Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Through the Elephant’s Eye

Wow, we've have done many hikes while here on holiday in Cape Town. The last hike of the year was from the Silver Mine dam to the Elephant's Eye. If you look west from Tokai towards Constantia you'll see the mountains form the shape of an elephant. In the head part of the elephant is a cave. The opening is large, about 30m high and 20m wide but does not go more than 30m in. We could see the cave from Aunt Winnie's home yesterday evening. It was then that we planned to hike up to the cave. It is not a long hike with good views of the Cape Flats and ends with a refreshing dip in the Silver Mine dam. As we look into the future through the elephant's eye, I want the wish all my readers a blessed 2009.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Cape Point

Being a tourist is quite easy. Just dress casual, put on a hat and sunscreen and grab a camera. So off I went to Cape Point with Anthony, Alison and Matthew. Alison who is from Ontario said although she has never been in the northern parts of Canada, she has never seen such beautiful scenery. And from the sounds of it, she has travelled quite a bit. We spent nearly 7 hours exploring the Cape Point. The hike down to Dias Beach, in the cove in the background of today's photo, took quite some time though. In the evening we joined the Parows and Dickson for a family braai at Aunt Winnie's. It was a good finish of a wonderful day.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Naval Base

This morning went on a tour of the naval base at Simon's Town. Some of the ships in the today's photo are SAS Drakensberg A301, SAS Amatola F145, SAS Isandlwana F146, SAS Spioenkop F147, SAS Queen Modjadji I, two Daphne class submarines, some Minister FAC(M) without their missiles, some River Class coastal mine hunters, SAS Protea and RFA Black Rover A273. Afterwards we visited the Naval Museum were we bumped into an old friend from Durban, Rob. It was a surprise. Matthew braved the chilly waters of Fish Hoek in the afternoon. We had lekker snoek and chips from Kalk Bay for supper.

Sunday, 28 December 2008


Been there, done that can be said about climbing Table Mountain. Matthew and I were on Tafelberg Road at 6am this morning ready to go. There was cloud on the mountain and we were hoping that by mid morning the sun would have evaporated the cloud but alas that was not to be. We took two hours to scramble up Platteklip Gorge. The quickest route up but it was straight up. After 500m I was gasping for breath as I am quite unfit but by 1km I had my second breath and it was a breeze up the rest. By 8am we were at the top but visibility in the clouds was only about 3m so it was not much of a view. We hoped that it would clear but by 10am we heard reports that it was overcast down in the city bowl so we trudged down again. We ended up on the Waterfront drinking hot chocolate. By afternoon it was raining in Cape Town so we headed back to Fish Hoek for some feet up relaxation which we deserved. We went to Joy and Malcolm’s place at Noordhoek for pizza and beer this evening. The cousins from Edenvale who are also holidaying at Fish Hoek joined us. I could not get a decent photo from top of Table Mountain for today due to the poor weather so you will have to do with one of the family. From left to right are Kimberly, Natasha, Craig, Jenny, Malcolm and Henry.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Shark Ahoy

The sirens blared and the bathers fled the water as the black flag was changed for a white one with a black shark on it. Yes, a Great White shark was seen in the water just beyond the bathers at Fish Hoek. They have a flag system here, a green flag means "Shark spotter on duty and no shark seen"; a black flag means "Shark spotter on duty but poor water visibility"; a white flag with a black shark on it means "Shark spotted in water" and a red flag means "Shark spotted in the water in the last 2 hours". Enter their world at your own peril. That put an end to any thoughts of the beach today. So we went penguin watching at Boulders Beach and whale watching near Miller's Point as a Humpback whale frolicked near the shore.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Maagies vol, oogies toe

After such a wonderful family time yesterday, today is just for recuperation. Matthew slept at Malcolm and Joy’s place last night and after picking him up, we went to Signal Hill to view the table cloth on Table Mountain and to plan our ascent in the next few days. We are planning to climb via Platteklip Gorge. In today’s photo, the steep gorge is about a third of the distance across from the Upper Cable Station. That is if we make it with our full tummies and sleepy eyes.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Kap Light

Joyous day, the day our Saviour was born. In remembrance we joined our extended family from Cape Town and Canada for the day.
Front Row: Henry, Mitchu, Leah, Kayleigh and Rachel.
Middle Row: Nicky, Daryl, Heather, Betty, Willie, Bella and Matthew.
Back Row: Jerome, Malcolm, Joy, John, Michael, Betty, Ross, Carol, Matthew, Greta, Martin and David.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

One day to go until we celebrate Jesus' birthday and it is still windy but the rain is gone. In the morning we explored Simon's Town, visiting the Museum and Historic buildings. The Naval Museum was closed so we hope to pop in next week again. After Simon's Town we went over the mountain along Red Hill to Kommetjie. In the afternoon Matthew and I hiked up to Elsies Peak to be awarded with stunning views of Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Simon's Town. Here is windswept Matthew at the top of Elsies Point with the Roman Rocks Lighthouse to his far right and Simon's Town to his left. In the mountains we met two grannies who were in their 70s and they said that they are in the mountains everyday. They had pruning shears and a saw with them to cut down alien plants. They had stopped at Elsies Point for some tea from a flask. They seem very fit. I think I am going to be stiff and sore tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Fish Hoek

This is where we will be based for the next 12 days, Fish Hoek. It is a small coastal town between Kalk Bay and Simon's Town on the False Bay side of the Cape Peninsula. A cold front has come over bringing some windy cold weather but hopefully that won’t last too long.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Trek to Cape Town

With only four hours to Cape Town, we decided to take the scenic Route 62 and zigzag across the Outeniqua Mountains a few times. The first pass was the Montagu Pass which was built from 1844 to 1847. It is a very beautiful pass with a few passing areas. Some way up we encountered a car coming down that had its front brakes seized. It was stuck in the middle of the road. We could not reverse or go forward. Soon there was a traffic jam and we had to bounce the broken car to a wider section of the road so we could squeeze the other cars pass. From here we headed for the Klien Karoo along Route 62 stopping at a number of places such as the Safari Ostrich Farm and Ronnie’s Sex Shop. The last pass, Tradouw Pass was also very spectacular, it links the Route 62 to the N2. We started with temperatures at 35 degrees C and clear skies in the Karoo. It rained throughout the pass and on the other side, Swellendam, the temperatures had dropped to 16 degrees C and the landscape was green. It was like a different world. Nine hours later we were in Fish Hoek, so much for only four hours to Cape Town.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Kaaimans River Bridge

Today is our last day at Victoria Bay so we made the most of it. A large group of us from Carmel took a walk along the narrow gauge railway line. The Choo-Tjoo steam train used to run between George and Knysna along the coast but has been closed due to landslides. The train now runs between George and Mossel Bay. The section we walked was on the closed section from Victoria Bay to Kaaimans River. and runs along the coast on the cliffs above the sea to a spectacular bridge across the Kaaimans River right at the mouth of the river. Sadly we crossed two land slide sections but the views of the sea below us were beautiful. Strangely there is a restaurant at the Kaaimans Bridge which was built into a cave. It was closed because the line was closed and two "bergies" were now squatting there.

Saturday, 20 December 2008


Matthew is not feeling well so today we just relaxing during our holiday. We simply just chilled the morning away at Carmel by the sea and spent the afternoon on one of Wilderness’ many beaches.

Friday, 19 December 2008


By basing ourselves in Victoria Bay, means that we are surrounded by indigenous forest, lakes, mountains and a stunning coastline. With so much beauty to choose from, we spent the day at Knysna. The photograph of the churning water is taken from the Knysna Heads. The Heads are two cliffs flanking a treacherous channel linking the Indian Ocean with the large lagoon of the Knysna River. Many ships have been lost on these rocks while trying to traverse the Heads. Matthew and I later walked along the rocks and tidal pools below the Heads. In the one pool Matthew had a fishing net and was trying to catch a small fish when a octopus came out from under a ledge to investigate the net. We were amazed.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Red Berry

This morning we had a delicious start by picking strawberries at the Red Berry Farm. The afternoon saw us back on the beach at Victoria Bay but the surf was not as good as yesterday. In the evening there was a talent show at Carmel and Matthew told some Bible jokes. We still have two large tubs of strawberries to get through.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Room with a View

This is the view from our chalet. Wow it is tranquil here in Victoria Bay. After breakfast Matthew went on a tractor ride while Carol and I went off to George to do some shopping. In the afternoon Matthew and I went down to the beach to have fun in the surf.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Down South

We got up at four in the morning to start our 1200km drive down to Victoria Bay. By the time we got half way through the Karoo we had enough. The Karoo is a semi desert that sits between Fold Mountains. There are actually two, the Groot Karoo (Big Karoo) and the Klien Karoo (Small Karoo). Both were flat and dry with the only animals to be seen are the Marino sheep, Angora goats and crows. “It is just over the next mountain” I kept saying about our destination but the mountain passes and the dry desolate plains kept on coming. Finally driving over the Outeniqua Pass and seeing George way below us with the sea behind the town was all worth it. Later on after supper we sat round a bonfire singing camp songs and drinking hot chocolate. Now we are sitting in our chalet with a beautiful view of the wilderness coastline and a myriad stars as our company what more can we ask for.

Monday, 15 December 2008

More Maxy

Well I can’t show off Maxy enough. He is such a beautiful Italian Greyhound. Dynamite comes in small packages, well so does jelly but don't tell Maxy that. To find out more about Iggies go to IG Whispers.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

10 days

With 10 days to go till Christmas, Braelyn, made her first appearance at BBC at an age of 10 days old. I had to fight just to get close so I could take a photo because there where many well wishes queuing up to congratulate to Angela and Gary.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Family Christmas

Since someone in the family tends to away over Christmas, we normally have a family day on the 16th which is a public holiday but this year we are leaving for the Cape on the 16th so we got together today at Shannon. It was a lovely day and the kids swam and played Frisbee. The grownups, me included, sat around and enjoyed the day. Here are the grownups, Steven, me, Carol, Darrel, Shannon, Kenneth and Simone, around the lunch table. We got Matthew to take the photo.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Year End Two

Nambiti who I am contracted through to Metrorail, had their yearend function today. It was a braai which was nearly washed out as the heavens opened up with such a downpour that Noah would have been proud. Here is the big boss of Wits Metrorail, Paul sizing up Kevin the big boss of Nambiti. I must say since the last Nambiti function which I attended in 2006, the company has grown.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Broad Management Meeting

Last night just after 9pm while I was watching CSI from the comfort of my bed, I got a phone call from José and a message from Daleen saying that Metrorail management is looking for me. I had to be in Pretoria before 7 the next morning to help with the Broad Management Meeting which was taking place at the National Cultural Museum. Hob-knobbing with the exco members is okay. At least I got time to walk around all the artwork. How are the colours of this woven basket?

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Hey la, hey la, Keba’s back

Keba has been away since last week Tuesday and nobody knew where she was. Was she sick or AWOL or new job or on leave? No one knew, not even her managers. But today Keba’s back. She hasn’t told any us where she was. So the Angel’s song from the sixties spring to mind.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Jimmy and Theo

Here is Jimmy and Theophylus, Metrorail ICT Technicians, doing some telephone support.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Back to the Future

When I walked into a section of RCC which I never been before, it was like walking back into the eighties. Wow, I have not seen terminals like these since my days at the Road Safety hooking up to the main frame in the Natalia building, Pietermaritzburg. I must be careful here as it shows my age.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

BBC Chat

Here is just a general snap of some of the BBC congregants chatting after church.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The Iggy Sphinx

A lot of people don’t know what the Great Sphinx in Egypt is. Some say it is a lion with a human head but I say it is a dog. Maxy, shown here, is an Italian Greyhound or commonly known as an Iggy. The Romans found the breed domesticated in Egypt when they conquered it. They then introduced the Iggy as a companion to the rich throughout the Empire hence its name. The earlier Iggies had pointed ears that stood up but now they just flop down. Remains of Iggies have been found in Pompeii and in a number of the pharaoh’s tombs. Now the Egyptian God of the Dead, Anubis, has an Iggy head not a jackal and I believe the Sphinx is also an Iggy. In the archeological circles they say the Great Sphinx originally had a different head than one of the pharaohs. Could it have been Anubis’ face that broke and was re-carved? Here is Maxy silhouetted to give a good perspective of the Great Sphinx. As you can see Maxy’s favourite sitting position is identical in proportion to the Great Sphinx. No lion but a dog.

Friday, 5 December 2008


It is the holidays and Matthew had his friends over to play games on the X-box and the computers. Here is Cassie looking surprised to see my cellphone camera.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

And the Marimbas play on

It is Stevens’s birthday so this evening we went off to the Chief’s Boma at the Indaba Hotel. Here they have a South African braai buffet concept. The starters consist of biltong, droë wors, nuts, dried banana and not to forget the normal salads. Different types of pottjiekos and a selection of steaks, lamb chops and wors for braaing was available for main course. With the meat came pap en sous. While we ate, the kids sat around the fire pit with marshmallows and Marie biscuits. With a Marimba band playing, the Chief’s Boma is a fusion of Afrikaans food and African décor.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Welcome to the world

The big news is that Gary and Angela are proud to announce the arrival of their daughter Braelyn. She was born yesterday morning and we managed to visited them only this afternoon. Braelyn is cute as all babies are and Gary needs to get himself a shotgun.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Celebrate Life

The day after the world remembered those who have died due to Aids, Metrorail spent the day taking the lead. We had a few guest speakers who denounced the vegetable solution and the management of Metrorail signed a pledge to take the lead and be exemplary. Here is the dance group celebrating life for the 1000 plus staff who turned up.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Corner Dentist

Well today is officially World Aids Day and Metrorail is a day behind by only having a function tomorrow. During lunch I took a walk to the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin. The Saint Mary’s Hall was built in 1887 and the cathedral itself was built in 1926. I will post pictures soon but today’s photo really stands out. Around the cathedral there are many migrant, refugee and asylum seekers living. They try to survive as best as they can. I see many run down apartments in the area and then I saw this small child peering out at me from behind a make shift curtain. No doubt she or he is locked in a small dark room while his parents are out trying to make some money. On the streets there are many makeshift street vendors selling their wares and services. Rows upon rows of hair artists styling hair and putting in hair extensions can be seen. Then near the entrance of the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin I found this dental hygienist who was busy filing some patient’s teeth. As I took my cellphone out to take a photograph, he picked up a pair of pliers and proceeded to yank at a tooth. In a place of such poverty, life lives on with such raw beauty.

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