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Monthly Archives: September 2018

 

#SANationalParksWeek: The gates are open for free entry at Silvermine Nature Reserve.

#SANationalParksWeek: The gates are open for free entry at Silvermine Nature Reserve.

 

We got to Silvermine a bit late, as we actually had intended to go to Tokai but were not let in, because dogs are not allowed there.

 

So we only started our hike around half past two.

 

Luckily there was an informative map at the entrance to calculate how long each hike takes. We chose a circular route from Gate 2 via Steenberg Peak back to Gate 2.

 

Helpful maps are on display. Make sure you know where you are going.

Helpful maps are on display. Make sure you know where you are going.

 

However, the map did not differentiate between dirtroad and footpath, so we simply didn’t consider the track leading up behind the map sign as an alternative route to the gravel road we decided to follow.

 

When we shortly after arrived at the waterfall, we knew we had taken the loop the other way round.

 

150m extra hike gets you to the waterfall.

150m extra hike gets you to the waterfall.

 

We made the best of it by enjoying the waterfall views from top and bottom.

 

The waterfall is worth hiking the extra loop.

The waterfall is worth hiking the extra loop.

 

The waterfall comes with its own rainbow.

The waterfall comes with its own rainbow.

 

When we came back up from the 150 metres of steep steps we continued on the dirt road.

 

Duly we checked up on every sign we saw if we’re on the correct path.

 

Sometimes the signs were not helpful. Did this one get burned?

Sometimes the signs were not helpful. Did this one get burned?

 

Thanks to that we didn’t miss the turn-off to Steenberg Peak. It’s no longer a broad and easy to walk dirt road, but looked very much like that trail we had dismissed earlier. At least then it became clear how the route was going to close the circle.

 

Good thing we checked the sign on this footpath, as it was the route we wanted to take.

Good thing we checked the sign on this footpath, as it was the route we wanted to take.

 

Reassured by the sign we took the footpath.

 

Unfortunately that was the last helpful sign we would encounter which promptly lead us to pick the wrong path:

 

Soon after the footpath divided into the continuation of the sandy path or a red gravel path.

 

We followed the continuation of our footpath, a single person path filled with sand to mark it out against the bushland.

 

It pretty soon started to rise turning into rock steps and even some steep boulder climbing.

Sometimes the rocks were so close by, even our puppy had to squeeze through.

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

 

The question was just which one of the many sky-scraping rocks and tops was the Steenberg Peak?

 

Is this the Steenberg Peak coming up? Everything just looks like rocks to me.

Is this the Steenberg Peak coming up? Everything just looks like rocks to me.

 

The pathway lead us up over a rock crest and we were ready for the descent.

 

But a tough decision greeted us soon enough: The same path continued left or right. No sign.

 

We took the wrong path, which lead us to the very top of the peak right by Gate 2: On top of the highest rock the trail suddenly ended and from there it was just cliff to the left, cliff to the right, and cliff to the front. A stunning view and a liberating feeling of freedom welcomed us, but this was not where we had wanted to go.

 

Or is that Steenberg Peak? Surely we should be hiking down by now? Maybe this is the last hurdle?

Or is that Steenberg Peak? Surely we should be hiking down by now? Maybe this is the last hurdle?

 

At least the stunning view allowed us to get our bearings and see how we’d have to go back to the trail that was leading us back to our car. Which was duly sitting in its parking spot, so close and yet so far.

 

So close and yet so far: This is not the way to reach our car.

So close and yet so far: This is not the way to reach our car.

 

It was however a fair bit to go and it meant we’d miss the closing times of Silvermine Park.

 

Even our puppy looks like he’s pondering how we’ll make it back in time before the gates close.

Even our puppy looks like he’s pondering how we’ll make it back in time before the gates close.

 

Indeed: By the time we finally reached our car, the entrance gate was locked.

 

Luckily the amazing SAN Park staff had watched out for us and arrived right away to unlock the gate. They had noted our car and expected us.

 

We couldn’t thank them enough, a good ending to our unintended adventure tour.

 

Never underestimate a hike in the Cape. Always be well prepared.

Make sure you know your route well and get a good map: SAN Parks Maps.

 

 

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Like little clouds: Al Dente‘s gnocchi are so fluffy and soft, they melt in your mouth like little pockets of clouds.

 

The sauces Al Dente Pasta Deli offers with them are well chosen to go with the savoury potato dumplings.

 

Gnocchi Napoletana & Funghi is warm and rich, a hearty meal filling you nicely.

Gnocchi Napoletana & Funghi at Al Dente Pasta Deli in Woodstock.

Gnocchi Napoletana & Funghi at Al Dente Pasta Deli in Woodstock.

 

On special request I had Gnocchi with the Zucchine sauce, which also went well together, a lighter, more springtime dish.

Gnocchi Zucchine at Al Dente Pasta Deli next to the DoubleTree Hotel.

Gnocchi Zucchine at Al Dente Pasta Deli next to the DoubleTree.

 

But best of course are the Gnocchi Gorgonzola, the classic that just makes your mouth water with the tangy blue cheese flavour bringing out the sweetness of the potato.

 

Al Dente‘s gnocchi are so good, you can also enjoy them just with sugar and cinnamon as a desert.

 

Try Al Dente Pasta Deli’s gnocchi in all combinations, you’ll melt along with them.

 

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A creepy crawler: Tick on the wall!

A creepy crawler: Tick on the wall!

 

Help me, they gonna suck me dry!

 

Ah please, don’t worry.

Even though your entire body is covered in ticks so that not even one tiny bit of your flesh is visible, besides your pathetically scared eyes and your weird warped teeth;
all their bodies pumping slowly but steadily, filling like a sea of red balloons, red from your blood, millions of tiny ticks full of your blood…

You’re not gonna die.

 

After all, this is hell, if you could die from this it’d just be some shitty life on planet earth.

No. You’re never gonna get sucked dry. You’re dead already.
Welcome to your eternal nightmare.

 

 

It’s tick season!

Especially if you own dogs, make sure you prevent ticks and know how to safely remove them.

 

 

Heritage Week runs from 24 to 30 September 2018.

 

Most Iziko museums are free during #HeritageWeek.

 

Iziko Museums of South Africa Operating Hours

Iziko Museums of South Africa Operating Hours

 

My Museum Marathon Map during Heritage Week:

 

Find all the museums in one handy Google Maps list.

 

South African Museum on Google Maps.

25 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001

GPS: 33.9287° S, 18.4150° E

 

Iziko South African National Gallery on Google Maps.

Government Ave, Company’s Garden, Cape Town, 8000

GPS: 33.9291° S, 18.4173° E

 

Rust en Vreugd on Google Maps.

78 Buitenkant St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000

GPS: 33.9304° S, 18.4205° E

 

Iziko Museums Slave Lodge on Google Maps.

Corner Adderley and Wale Streets, Cape Town

GPS: 33.9251° S, 18.4205° E

 

Bo-Kaap Museum on Google Maps.

71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001

GPS: 33.9216° S, 18.4150° E

 

Michaelis Collection at The Old Town House on Google Maps.

The Old Town House Greenmarket Square, Central, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001

GPS: 33.9231° S, 18.4199° E

 

Koopmans-de Wet House on Google Maps.

35 Strand St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001

 

South African Maritime Museum on Google Maps.

Union-Castle House, Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8000

GPS: 33.9057° S, 18.4202° E

 

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During Heritage Week from 24 to 30 September 2018 most Iziko Museums are free.

During Heritage Week from 24 to 30 September 2018 most Iziko Museums are free.

 

Iziko Museums of South Africa commemorate Heritage Month, hosting the exciting week-long in_herit FESTIVAL, a cultural programme that kicks off with a Heritage Day celebration on 24 September and offers *free entrance to selected Iziko Museums during Heritage Week from 24-30 September 2018.

 

The in_herit FESTIVAL is one of Iziko’s most important programmes, signifying the museum’s mission of conserving and keeping heritage alive for a wide audience.

*Free entrance to selected Iziko museums offers visitors the opportunity to encounter and explore the museums and exhibitions, offering insight and access to our diverse and dynamic cultural, natural and artistic heritage.

*The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is half-price on Heritage Day. The Castle of Good Hope and Groot Constantia are free only on Heritage Day.

A series of walkabouts, guided tours, new exhibition opening, events and Museum Night V&A are planned.

Download the in_herit FESTIVAL programme for more info.

Check out a list of free museums during #HeritageWeek for you to visit.

 

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Yum! Linguine with Prawns. The food at Al Dente - Pasta Deli is always good.

Yum! Linguine with Prawns. The food at Al Dente – Pasta Deli is always good.

 

Al Dente is an authentic Italian cuisine ristorante offering home style, cooked with lots of love, hearty food.

 

It’s a hidden gem in Cape Town, tucked away at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel and only open a few days of the week.

 

All the dishes, and especially the gnocchi, are delicious. In addition, the house wine is always a good match to the tasty Italian food.

 

Even for desert you’ll be in for a treat: The coffee is great, and can be accompanied by a delicious typical Italian pastry desert.

 

Try Al Dente for a true Italian tasting experience.

 

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View over Cape Town at night from Signal Hill.

View over Cape Town at night from Signal Hill.

 

Cape Town has spectacular views to offer, but not just during daylight.

 

A nice way to end the evening, say after a lovely dinner in town, is to take a quick drive up Table Mountain or Signal Hill and enjoy the fantastic picture Cape Town has to offer at night:

 

Highways pulsating like the city’s veins, disappearing in the grey mountains.

Houses flickering and blinking like a sea of stars.

Ships cruising by, giving an idea of depth towards the long stretching horizon.

Tourist attractions look ready to take off like a spaceship.

Modern skyscrapers creeping up like random beacons.

 

The whole city is sparkling and looks alive, moving, with a life of its own.

 

Cape Town’s vibrancy also shines at night.

 

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Tokai Plantation

Tokai Plantation

 

Tokai Plantation had a staffed ticket office during the free SA National Parks Week.

 

A friendly chap leaned into the driver’s window of the car in front of us, had a laugh and waved them through.

 

Unfortunately for us it didn’t go so well, as dogs are not allowed.

 

I had specifically checked and read that Tokai is a popular dog walking area. At the ticket office it was clarified this applied to only Tokai Lower Plantation.

 

In reaction to our disappointed faces the park guard suggested to go to Silvermine and explained the short drive, as Ou Kaapse Weg was ‘just over there’.

 

This lit up our faces, as we had meant to check out Silvermine Nature Reserve anyway.

 

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The wounded child in me you’ll never get to see.

 

 

Too many times it has been hurt, abandoned, beaten, abused, neglected, forgotten, exploited

 

To ever present itself again.

 

 

My inner child now stands tall, stands its ground.

 

Because enough with all the cruelty.

 

 

A repeat of last year's Access Week happens from 17 to 24 September this year.

A repeat of last year’s Access Week happens from 17 to 24 September this year.

 

CapeNature is delighted to announce that access to all CapeNature reserves will be free from 17 – 24 September 2018 during Heritage month.

 

If you are living in the Mother City, here are

The closest CapeNature reserves to Cape Town:

 

Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve

forms part of the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve and is a World Heritage Site.

GPS: 33 96 76.62S 18 92 76.89E

Google Maps: Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve and Jonkershoek Nature Reserve

 

Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve

conserving the area’s mountain fynbos, about 1 300 species occur here including several rare and endemic plants.

GPS: 34 4 26.64 S 19 3 42.41 E

Google Maps: Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve

 

Kogelberg Nature Reserve

is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom with its exceptional diversity of fynbos.

GPS: 34 19 21.0 S 18 57 58.2 E

Google Maps: Kogelberg Nature Reserve

 

Walker Bay Nature Reserve

is a whale-watcher’s paradise just east of Hermanus.

GPS: 34 26 19.24 S 19 20 43.24 E

Google Maps: Walker Bay Nature Reserve

 

With the exception of guide dogs no pets are allowed on the CapeNature reserves.

 

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Sunset at Camps Bay - the drive thru photo version.

Sunset at Camps Bay – the drive thru photo version.

 

Cape Town is known for its stunning sunsets and has lots of awesome spots to watch it.

 

Alternatively, it’s also lovely to go for a cruise in the car and enjoy a sunset drive.

 

Even the obligatory sunset photo works well with the slight blur effect of swishing by.

 

The blur of driving past while taking this picture adds a nice mood to the sunset image.

The blur of driving past while taking this picture adds a nice mood to the sunset image.

 

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The way they sleep:

Starsky is having his hind legs around Gigi's neck.

Starsky is having his hind legs around Gigi’s neck.

 

Having a pack of four puppies creates the funniest moments.

Especially when they cuddle together they make the cutest pictures.

Here Starsky huddles his legs around Gigi’s neck. I wonder how this came about. As long as they’re comfortable. 🙂

 

#AdoptDontShop

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The Castle of Good Hope invites us to rethink the william fehr collection.

The Castle of Good Hope invites us to rethink the william fehr collection.

The William Fehr Collection has been displayed at the Castle of Good Hope for nearly half a century.

Beginning of this year, it was renamed to “rethinking the william fehr collection”.

 

When you take a look at the artworks, you quickly get why:

It was shocking to see slavery depicted in such uncaring way.

These paintings are just showing how life was during colonial South Africa.

But the constant oppression represented in these images leaves a nasty taste: You can’t help but notice how picture for picture for picture the outcast and exploitation of the rightful heirs of this land penetrates the sense of justice.

 

Looks all dandy until you inspect closer the scene at the very left.

Looks all dandy until you inspect closer the scene at the very left.

 

Our system trained minds are eager to respect old art, because it represents history.

But this history was wrong.

 

So yes, rethinking what is usually described as “Fine and interesting examples of paintings and decorative arts of special relevance to the Cape”, seems overdue.

 

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The entrance to the Castle of Good hope welcomes you with two cannons.

The entrance to the Castle of Good hope welcomes you with two cannons.

 

On Women’s Day we landed up in the Castle of Good Hope for an exhibition that had been forgotten.

 

We made the best out of our quest to find this exhibition and took a look at whatever exhibits we came across along the way.

 

The Castle is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa.

 

The “rethinking the william fehr collection” gives you a very good impression what colonial times were like in South Africa.

 

It was refreshing exiting into a sunny lit, bright yellow courtyard with a pool that yet again gives a great idea of what standard of living colonialists had:

Dolphin Pool at the Castle of Good Hope.

Dolphin Pool at the Castle of Good Hope.

 

By chance we stumbled across a guide coming into the torture chamber, explaining to the group the functionality of each torture instrument:

 

To hear the practices of those times was quite chilling, especially as the guides give a great performance.

 

We saw some displays of furniture typical for the Cape Dutch lifestyle.

 

Their bed indicated they slept sitting up:

The bed with chamber pot.

The bed with chamber pot.

The sedan chair showed their mode of transportation:

A sedan chair at the Castle of Good Hope.

A sedan chair at the Castle of Good Hope.

 

Their chairs were tilted:

These chairs are leaning forward.

These chairs are leaning forward.

 

Their craftsmanship was excellent:

A stunning cabinet at the Castle of Good Hope.

A stunning cabinet at the Castle of Good Hope.

 

The Castle of Good Hope lets you travel back in time and walk through a colonialist home, experiencing the Cape Dutch culture.

 

Table Mountain in the back of the courtyard at the Castle of Good Hope.

Table Mountain in the back of the courtyard at the Castle of Good Hope.

 

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From illness, misfortune or loss of property we can recover and look back, pad ourselves on the shoulder and think: See! Everything happens for a reason!

 

Except of course death.

 

Because from death no good or bad can ever come.

 

Death is just the gaping hole of nothing at the end.

 

 

A great place to learn how to swim: The lagoon at Lagoon Beach is shallow enough for safe play:

 

Foster puppies Starsky & Hutch brave the water of the lagoon at Lagoon Beach.

Foster puppies Starsky & Hutch brave the water of the lagoon at Lagoon Beach.

 

Even puppies manage to walk through the calm waters, getting a refreshing wash and a chance at a first try-out of swimming.

 

A lovely opportunity for dogs to enjoy the sea in a fun way:

 

 

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We’re walking along Lagoon Beach out on the jetty and what must we see:

This could be a nice picture. Except for the two coke cans dumped on the jetty.

This could be a nice picture. Except for the two coke cans dumped on the jetty.

 

Two coca cola cans dumped by the sea.

 

When will the brands take responsibility for their waste?

 

Clearly Coca Cola consumers leave their trash everywhere.

 

If Coca Cola is so successful at Content Marketing, maybe they can teach their consumers some awareness about #GoingGreen.

 

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The lagoon at Lagoon Beach is shallow enough to allow safe play for children as puppies alike.

The lagoon at Lagoon Beach is shallow enough to allow safe play for children as puppies alike.

 

Lagoon Beach is the first part of the neverending stretch of sands along Table Bay.

 

It’s therefore quick to arrive from Cape Town, about 15 min drive from the CBD.

 

It starts with a jetty by the wavebreakers and leads over soft white sand to an actual lagoon.

 

You can park just off Lagoon Beach Drive, where you can stroll along the promenade and take the steps down to the lagoon.

 

It’s not only dog but also child friendly, as the river mouth fills the lagoon with relative shallow water: A safe place to play in the sea and learn to swim.

 

Also a great start for a long beach walk if you like to get your feet wet: It’s fun to walk along and cross the lagoon, the water is quite warm.

 

A nice spot to enjoy the sea: Dieprivier feeds the lagoon with fresh water.

A nice spot to enjoy the sea: Dieprivier feeds the lagoon with fresh water.

 

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Was wäre ein Beispiel von Luxus für Dich?

 

Frisch gebackenes Brot mit Butter.

 

Aber Du kannst doch Brot mit Butter jeden Tag haben?

 

Ja, aber dann wäre es doch mit mehr Luxus.

 

 

What would be an example of luxury for you?

 

Fresh bread with butter.

 

But can’t you have bread with butter every day?

 

Yes, but then it wouldn’t be luxury.

 

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