Travelling with friends – a tribute to companionship

Our friends Karin and Michaela have returned to Germany. Our time together was all too short but it was a happy, easy and altogether memorable time.
In the last six weeks we have had the immense good fortune to travel the length and half the breadth of South Africa and, catching our breath, have found the experience to have been enriching and rewarding in terms of sharing it with our friends. First an almost 4ooo km trip to J0hannesburg – Lesotho and through the Karoo to Prince Albert back to Betties. And then from Betty’s Bay to Montagu, Oudtshoorn and Wilderness where we stayed for a week. Both trips were spectacular in terms of country, landscape and weather. The months of March and April again showed themselves as the best times to travel in South Africa.
This blog is a tribute to our friends and the enjoyment we all shared.

Above top: On our porch in Betties – sharing a reflective hour with our friends from France – Colleen – Richard – Karin and a pair of elegant legs (Arlette’s, I presume).
Above below: Karin, Michaela and Colleen at the new Kleinmond harbour front which is presently undergoing major debatable changes.

About to watch a movie – Ratatouille – in French! – or was it Les Triplets de Bellville? Colleen, Karin, Michaela, Eliane, Arlette and Richard. By happy coincidence the visit of our French and German friends overlapped here in Betties.

At Moontide Guest Cottage, Wilderness, where we stayed as Karin and Michaela’s guests.

Michaela, Colleen and Karin at breakfast and below their respective portraits.

Above: Maureen, the owner of Moontide – our enchanting hostess.
Below: The breakfast terrace on the Touw River lagoon.

Guesthouse on the Victoria Bay beachfront which is for sale and where Michaela and Karin had a very enjoyable stay the very first time they came to South Africa in 2002. In a moment of madness we said to one another: Let’s buy it!

Coffee time after a ferry ride on Knysna lagoon.

Karin first and then Michaela successfully negotiating the raging waters of the Touw River on a pontoon.

Boardwalk through indigenous Knysna forest.

The reflective moments come naturally here.

The waterfall of the mighty Touw River.

Braving the treacherous “rooibos tee” depths of the waterfall pools.


Along the river mornings
soft tucker of a boat exploring
the rim of things.
A distant chain saw singing
deep deep in forest’s deepest depth.
So near again.
And far
far far away.

The afternoon in the Harold Porter Botanical Garden, our favourite haunt, on the afternoon before their departure to Germany.

To Michaela and Karin
with love!
Walter & Colleen
Betty’s Bay, Friday 20 April 2012

Kleinmond harbour – archaeology of a development

Harbour mouth Kleinmond.

The very word “development” fills one with misgivings where and when big money is invested in a scheme to uplift a utilitarian area such as an old harbour with nothing more than a slip-way for small fishing boats, an abalone breeding factory, a row of funky shops and run-of-the-mill eateries to service the tourist trade in the summer season.
As a matter of course, structures grown and kept alive over many years, familiarities, individual quirks and quaintnesses are changed if not destroyed – all with good intentions, yet, no architect or town planner can put back the patina of things, their quality of touch to the eye, their shine and good feel. New developments tend to be straight with hard edges. Add to that the often drastic increases in rent to follow which will drive out some if not most of the old shop-owners and you have the perfect recipe for economic growth and loss of quality of life.
We will follow the “development” of the Kleinmond harbour and will report back. For now, a few pics of how it looks presently, all dug up.

Kleinmond harbour development, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
Kleinmond harbour, July 2011.
An exquisite winter's Sunday in Betty's Bay.

With love from
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Sunday 10 July, 2011