Ben Oostdam's


JOURNAL : November 18 to December 5

Part 9: November 28, 2008, Friday - PORTERVILLE to CITRUSDAL via PIKETSBEG

much abbreviated and expurgated - especially where original was illegible

By the time I got up, Erroll, 67 had already left to drive a bus to Capetown, so I introduced myself
to his wife Trix, 66, who had returned from Capetown after I had gone to bed last night.
She was most helpful, preparing a fine breakfast and calling ahead to my next destination identified from their computer
on the Internet: Olifantsrest in Citrusdal. That evening they expected a visit of their twin daughters, age 25 and still
unmarried. Their son was married and had spent one year in the USA and 3 in the UK.
I regretted again to have to move on, but did at 09:30 (odometer km 189.3 19260),
taking R 44 through the valley with mountain ranges both behind and in front.

It was sunny, dry and stubbly, and I passed a sign for Vondeling (Foundling) where I stopped on the river Krom and took some picts of an extended family fishing near the bridge, weaverbirdnests, swallows, a white-necked crow, and a crowd of small red twittering birds. An enjoyable interlude, especially with the cool breeze from under the bridge.

At 11:15, I reached Piketberg, a picturesque small village with interesting churches. I parked at the Municipality complex and walked to the Museum located in a former Synagogue. I had an informative chat with the Director, Roche du Toit, and heard about some 60 Jewish families who arrived here in 1945 as refugees from Letland; they all left subsequently, and the synagogue was donated to serve as museum, mainly for memorabilia of the Boer Wars around 1900. This time, the emphasis was about equal on both British and Boer side.

Piketberg Museum, Kerk Straat

Dutch Reformed Church

View from Piketboberg

Piket Boberg Flowers
Roche recommended a visit to the Dutch Teagarden "up the mountain" of a Mrs Visser, which I decided to visit for luncheon.
It was quite a spectacular and long drive, but by 12:45 I was ensconded in Henny's rockgarden speaking Dutch with a vengeance (and Amsterdam West c.q.East accent), while chewing on a "broodje kroket" and drinking a coffee milkshake next to the pondfull of koi. Henny was from Amsterdam East and her Dad had served in the Dutch Navy in present day Indonesia.
She later introduced me to her husband
who was handicapped but had served
on the Dutch Whaling vessel "Willem Barentz" -
- I had attended her launching in 1953.

I had to drive back to Piketberg to take route N7 through some spectacular mountains again to the Citrusdal turnoff, briefly after which I had to turn right onto a sandroad which led past a hot water spa to a hidden treasure spot in the citrus groves, named "Olifantsrus"....My hosts were the charming French Anyas and her SA husband Johan.. They served an excellent light dinner and sparkling conversation. I had the opportunity to recite the single sentence I remembered from my 1950 "Mots et Tournures difficiles" textbook, viz.: 'La porte etait entre-baille je ne pouvait pas m'empecher d'entendre tout...'

Cedarberg Survey SCARCE - BLO fecit 20090420 - Contents of SA 2008-2 Journey