Lotus weavers of Cambodia

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb3RRAYhhCO/ While in Siem Reap, Cambodia on a cycling outing one day I came across this little spot. I was aware that the weaving of silk is a popular practice here, but I had no idea that they wove this chamie like fabrics our of the stems of the Lotus flowers.

Altought I was near the Tonlé Sap lake the Lotus fiber weaving takes place in Cambodia on the spectacular giant lake of Kamping Poy near Battambang.

It’s here, they farm all during the year from generation to generation in order to extract and sell the seeds.

The Lotus (nelumbo nucifer) is on a aquatic perennial which spreads for thousand hectares in Cambodia. The pink and white flowers are sacred in certain parts of Asia and you can see why.

Their beauty is delicate and seems to be almost porcelain from a distance. This timeless tradition comes from Burma and was brought to Cambodia by Samatoa in 2009 and they developed the unique handmade process in order to make an exclusive fabric which could be commercialised and create many jobs in Cambodia.

The Samatoa then trained and educated underprivileged women living around the spectacular lotus lake of Kamping Poy near Battambang in Cambodia to relieve poverty after the rule of the Khmer Rouge.

The lotus fabric is 100% ecological, natural and renewable and just absolutely exquist.

Find out more Lotus Farm

Insta My Knysna

Do I love where I live, absolutely!! The Knysna Region has so many facets.
It consists of oceans bliss, stretches of beach, vast lakes, country lifestyle, indigenous forests, rich culture, artisan foods and crazy adventures.
Take a walk with me into a world that has more to offer than the average place.

The Red bridge in Knysna This was the third bridge to span the Knysna River. It is situated further upstream on better founding conditions, as the previous bridge had been washed away in a flood in 1916. Designed by the PWD, this bridge is completely different in design to the earlier bridges with only two, long, 46m spans so as to prevent a recurrence of pier damage by flood debris. Construction of the foundations started in 1918 with the steelwork for the two riveted deck trusses, made in England, arriving by ship in 1922. The completed bridge, with a 3m wide roadway, was opened on 1 May 1923. It was succeeded in 1955 by the wider, concrete (White) bridge situated further downstream, but remained in use by local traffic until 1973. It was completely refurbished in 2014. www.exploreknysna.com #exploreknysna #gardenroute #HowzitSouthAfrica @instagram_sa

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For the love of the Garden Route

I have recently been asked what my favourite place in South Africa is to visit and why? It was easily answered; “The Garden Route of course”.

This might sound like cheating but living in the Garden Route of South Africa is an absolute privilege and I am constantly encouraging people to visit my alluring piece of Utopia.

Why do I love it so much. It’s simple really, from the long white beaches that strectches for miles, so much so that sometimes you never see another person, to the huge indigenous forest on the foothold of the mountain ranges that frames our coastline, the Garden Route offers more natural beauty and tranquillity than most destinations I have been to.

You have to go far to see the perfect sunset or sunrise, but not me, a mere walk to the end of the road were I live does that, not to mention the view points, water edges and bird hides, all waiting for you to capture that flawless moment when the sun merges with your horizon. Its not difficult to become a visual story teller as my life in pictures unfolds infront of me, everyday.

For the adventurous explorer in me, this is truly the natural playground I have been looking for and there is more often than not a leisurely hike, a forest or beach walk, a paddle on the river, an ocean excursion or a paragliding flight involved in my daily life.

Out there is fresh air to breathe, a place to clear your mind, to surrender yourself to nature and what she has to offer, all while taking in a new discovery everyday, yes everyday, for once you get take a deeper look, the magic starts happening.

Garden Route, You ask? Not only is it the greenest part of South Africa and constantly looks like an over grown garden but it has a foodie aspect too and almost every thing we savour comes from the coffers of our farmlands and oceans as our reputation for the food basket of South Africa is slowly proceeding us.

It’s here among the mountains that we grow, pick and harvest most of what we eat and quence our thrist with crafted drinks, from “Karrie” to craft beer. And many an artisan of food can be found in our farmers markets, farmstalls and earthy slow food restaurants.

A Saturday morning outing to the Wild Oats, Outeniqua or Harkerville Market is the shopping experience in my world of food and the odd baker, honey producer, mushroom picker, herb grower and the other plant and pluckers do the rest.

With this I invite you to step into my world. A place that has the most moderate climate on earth and indulge in its splendour and extraordinary resources and when you leave our shores, mountains and countryside, you will do so with a smile, only wishing to return….

Wilderness Accommodation

Explore Knysna Accommodation

The Pursuit of Wind and Water

The ocean has a way of inviting the adventurous, the risk taker and the adrenaline junkie. It pulls them in and moulds them into the sports freaks of the sea.

Some sail, some paddle some even venture into the depths, but the kite surfers expose themselves to the elements of water and wind. They bare their bodies to become the vessels, attach themselves to a kite sail and uses the forces to drive them.

You watch these mobile water adventurers as they sweep around waves and skim over the surface of this vast body of water we call the ocean and which in itself isn’t a kind force, dancing with the wind and mocking it with the glee on their faces.

Once done, they emerge from the ocean like little Neptune figures, dripping with the salty remains of the blue planet, smile endearingly at each other as they share their watery passion and there they will return!!

On foot in the Garden Route – Jubilee Creek

I often speak about hiking in the Garden Route, mostly because it is one of the most picturesque places to hike in. Day rambles, or even a couple of hours are quite doable in the area, just pop into a SANParks Office and collect a brochure of the region, it’s that simple. The walk I do most is Jubilee Creek, as it is my absolute favourite and more often than not I find myself wandering with a camera in hand and inspecting the trees, ferns and other little features the forest has to offer. The calming effect of this wandering about seems to clear your head and your mind seems less busy in these dense green spaces. Besides that, I indulge in the fresh air and drink water from the coca cola coloured streams along the way. The treat under foot on the soft rich earth always seem to smell the best in the early mornings and the leaves the greeneries glisten with pearl drops of moister captured in the breaking dawn. The Black Witch Hazel gathers and stores most of this moisture and they seem to burst of liveliness as they slowly disperse their fluid onto the forest floor the feed the roots of the trees and other plants in need of water. Not only is Jubilee Creek a beautiful forest hike but it is filled with history of a bit more than a century and a half ago. Reminiscence of the gold mining era can be witnessed along the way and you can’t help wondering what happened here in the forest all those year ago, but in time the forest has reclaimed its earth and filled it with a wealth of its own. The path cuts into the forest along a creek and the constant bubbling of water and birds are the only sounds that can be heard in and among the shrubs and branches. The 2.4 km section of the Outeniqua Hiking Trail ends up near a forest waterfall where you can cool down and relax for a while. Often, we remove our shoes and plonk our feet in the crisp cool water of this pool while admiring the surroundings of indigenous trees and lush ferns. The route doubles up on itself and you usually see things in a slightly different way when heading back. The sun breaking through the trees scattering its rays about the timber and florae is a feature that only the forest knows how to do well. The hike ends at a picnic spot next to the creek and is perfect if you wish to stay and indulge a bit longer in the forest environment. So next time you are out and about in Knysna head to Bibby’s Hoek on the foot hold of the Outeniqua Mountains for and exploration into the Goudveld Forest and discover why this area is loved so much and why many of the mysteries of the region are located here among the trees.

Hiking the Garden Route – Giant Kingfisher Trail

If there is one thing that will keep you busy in the Garden Route of South Africa it will definitely be the hiking. Now I don’t mean pack a backpack and head out for 3 days, no, you simply grab a day pack and head to the forest, rivers, fynbos dunes or beaches. Make sure you stock your pack with ample water, a good sun hat, cozzy, some snacks and sunscreen before you heading out.

One on of my favourite hikes is the Giant Kingfisher Trail. It is situated near the village of Wilderness and is a short and easy half day walk, with its lush greenery and natural beauty it is easily one of the most scenic hikes in the area.

The whole trail meanders along the Touw River and has various views with picnic tables along the way and you can stop at any point to just pop into the river for a quick cool off. But like most peeps I opt for the “head to the waterfall” option.

As you stroll through the indigenous forest look out for the famous Knysna Turaco, there are plenty around and you will hear their harsh call echoing over the tree tops. The tree and plant lovers will find the names of most of the popular plants along the way or you can just soak up the cool green shade it has to offer.

One of the exciting moments of this trail is crossing the river on the pontoon. A good old fashion pull along barge that can fit about 6 people at a time and it never goes without some laughs and giggles as you work your way across the tea stained river.

Keep your eyes peeled for the little blue duiker that feeds along the trail as well as chameleons, butterflies and other creatures that live here. It really is an indigenous paradise for nature lovers.

At the end of the trail is a rocky waterfall with various tiers. Once here you merely work your way to a “rock spot”, shed your clothes and jump in to indulge in the cool river water that the Outeniqua Mountain delivers here.

Spend some time here to explore the scenic views, snack away and let the warm African sun dry you off before heading back on the same track.

On the return hike take a bit of time to look at some of the views and rock formations and remember its not a rush but a gentle journey and you need to enjoy and appreciate the surroundings as there are very few of these unique places left in the world.

For more information click the link below.

Please Note : This is a SANparks product The Giant Kingfisher Trail