Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday lunch at Sophie’s Choice, Willowmore |19 February, 2012

Decided to go to Willowmore for lunch at 'Sophie’s Choice'. It is a 68km drive from Uniondale, a good road and beautiful scenery through the mountains which separate the little Karoo from the Great Karoo and as I always do my thinking while driving, it gave me time for reflection and contemplation.

Sophie’s little restaurant is very pleasant and the food always beautifully presented on antique china and the tables covered with exquisite old linen. The interior is filled with antiques that create a fascinating and tranquil atmosphere. Service always excellent.

Patrons and manikins on the verandah

I had the chicken pie, which is my favourite, but there was also fish and calamari with salad, chicken salad and lamb curry amongst the many other dishes on the menu. The coffee is good, cakes are scrumptious and can be highly recommended.

Fish, calamari & salad

Chicken salad

My favourite, chicken pie and salad with added vegatables

Half-way through the meal, a group on Harley Davidson’s arrived on their way to Queenstown. Beautiful bikes and interesting people of all ages who thrive on open spaces and speed.

The antique shop is a haven for the collector and browser, stocked with many rare and beautiful items.

Before I left town, decided to investigate the historic cemetery. Pioneers arrived in the area in the early 1800’s and the first farms were granted by the Government on 20 November 1817. The town was founded and laid out on the original property known as Van der Westhuizen’s Kraal in 1858.

As I looked at the immaculately kept cemetery, read the names and dates of those founding fathers that established this town on the edge of the arid Karoo, I realized that they could not have envisaged that the area today would be exporting the highest yield and best quality mohair in the country.

As I drove back I noticed that the grey, blue karoo-bossies are now very distinct on the mountain slopes in expansive patches. February is the time in the Karoo when the veld is not at its best and everything is dry and grey as it is the hottest month when temperatures can peak at 45 degrees.

Sphie's Choice is in the main street as you come into town, you can't miss it!
Tel: 044 923 1117 Fax 044 923 2061 Cell: 073 140 5630

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sunday outing to de Rust 12th February, 2012

Driving along the road from Uniondale to de Rust on a beautiful Sunday morning in the middle of summer, my heart lifted. I know this road well, it is the road we drove along so often, going to meetings or investigating plants for die oervlakte book.

This time of year does not do the veld or the plants any justice, as February is the hottest month in the Little Karoo and most of the flowers have gone to seed. Some parts of the hillsides were dotted with crassulas, melkbos, kraalbos and the karoo bossies are now completely bue-grey and stand in huge patches. Hiding underneath these rather drab looking bossies grow all the gems of the area, the gasteriasAloe Varigata, Haworthia Truncata, and many more, protected from the fierce Karoo sun, they will blossom in the spring in all their splendour. Stopped at the two botterbome just before de Rust and wondered at these strange plants with their thick succulent stems, that after flowering in summer, loose their leaves.

Kraalbos and karoo bossies


Onto The Village Trading post for lunch. New buffet menu on Sunday. Delicious roast vegetables, savoury rice, salmon cakes, salad and beef stripes in a delicious cream sauce! It is a delight to spend time in this friendly restaurant that is frequented by interesting people. Always good conversation and an excellent way to spend Sunday lunch, interesting and innovative decor and there is an art gallery at the back. Soan Jacobs and Nikki Eksteen are excellent hosts and always makes one feel special and welcome. You can identify The Village Trading Post by the massive cockerel outside!
Tel: 044 241 2110 Cell: 083332057

Soan Jacobs

Nieki Eksteen
On the way back, I was again in awe of how the light changes the landscape, amazed at what a privilege it is to be here, absorbed the colour and texture of the hillsides and observed the valleys that follow the mountains into the distance.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Tweeting to tweaple into the new year, 2012 on die oervlakte

die oervlakte has opened a twitter account  to promote the whole area and the book published in November, 2011.