12 December 2012 – Powering Up on 12-12-12

125 Power Play 2

Along the R43 between the N2 and Villiersdorp, South Africa

S34°06.175 E19°16.982

This is an example of what happens if you’ve found all the close vicinity caches, and now have to blitz-travel to find caches in celebration of souvenir days such as the 12th of the 12th of 2012!

Got this one, up a hill overlooking the Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp.

Visit Power Play2 at www.geocaching.com


8 December 2012 – Fancying around in Franschhoek Pass

119 Theewaterskloof Dam Cache

Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp, South Africa

S34°00.200 E19°11.394

Noting several trackables in various caches located along the R45 via the Franschhoek Pass and toward Paarl, Brunette Suikerbos suggested a scenic caching trip via the majestic Franschhoek Mountains and their surroundings.

Our first stop was along the Theewaterskloof Dam to grab a cache located on top of a roadside lookout point.  We were lucky to find not one, but two trackable items, so grabbed them both and left some of our long time travel buddies.

For more detail on the Theewaterskloof Dam, read our post Celebrating One Year of Caching.

Visit Theewaterskloof Dam Cache at www.geocaching.com

120 Oppikoppi#120 OPPIKOPPI (GCW100)
Franschhoek Pass, South Africa

S33°55.873 E19°09.829

Just as the name implies, this cache was located on top of a koppie situated along the winding R45.

Despite an injured toe, Brunette managed to hop-along all the way to the summit to enjoy a panoramic vista of the Du Toit River flowing through the kloof.

Managed to loose not one, but TWO pens on our way down – still trying to solve that mystery…

Visit Oppikoppi at www.geocaching.com

121 The Haunted Franschhoek Pass#121 THE HAUNTED – FRANSCHHOEK PASS (GCRNPK)
Franschhoek Pass, South Africa

S33°55.186 E19°09.560

This quick park-and-grab roadside cache commemorates an interesting piece of rock art resembling a dragon.

Quick find and on to the next.

Visit The Haunted – Franschhoek Pass at www.geocaching.com

122 Franschhoek Pass Historical#122 FRANSCHHOEK PASS HISTORICAL (GCN3Z8)
Franschhoek Pass, South Africa

S33°54.400 E19°09.381

This cache is located near a beacon commemorating the oldest path – Cats Road – over the Franschhoek Mountains between Paarl and Villiersdorp.

By the time the French Huguenots settled in what was then called Olifantshoek, the only way over the Franschhoek Mountains was along a track created by migrating elephants, a route inaccessible to wagons.

Local farmer SJ Cats was contracted by the Cape government in 1818 to build a mountain pass.  He completed it a year later, but Cats Road remained dangerous and impractical and soon fell into disuse.

In 1822 formal planning of a pass over the mountains commenced.  Labour was provided by 150 soldiers of the Royal Africa Corps stationed temporarily in Cape Town while waiting to be deployed to Sierra Leone.  The pass was completed in 1825 and the road was broad enough to allow for two wagons to pass each other.

Franschhoek Pass is South Africa’s first professionally designed and constructed mountain pass, and it also holds the country’s oldest stone arch bridge (Jan Joubert’s Gat bridge), and the oldest still in use.

We were a bit disappointed to have lost out on a trackable listed for this cache, as it was grabbed the day before by another cacher.  However, we decided this a perfect spot to set our Travel Bug – Wasabi, the Green Sea Turtle on his journey.

Visit Franschhoek Pass Historical at www.geocaching.com

123 TF5 Toby Heywood#123 TF5 TOBY HEYWOOD (GCVRZW)
Goederust Guest Farm near Franschhoek, South Africa

S33°53.100 E19°04.369

This cache promised a Geocoin and was located within a restaurant situated on the Goederust Guest Farm.

We arrived just in time as the venue was closing for a function later during the day.  Disappointment however soon dawned when we realised that the Geocoin had gone missing – as so many unfortunately do.

Visit TF5 Toby Heywood at www.geocaching.com

124 Bridge Over The River Berg#124 BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER BERG – WC (GCVXMC)
Berg River near Franschhoek, South Africa

S33°52.669 E19°02.058

Our last cache for the day was a small micro located on a disused railway bridge over the Berg River.

Having already lost two pens earlier the day, we were down to the bottom-of-the-bag one.  So, no surprise it stopped writing midway through our log entry and even less of a surprise that all the ink squirted out while Brunette tried to resuscitate it.

Having ink all over our hands, this promptly ended our caching trip and Paarl will see us on another day…

Visit Bridge over the River Berg at www.geocaching.com

28 November 2012 – Flashing through Home Affairs

116 Caledons Steam Tractor

Caledon, South Africa

S34°13.720 E19°25.758

You know how one often puts things off, simply because of the hassle – this concept often involving certain government departments and their officials…?  Well, this was such an instance and, alas, Suikerbossies stand corrected!

It was time to apply for a renewal of Blonde’s passport and we both dreaded making our way to Caledon’s Home Affairs office.  Pleasant was our surprise to find a lovely air-conditioned waiting room, friendly and efficient officials, and a queue consisting of us and two other people.

So, there we were – applied, paid and finger printed – all finished within less than 30 minutes.  Have to say, will be paying our taxes, almost breaking a smile this month…

Having most of the afternoon remaining, we decided to give our nemesis – a small, magnetic nano cache located somewhere on a big green and black steam tractor, another go.

Surprisingly, as this was our third attempt at this one, Brunette found it immediately.  In our defence, we have since our previous attempts, moved on from feather-weight to hardcore cachers and were this time not bothered by the bee hive located close to the cache, nor the museum curators – a group of vagrants occasionally residing under the roofed area!

Visit Caledon’s Steam Tractor at www.geocaching.com

117 Caledon Wild Flower#117 CALEDON WILD FLOWER (GCK1WX)
Wild Flower Nature Reserve near Caledon, South Africa

S34°13.340 E19°25.690

This cache took us along a gorgeous hike in the Wild Flower Nature Reserve near Caledon and up to Window Rock – a fascinating rock formation where three boulders balance against one another to form a precarious arch over two rocky outcrops.

Absolutely amazing and worthy of a favourite point!

Visit Caledon Wild Flower at www.geocaching.com

118 The Old Way

Along Karwyderskraal Road near Botriver, South Africa

S34°16.890 E19°11.051

We have said it before, and we will say it again – caching makes one stop where you will usually just drive by and makes you turn off where usually you will continue on.

This modified railway bridge is located on the old route between Bot River and Hermanus dating from the time prior to the R43.  It is only wide enough to allow for traffic from one direction – can only imagine the wait while the weekend traffic from the other direction took a chance and just followed the leader!

Visit The Old Way at www.geocaching.com

22 November 2012 – Quick Trick at Tygerberg

114 Trick of Tree

Tygerberg Nature Reserve in Tygerberg, South Africa

S33°52.694 E18°36.016

Brunette Suikerbos found this cleverly hidden cache located in the parking area of the Tygerberg Nature Reserve while on a quick visit to Tygerberg Hospital for business.

Wish we could tell you more about the container, but why spoil the fun…?

Visit Trick of Tree at www.geocaching.com


17 November 2012 – Urban Caching in Durbanville

105 Development 1

Durbanville, South Africa

S33°51.078 E18°40.095

Trying to spread the Geocaching cheer, Suikerbossies were invited to Durbanville to offer two new potential cachers an introduction to the sport.

This presented quite the challenge, as urban caching is rarely scenic… so, we decided to rather focus on the ingenuity and cleverness of containers, and we weren’t disappointed!

We set off in TankGirls’ 4×4 (one up on caching spirit, don’t you think?) and made our way towards the Kuils River where the first of two easy green river belt caches were located, allowing TankGirls a good view of both small and regular size containers cleverly hidden within structures.

Visit Development 1 at www.geocaching .com

106 Development 2#106 DEVELOPEMENT2 (GC3DVP9)
Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.486 E18°40.025

Our second cache, also located along the Kuils River demanded even more ingenuity in the photographic department, as it was located on an open grassed area, with little more to capture than telephone poles, overhead power lines, traffic and street vendors.

Visit Development 2 at www.geocaching.com

107 Sonstraal Bluegums#107 SONSTRAAL BLUEGUMS (GC3CBW7)
Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.758 E18°39.709

This quick park-and-grab took us to a grouping of Eucalyptus trees located close to Sonstraal Park.  This was a good example of a micro cache, as the container was a small film cannister, but we still needed to show TankGirls a true nano micro… so off to Cobble Walk…

Visit Sonstraal Bluegums at www.geocaching.com

108 Cobble Walk#108 COBBLE WALK (GC3W8G4)
Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.706 E18°40.674

Brunette Suikerbos spotted this well camouflaged, magnetic nano quickly, but allowed the TankGirls to search around a bit, before revealing its location.

We grabbed a quick lunch and set off to Sonstraal Park…

Visit Cobble Walk at www.geocaching.com

109 Sonstraal Field#109 SONSTRAAL FIELD (GC3YZRP)
Sonstraal Park in Durbanville, South Africa

S33°51.006 E18°39.854

This cache allowed for the more regular “located under rocks” type of hide.  Quick find and on to the next…

Visit Sonstraal Field at www.geocaching.com

110 Sonstraal#110 SONSTRAAL (GC2NDMB)
Sonstraal Park in Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.952 E18°39.714

This cache proved to be a difficult hide based on previous caching logs, so we thought it a good one to challenge our apprentices.

We allowed TanksGirls to search around for a while, but realising they were completely fooled by this clever hide, hardcore cacher, Blonde Suikerbos quickly revealed it to the awed disbelief of the Girls!

Visit Sonstraal at www.geocaching.com

111 Vygeboom Dam#111 VYGEBOOM DAM (GC226PR)
Vygeboom Dam in Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.791 E18°39.290

This was another clever hide, often utilized by cachers to hide micros, and allowed us the opportunity to show TankGirls to always check for loose screws, bolts and other unusual fittings.

Another perfect example of how cache containers need not always be a Tupperware container or Bison tube, but how one can utilize and modify any object to contain a rolled-up log sheet.

Nuts about this one…

Visit Vygeboom Dam at www.geocaching.com

112 Durbanville Nature Reserve#112 DURBANVILLE NATURE RESERVE (GC3DEB9)
Durbanville Nature Reserve in Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.358 E18°38.680

This was a traditional, large cache container located along a short hiking trail in the Durbanville Nature Reserve.

Visit Durbanville Nature Reserve at www.geocaching.com

113 Wine on the Hill#113 WINE ON THE HILL (GC23M8M)
Nitida Wine Farm in the Durbanville Hills near Durbanville, South Africa

S33°50.070 E18°35.607

Our 9th and final cache for the day was located in the gardens at Nitida Wine Farm in the Durbanville Hills area, and demonstrated the importance of considering the hint often accompanying the cache’s coordinates.

We also decided that this beautiful venue was the ideal spot to set our newest trackable – the Chief Bridesmaid Travel Bug on its journey.  This TB was created in honour of Brunette’s experience as her baby sister’s Chief Bridesmaid, and something she describes as “not for the faint-hearted…”

As the restaurant at Nitida was a bit crowded, we decided to end our day with a sundowner at a local Durbanville pub before returning home for a braai!

Visit Wine on the Hill at www.geocaching.com

15 November 2012 – Sporting a Century in the Strandveld

097 Smulmondjie

Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°34.999 E19°21.077

Once a year all the different Western Cape regions belonging to Brunette’s directorate within the Department of Health, gather to celebrate annual sports week – this year held at Uilenkraalsmond near Gansbaai.  Unfortunately, this year’s celebrations coincided with widespread and violent labour protests throughout the Boland.  As result, several of the regions were delayed, giving us enough time for a quick detour to Gansbaai and the Strandveld before joining in the fun.

The first cache was located within a small store in Gansbaai, so a quick grab and on to the next…

Visit Smulmondjie at www.geocaching.com

098 Gansbaai Gateway

Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°35.334 E19°21.016

Number 2 was located within the Gansbaai tourism office.

Gansbaai was founded in 1881 after an 18-year-old fisherman walked there across the dunes from Stanford and discovered excellent fishing in the area.  He settled there, and soon after other families followed suit.

Today it is considered the Great White Shark capital of the world, with shark cage diving drawing some of the highest tourist numbers to South Africa for any singular activity.

Visit Gansbaai Gateway at www.geocaching.com

099 Shark Encounters

Franskraal near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°36.334 E19°24.193

This cache is located near a boardwalk along a path through a coastal milkwood forest and over a dune unto the beach in Franskraal.

Visit Shark Encouters at www.geocaching.com

100 Strandveld Museum#100 STRANDVELD MUSEUM (GCVHXC)
Franskraal near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°36.583 E19°23.558

100th cacheOur 100th cache!

The Strandveld Museum is situated in Franskraal.  The Strandveld refers to the coastal region extending all the way from Hermanus towards the mouth of the Breede River.

The quaint building dates back to the 1860’s  and houses a variety of local artefacts including the largest privately owned collection of artefacts from the HMS Birkenhead which sunk at Danger Point near Gansbaai in 1845.

Visit Strandveld Museum at www.geocaching.com

101 Blousloep#101 BLOU SLOEP (GC2KNJV)
Franskraal near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°36.832 E19°23.107

This spot along the coast of Franskraal is named for the channel of sea water separating an small island of rocks from the main land.

Luckily there was no tourists around, so a quick grab and on to the next…

Visit Blou Sloep at www.geocaching.com

102 Step It Up#102 STEP IT UP (GC2N4PE)
Kleinbaai near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°37.276 E19°21.074

This was another quick park-and-grab along the coastal path in Kleinbaai.  While looking for the cache, we spotted two contractors working close by on one of the houses.  Trying to look blasé in our search, we were a bit dumbstruck when the elder of the two, wearing a neck brace, started up the ladder towards the roof…

Visit Step it Up at www.geocaching

103 Abalone Island#103 ABALONE ISLAND (GC3AM1C)
Kleinbaai near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°37.405 E19°21.000

Another tribute to  Vorsprung durch Technik

We took a drive along what looked like a dirt road, and ended up doing some serious off-tracking with the A4.  After finding the cache, we considered it the opportune time to share a Windhoek Light, before Brunette tackled the return trip!

Visit Abalone Island at www.geocaching.com

104 Milkwood Hiking Trail#104 MILKWOOD HIKING TRAIL (GC1653F)
Franskraal near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°36.334 E19°23.494

The last one for the day was quite a disappointing trip.  What was expected to be a hike through a milkwood forest, ended up as a bundu-bashing along a poorly maintained trail, frequented by vagrants, to an uneventful cache containing the paper maché remains of a log book and some other rusted items.

Having found our eight for the day, including our 100th find, we decided to call it a day and join the colleagues at the sports day.

Visit Milkwood Hiking Trail at www.geocaching.com