It’s amazing how time flies; Christmastime is upon us, festivities are in full swing, and before we rub out our eyes it’s going to be the New Year. We’ve been at St. Ancothesa for more than 2 weeks, and this post is going to be about our second weekend. At the end of the month I will post an overview on the farm; it’s during the weekends that we put out tourist hats on and “head off on an adventure”.
On the 20th we drove to Sedgefield via the Prince Alfred Pass through the Knysna forest. Because we did the scenic route it took us the whole morning, but it was well worthwhile. Starting at Uniondale, then passing through Avontuur, a tiny place not worthy to be called a town, we drove the Prince Alfred Pass and through the beautiful area including Diepwalle, Gouna, etc. made famous by the book Circles in the Forest by Dalene Matthee. We stopped at the Valley of Ferns and took a 15min walk through the giant plants, some as high as 4 meters!
Prince Alfred Pass.
Some of the corners and rocks had names; it was very amusing.
Calling the Herd by Strijdom van der Merwe, a sculpture that you could call through in the middle of somewhere.
Taking a walk in the Valley of Ferns. Notice how small mom and the boys are in comparison to the ferns.
The Spitskop lookout point was very nice as well; we had an amazing view of the Outeniqua mountains on one side, and the indigenous forest, Swartvlei lake, the ocean, and even Plettenberg Bay on the other.
There were several Big Trees on the way; we stopped at one approx. 600 years old. It was quite a mission to find though, as the signsboards guiding you to it through many trails in the forest were missing.
After lunch with our uncle Frans and his wife Elisca at a crowded beach restaurant at Sedgefield, we had some shopping to do in Knysna (we didn’t know Knysna had 3 Malls). After that we were on our way to Goukamma Nature Reserve, where we visited with the Nature conservation manager and his family, whom we met at a previous campsite. It was cool to see the lifestyle one can have living in a nature reserve - beautiful and interesting.
The next day, we drove to Swartvlei beach, where my grandfather’s sisters and all their children (and all their children) were on vacation. Everyone took a long walk on the beach. Numerous things were discovered, such as a Nudibranch (it’s like a sea slug but very colourful), a (small) live shark, lots of sea urchins and sea anemones, and giant starfish. Maarten and I were brave enough to swim when we got back from the walk; it was fantastic.
Spectacular windblasted sand formations.
We all went back to where they were staying for lunch. After a delicious Snoek braai, the afternoon was spent sailing on oom Francois’ Catamarang (a really cool experience), swimming in the swimming pools, socializing (for the grownups and Maarten; the oldest of the kids were his age), and relaxing.
There was literally nothing left except a handful of salad and 3 buns.
Colorful and tasteful.
Mom took pictures.
The boys hired a pedal boat as well.