Walking at Salmonsdam

We set out from a point not far up the road from Keith and Debby’s farm in bitterly cold conditions.  A steep climb up from 310 m to 610 m soon warmed us up and we forgot our discomfort as we traversed the 13 kilometres that eventually brought us down to 140 m and the end of our walk at the Salmonsdam gate.  A small shower did its best to dampen our spirits, but it too, was soon a thing of the past, as we revelled in the views and beautiful proteas along the final stretch.

Well done, Keith and Debby for hosting a new and interesting walk.  The only complicating factor was the necessity to have vehicles at both ends of the route, requiring some logistics and rather full cars, but we all agreed that it was a day well spent!

Five days with James and Lexie

Andrew took Gillian to the Kruger Park for her fortieth birthday and asked us to come to Atlantic beach to look after the children.  We enjoyed the experience and the opportunity it gave us all to get to know each other better.

Of course, they were at school for three of the five days.  It was during this time that we began to appreciate how much toing and froing Gillian is involved with in getting them to and from school and all their extracurricular activities.  We certainly clocked up the kilometres!!

The weekend was when we could do things of our choice and we started on Saturday morning by watching Jordan playing for the RBPS Under 11 A team against Bishops.  Regrettably Bishops won, but Jordy was very excited to be in the A team for the first time.  Lexie spent the morning at a friend’s party.

On Saturday afternoon James persuaded me to take him birding at Flamingo Vlei and I was pleased to note that he has become a very keen and good birder, keeping meticulous records of all his sightings, something that Andrew has obviously taught him.  On Sunday we again went birding, this time at Intaka Island near Century City and he was thrilled to get two lifers!  Lexie tagged along, but her interest was more in playing on the trains that decorate the parking area.

Walking at Oak Valley

John gave us all a wonderful surprise when he introduced us to the Oak Valley mountain bike trails on Wednesday.  No less than eighteen walkers made the journey to Elgin and were rewarded with one of the most beautiful farm walks that we could possibly imagine.  To top it all the weather was perfect, despite concerns that it might be overcast.

It made a real change to be walking in farmlands, orchards and forests.  We even had to cope with a couple of large, but fortunately, benign, bulls, although when one started to paw the ground, many of us quickly searched for safe exit routes!  We did not see any fynbos – a real change from the norm – but really enjoyed the rolling hills and tree covered valleys that, on the right day, must surely yield wonderful wild mushrooms.

We ended the walk, after 12.6 km measured by Alan on his GPS, at the wine-tasting venue and were privileged to be offered the wonderful range of Oak Valley wines to taste.  From there we made our way home, stopping at Rivendale for lunch.  This proved to be a drawn-out affair as they were very busy, but we were ravenous and enjoyed our meal.

Friday:  Carl has just sent me some pictures, so the gallery is updated accordingly.

A Weekend in Knysna

When Mike and Nicky had to go to Cape Town for the Masters Hockey Tournament, they asked us to spend the long weekend in Knysna to look after Travis and Robyn.  We had their undivided attention for five full days and we all survived with no damage whatsoever!!  At the end of it, however, I think we were all glad to see the family re-united when Mom and Dad arrived home safely on Tuesday evening.

In the meantime, we had done a few walks, found our way through a few mazes and generally got to know each other a bit better.  The following images speak for themselves.