Karoo Roadtrip photos

Finally finished the edit on these and got them up onto Flickr. Yay me.

Matjiesfontein – Sutherland – Rietfontein – Barrydale

Weather was good, family was happy, views were forever, fun was had.

The whole set can be found here. Or why not just slideshow here?

Reviews still to follow, because I know you want to know what I thought, right?

Destination: Mikey’s Fontane

I’ve never had a formal Afrikaans lesson, but I’ve lived here long enough to (as with my German and French) learn just about enough to not quite get by.

We’re heading into Mikey’s Fontane today. That’s what the locals call Matjiesfontein, when they’re not calling it home.

With a name like that, you wouldn’t expect that the town was founded by a Scotsman, but it was. He wasn’t even called Mikey – he was James Douglas Logan. In fact, Matjiesfontein means the fountain (or spring) of the little reeds: the sedges used by the original inhabitants to make mat flooring for their huts.

Steeped in colonial history, it’s allegedly like stepping back in time, back to the days when it was a popular Victorian spa town, and sprang up mainly as a stop off on the main railway line across the Cape.

The town also has connections to the Jameson Raid and the Anglo-Boer War.
Plenty to fill our eager minds, then.

About next week

BEAGLESITTER REBOOKED!

It’s road trip time, and there’s a busy weekend between us and it, with birthday parties at opposite ends of the age scale. And those will be a lot of fun, not least because a lot of planning and organisation has gone into them, but there’s still loads to sort out before we head off out and about, around the Western Cape. A scary amount.

(And then don’t even mention the punishing 5 day trip up North the following week, which makes this road trip look like a quick visit to the local shops.)

But I’m looking forward to next week. I’m not taking a laptop, so expect
a) some pre-written posts, plus whatever else I get the chance to fit in.
b) the occasional unedited photo, and
c) plenty of instagramming.

I know for a fact that there will be a couple of days where I won’t have wifi or cell signal, but I can’t imagine that there will be a lot in many of the deliberately chosen, sparsely populated dorpies and nature reserves we’re planning to visit.

Night skies? Hopefully.
Freezing temperatures? Obviously.
Some proper family time? Surely, yes.

Bring it on.

Fair warning

Back from an amazing long weekend in the Karoo and I have (about) a billion photos to bore you with.
Stuff like this:

image
The process will begin tomorrow.

I’ll see you then.

Faces of Resistance

More fracking protests, this time in the UK. Despite the fact that the democratically elected government has researched the subject and their independent experts have come to the conclusion that things are ok and that fracking should go ahead, some people have decided that they don’t think fracking should go ahead, because… “stuff “, and they’ve organised a campaign of “civil disobedience”.

And who better to spearhead this campaign than these perfectly reasonable characters as introduced to us in the Grauniad’s “Faces of Resistance“.

‘White Rabbit’, 35
Activist from London

Balcombe frackingRabbit says he has been involved in WikiLeaks revelations and, as a result, cannot reveal his identity. He says he is protesting in the West Sussex countryside because fracking and Balcombe have become a central battleground. “One issue is that extracting shale gas is just speculation. I mean, it’s creating an artificial bubble. How many more bubbles do we need?”

 

Seraphina ‘Angel’, 31
Spiritualist from Notting Hill, West London

Balcombe frackingCamped by the side of the road for a fortnight already, “Angel” said it was her destiny to protest at Balcombe. She said she felt compelled to travel to West Sussex to register her disapproval against the hegemony of the “new world order”. She added: “I am here as an awakened rainbow warrior from the Maya calendar whose prophecy states that you’ll come back to save the Earth. Here I am.”

I think that it’s pretty clear that  Cuadrilla will immediately cease and desist their perfectly legal and acceptable plans to extract  shale gas from West Sussex. Jonathan Deal and his local loonies will surely now be looking for “awakened rainbow warriors from the Maya calendar” as this is obviously key to preventing fracking plans in South Africa.