29 March 2010


Earlier this month we took a week-long break in Eden.
Based at Port Alfred (we really prefer Kenton though), we often landed up at Stanley's pub in need of a cold beer (sadly no Mitchell's this time) or some delicious sea food. The Crowned Hornbills were still there with their shrieking whistles and clumsy ways - in the milkwoods that surround the balcony. A very magical place.
With temperatures reaching 40 in Bathhurst, we again had to detour to the Bathhurst Arms in search of more cold beers - all intentions of hiking in the Waters Meeting Nature Reserve abandoned. Another highly recommended stop for weary travellers! When we return, we will be bringing some books to donate to their bookshelf where you can buy books for R2. All proceeds go to feeding rescued and stray dogs and cats.

This is the resident Bathhurst Arms dog taking it easy in the hot weather.

This year we had the luxury of Shirley and Richard Cowling's magnificent new book East of the Cape: Conserving Eden which lent a whole new perspective to this beautiful part of the country. I hear that there are no World Cup soccer matches or practices within a 100 mile radius of Port Alfred and Kenton-on-Sea but visitors to South Africa could be a bit poorer for not including a detour to these deserted, misty beaches or Addo's amazing thicket and forest.

Not too much was flowering this year, apart from lots of Karoo Boer-bean trees (Schotia afra) despite the books all claiming that their normal flowering time was August to October. There were lots of this dainty Common Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe rotuundifolia around too. One of its purported uses is to make one invisible - but I wasn't sure if one rubbed it on or ate it. Perhaps the mist that rolls in off the cold water and swirls around this coast and up the rivers where this plant grows, erasing all lifeforms, has something to do with this story.

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