Graduation Day 2016

Parents with me on Graduation Day

Graduation Day 15 June 2016, I received my Bsc Environmental Management & Zoology degree through correspondence studying at the  University of South Africa (UNISA).

I didn’t think the day would ever arrive.

5 years later studying part time, 30 subjects passed, 93 assignments submitted and many exams written. I was presented a single piece of paper in my hands  with a conferring ceremony symbolizing I had completed the degree. What an amazing & yet unreal feeling it was … in fact still doesn’t feel real.

Through all my years of studying for it I battled and conquered my nemesis (Chemistry)  and have shown commitment to work independently and all round dedication to complete this degree.

I am grateful for the massive support I had from my parents, my mother in particular who edited and checked numerous assignments before submitting, making sure everything was corrected and best as could be. Her endless support, motivation and forgiveness  as well as understanding of times I couldn’t attend something with her because I had to study was always noticed and appreciated.

Lastly not forgetting Dan who continued to support and encourage me, when I thought I had nothing left within me to carry on. Always seeing a solution with every obstacle I faced and motivating me to see the wood through the trees. His comforting words always re centering me and giving me a new head to face my subjects with. Never forgotten.

Mom, Dad & Dan you have earned an equal share in this degree with me as you all have traveled the long road along side me. I couldn’t have achieved what I have without all of you behind me, cheering me on when the crowds had left! I can’t thank and express my appreciation enough but know I am eternally every grateful.

Fiona

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!

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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 🙂

Eco Labels Explained …

Introduction

Eco labelling refers to products /services that are environmentally friendly, and which are advertised as such. They are labelled in a way that informs the interested consumer (Barrow, 2006). The products generally have a reduced impact on the environment, relative to other products of the same kind.

Eco labelling needs to be certified by an independent organisation. Credible labels are awarded by an impartial, unbiased party for products, or services that have met the various environmental criteria (Network,2016). However, some manufacturers of products try to add their own “eco label” as it tends to increase sales within their specific target market. Common claims are that the product is “natural” , “recyclable”, “organically produced” and “energy efficient”. These are unproven and not recognised by the a registered  independent organisation. Thus these labels have been termed as “greenwash” (Allison & Carter, 2000).

The International Organisation for Standardisation known as ISO is an internationally recognised  organisation which has identified three main types of eco-labelling (Allison & Carter, 2000). Eco-labelling typically falls under Type 1 as explained below.

Type 1 – This label is based on multiple criteria that the product or service must adhere to. A third party organisation awards and issues a certification to the product or service that allows this product /service to use environmental label which illustrates to consumers that the product/service in question is preferred, due to it being environmentally aware and eco-friendly in comparison to other products/services within their particular category. This type of labelling is also known as ISO 14024 (Allison & Carter, 2000).

Type 2 –  These types of labels are self declared by the manufacturers or the retailers. Most commonly the consumer will see comments on the product such as “made from x amount of recycled material”. This type of labels falls within ISO 14021 (Allison & Carter, 2000).

Type 3 – Known as an environmental product declaration where the product or service information is based on complete life cycle processes, and the impact it has on the environment. This type of label is referred to as ISO 14025 (Allison & Carter, 2000).

Examples of Eco-labelling, Description and its Origin

 

Cape Coastal Honey – Eco Label being Badger Friendly

Country of Origin – South Africa
Description of Product – Cape coastal honey is produced with badgers in mind. It promotes badger friendly beehive management and protection in order to comply with the above eco label. The height of the bee hive needs to be altered and be kept out of reach from honey badgers. It is an initiative to conserve these endangered animals which play a vital role within their ecosystem (Van der Merwe, 2014). This eco label is placed on the front of the packaging in order to be visible to the conscious target market. The product is also recyclable which is indicated with the symbol on the back of the packaging.

Light meat Tuna shredded with vegetable oil added – Eco Label being Dolphin Friendly

Country of Origin – Thailand, caught  in the Western Pacific Ocean.
Description of Product – Tuna packaged in recyclable tin which is depicted by appropriate logo. As per the logo it is dolphin friendly (Inc,2016). It is managed by the Earth Island Institute which ensures all tuna companies adhere to catching methods that do not harm dolphins including being aware of all marine ecosystems. In order for it to be classified as dolphin friendly, companies need to ensure that no chasing or netting of dolphins takes place during their fishing trip. Companies must not use drift gill nets to catch their tuna, and lastly, no accidental killing or causing harm to the dolphins may occur when setting their nets (Inc,2016).

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Organic Liquid Beef Stock – Eco label being Oregon Tilth & USDA Organic

Country of Origin – United States of America
Description of Product – Organic liquid beef stock produced in a cardboard recyclable container. The eco label Oregon Tilth and USDA Organic certifies  that the product complies with organic agriculture along with sustainable farming methods. Ensuring farmers and all who are involved in handling and processing of organic food is done so in a manner that complies with the organisation.  Farmers need to stick to set regulations, pass random inspection of farms, and maintain a binding contract between farmer and the buyer of the product in question.  Farms need to comply with the following process and restrictions as well (Tilth,2016).

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
  • Support animal health and welfare
  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviours
  • Only use approved materials
  • Do not use genetically modified ingredients
  • Receive annual onsite inspections
  • Separate organic food from non-organic food

 


Organic Ground Coffee Blend – Eco label being AFRISCO

Country of Origin – South Africa
Description of Product – AFRISCO is the only internationally recognised and accredited South African certifier. It aims at improving the integrity of organic food processes in RSA, as well as other SADC countries. This organisation follows the product from start through to processing and on to distribution, ensuring that companies adhere to all criteria needed  in order to be AFRISCO approved. AFRISCO raises awareness and promotes to both local and global producers and consumers,  the benefit it has on the environment as well as personal heath choice among the consumers themselves. The coffee is packaged in a foil fresh carton which is recyclable and has a low carbon footprint.

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Running Duck Organic White Wine – Eco label being Fair for Life

Country of Origin – South Africa
Description of Product – Fair for life is an unbiased third party certification organisation.  It ensures there is ongoing fair trade amongst agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations. It promotes operators to have a responsible project in place which protects the environment, including trying to reduce the impact the company has on the surrounding environment.

As per their website www.fairforlife.org  the certification process begins with applying to accredited by the organisation. The interested company would then prepare for auditing to see if they are legible for Fair for Life. Once they are audited, an overall evaluation is done on the company. If the company satisfies their requirements they will be issued their certification which would allow them to present the Fair for Life logo on their product.  In order to remain a Fair for Life ambassador, the company would need to continue their compliance of criteria. Should they for some reason they no longer comply, they will no longer be able to host their logo on their product.

The Euro leaf logo is also displayed on this particular bottle of wine.  It illustrates that the product has been certified as organic conforming to the regulations of organic farming. It is an internationally recognised logo. During processing of the product it also ensures that 95% of the ingredients are organic (COMM,2013). It is compulsory for all manufacturers who are aligned with the Euro Leaf to place the logo on their product should they continue to comply with their standards.

The Importance of Eco labels

Eco labels give the consumer the power of choice when buying a product. They tend to attract the health conscious, eco mind shopper, whilst allowing the manufacturer to become a “greener” and more environmentally aware company.

Eco labels generally increase the sustainability and environmental awareness. Consumers will tend to purchase products that have official logos and certification attached to the product (International, 2012). Eco labels have the ability to strengthen the brand including the additional promotion of the product.

They also increase the marketing competition between companies driving them towards a more environmentally sustainable products. This has a trickle-down effect which can include the harvesting/cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of products. This will also help weed out any unscrupulous manufacturers.

Hope you have learnt something from my post 🙂  – Fiona

 

Population growth and its effects

Population growth and distribution of said population are key factors in trying to implement global and local environmental management and sustainable living. There are many contributing factors to consider to ensure that environmental management will be successful in the future.

Ultimately, the success of how effective environmental management in conjunction with the sustainability of our resources comes down to the rate at which our population is growing.

Environmental Management with regards to Water Resources

Immediate and appropriate local and global management is required to ensure that our water supply is able to meet and keep up with the demand of a growing population.  “Nearly 2 billion cope daily with the problem of finding enough water and as many as 3.5 billion – almost half the worlds projected population – could face water shortages by 2025. Africa is at particular risk.” (Livernash, 2002)

Sustainable management of this critical resource needs to ensure that all people have access to clean and safe water. Concurrently, we need to sustain our natural water areas and implement environmental management in order to reduce/ prevent water pollution. “Worldwide 54% of the annual available fresh water is already being used. This is based on unequal consumption. Some 1.1 billion people do not have access to fresh water or consume less than the basic daily requirements of 50 litres” (Rosenberg, 2008).

Globally 70% of water is used for agricultural use, 22% industrial and 2% domestic use (UNESCO, 2003), whereas in Africa 85% of water is used in agriculture, 5% industrial sector and 10% used in domestic sector (Water, 2016).

The UN states that humans need a minimum of 50L of water per day for cooking, preparing of food, cleaning and reducing the spread of disease (Water, 2016). If we were to multiply this minimal amount by the number of people on Earth, it would be an extremely high figure which excludes industrial water consumption and agriculture. We are going to battle with keeping up with our water demands.

Food Production & Land Availability

Suitable land availability is declining, thus making basic food production difficult. “Long term gains in food production, especially in developing countries, are threatened by land degradation and by growing competition for water from industrial and municipal sources” (Livernash, 2002). Environmental management needs to ensure that we utilise our land space and resources efficiently. This will allow us to remain as close to sustainable as possible.”By 2030 the world will need at least 50% more food, 45% more energy and 30% more water (High Level Panel on Global Sustainability, 2012). Sustainability is extremely hard to achieve when the population growth rate is exponential. According to (Outlook, 2014) in 2013, 23% of households did not have adequate access to food and 13% experienced hunger.

“In 1997 the world demand for meat was 208 million metric tons and in 2020 its projected to be 327 million metric tons” (IFPRI Impact Projections, 2011). Even on a basic linear scale it is not possible to sustain this growth. With our already limited supply of resources, it is virtually unachievable to produce this amount of meat to feed and maintain our population.

We consume more water than we realise. Professor Tony Allan conceptualised the notion of virtual water. It is the amount of water we consume that is not visible to us, which goes over and above our minimum daily intake of 50 litres. A major contributor to virtual water is food production and consumption.15 455 litres of water is required in order to produce 1kg of beef (Water, 2016).  Cacao requires 27 000 litres for ever kilogram produced (Water, 2016).

 

Fiona 🙂

Ocean Acidification

How will ocean acidification affect marine biodiversity and ecosystem function and what measures could mitigate these effects?

What is Ocean Acidification? Ocean Acidification is brought about when there are substantial changes in the chemistry composition of the ocean. There is an increased amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is no longer being able to get absorbed by the oceans. The rise is predominantly  due to an increase in human activities for example the burning of fossil fuels and carbon emissions from industries. The excess CO2 reacts with the seawater resulting in a very acidic environment.

What does Ocean Acidification do to our oceans and marine ecosystems ?

  • reduces organisms ability to make skeletons containing calcium carbonate
  • marine organisms eventually struggle to breathe
  • affects the food web
  • disrupts organisms interactions within their ecosystem
  • decrease in the organisms quality of life


Effects of Ocean Acidification

The increase of CO2 reduces the ability that plants and animals have to make skeletons/structures containing calcium carbonate, as the acidity dissolves their skeletons (Global Issues, 2014). It also reduces the biodiversity in marine ecosystems.

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Ocean acidification urgently needs conservation biology in order to preserve the current organisms and to prevent further reduction!


What measures could individuals take to mitigate these effects?

  • make every effort to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions wherever possible
  • car pool / utilize public transport
  • continuous maintenance on all vehicles ensuring they are running efficiently
  • support nature reserves ensuring they are able to continue to protect the environment
  • support Eco friendly products
  • consume sustainably grown produce

Ocean acidification urgently needs conservation biology in order to preserve the current organisms and to prevent further reduction. There are many ways that individuals within society can do to reduce their CO2 emission. Where possible people could make use of public transport, alternatively car pooling would reduce the amount of cars that are on the road. Maintaining the condition and efficiency of your vehicle can lower the amount of CO2 vehicles emit. Visiting, and/or, supporting local nature reserves and protected areas allow them to receive funding and continue the conservation work they are doing in order to protect and preserve species numbers and their surrounding environment. Using, buying and eating Eco-friendly  products /produce enables us to reduce the need for deforestation to take place for new agricultural areas.  Also makes sure that the produce is harvested in a sustainable manner (Humans can take action to slow the process of ocean acidification, 2013).

What measures could companies/industries take to mitigate these effects?

  • monitor pollution outputs
  • control agricultural runoff
  • obey all regulations regarding emission output
  • tax industries based on emission output / excess over limit
  • find alternative energy methods e.g. wind, solar
  • monitor aquaculture facilities e.g. output, pollution, excess feed, disease
  • avoid any oil spill into the ocean, control effectively if needed
  • reduce the amount of methane produced by livestock
  • create “carbon sinks” i.e. mangroves, seagrass beds, marshes

Companies need to make a concerted effort in monitoring and controlling the amount of CO2 they emit. As the pollution and surface run off from industries aids in increasing ocean acidification and affects all marine life (Humans can take action to slow the process of ocean acidification, 2013).

MPA’s (Marine Protected Areas) along South Africa’s coastline  shelter the ocean from environmental stressors. Giving the ecosystem a chance to recover in population size and diversity. If we fish sustainability, follow regulations, size limits and quota it will give lowered fish stocks a chance to reproduce to acceptable and stable population numbers.

What will be the impacts of climate changes in phytoplankton and oceanic productivity and what will be the feedback of these impacts on the climate? 

The acidification will greatly affect marine biodiversity and ecosystem function. It has a cascading effect throughout the marine ecosystem. There will be changes in the food web, organisms interactions and quality of life within the ecosystem. These effects will target vital organisms resulting in a negative effect of organisms that are at lower trophic levels (Committee et al, 2010). Phytoplankton is a large component that will be impacted upon.

When the productivity of benthic organisms and phytoplankton are affected, it will as a consequence, decline fish communities and stock number in higher feeding levels.

Studies have shown that acidification levels rise quicker in colder ocean regions. Colder oceans have the most abundant sea life and are high productive sites due the cold upwelling’s the area receives. Thus a greater amount of marine life will be lost in these areas which is overall extremely detrimental to the global biodiversity (Doubilet & Images, 2016).

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How will multiple stressors especially fishing, pollution, sea temperature, acidification and disease interact to affect marine ecosystems.

Image – Depicting how interlinked multiple stressors are, and that all can affect one or another species including whole ecosystems in some situations. Marine ecosystems contain complex and extremely integrated food chains and trophic levels.

Climate change is able to introduce multiple stressors on marine ecosystems at any one time. Stressors can be independent of one another, or alternatively, they can act in conjunction with another stressor which would amplify the overall effect that is brought upon the ecosystem or organism present (Ocean and Institute, 2010).

Hypoxia – Refers or organisms being depleted of oxygen due to a reduced level of oxygen in the water itself. Thus reducing their ability to survive and in turn maintain and support the ecosystem they are in. In most situations the ecosystem eventually dies off completely.

Acidification – An increase in acidification pressurises the organisms who rely on calcium carbonate in order to produce their skeletal structures. A lowered pH and increase in CO2 emissions causes this disruption within an ecosystem to occur.

Salinity –  This has a major impact on organisms and their larvae. It can result in the composition of the ecosystem having to change in order to balance the shift made by the salinity. Disrupting biodiversity and potentially producing declined population numbers due to organisms being unable to survive the salinity change.

Sea temperature – Reduces the oceans ability to mix water adequately thereby reducing the nutrients the organisms are able to receive, impacting on marine biodiversity.

Disease  – Marine organisms are at a higher risk of contracting diseases due to the rise in sea temperature (Ocean and Institute, 2010). Particularly noticeable in corals, molluscs, mammals, turtles and echinoderms. Besides causing an increase in the mortality rate of the organism, it also has a detrimental effect on the functioning of the surrounding environment.

The combination of stressors will have a significant effect on the shellfish aquaculture industries around the globe that rely on balanced oceanic systems.

Climate and Carbon Dioxide changes are having a substantial influence and impact on marine organisms. It is altering their behaviour, physiology, species populations, community composition and biodiversity levels.

What research has been done to address the above questions ?

Ocean acidification is an extremely broad and interlinked topic. Knowledge and expertise on this topic is not globally well known. So countries and organisations are still trying to build foundations in how to combat this situation and problem at hand. Before adequate research can be performed .

  • Researchers have mapped areas most vulnerable to ocean acidification

(Enabling us to focus our conservation efforts  on particular areas)

  • Effects of ocean acidification on nitrogen (N2) fixation rates and on the community composition of N2-fixing microbes (diazotrophs) increased
  • GOA-ON (Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network) – interactive map  with real time data giving public an early warning system illustrating a decline in water quality.  This would  help protect shellfish industries from getting affected.
  • Geo-engineering proposals have been put in place in an effort to reduce the effect Ocean Acidification has on the environment and ecosystems.
  • NWP ( Nairobi Work Programme) aims to help pubic understand & assess the effects of Ocean Acidification through scientific work and studies


Have there been any major findings?

  • Carbon Dioxide is the leading cause for an increase in acidification
  • Decline in Calcium Carbonate levels impacting a large sector of organisms
  • Calcareous habitats are major concern as they are unable to build their ecosystems as their skeletons are dissolving
  • Carbon Dioxide is affecting the biodiversity of plankton – the building blocks in the food chain. Reduced and/or no plankton is going to be disastrous for all marine organisms.
  • Behavioural & sensory changes in many marine fish species
  • Disrupted ecosystems will impact on human development

 

Hope that you are able to share the importance of our oceans to your friends, family & surrounding community.

Fiona 🙂

Saturday Suprises

Great times can be few and far between, so when Fiona came running over to show me the weather report, I knew it only meant one thing. A good weather Saturday. After fierce negotiations, we settled on a compromise. We could go for a long paddle towards Cape Point. I could explore some new dive spots and then return to a braai ( Barbecue) on the beach. I wanted to test my new (Cant burn the chicken stand) that I had made a while ago. If I played my cards right I could slip off for a quick surf while she cooked the food. I was optimistic to say the least.

After a few touch-and-go moments launching (Always good for a laugh) we made our way South. Conditions did not allow me to slip into the water for that dive, but never the less we had a great relaxing paddle.

 

On our way home we heard shouting in the distance, It was a fellow kayaker checking to see if we were okay as the wind had picked up a little. We soon made contact with him and we  explained that all was okay. He was very excited to tell us about the two fish he had just caught. I think that its really great even though he is on a fishing kayak the community is still inclined to keep a eye out for each other. We ended up chatting and paddled back to were he launched so we could get a glimpse of his fish.

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After lighting the fire I slipped of for a quick surf while Fiona stood guard protecting our food from the local Baboons. I ended eating way to much as I always seem to do. Fire grid proved to be a winner so no more balancing grids on rocks. Yay!!

We returned home with sun kissed faces and full bellies. I could not ask for a better day. Fiona being Fiona took great delight in reminding me that the last part of the deal for the day was a 5km run!! Have I ever mentioned how I really have a dislike of running. Its right up there with washing dishes and renewing my drivers license. I did what I could to stall but a deal is a deal so we ran. …Truth be told I actually enjoyed it all. I wonder what is in store for us on Sunday.  Dan

The Best of Barrydale

Having recently returned back from a weekend away in Barrydale with my mom, (not forgetting our two Yorkshire terriers that accompanied us) I thought I would share some of Barrydale’s best stops.  Barrydale is approximately a 3 hour drive from Cape Town. Its a small farming village situated between the Overberg region and the Klein Karoo.  Its not a very big town in comparison to other “dorps” we have been too. However the scenery of the mountains certainly creates a tranquil setting. A perfect way to settle into the weekend.

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Overlooking the town of Barrydale

Mom & I took a leisurely drive through from Cape Town, exploring all the farm stalls en route, a tradition I seem to have to do whenever I do road trips. I simply can’t help myself! We went through the Tradouw Pass (which means Women’s Path in the old Khoi language) before entering Barrydale. This 17 kilometer drive through an altitude range of 219 meters meanders through some of the most beautiful & rugged mountain scenery on offer in the Langeberg. This pass is undoubtedly in the Top 20 tarred passes in the Western Cape on an overall rating. The pass joins the towns of Barrydale and Swellendam and was originally built by Thomas Bain. Shortly after exiting this beautiful pass we arrived at our accommodation for the weekend, Sandy’s Place (http://www.sandysplace.co.za/). It is pet friendly which of course was our main concern since we were traveling with our dogs Jack & Zoe. It has pleasant rooms with nice” braaiing” facilities outside as well as an adjacent garden which Zoe & Jack could wonder through. Hosts Johan & Sterna van Eeden do their utmost in making sure your stay is a great one & are very hospitable and welcoming.  It was pouring with rain upon our arrival, so our plan of having a braai quickly changed & turned into dining out at the Karoo Art Hotel, 1km away from where we were staying. It is a very quirky, modern and art filled hotel (https://karooarthotel.co.za/). Their award-winning restaurant Karoo Grill certainly proved to us why it has won so many awards over the years. Their food simply delicious. A perfect setting especially for mom as she is an avid lover of painting & art herself. The art made for great dinner conversations in the restaurant as we heard various tables chatting about the beautiful art that surrounded them.  The emphasis in this restaurant  is very much on South African traditional food, particularly on Karoo dishes. I definitely could recommend this as a great dining stop!

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A Taste of the interior of Karoo Art Hotel

On Saturday morning the clouds had cleared and the beaming sun was out. We were smiling. So we browsed around the main street, which I may add isn’t a very long street at all! All the shops were dog friendly and loved Jack & Zoe popping in. One of the interesting shops we stopped in at was Barrydale weavers. Where they make all sorts of items from hand towel, to bath towels & mats. What took my fascination was the lady pictured below who was clearly making a mat & how skilled she was at working the line of thread behind her with the turning of the weaving rack. (She worked on this piece the entire time while we were in Barrydale).

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Work in Progress

 

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Barrydale Weavery

It was a very chilled day & I think we were just enjoying the sunshine along with the fact that it wasn’t raining. Absolute bliss! Once we had browsed the shops that were open we decided to drive a little bit out of Barrydale heading toward Montagu direction. As you leave Barrydale you pass Barrydale Cellars which we stopped in at very briefly. They are very much brandy oriented, very lovely, however Mom was looking for some wines to take home & sample.

A fantastic winery with not only great clean tasting wines but it is also beautifully laid out & decorated is Joubert – Tradouw Vineyards (http://www.joubert-tradauw.com/) which in my opinion is a definite stop even if you do not buy anything, just to experience a taste of what wine making is about, seeing the barrels in dark cool rooms simply made my experience there a very personal & real one! After tasting & buying a few wine bottles at the various wineries along this route, we decided that it would be a good idea to turn around & head back before we literally end up in Montagu.

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Joubert-Tradouw Winery

Magpie Art Collection (http://magpieartcollective.com/) is another interesting stop not only if you are interested in art but if you like to see items being reused & recycled. As this is exactly what the artists at Magpie do, they take the residents trash & simply turn it into art, whether it be light fitting decorations, chandeliers, bird mobiles & chairs just to name a few. You immediately feel immersed in the huge amounts of creativity that flow through their exhibition room. It really is fantastic to see what you able to do with a little bit of creativity and flair.

The final stop on my brief Barrydale weekend with you would have to be the much talked about Diesel & Creme (http://dieselandcreme.co.za/). Boy O’ Boy was it a delicious treat for Mom & I, certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry that is for sure. We had walked everywhere the entire day to make sure our tummies were empty for the tasty surprise that awaited us as Diesel & Creme. Mom ordered “Morning Glory” (coffee & espresso milkshake) while I ordered Peppermint Crisp for a change as being a creature of habit I generally always go for something chocolate. Surrounded by a fabulous atmosphere we were silent whilst sipping away at our milkshakes!

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Mom & I with our milkshakes!

The decor certainly keeps you entertained with a mix of old & new, it almost takes you right back to your childhood. Only happy memories at Diesel & Creme. A great way to end the weekend.

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Because every day is a great day at Diesel & Creme

 

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Funky Milkshake Bar

Bye for now ….Fiona