A Valley Of Pure Pleasure

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Day tripping to the small town of Riebeeck Kasteel and Riebeeck Wes, not so much for its wine but for its extensive history and incredble beauty. The bonus was the warm people that I met.

Riebeek-Kasteel is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, situated at 80 km north-east of Cape Town in The Riebeek Valley together with its sister town Riebeek West

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Named so in honour of their commander, Jan van Riebeeck, during 1661 by Pieter Cruythoff leading an inland discovery expedition. On the 3rd February 1661 they ascended a lonely mountain and came upon the fertile vista of the Riebeek Valley.

In the 19th century both Jan Smuts and Daniel Malan were born in the outskirts later both becoming prime ministers of the country.

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Having lived in a small town myself for the last couple of years it’s always great to listen to other people’s stories in small towns,  how they got to live there,  why did they leave the city?

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And what their life styles are all about now? Then of course you start looking around and you know why, here you can step outside and breath to escape

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The first stop is the Tourism information centre where as per normal you get the usual run down of a town. A great start I must say!  Well done Tourism,  what a lovely  girl you have there. 

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So I popped into a few shops and spots in town and chatted to the people who live here and make a day to day living in Riebeeck Kasteel. 

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A wine dealer called Anton that consults and returns every couple of years, a retired journalist Jacques Pauw and partner Sam Rogers who decide to start a ‘small’  B & B and Restaurant /Bar in a Grand Dame mansion now called the Red Tin Roof. 

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http://www.facebook.com/redtinroof

A  craft brewer,  Steve Miller who is the head honcho at Garagista and bides his time making happiness in a bottle to share with us, Cheers.

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http://www.facebook.com/GaragistaBeerCo/

And an Olive Boutique where Susan shared her story and love for olives with us, she processes these ancient fruits into tasty snacks,  mustards and smooth oils all fit  for the palettes of gods, and even has a range of body pampering products.

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http://www.facebook.com/riebeekoliveboutique/

Exploring some of the historical buildings and places of interst in the area I came across the Royal Hotel who has the longest stoep (veranda) South of the Limpopo and is the oldest and most colonial hotel of the Western Cape.

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http://www.royalinriebeek.com

My favourite place however was the Smuts house. Located on the outskirts of the town of Riebeeck West it show cases the humble begins of Jan Smuts in this tranquil setting among the trees.  A great visionary in his day, Smuts was a well connected man with a broad outlook on life. 

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The day came to an end way to soon and I left with the feeling that I need to discover some more…

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Take a trip to this fascinating delicious little town and indulge in its riches of culture,  food and beauty. 
Thank you for time Riebeeck Kasteel, you stole a piece of my heart.
The Travel Bug Rose
RiebeekValley
www.capewestcoast.org

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Whale Things

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" A Southern Right whale just having fun"

Whales, we talk about them, we sometimes spot then in the distance. For to many a land lubber, it’s just a huge beast far away on the horizon. Some of us watch them in awe as they play, roll, leap, splash in their many displays and some of us dream to know the beast better. 

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Humpback on the move

They are mysterious in their own right, for when they take to the oceans unknown to us, deep into the blue; we can only be left wondering.  Do they sing the same songs, do they respond differently to nature out there or do they stay the same?

But, when they are here and you get the opportunity to see them up close and you watch and learn, it becomes surreal.  These massive knobbly creatures that indulge in play, as if they are merely children and drops in the sea, can leave you giggling while watching.

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When they launch their enormous bodies into the air as if ballerinas on their début nights, they come across weightless.  Lifting their tails to wave goodbye in a speed that only a racing driver can understand, only to pop up unexpectedly next to you, baffles the mind I must say. And then they blow and sing sounds that you will never listen to on a radio, but out here on the ocean, it’s the most beautiful thing you’ll ever hear.

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Ocean Odyssey

They grunt and growl, deep rumbles, do they want to tell us something?  Sky-hop to take a better look, how curious they are….

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The distances they travel to breed, mate, and feed we will never travel in our lifetime and talk about eating politely, plankton, imagine how you must eat to feed that body. They add to the oceans health, part of the delicate balance that we live in. No one taught them how. They just knew. Imagine if we can learn to talk in song, to feed ourselves with only what we need and to not need more. They are huge but not greedy, they are huge and yet graceful… surely we can learn something from them.
#exploreknysna #whalewatching
Ocean Odyssey

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