Cape Point to Simons Town.

Map of the proposed trip.blog-map-2

Cape Town and the Cape Point area are beautiful in their own right but from the water, this area can be something to behold. Every year around 800 people climb mount Everest and 25 000 climb Kilimanjaro but how many people have paddled around The Cape Of Storms. Not a race for time or macho challenge just a two or three day adventure taking in the sights and sounds that this special place has to offer. Paddle for the day then camp on a pre determined beach for the night, eat ,sleep, repeat.


Thank you “Person in helicopter” and Google


I know that some of the readers are experienced avid paddlers so I would like to ask them following:

I know that I can hike around 20km a day and still be fresh enough to take in the view and surrounds, what would you recommend in Miles or Kilometres is a fair distance to paddle without pushing the limits (I would like to plan a few safe stopping points to stretch legs and hide if and when the weather changes).

I intend on using a Mission 440, this will allow me to carry the normal safety equipment, as well as a sleeping bag, tent etc. Is there anything else that you would recommend for a trip like this? ( I have my food already planned)

Has anyone done a trip like this and if so any advice and  or comments would be very appreciated. I hope that you enjoyed the video, with all the options available to us rite on our doorstep and with a bit of luck you will be seeing much more from us in the future.



Trekking Arangieskop

(Video of our trip below story)

Some time ago Fiona had planned another great adventure. To mix it up a bit she had decided to do the Arangieskop two day hiking trail in Robertson. Without thinking it through properly I eagerly agreed to take part. I later found out that this is also affectionately known as the “Kilimanjaro of the Western Cape”,  (I distinctly remember making a “Hmmm” noise when I was told this).

Normally when facing the unknown I like to prepare a bit if possible. I  was told by a friend who had done it a few years ago that we should make it, however I wanted to a bit more tuned so I would at least be fit enough to enjoy the views and vistas, not staring at my boots while gasping for air. Not fun by any stretch of the imagination.

A little while before I would be forced into exercise by the impending departure date, life had other plans. My mom fell ill and subsequently past away. In a way that I would not wish on anyone.

Truth be told nor Fiona or I were particularly in the mood to focus on training of any type but before we knew it we were settled into our room ready to depart at sunrise.

With lots of apprehension and heavy hearts we set off. Once we had been walking for a while the weight on our back seemed to ease and we started to appreciate the spender of it all, even when going down hill to cross a valley only to find out we would need to hump up another higher hill. We both really enjoyed every moment. We reached our base camp in what seemed like a blink of a eye.

We did however meet up with a large group of hikers from a club. When I first saw them coming up the hill behind us, I will admit I did say to Fiona that we should prepare for hell. I will be honest I don’t really play well with others, especially large groups of super excited chatty people. I am sure some of  you know what I mean.

Well I had a few head shaking moments at times BUT we were both blown away by how accommodating and welcoming they were. Friendly, respectful and all round great people in their own respect. We will be seeing them in the future. I am very sure about this.

We both had a really great nights sleep, far better than I have had in 4-star establishments. Even though some 0 degree wind,rain and hail tried to infiltrate our sleeping bags during the night I would not change a thing (okay maybe just a bit of snow, just to add to the experience). It was very strange to think that people in the valley below were suffering through 28-30degrees (well maybe not suffering).

I woke up fresh, lit the wood fired geyser (hot water donkey) and settled for a great coffee and an oaty breakfast from the comfort of my sleeping bag whilst looking through the frosty window at the vistas below. Its times like these mornings when I really enjoy a great coffee and a simple meal.

All packed up, we set off for the summit. It was almost anti climactic as it would mean we would be making our way down soon. Down kinda sucks. Beautiful, breath taking, awe-inspiring but heavy on the legs and feet. Well for me anyway. We both agreed we would do Arangieskop again tomorrow if we could. With this in mind we have planned a return trip for next year.

If I may be so bold I would like to offer some advice to those readers who would care to listen. We have all heard the cheesy sayings like, Life is short, One life live it. My favourite version is….

Live each day like its your last but bare in mind you might make it till tomorrow.

Unfortunatly each and every one of us will see the day where we meet our maker, we will all die. We cant really choose how that happens but we can take steps to choose how we live.Time is the most valuable commodity we posses and it only gets more valuable as every second passes. If we are very lucky we only get 70 trips around the sun so, surround yourself with good solid people, try avoid the noise and drama assosiated with modernaty. Life is a series of moments. Do things while you can. Strike while the iron is hot and make it your own.

Thanks again to Merridian Hiking Club for being as accommodating and helpfull as you all were. Also a big Thank You to Henk for a lift from the finish to our car in Robertson. We were not looking forward to an additional 10km walk along a road.

Thanks for reading our story.


Quality Time

As some of you may know Fiona and I decided some time ago that we would make more of a concerted effort to enjoy our time together. One of the steps we put in place, is to get out and explore our country every three weeks. Let me try explain. The nature of Fiona’s employment is that every three weeks she gets a long weekend. So instead of letting that time slip by with half baked ideas or plans, we made a deal that we would stick to. We would use that time to get out and unwind, a short holiday. Nothing fancy or expensive, more of a get out and do something on a set budget. Each and every time visiting a new place on the map. Pick a town or a place as a base camp and explore everything we can in the surrounding area. Walk, climb, crawl or what ever it takes but we would endeavor to know our home not on reports from friends or the internet but from memories and personal experience.

This rotation we decided to do something close to home with my family. We managed to convince them to spend two days and two nights with us in a nature reserve not far from where we all live. This was definitely going to be interesting for us as we are all very different people.

Once we had unpacked and settled in, one of the first activities we planed for ourselves was to go for a swim. Well…this place is on the rougher side of the Cape Of Storms so to be honest I was not shocked when you could hear a pin drop when I asked who else wanted to join us. Not fazed by the lack of response, we set off. All excited and ready to kick the weekend off we both stood at the waters edge. This is how the conversation went…

Fiona/ Hmmmm this water looks a bit rough and sharky….what you think?                     

Dan/ Ok.. Well. Its Not Not sharky.                                                                                           

Fiona/ Please rather don’t be honest..I actually don’t want to know. Lets just go for it. We will be fine.

 Dan/ Sure… why not, lets just try not go to far off the sand bank, I don’t want the current to suck us away into the deep….Because of the hmm.. rocks.

The water was rough and cold but it was really great. We managed to catch a few body surf waves and just generally had a bit of fun. Making my way out, back to where Fiona was swimming, I saw the inevitable. A dark grey fin cutting like a knife through the surf, just in her blind spot only a few meters away, closing in fast. Not anything to fuss over but still not anything you would want to be surprised with (now at this point I would like to make it clear). Fiona  expressly told me not to tell her or be honest! So in the interest of doing what I am told, I just said: maybe we should call “last wave” and make our way in. I knew what it was and what was going to happen so I just waited. I waited like a school kid who passed wind in an elevator, grinning with anticipation as to who would smell it first.

Needless to say moments later a scream erupted. Fiona had been bumped, then stood on and some how kicked this shark in one swift move. They both shot off in different directions in a explosion of steel cable like taught muscle and sea foam. She looked at me with a face filled with horror only to see me laughing, laughing hard she must have then realised it was not serious and cracked up herself (I felt no shame as it was not long ago Fiona nearly collapsed with laughter at me when I barked my shin with a chunk of wood!!).


A picture of the offending shark species I took a while ago.


Well it must have been quite a loud pitch scream as she seemed to have attracted to attention of a more terrestrial animal, who seemed quite keen to investigate the goings on. As my dad called it…A striped donkey.



I am always amazed how animals like this can evade large predators like Lions with knees like that. Its like a cartoon zebra


This chap seemed to like Fiona but was not so keen on me. We quickly got changed and grabbed the camera. Its not often you see these guys on the beach.



As I said he seemed to be very curious about Fiona, however as soon as I pointed a camera at him he would walk away. Oh Well, I think we all have days like this sometimes.


As this is a place that we come to often and the fact that we were with my family we had a bit more of a relaxed attitude towards exploring the surrounds and taking pictures. Making the most of the solitude and lack of cell phone reception.

I had taken loads of wood along, so we had the indoor fire flashed up most the time keeping the house just the way my parents like it. A steady 30-35Deg C with all the windows and doors shut!

Even though one of my sisters was suffering with the flu she still managed to suck it up, get out and even pick up litter that had washed up on our beach.Well done Nicky!


My Dad also managed to tear himself away from the heated comfort of the house to enjoy a great walk as well and do his bit in assisting with the beach clean up.


I could tell he enjoyed himself and relaxed to the point that he even tried some of our Kudu and Springbok  we had made for supper!

After supper time Fiona and I did some animal tracking in search of the elusive  Cape Clawless Otter. We got frustratingly close but never managed to actually get a picture. Its like a game. I am convinced they are aware of when I have a camera and just toy with me. I have been lucky enough to have had a few really special encounters, even swimming with them but never getting a decent picture. I did not give up instead I just went to plan B

I have never been into or have I ever bothered taking sunset pictures but I decided to try.


 Fiona is helping me find my focus point and my resolve the way she does.


I think I finally got it.



I really believe that a great life is made up of a series of moments that we remember not the day to day grind and or the self inflicted  drama. Perception as well as flexibility has played a huge roll in some of the best times in my life. Even if you are on a train to nowhere, you may as well make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

As for our family getaway. All in all I think we all really enjoyed it in the end. The house we stayed in was not exactly awesome, having a few small issues, never the less it was great to try something different. We all laughed from our bellies, slept like the dead, relaxed in the day, ate way to much, spoke openly and enjoyed each others company around a big orange flickering fire. Six people went in and Six people came out. A special thank you to everyone who tried and did their bit to add to our memories. I really appreciated it all. Thank you to everyone.


Thankful …


Have you ever found that one amazing person whom you are able to love exponentially  & unconditionally experience life’s adventures together, share secrets, be outdoors together,  cry together, laugh together, fall together, be quiet together & continue to embrace all life’s challenges together. A person who is quietly as tough as nails but who is always willing to extend a gentle hand to anyone who needs it.

A dictionary doesn’t contain a word that would describe the type of  person who I share all the above & so much more with.

I am so grateful to have a person who doesn’t see everything the same way I do, doesn’t always think the same way I do and teaches me about different points of views, while continuing to remain open to learn from me too.

I have a strong minded person who isn’t afraid of their emotions, but isn’t as emotional as I am, so that we act as each others balance. Acting as my voice of reason that saves me from drowning in my own seas, and I hope to believe that I am the gentle rain that saves him from his own fires.

Somehow we have the amazing ability to communicate without speaking at times & how silence can also bring a sense of comfort and contentment.

I have someone in my life who knows what its like to build a life from the ground up starting from scratch, to loosing it all and then finding the strength to build it up again. An enduring strength that I am unable to find in anyone else.  A person who appreciates the great moments even in the bad ones!  Our relationship hasn’t always been rainbows & butterflies but I certainly have grown along the journey and  from all the experiences we have shared together.

I love this ambitious soul of a person. Sure, we challenge each other and butt heads at times because of it – but as long as we have the same kind of heart, we’ll fight through the hard times and survive them all.

A “soul mate” relationship doesn’t necessarily mean both partners always share the same views, but that our overall goals and ambitions match. I think this is the most fabulous part & I am so happy to have found a soulmate in Dan!

Love, laughter & a positive attitude  is key to a happy healthy life. Well this is my opinion anyway for what it is worth. Through everything in life, Dan & I continue to strive towards living a happy loving and positive lifestyle with everything we do.

We continue to be our own identity yet we conquer life as one team!

Now days it is so seldom that you find a person that is so willing to take a back seat so that others may succeed,  for these reasons I decided to post this blog and say, Thank You.

Here’s to many more great & unforgettable adventures that lie ahead!


Creating Disinformation …

Photo Supplied by The City of Cape Town

Photo Credit: City of Cape Town, Simonstown 8 July 2016

This article is the continuation & conclusion of our article titled Help!

South Africa has an extremely diverse amount of fauna & flora that needs to be conserved in such a careful manner so as to not disturb the natural course of species. With an ever increasing rate of population growth & urbanisation, species are struggling to make ends meet in terms of food resources & securing a safe  reliable habitat.

Recently within the Western Cape the local conservation & environmental management organisations have been putting pressure on species that have come down to urbanised areas in search of food due to their original food sources being affected by recent fires & droughts. Animals would not risk their own lives by crossing highways, dodging buses & trucks, let alone potentially coming into contact with the biggest threat of all, humans if they were not desperate.

After hearing about organisations wanting to remove the Leopard from Betty’s Bay due to it predating on penguins at Stony Point, I started questioning myself as to why they would want to remove such a rare & majestic animal from its natural habitat just because it is attacking penguins in an effort to attain food & whether what was taking place was right or wrong. However not living near Betty’s Bay, it wasn’t entirely close to home & as they say out of sight out of mind & so all I could do was aid in spreading the word & creating a greater sense of awareness about the situation, send in my objection through to Cape Nature & move on.

A couple of weeks later right on my door step I hear of news that a Caracal (Caracal caracal) that is needing to be trapped due to it “swooping” down onto Boulder’s Beach & killing 20 penguins over 2 weeks. While the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is an endangered animal, it is not a natural food source for caracal so that immediately indicated to me that this animal was clearly desperate & struggling to find food on the mountainside which has severely been affected by fires leaving the mountain barren and scarred with no visible life only charred Protea bushes.

After many “experts”in large sponsored vehicles hanging around the potential trapping area & a week later, the caracal had managed to out-smart the traps & dodge all the bait that had been placed out for it, continuing to kill penguins around the traps. Their declining patience resulted in officials (people in uniform who think they are higher than anyone around them) deciding to live bait the cages, on Friday evening, with penguins forcing the caracal with no option but to attack the tempting penguins thus becoming trapped.

Not only is this an extremely cruel way of doing things. I honestly think that it is so ironic that the experts with “environmental knowledge” take a declining endangered animal from its protected sanctuary & use it as a sacrificial item to lure an animal into a trap purely because it is struggling to find food. It wouldn’t be hunting the penguins in the first place,  if there was sufficient food on the mountainside. It would probably resume to terrestrial animals once the land had recovered from the fires & move away from hunting penguins as it is far too risky for a meal.

Sadly on Friday 8 July 2016,  they successfully trapped a female adult caracal. Using about 3-4 cages each with live penguins in, forcing the caracal into attacking the cage & trapping itself. It was then fitted with a GPS collar & removed from the area & released somewhere else in the Table Mountain National Park, the location not mentioned to the public.

It is amazing the effort that goes into trapping an animal that is posing a threat to an endangered species that brings in such a high revenue from being a tourist attraction (Boulders Beach). It reminded me of a military troop going on lock down.Preparing for war. Penguins are well protected because of holding such a high value to the tourist industry this & many species have suffered because they do not hold such a high commodity as the penguins do. The predation by the caracal is only natural & temporary, it wasn’t even entering the reserve! It was killing penguins that had escaped the sanctuary & were living outside the boundaries of Boulders Beach. As far as I am concerned those penguins has escaped & were not being monitored & could have easily been run over by passing cars never mind being killed by a caracal. In fact penguins still continue to be mowed down by passing cars, yet that does not seem to be an issue & something that never gets addressed.

I called an official on Saturday morning to inquire whether the cat had been captured & wanted more information & answers as I felt this capture was a rather extreme process of doing things. I quote from the paper I found on site attached to a tree near the traps  “In case of emergency, or for any animal welfare concerns or requests for more information about this project contact project leader Dr. xxx xxx on +27 71 xx xxx who is available 24/7 to answer questions” and so with this friendly message I duly contacted the project leader, who was a very abrupt when I asked some to the point questions, a lady who was not wanting to comment on anything that I had seen including the baiting of live penguins & whether she thought that this was an ethically correct way of doings things or not. She was more concerned at how I got her personal number, why I was wanting to find out more & whether or not I was going to take this information to the newspapers. Instantly I knew something was amiss & not right. I could feel & hear in her voice along with her continuous uhm’s & aaah’s that she was covering up her actions & not wanting anything to let slip, if only she knew that I was on scene quietly in the background the Friday evening when they were setting the traps. But what could I do? I am just one member of the public who is concerned & not wanting to tolerate what was happening, while most of the residents within Simonstown were not even aware of what was going on, let alone care as to what was being done & how it was being conducted.

According to a press release on Monday 11 July 2016, “The cat, which was fitted with a tracking collar, was transported back to her original roaming territory in the Table Mountain National Park and released. It has been confirmed that the cat has settled down and its future movements will now be monitored. ”
I am not sure how they could determine where her original roaming ground was, given she was never tracked prior to Friday 8 July 2016. I would suspect that the caracal didn’t pack her suitcase from up country & come down to Simonstown for the weekend to view & taste test the local penguins. Is this just a case of environmental organisations making society feel better that she will be in safer territory & away from penguins? What exactly is the point of this statement?

I simply do not understand it. This entire week the Froggy Pond area has had a sad yet very tense air about it. As though humans have felt that they have succeeded & won. Yet sadly  I think they are only thinking in monetary terms & not in conservation/biodiversity which is supposedly their main goal.

My final question is, how much good is trapping & collaring an animal doing or is it humans thinking they are making a change & improving the situation just because they have taken part in an event. After all these beautiful cats have lived perfectly sustaining their population numbers without collars. So why are collars needed to be fitted in order to “improve” their survival & safety.

All I know is that while I may not have been able to make a major difference or prevent the animal from being trapped & collared, I have certainly learnt so much in this week about the whole situation, more than I ever could have learnt through a textbook. I am so much wiser about government environmental organisations, projects protecting particular species & sanctuaries conserving endangered animals. Whilst in amongst all of these organisations there are genuine people who love & protect animals because its in their nature / personality with a pure love for animals. There are also the types of people that claim to “protect & conserve animals” meanwhile it is for personal or monetary gain.


McGregor Meander …

I love exploring the small towns within South Africa. I am making it my mission to travel and explore them as much as I can, now that I get a long weekend every 3 weeks.

With this in mind, Mom & I recently visited McGregor (with our two ‘yorkies’ in tow).  It was our first time to the town of which I have heard so much about and it certainly lives up to its name, such a peaceful & fabulous get away so close to Cape Town.

On the Friday morning when we left Cape Town we took a casual drive through stopping at all the local farm stalls, wineries  & sights en route (as I always seem to do on any road trip)! I had a terrible cold developing but certainly didn’t let that stop me from having a wonderful getaway! We stayed at a fabulous self catering house called Willow Tree Cottage located within the small town (http://www.tourismmcgregor.co.za/PearTreeandWillow). The dogs were able to explore the garden while Mom & I soaked up the Winter sun relaxing. Not many restaurants are open on a Friday evening & those that are generally require a booking in advance as they tend to get booked up on weekends. So after a bit of improvising we had scrambled egg with salad & vegetables! Perfect for a stress weekend that followed suit.

Saturday morning we awoke with cows that were grazing on the boundary of our garden, what a great alarm clock as oppose to waking up in the city with cars, hooters & in my case naval base going’s on. In the morning browsed the town with all its shops including the Saturday morning market. It has a wonderful charming atmosphere to it that I cannot put down on paper. We  then ventured out the town & had lunch in Robertson a much bigger town nearby with various facilities & amenities. There was quite a buzz & hustle among the streets, which created a wonderful atmosphere when walking around the town on a busy Saturday morning.

For any budding artist or anyone who has an appreciation of pottery & the work that is in involved with it, a must see in McGregor is Mill Stone Pottery (http://www.millstonepottery.co.za/millstone/index.php). Paul is a fascinating potter (together with his wife – make a great team) with many years of experience. He is willing to share his ideas, inspirations and works of art with you whilst you browse the calm creative space around you.  I learnt so much about the intricacies of pottery & before we knew it we had spent 2 hours here just absorbing the wonderful surrounds. Mom & I needless to say walked out with a clear mind & hands full of pottered items!

We had a fabulous dinner at Tabaldis (http://www.temenos.org.za/#!restaurant/c5lv), which is the centre of the town and is open throughout the week with menu that change according to what is in season & availability. Temenos is on the same property as Tebaldis & they have beautiful gardens,which make you feel like you are lost in an enchanted garden. It is a retreat where you can escape the race of life and make you feel as though you are a million miles away from the rest of the world. Our weekends days were filled with warm Winter sun whilst the evenings we quite chilly, so made getting into bed with a book after dinner all that much easier!


Donkey sanctuary outside of McGregor

The Eseltjierus Donkey Sanctuary (http://www.donkeysanctuary.co.za/)is a great place to let your children or in our case our dogs out to play or walk around the farm, whilst the donkeys are kept in the paddock. Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary provides a permanent refuge for abused, neglected and elderly donkeys. They are given the opportunity to live out their lives with respect and dignity, surrounded by their own kind, in a protective and natural environment. Was a great stop and experience in conjunction with a fabulous lunch out on the deck in the sun.

Holidays are always too short & before we knew it we were packed & in the car en route home. We couldn’t resist a final stop at this fabulous farm stall which its great selection of pumpkin! Mom thought it was a simple procedure of choosing a pumpkin however before she knew it the shop lady was out to give her advice on just how to choose the right eating pumpkin as oppose to pumpkins which are dried out & kept as ornaments/decorations.

Finally we were on our way home with 2 humans, 2 dogs, a pumpkin & many great memories all round.

Cheers Fiona 🙂

Left Turn

Smits Isuzu

Sundays are a time that most people either visit their families or simply go for a drive. This Sunday I am waiting for the go- ahead to help retrieve this car. I am not a tow truck operator, however I enjoy rigging and climbing so as I live in the area I sometimes get a call to lend a hand (I suspect it may be because I don’t mind carrying cable and chains up a hill).

Part Point

Its the second car to in two weeks!


The first car managed to somehow fly from the top right of the picture (where the truck is) all the way to the water at the bottom Left .(Next to the n in my name)

Par Piont 2

It took nearly two days just to get the first car out the water. I am happy to say both drivers are ok.

Drive Safe. Dan