31 August 2012 – Once in a Blue Moon

#21 NIXON FAMILY CHRISTMAS 2007 (GC184CC)
Voëlklip in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°24.585 E19°17.470

Urban caches – maybe not the prettiest, but more than likely the more ingenuitive.

Found the one in anticipation of a blue moon event, implying  two full moons in a calender month.

Visit Nixon Family Christmas at www.geocaching.com

This was Day 6 of 30 consecutive geocaching days.

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30 August 2012 – Tennessee in Kleinmond

#20 TENNESSEE? IN SOUTH AFRICA (GC20J78)
Coastal path near the harbour in Kleinmond, South Africa

S34°20.782 E19°00.976

After joining friends for lunch at the new Kleinmond Harbour Development, we set course for our first cache using Maya, our brand new, bright yellow Garmin Etrex 10.

Mesmerized by the little grey screen and its compass, neither of us actually kept an eye on our chosen route, leading to quite a bit of back-tracking and re-directing on our way back…

The idea of this cache is to trade SA items for its original Tennessee content, and once completed, to take it back to the US for the visa versa.  Brilliant idea, but unfortunately not well implemented, as most of the swag ended up being senseless drag rediscovered at the bottom of some handbag and unfairly traded for the US stuff… Pity!

Visit Tennessee in South Africa at www.geocaching.com

Day 5 of 30 consecutive days of caching.

29 August 2012 – Out and About in Hermanus

#17 HOY’S KOPPIES (GCQ7ZD)
Hoy’s Koppie, Northcliff in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°24.796 E19°14.364

This was our second attempt at this cache; found it relatively easy this time.

Hoy’s Koppie marks the grave site of William Wilson Hoy and his wife Gertrude.  As one of the first regular visitors to Hermanus, he ensured its natural beauty would stay unspoilt by blocking any attempt to extend the Bot River railway line to the village.  His legacy lives on in the Hermanus Station that has no lines or trains.

Hoy’s Koppie is also an important link to the earliest inhabitants of the area, the Khoisan.  Klipgat Cave, a large overhang on the southern side of the koppie, has archaeological evidence of these indigenous people inhabiting the cave long before Hermanus Pieters came across it.

Visit Hoy’s Koppie at www.geocaching.com

#18 HOY’S KOPPIE VIEW (GC3MP0F)
Northcliff in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°24.789 E19°14.251

A quick climb up this natural koppie earned us our 3rd cache for the day.  While enjoying the view over Northcliff, Hoy’s Koppie and… the cemetery, we finally logged our first trackable – the Coinfather Geocoin.

Visit Hoy’s Koppie View at www.geocaching.com

#19 10-10-10 THE RIGHT SPOT (GC2GF7V)
Near Roman Rock in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°25.034 E19°14.863

Our final and 4th cache for the day took us to this lovely spot along the Hermanus coastal path from where we watched a beautiful sunset, thus ending day 4 of 30 consecutive caching days.

Visit 10-10-10 The Right Spot at www.geocaching.com

29 August 2012 – The Great Escape

#16 THE GREAT ESCAPE (GCQWTW)
Near the Old Habour in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°25.231 E19°14.602

The 1963 movie, The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen as Capt. Virgil “The Cooler King” Hilts, tells the story of a group of POW’s who attempted an epic escape from a Nazi prison camp during WWII by means of a secretly dug tunnel under the electrified fence and walls of the camp.

This escape was masterminded by Squadron Leader, Roger Joyce Bushell RAF (30 August 1910 – 29 March 1944), a South African-born British Auxiliary Air Force pilot.  Bushell was amongst the first few to leave the tunnel.  He successfully boarded a train at Sagan railway station, but was caught the next day at Saarbrücken, waiting for a train to Alsace in France.

Bushell was murdered three days later by members of the Gestapo – fifty of the 76 escapees were eventually killed in the so-called, Stalag Luft III murders.  This was a breach of the Geneva Convention and so constituted a war crime.

In his memory, a plaque bearing his name was placed on the War Memorial situated above the Old Harbour in Hermanus, where his parents spent the last years of their lives.

Visit The Great Escape at www.geocaching.com

This was Day 4 of 30 consecutive caching days, and #1 of 4 for the day.

28 August 2012 – Kogelberg Reserve in Kleinmond

#15 MACDONALD’S HOTEL (GC29JGY)
Kogelberg Nature Reserve near Kleinmond, South Africa

S34°19.871 E18°59.075

This was a quick climb up the mountain side to reach MacDonald’s Hotel – a cache dedicated to all those Happy Meal toys we all have lying around…

Size for size, the 100 000 hectare UNESCO registered Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is home to the most complex biodiversity on our planet with over 1880 different plant species already logged.  The next richest is the South American rainforest with 420 species per 10000 square kilometres.

Visit MacDonalds Hotel at www.geocaching.com

This was Day 3 of 30 consecutive caching days.

27 August 2012 – De Bos Dam

#14 OH DAM (GC353PK)
De Bos Dam outflow in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus, South Africa

S34°22.316 E19°13.943

The Onrust River flows from its upper catchment area along the southern slopes of the Babilonstoring Mountains and northern slopes of the Kleinriver Mountains, through two valleys – the upper Attacquas Valley separated from the lower Hemel-en-Aarde Valley by the narrow Attacquas Kloof wherein which the De Bos Dam was constructed in 1976.  The river exits the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley between the Onrust Mountains and Olifantsberg, from where it enters the narrow coastal plain, before finally flowing into the Onrus Lagoon which opens into the Atlantic Ocean.

The De Bos Dam functions as Hermanus’s main water supply, its levels dipping to near empty in 2011 following consecutive low-rainfall winters, but reaching capacity again after an long-overdue, wet rainfall season in 2012.

Brunette Suikerbos decided to kidnap over-worked Blonde Suikerbos for a cup-a-java on the dam wall, before setting course into the kloof and along the contour path following the outflow of the Onrust River – a short, but beautiful hike and well deserving of a favourite point.

Visit Oh Dam at www.geocaching.com

This was Day 2 of 30 consecutive caching days.

26 August 2012 – Deb and the Dolphins

#13 BATTLE OF BLAAUWBERG (GC1JEEW)
Melkbosstrand, South Africa

S33°44.140 E18°27.346

This was our friends – Deb and the Dolphins’, final weekend as residents of Melkbos and our last chance for a Melkbos braai.  As the farm stall was located right across the road, it was the perfect setting for a late morning brunch.

So, we grabbed the Dolphins and had the kids look for the cache (eventually had to show them the spot…)

We ended the outing by stocking up on some Farmyard farm-style jams and preserves.

Visit Battle of Blaauwberg at www.geocaching.com

This was also, inadvertently, Day 1 of 30 consecutive days of caching.