28 November 2012 – Flashing through Home Affairs

116 Caledons Steam Tractor

#116 CALEDON’S STEAM TRACTOR (GC10V29)
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

#118 THE OLD WAY (GC1BAPG)
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

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22 November 2012 – Quick Trick at Tygerberg

114 Trick of Tree

#114 TRICK OF TREE (GC2EM79)
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

#105 DEVELOPMENT1 (GC3DM31)
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

13 November 2012 – Celebrating One Year of Caching

096 Than Damn Wall Again

#96 THAT DAMN WALL AGAIN (GC2WFFN)
Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp, South Africa

S34°04.731 E19°17.129

Always driving passed this one on our way somewhere and not having the time to stop and search…

As this dam wall marks the halfway point between where we used to live when we started caching, and where live now, one year later, we reckon it a good cache to celebrate one year of caching.

The Theewaterskloof Dam is built on the Logo 1 YearSonderend River near Villiersdorp.  It was completed in 1979, has a gross storage capacity of 482 million cubic metres of water and when full, covers an area of 5 100 ha.

Visit That Damn Wall Again at www.geocaching.com

11 November 2012 – Watching Whales

094 S7 Hartjie

#94 S7 HARTJIE (GC188HR)
De Kelders near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°33.102 E19°22.153

It was a lazy, Sunday afternoon, so we decided to go grab a couple of quick caches in De Kelders, near Gansbaai.

Arriving at the first cache located near a heart-shaped tidal pool, we were fortunate to spot at least eight southern right whales leisuring around in the waves.  True to their usual showmanship, they did not disappoint and we were treated to an exhibition of breaching, tailing and all their other usual antics.

Visit S7 Hartjie at www.geocaching.com

095 S8 De Kelders

#95 S8 DE KELDERS (GC188J1)
De Kelders near Gansbaai, South Africa

S34°33.273 E19°21.870

This cache, also located along the coastal path, allowed for some more views of the many southern rights.

A popular explanation for the name right whale is that they were the right whales to hunt.  Being slow swimmers, often found close to shore and easily recognizable by way of their distinctive, wide V-shaped blow, caused by the widely spaced blow holes on the top of its head, these leviathans had enormous value for their plentiful oil and baleen.  Because of their thick blubber, right whales also float accommodatingly after they have been killed.

During the whaling heydays of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, populations of these whales were hunted almost to the point of extinction.  All species of right whales are endangered and, since 1949 have enjoyed complete international protection.  Populations however, tend to grow slowly as females only reach sexually maturity at age ten years and give birth to a single calf after a yearlong pregnancy

Several thousand southern right whales are believed to survive, and they have shown encouraging population growth since their protection.  South Africa’s population is believed to have grown from 100 to 1000 animals since 1940.

Northern right whales are the most endangered of all large whales.  They number only several hundred, and populations do not appear to have grown in the decades since their protection began.

A sad case of wrong to be right, don’t you think…?

Visit S8 De Kelders at www.geocaching.com

 

 

10 November 2012 – Finding our way through Fernkloof

090 Fernkloof Waterfall#90 FERNKLOOF WATERFALL (GC2MDZQ)
Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°23.368 E19°16.130

Finally the rain has subsided and the summer is here – not that we are complaining about the wet winter, as the De Bos Dam is at 100% for the first time in what feels like ages!

We grabbed the pleasant weather as a hint to pack out the old hiking boots and walking sticks, and decided to set course along Fernkloof’s Klipspringer trail.

Fernkloof Nature Reserve located in the Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus, was proclaimed in 1957 and its 1800 hectares are home to over 1470 different species of fynbos.  The name of this principal vegetation type of the region is derived from the Dutch word “fijn bosch” which literally translates to fine bush; it is the collective name for a large variety of evergreen shrub-like plants with small, firm leaves, often rolled – but also includes certain wooded species.

Our first cache for the day was located near the Fernkloof Waterfall – almost unrecognisable in its full, cascading splendour, following the winter rains.

Visit Fernkloof Waterfall at www.geocaching.com

091 Dangerbay View

#91 DANGER POINT VIEW (GC2PWEF)
Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°23.461 E19°15.905

Our next cache was located along an extension to the Klipspringer trail, and true to its name, we were treated to a klipspringer ram and ewe grazing peacefully along the side of the path.

Visit Danger Point View at www.geocaching.com

092 Gansbaai View#92 GANSBAAI VIEW (GC39Y0P)
Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°23.419 E19°16.002

This one had us tricked – after finding the previous cache, we continued on all the way up to the bench on top of Kanonkop, and only checked the next cache’s GPS position AFTER having gone down again.  Turned out this cache was located a mere hundred metres from the bench further up the path.  So, had to go all the way back up again.

Luckily the spectacular view of Walker Bay was well worth it!

Visit Gansbaai View at www.geocaching.com

093 Dassies End

#93 THE DASSIES END… (GC1PZTH)
Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°23.942 E19°15.613

Our last Fernkloof cache for the day is located near a beautiful overhang at the turn-around of the Klipspringer trail.  Rain has turned this spot into something resembling the hanging gardens of Babylon – a completely different sight to the dry, barren rock face it was a season ago…

Visit The Dassies End at www.geocaching.com