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Sutherland, the coldest town in South Africa?
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Sutherland, the coldest town in South Africa?

I spent the first few days of August in the coldest place in South Africa; Sutherland.  I had arrived prepared with my warmest winter woolies transported from my London days and to be perfectly honest, I was dying to wear my GAP down filled jacket again. Unluckily for me though, Sutherland did not live up to its reputation and instead we walked around in jeans, t-shirts and slops! We arrived via Loxton and from quite a distance out one can make out the domes of SALT (Southern Africa Large Telescope) for which Sutherland is just as famously known but this Northern Cape town has a few othe...
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Betty’s Bay – a perfect get away
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Betty’s Bay – a perfect get away

The quaint seaside village of Betty’s Bay is the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located between Kleinmond and Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town along the picturesque Clarence Drive Route (R44). Squeezed between the Kogelberg Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by fresh water lakes and the Palmiet River, this coastal town has a lot to offer. Here are a few of the must see attractions ... Stoney Point If you like penguins (and who doesn’t?) a visit to Stoney Point is a must.  This breeding colony to the Jackass Penguin i...
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Visiting Genadendal
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Visiting Genadendal

Tourist brochures speak about Genadendal as a 'must do' when in Greyton. The quaint little historical village just six kilometres outside of Greyton is described as the oldest Moravian mission village on the continent, never mind South Africa, and as a village 'frozen in the past' with streets of gorgeously neat little thatched white-walled cottages. This description is partly true - the carefully maintained history and buildings are beautiful. Some of them date back as far as 1738 and a visit here is definitely worth it to soak up the history of this missionary town. But what descriptions ...
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Aasvoëlkrans – more than a touch of whimsy in Montagu
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Aasvoëlkrans – more than a touch of whimsy in Montagu

Let me let you into a secret. Pretty Aasvoëlkrans is really worth your rand. To say that you are  spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in Montagu is an understatement. There is so much to choose from that it can get a little confusing. But if you're after a little bit of luxury, with a huge dollop of contrariness, individuality and personality, then this country setting B&B is for you. I have not been exposed to something quite as original as Aasvoëlkrans before. Set on an Arabian stud farm just outside town - Church Street is a mere 10 minutes walk from here - the accommoda...
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Barrydale – much to explore
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Barrydale – much to explore

Arriving in Barrydale is like a breath of fresh air. Nothing quite prepares you for its uniquely arty bent or prettiness, other than the fact that people are talking about it. And one soon understands why. Barrydale is quirky, home to at least two cob houses, dry shale walls, loads of restaurants, the infamous Karoo hotel, a labyrinth, hot springs, a community of both English and Afrikaans speaking artists, a fair number of French, German, Spanish and Italian residents, vineyards, a group of hand weavers, and views to die for. The town lies in the lush Tradouw valley, at the northern en...
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Paternoster – a quaint west coast fishing village
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Paternoster – a quaint west coast fishing village

I just love Paternoster and it must be an inherited family trait because I have photos of myself as a little girl (so about 33 years ago now) walking along the beach with my Dad and another walking down a road in the town with my parents and their friends decked out in 70’s garb!  Back in those days Paternoster was still a well kept secret but roll the clock forward 30 odd years and what you have is a still quaint but a lot more popular Cape West Coast fishing village. As one of the last traditional fishing villages the permanent Paternoster residents have made sure that vein of archite...
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A Night in Napier
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A Night in Napier

We spent part of this weekend just gone in Napier, a quaint town in the Cape Overberg Region.  The original reason for our visit was to enjoy the festivities of the Napier Patat Festival but our late arrival meant we missed out on most of the stalls and exhibitions.  However, the town had a lot to offer nevertheless! We checked into our wonderful guest house; Peace Valley which is run by Lorna Young.  The accommodation is massive and although there is sleeping space for a number of guests we had the place to ourselves.  The garden of Peace Valley is beautiful with two fairly large dams a fo...
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Bella Montagu
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Bella Montagu

Friends of mine were not exaggerating when they described Montagu as a Victorian village, with streets lined with Cape Dutch style monuments. The quaint town, set on Route 62, surrounded by vineyards, fruit orchards and mountains is indeed a perfectly preserved village that makes one feel as if you have stepped back in time. Long and Bath streets are riddled with white-washed, thatched roofed and grape-vine stoeped buildings that during autumn are rife with red, brown and barely there renditions of the fruit vine that make one itch to stay here forever. It is no wonder that people are queue...
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Our very own Philadelphia, and it has nothing to do with the USA
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Our very own Philadelphia, and it has nothing to do with the USA

It's almost impossible to believe that the little village of Philadelphia, but 20 minutes drive from Cape Town, has escaped attention. Any other village within a two-hour radius of Cape Town has become a satellite of the city because of its ease of access, and inevitably development in the form of conspicuous 'country' manors has blighted the landscape. Possibly because most of Philadelphia's land is still owned by the church, which has only just begun to siphon off little pockets of land in the last few years to hungry developers and Capetonians desperate for country living, the gorgeous l...
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Beaufort West, so much more than a typical Karoo dorp
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Beaufort West, so much more than a typical Karoo dorp

Beaufort West is regarded as the halfway mark when travelling on the N1 between Cape Town and Bloemfontein. The highway runs right through the town, which is lined with a myriad of places to stay. But what we noticed when last there was that the town appears to have undergone something of a transformation from downright shabby to shabby chic, and one's eye is drawn less to the fast food joints, and more to the history of the town – the typical Karoo buildings dotted here and there like flourishing succulents in amongst stones. Beaufort West is not only the oldest town in the Central Karoo, ...
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Clarens entices, enchants and continues to appeal
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Clarens entices, enchants and continues to appeal

The town of Clarens has been on the lips of enthusiasts for years. It's used as the yardstick for just about any town in the vicinity of the Free State, so I was curious on entering - not having visited for about six years. Would the town have retained its artists' hideaway status, or would it now look a little jaded, overexposed and over-commercialised, as I feared it might? It is difficult to beat the setting around Clarens. The picture book town lies in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and the Golden Gate Highlands, on the Caledon River, with views that are pretty magnificent. So...
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Bloemfontein – Wouter’s ‘time out’ guide
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Bloemfontein – Wouter’s ‘time out’ guide

Pretty Bloemfontein bang smack in the middle of the country, give or take a few kilometres, tends to get the cold shoulder when it comes to travel through no fault of its own, except that there is no apparent reason to go out of your way to visit the city, unless, like me, you have relatives living there. But one is sorely mistaken to take the city at face value. You've no doubt heard the origin of the judicial capital of the country's name, but for the sake of posterity - it is Dutch for 'spring of bloem', 'flower spring' or 'fountain of flowers'. The reason for this description might not ...
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De Pakhuys in Clanwilliam – a weekend away in the Cederberg
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De Pakhuys in Clanwilliam – a weekend away in the Cederberg

With all the long weekends in April, we decided to take advantage and head up the west coast, a route often less busy than the N1 or N2 as a getaway from Cape Town. Our destination was de Pakhuys, a rustic guest farm just north of Clanwilliam in the Cederberg. Having completed our 3,5 hour journey, we were housed in Blokhuys, which is one of four houses on the property. Blokhuys contains two small bedrooms, with two single beds in each, and a smallish lounge/kitchen area with another single bed. For a family of  two adults and two children, it worked well, but I would not have liked ...
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