Rest Day

Rest Day

Posted on 31. Jul, 2009 by in News

Our fifth day was our first rest day and this gives me an opportunity to write about the housing and the African experience.

We were staying in a rustic farm house on land owned by Hoffie Strauss. The Strauss farm is fairly big, and it is a Rooibos Tea farm, however their main crop is passion fruit. Rooibos is an excellent and healthy, non-caffeinated, red-tea which we would often drink in the mornings or before dinner. The Cederberg region is the only place where Rooibos is grown.

IMG_7349I was told this is Rooibos, but apparently it is something else?

The Strauss farm also generates income from tourists who come to enjoy the rock art and the incredible wild flowers in the spring, and from climbers who come in the winter (June, July and August) to enjoy the amazing bouldering and sport climbing.

IMG_6379Our first house

The interior of our first house

Ehran HouseThe Ehran House, where we spent the majority of our trip

The houses themselves were made of stone, had running hot water and had electricity. The mice encouraged us to keep clean and the geckos that often adorned the walls were harmless enough. We all shared sleeping space and while I would have liked to have had my sleeping bag, the large comforters kept me warm on the chilly nights. We lived in three houses over the course of the 25 days we were there, as our first house was not accessible upon our arrival because the ford across the river was too deep. Our second house was the “wrong one” but our third house, the Ehran House, was very nice. Here are some pictures of the house and its surroundings.

IMG_7169My bedroom
IMG_7189View from the front porch.
IMG_7863View towards Pakhuis Pass.

We were 45 minutes from Clanwilliam on a dirt road. Every four days or so we would head into town. Our agenda was to buy groceries, fuel up the cars or go out for dinner at the Oliphanthuis, all the while taking advantage of the amazing exchange rate. The Oliphanthuis is the best restaurant in town. The first night we ate there they served an all-you-can-eat African game buffet. On the menu were Kudu, Elund, Springbok and Oryx. I sampled all of them and it was sublime. Two dollars got you a full glass of tasty red wine to go with your meal. I also got to chat with the fellow who did the hunting of our African game. Pete was 67, well overweight, partially deaf and the youngest member of his hunting party. My understanding of his thick accent perpetually teetered on misunderstanding. He had recently traveled 1000K to hunt our dinner in Namibia and was headed back the next week for more.

“I don’t hear so well. When my wife says ‘PETE!’ I can’t hear a thing. When the boys call me to go hunting, I hear every word'”

It was a great evening. Back at the house the Milky Way shown more brilliantly than I had ever seen.

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8 Responses to “Rest Day”

  1. Dan

    31. Jul, 2009

  2. B3

    31. Jul, 2009

    I think it was cody who pointed this plant out as a Rooibos bush. Sorry for the misinformation!

  3. DT

    31. Jul, 2009

    JE, what were the temps like during the day and the evening?

  4. B3

    31. Jul, 2009

    On the warmest days, highs were in the 70s and on the coolest days highs were in the 50s/

  5. sticcs

    31. Jul, 2009

    good lookin. by the way, keep up the excellent work

  6. michael rathke

    01. Aug, 2009

    that house is tight

  7. Justin

    04. Aug, 2009

    Minor correction Jamie, I asked Haffie about her primary crop and she replied that it is passion fruit. There is indeed a lot of Rooibos though.

  8. B3

    04. Aug, 2009

    Duly noted! Thanks for the correction.

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