Saturday, August 31, 2013


So here we go again and this time I hope I'll have more success loading photos. 

Friends, family and visitors arrived all through the day.  I loved meeting all the new little miniature horses as well as the new Appaloosa cross foals.

Unfortunately the berg was all hazy and smokey from the aftermath of a fire the day before I arrived and the gusting winds.  At the end of the day, we saw the glow of a new fire on the Amphitheatre and we all hoped that it would not get out of control.  You'll see in some of the photos around Sterkfontein Dam, how the veld is burnt from a fire that burnt 5000ha last week.

What a lovely evening we had.  We enjoyed a fillet on the braai with delicious salads for dinner and we had pre and post dinner drinks in 'the man cave', the bar/lapa outside, which Chantal has given all the men carte blanche to decorate.  Out came Paul with his guitar, singing to us, and then Mark went and fetched his mouth organ.  The 'older' generation took ourselves off to bed around 11:30 while the youngsters went on till 4am this morning, thankfully at their own cottage.

This morning we woke up to the most beautiful weather and the striking view of the Berg, all clear and sparkling with champagne air!  I'm going to post everything one day late so as not to fight with a slow internet every afternoon.



A large crack in a massive rock

OOOOKAY!  Patience has totally run out once more.  I keep getting error reports and cannot get anything to co-operate here.  Can't even get one pic aligned.  So I do apologise, but this is going to be too slow and painful a blog from here, so am going to sign off and hang back till I get back to Prince Albert.

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Friday, August 30, 2013


So the time finally came when I packed my bags and caught Greyhound from Prince Albert Road, where my friend Richard kindly delivered me, to Harrismith, where my very kind brother-in-law Vaughn collected me after pulling himself out of bed at some ridiculous hour of the morning to leave home at 4am and be there on time at 5am, only for us to be running an hour late.

The bus was great and the driver did a superb job.  The passengers on the other hand were the pits.  Not out of hand or misbehaved, just talked the whole 13hrs and their cell phones went off the entire night!  Now I'm not talking twice in an hour here, I'm talking every 5 to 10 minutes, so I had a full 1hr and 10 mins sleep through the night.

I always know just how magnificent this area is, but just need to be here to remind myself from time to time.  In sheer haste my first shot was taken on the wrong setting, but since I missed the moment thereafter, you'll get to see it anyway.

The eland and zebra are visiting the Berg House and Cottages too at the moment, as well as numerous other antelope, according to Vaughn.  I can't wait to see them all.  I didn't get close enough to shoot the zebra this morning as I was desperate to get to see the family and for a good cup of coffee.

It's really great to be here after 4 years and to see all the improvements that Chantal and Vaughn have done to the place.

Okay, so the internet has slowed down to a dead halt which I'm told happens at this time of the day, so my pics won't download.  So, instead of wasting another hour fighting with this, I am going to load the rest of todays photos tomorrow.  Catch you then!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


And of course I can't resist the windmill...

I also need to make a correction on my last post.  Charon of the Swartberg Hotel donated the hampers and the wine for the evening, and even though you never made a fuss about it and said to leave it, I am sorry and would rather make it right.  So an even bigger thank you for all your contributions for the Rhino Evening!

Evening glow

Jock of Karoo View Cottages


Chilly evening

Bougainvillea in bloom

Fields and mountains

Oh so pretty

Interesting clouds

Swartberg Hotel

Great coffee on this stoep 

Monday, August 12, 2013


Charon from the hotel phoned and asked if I wouldn't do her a favour and take photos of the evening for her, so after work I went home to collect my camera and as I stepped out my front door, this is the scene that greeted me!

And to my right, this is what I saw.

And now for the rhino evening:

The organizer of  the evening Vlam Barnard gave a very moving speech and told us how the rhino are poached and that there are sometimes survivors and orphans that remain behind.  This group of wonderful people are fund raising for the orphanage which is doing an incredible job.  They are travelling with a musician who was a real hit!
The MC that is travelling with them is Ferdinand Rabie (for those of you who watch television he was a Big Brother winner).  He was extremely entertaining and made an excellent auctioneer.  A demijohn of wine was auctioned off as well as two wonderful paintings of rhino that had been poached and had their horns removed, one of which had survived and the other not.  Extremely sad indeed!!!  The one that has survived had her head slashed so hard that her brains were showing when she was found.  I find it so hard to believe that any living being can do this to another living creature!  Lah Di Dah were very generous in sponsoring hampers and a mirror that was also auctioned off.  Thank you to Bergwater wines for supplying the wine for the evening. I'd personally like to say a huge thank you to all those who put their hands in their pockets and bought the items.

I'd also like to say a huge thank you to Charon Landman of the Swartberg Hotel and her team for getting this all together at such short notice and doing an excellent job of it!!  It really was a lovely evening enjoyed by all.

The group are travelling with a tractor and trailer carrying these gorgeous rhino for all to see.

Charon and Ferdi

Charon and the showman

Delicious food

More delicious food...

The ladies laying the table

Bergwater wines

The chef and her helpers


The wonderful entertainer, the young Mr Tossel (he was incredible!!!)

Enjoying the fare

Toni Younghusband and Kevin Jacobs

Brian and Marion Finch

Cecille and Annalie 

Vlam enjoying a bite to eat

The two Rabies, Ferdi and Annalie (no relation)

Kevin and Ferdi

Jannie Swan the medic and friend

Melinda and Charon enjoying a joke

Vlam Barnard

The rhino on the right hand side did not recover after infection set in from the horn being hacked off too low

This lady survived her head being slashed and this is what she looks like today

Ferdi auctioning off the mirror

Johan and Elize Senekal

Come on, give us more.....