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 Post subject: Rino-A Tribute to a Legend-Oct 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:04 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
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Location: Cape Town
If I show you a picture do you think you can guess my Legend?
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If I give you a clue do you think you can guess my Legend?
Clue: This person inspired people with words, rooting inside them a love for a place they have never seen.

Do you need another clue?

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All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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OK Meandering Mouse, here is another clue...

She is a female writer.

This is a picture of her favourite place. :)

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Yes you guissed it! My legend is indeed no one else but the late, but certainly great Dalene Mathee.
We recently visited the area and what an amazing time we have had. The SanParks emblem popped up everywhere. Our cameras flashed and flickered. We ooo and aaah'ed. We truely had a great time. I would like to share some of those moments with you now.

SO and I both had a terrible last quarter! We needed a break, so when I heard that I had to go do some work in Knysna we wasted no time in organizing a mini break! I had to work in Johannesburg on Monday to Wednesday. I would then fly from JHB to George on Wednesday afternoon and SO would drive from Cape Town to George to meet me at the airport. On Sunday he would then fly back to CPT and I would stay the week, finish my work in Knysna and then drive back down to CPT on Friday! SORTED!

For those foremites who do not know...
Knysna is a Koi-word meaning fern and is smack in the centre of the Garden Route. It is surrounded by lush forests, clear lakes and beautiful beaches. A hiking paradise! Knysna has been voted South Africa 's favorite holiday town.

I was in charge of accommodation and had the perfect spot already picked out. A Treehouse high up in the foothills of the outeniqua mountains just outside Sedgefield.

In the 3 days leading up to our 'holiday' I could hardly contain my excitement! When Tuesday rolled by and there was only one sleep left I was counting the hours, like a child waiting for Christmas. At long last the plane touched down in George. (only one hour late)! S was there waiting for me. We made a quick stop at the Pick and Pay only to find that we had a flat tyre! Another quick stop at the garage to inflate the wheel and off we went.

Our Accommodation was perfect!
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We quickly fired up the Weber and settled in with a glass of red! It was to dark to see exactly where we were, the view would have to wait for moring.

Our dinner was cooked to perfection. (Thank you S you are the best!). With our tummies full we scrubbed ourselves free of the city-grime and got into bed...Zzzzz

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Thank you MATTHYS, Boorgatspook, Vlakvarkvrou and Meandering Mouse.

We awoke that first morning with birdsong all around us! Last night we were unable to see the view from our bungalow but today the sun was shining and we were treated to the most beautifull view!
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We enjoyed our coffee on he deck and were treated to birdsong. We could not actually see any birds, but we could sure hear them!

We had a lovely breakfast of bacon and eggs. We hopped into the car and headed for the Heads. The Heads are two great sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon which connects the estuary with the sea. A lookout has been erected on the Eastern Head, commanding spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna. The Western Head is a privately owned nature Reserve - Featherbed Bay.
Now here the lines get slightly blurred for me. I don't know whitch of these areas belong to sanparks. Please forgive me if i ad some non-sanpark images. This is not by coise but by ignorence. :)
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The water surrounding the Heads are very trecherous and through the years it has gained a reputation of the most trecherous harbour mouth in South Africa. Incidentally, the Knysna Heads are only one of two places in the world where vessels won't by insured by Lloyds shipping agents.

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The easten head viewing platform truely is a gem. The walkways are beautifully tended and covered in shade. Every view is better than the one before and you almost find yourself jogging from one to the other in your rush to see what's next. :)
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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Our first day was rapidly drawing to a close. After our exploration of the beautifull Western Head we had a quick and scenic lunch at the Western Head Restaurant. :)
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On our way back we took a detour to the old Belvidere Church, also known as the Holy Trinity Church. Affectionately known simply as the Belvidere Church, it was built largely as a result of the love affair between Thomas Henry Duthie, and his wife, Caroline.
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The tiny Belvidere Church - it seats no more than about 20 people, and its nave is only 5.3 metres (17’6”) wide - was modeled on the Norman churches of the 11th and 12 Centuries, and is built of locally mined sandstone and locally felled timbers (look out for the stinkwood beams and ceilings). Its foundation stone was laid on 15 October, 1851, and it was consecrated on the 5th of October, 1855
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We arrived back at our little log cabin high up in the trees just in time to enjoy the sunset... and then we shared a grass of red to end a perfect day. :)

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:tongue:

_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
'...between man and the forest lies but a thin veil. Like a cobweb. Like an invisible mist through which you can see if you can open your eyes wide enough..."

So dear Friends I have been rambling on and on about the Knysna Heads... Today we get to the true purpose of my story and the Lady I dedicated this TR to. Dalene Matthee.

Not only is she my name-sake, but she is also one of the true great Afrikaans and South African novelists. She is especially known for her 'forest books'. In total she published 20 books that was translated in 14 different languages.

Dalene Matthee is buried in the knysna forest. At her gravestone starts a hike dedicated to one of her best loved books. Circles in a forest. It used to be called the woodcutters trail.

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GARDEN ROUTE NATIONAL PARK
Distance: 9km

Duration: 3hours

Difficulty: Easy
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Permits: A permit can be obtained at the boom when you enter the forest. The cost is R17 for an adult. If the boom is unmanned a self issue permit applies. Free to Wild Card Holders. :)

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Over the gravestone a huge Kalander casts its shadow. Its branches protecting this guardian of the forest. (Kalander a.k.a Outeniqua Yellowood/ Podokarpus Africana.)

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I almost cannot believe that this tree has stood in this exact spot for 880 years!!! Here I can touch history, who else over they years has sat it its shade, how many people have gazed up at the sky through its leafy branches?



"...like a mighty king it stood towering above the white alder and mountain saffron, stinkwood, assegaai and hard pear. As if God had planted it long before the others. Its giant root anchored it to the ground like giant arms..."
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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
We walked around this Great, great, great grandfather of the forest for a while. Taking in its beauty and standing in awe of its size.

We made a quick stop at the facilities. Very clean, thank you SanParks. :) And then we were ready to enter the forest and start our hike...

The Facilities
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You almost feel like you have to enter this forest on tip-toe. As a child I have read all Dalene's stories about this place and its people. Now that I am here as a adult I feel almost part of it in some special way.

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Soon after we went through the gates we turned off the access road and entered the forest.

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The branches closed in on us and the shadowy coldness of the forest canopy embraced us. The soil underneath our feet felt soft and fertile. The air smelled brand new, not like our city air. Not used and discarded. Not contaminated and abused by human carelessness. This air was fresh straight from the photosynthesis factory surrounding us.

There were so many things to look at! I am sure we did not even see a third of what was there.
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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:11 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Before I continue with the next installment, here are a couple more pictures. :)

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Top
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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
The Outeniqua forest is a special place. The cool forest floor begged me to kick off my shoes.

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Every tree is an ecosystem! So many organisms living together, helping one another with one common goal. This tree grew around and over the ant hill. Or was the tree there first? Impossible to tell its a chicken or egg kind of a situation I suppose! :)

The path is very well maintained, with slippery when wet warnings and small bridges to help you cross difficult terrain.

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The water here is cool, fresh and o so sweet.

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The giant mountain ferns cover the ground like a green carpet. Somewhere in this forest wild elephants are eating the tops of these ferns. (one of their favourite kinds of food.) In the deep-green depths of the Knysna forest lives the last, tiny remnant of the once great herds of Cape bush elephant. Of the original group just one female remains, though three elephants where recently brought in from the Kruger National park.

These big grey ghosts are seldom seen. We did see relatively fresh elephant dung. It was kind of scary to think that we might round the next corner and find a HUGE African elephant blocking our way.

In 1876 it was estimated that between 400 and 500 giants roamed the forests of Knysna. The numbers declined partly due to poaching and ivory smuggling. In 1908 when the elephants were declared royal game only 20 were counted.

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:32 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
There are many ancient trees in this forest! Fathers, Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers. The bark of the Podocarpus Africana is rugged and home to many creatures. :)

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You can only guess at their age and at what they have 'seen' in their lifetime.

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After a quick foto session with another giant we continued the hike.

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Top
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 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Thank you Pumbaa and anne-marie. :)

Dalene Matthee says in her books that this forest is a living entity. It can be a cruel and unforgiving place but it can also be loving, caring and kind.

As you moove deaper and deaper into the shadowy depths you get the distinct feeling that you are being watched, followed even. The forest surrounding you exponentially expands. It feels like you are shrinking with every passing step. Eventually you feel like you have reached Tom Thumb like proportions.

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We was many great things. Trees as old as time. We also saw many small things. Fragile and delicate.

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:04 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Thank you Cheetahlady, I totally agree with you it is a very beautifull area. :)

The route is clearly marked from start to finish. The new markers say Circles in the Forest, the old ones proclaim Woodcutters Trail.

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The trail lead us all the wat to the river. We crossed the cristal clear water and explored a large pool up stream. Unfortunatelly we did not bring stuff to swim in but next time we will most definatelly take a dip in the surely ice cold stream.

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All to soon the path started turning and merged once more with the access road. :(

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
We ended the day with another PERFECT sunset...

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and a visitor. :D (I love spiders.)

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Tribute to a Legend
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Cape Town
Day 3 in beautifull knysna dawned and once again we were treated by the most beautifull birdsong. After Breakfast we prepared for the day's hike. :)

We dicided to do the river walk recommended by our very kind hosts here at Teniqua.

The hike is only about 4km long. The route is clearly marked and very easy. The hike starts with a steap downhill towards the river. The ground under feet was soft with recent rain and I was quite happy to make use of the guide-rope on some of the steeper sections along the way.

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We once again saw lots of mushrooms. I tried not to photograph them all. :)

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All the way we heard birds chirping, flapping and calling. We looked up... We looked forward and back...  We looker right and left... BUT we could see not a single one!!
F R U S T R A T I O N ! !
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We reached the river and took a moment to take in the view. After a brief rest we started looking for a good place to cross. Let me just say that I have never been any good at crossing rivers. My legs are to short, my feet to small and many, many falls have lead to my confidence being non-existant.
This particular river was no exception. I landed bum first in the water! Then my bum was lower than my feet so getting up from my watery thrown turned out to be quite a struggle! Eventually I crawled from the ancle deep water drenched to the waist! Lucky for me the sun was out and my lightweight pants (exprerience has taught me a lot) took no time at all in drying out.
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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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