Bucket list Trip!
Jannie and Bimpie Olivier were our hosts as we took an educational and amazing trip to the Karoo! Destination – Victoria West – reason – The Victoria West Karoo Golf Classic – 180 players on oil greens and fairways which called for an artificial fairway “mat”!
The result – Three days living in a 5th generation Karoo farmhouse complete with 18inch walls and beautifully restored Yellowwood floors. The purpose – To play 18 holes on “the best course of its kind in the world” There were 180 players with 180 local caddies (who swamped the car on arrival to get a bag) on a course that demanded accuracy off the tee and exceptional local knowledge to putt the greens (oil greens dragged after every fourball by a younger helper). We arrived in Battle gear and everyone knew who we were from our attire!
This was a trip into the history of SA, a trip to the land where farmers raised sheep, looked after families, lived off the land and dealt with what Mother Nature threw at them. As a town boy from IOWA where most of my friends were farmers, raising cattle and growing corn (maize), I appreciated the relationships between the farmers in Victoria West. Jannie and Bimpie have been associated with this event for more than 35 years and leaving there to come here was emotional. They ARE Victoria West.
On Friday, we got on the back of the bakkie and drove the farm (part of it) and learned about the land. What has just happened in the Karoo has been a miracle. After years of drought and desperation, the rains have come and seeds that were for years under the surface of the soil emerged as new plants and bush. For the Karoo it was lush!
After hours of driving, we stopped and started a braai under a big tree. Before long, the legend, Schalk Burger, and his friends including Johan Badenhorst (Voetspore Presenter) as well as Dicky Broberg and Marcello Fiasconaro (world-class athletes and record-holders – Google them) joined in for an afternoon braai, some dops and stories. They embraced the American-African in English and it was an afternoon of note.
A vegetarian would not survive in the Karoo…as we dined on what they called AB lamb (14-month-old lamb) in the form of slow-cooked leg, Lamb Pie, Afval, aged steaks, pumpkin and brandy with everything. The wives prepared the meals behind the scenes and all was good.
The Bart and Caryl Show – Part TWO
I asked Caryl Logie to share a story about the Autumn-Winter flora on the estate and she did not disappoint with contributions in pictures and stories from her and Bart!
A Walk on the Trails in Autumn
On a beautiful morning with a clear blue sky in autumn the Fourcade Botanical Group and some of the homeowners joined forces to walk and enjoy the very well maintained trails on The Links.
It wasn’t just botany, although there are always things of interest amongst the plants, there were discussions on spiders, archaeology, the Khoisan, birds, frogs, insects and the mountain ranges to the north.
For the first time, some of the group noticed the bright orange fruits on the Candlewoods but were disappointed that the sweet swelling flowers of Cassine piragua were over and their berries were already forming. There were other berries to see, some that could be eaten and others best to avoid.
The bright, metallic green beetles although small were very conspicuous as they went about their business and at the same time helped with pollination of the flowers of the Cabbage Trees.
After the recent rains, there is enough water in the wetlands for the frogs to go about their business and although we didn’t see them we most certainly heard them, a sure sign of clean, unpolluted water. The birds too were calling and the keen birders amongst us had their binoculars focussed on them.
There were photographs taken of trees and flowers while others managed to photograph the speedy Sheet Spider on its web and a Cape Mountain Cockroach. Most cockroaches are nocturnal so we were lucky to see this lady. Not all cockroaches are pests in our homes, this indigenous one is herbivorous eating anything dead or rotten, but one has also been seen eating Blombos. She is a most unusual insect as her young are born alive and she protects them under her body for a while. The male has wings, no doubt necessary for visiting the ladies!
Springtime will bring different flowers and the stillness and quietness of the trails will be the same and always there for our enjoyment.
The PGA is ON! 3-6 November 2022
25 May – SuperSpar/Pam Golding – Alliance – Jeff Clause, Hein Spangenberg (Birthday Boy), Christo Krugel and Charl Blaauw
27 May – Selective Lighting/ The Fireworks – Willem Barnard and Carleton Holmes
28 May – Saturday School – Thinus Keller and Percy Owen
Link Here for results!
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Thank you all for caring about your course – #leading the way! Adopt a hole (AAH) works.
The 2021 Calendar and results