30 September 2012 – Tunneling through Du Toit’s

081 The Haunted - Tunnel

#81 THE HAUNTED – TUNNEL (GCRM2Z)
At the original Du Toitskloof Pass Tunnel, South Africa

S33°43.849 E19°06.325

This cache called for a complete change from the usual scenery – from being in a tunnel, to being on top of one…

The original Du Toitskloof tunnel dates form 1948 and we had to pass through it on our way back from the birthday party the previous day.  We parked just off the south end of the tunnel and quickly made our way up the side to the cache location on top of the summit.

Quite an experience to feel the rumble of large 18 wheelers reverberating from below, while the sonic screech of revving motorcycles cut the air.

Nice one!

Visit The Haunted – Tunnel at www.geocaching.com

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29 September 2012 – Du Toitskloof Pass

079 This is My Valley

#79 THIS IS MY VALLEY (GC1YKY2)
Along the Du Toitskloof Pass, South Africa

S33°41.777 E19°04.109

We found this cache – accompanied by Deb and the Dolphin, while on our way to a friend’s birthday party in Rawsonville.

As we recently activated a couple of trackables, we decided to leave Bacchus, the Thirsty Bactrian Camel TB in this cache with its beautiful views of the Paarl and Wellington Valleys.

The pass was named after the Du Toit family, and more specifically the brothers Du Toit – Francois and Guillaume (or Willem, who happens to be a 12 generations back ancestor of Brunette Suikerbos as per her genealogy research).  They were 17th century Huguenot pioneers who settled in the foothills of the mountains and were first to cross it via an animal track.

Today, the animal track has been replaced with a road built around the time of World War II with the pass climbing up to 820 metres (2,690 ft).  The Huguenot Tunnel – a toll road passing through the mountains, shortening the over-mountain route by 11 kilometres, was opened in 1988 and is the largest curved structure in South Africa.

Visit This is my Valley at www.geocaching.com

080 Du Toitskloof Parking

#80 DU TOITSKLOOF PARKING (GC36RDF)
Along the Du Toitskloof Pass, South Africa

S33°43.986 E19°07.281

This quick park-and-grab is located near the parking on the north end of tunnel.  This parking area is also the start of the Elandsrivier and Krom River hiking trails.

Visit Du Toitskloof Parking at www.geocaching.com

24 September 2012 – You Reap what you Sow

078 TIM1

#78 TIM 1 (GC1M77N)
Near Fisherhaven, South Africa

S34°21.563 E19°08.605

We have been driving passed this roadside cache located near an old 1950’s combine regularly on our quest to achieve 30 days of consecutive caching, so we thought it fitting to mark this one as #66 in a row, found on our 30th and final day!

The reason for ending our quest was mainly due to us running out of nearby caches and work and rainy weather keeping us from road trips during the week.

Visit TIM1 at www.geocaching.com

This was day 30 of 30 consecutive caching days.

 

23 September 2012 – It’s Great in Greyton

071 Genadendal the Valley of Grace

#71 GENADENDAL, THE VALLEY OF GRACE (GCXBM5)
Around the Moravian Mission Station in Genadendal, South Africa

S34°02.025 E19°33.448

This clever multi-cache took us on a scenic tour around the Moravian Mission Station in Genadendal – the name literally meaning the Valley of Grace.

This quaint little town is located at the foot of the Riviersonderend Mountains and is home to the oldest Mission Station in Southern Africa.  The station was started in 1738 when Georg Schmidt, a German missionary of the Moravian Church, settled in the area.

The cache had us look for several clues around the the Church Square and its numerous museums, before the final coordinates took us to a lookout point on top of an adjacent koppie (rocky outcrop).

Visit Genadendal, the Valley of Grace at www.geocaching.com

072 Greytnano

#72 GREYTNANO (GC10R9Q)
Greyton, South Africa

S34°02.983 E19°36.515

This quick park-and-grab cache located in Greyton, was a challenge to what remained of Brunette Suikerbos’s algebra skill, as the final coordinates were calculated according to a lengthy algebra formula containing most of the alphabet.

Luckily, Brunette was well-greased following a cold one at a local open-air restaurant.

Visit Greytnano at www.geocaching.com

073 Greyton Koppie Cache

#73 GREYTON KOPPIE CACHE (GCNWVF)
Near Greyton, South Africa

S34°04.493 E19°36.787

Number 3 for the day, was located on a koppie just outside Greyton.

Considering ourselves lucky not to come across a Cape Cobra or Puffadder, it was a quick scramble up and down and on to the next…

Visit Greyton Koppie Cache at www.geocaching.com

074 Riviersonderends First Cache

#74 RIVIERSONDEREND’S FIRST CACHE (GC2T5TQ)
Riviersonderend, South Africa

S34°08.920 E19°54.542

From Greyton, we moved on to three caches located in and around Riviersonderend.

Riviersonderend is a small town in the Overberg region of the Western Cape.  It is located on a loop of the Sonderend River, a main tributary of the Breede River.

We found this quick cache while waiting for our coffee and toasties.

Visit Riviersonderend’s First Cache at www.geocaching.com

075 Cache whos back

#75 CACHE WHO’S BACK? (GC3507F)
Riviersonderend, South Africa

S34°09.168 E19°54.685

Our next cache was a quick park-and-grab next to a road sign overlooking the town church.

Visit Cache Who’s Back at www.geocaching.com

 

076 Mountain View#76 MOUNTAIN VIEW (GC3507W)
Near Riviersonderend, South Africa

S34°08.254 E19°54.816

Our last cache in Riviersonderend, before hitting the N2 back home, is located on the small koppie overlooking the town.  This allowed us a beautiful view of the small town and its central church.

Visit Mountain View at www.geocaching.com

077 Take a Break

#77 TAKE A BREAK (GCQWCD)
At a roadside stop along the N2 near Caledon, South Africa

S34°12.402 E19°34.406

Our seventh and final cache of the day was situated at a rest stop along the N2 highway between Caledon and Riversonderend.

We reached it late afternoon and followed the long shadows unto the second level above the picnic spot, and suddenly felt as if we had entered an alternate dimension, resembling a scene out of Silent Hill – the shadows suddenly took on a surreal, gloomy feel you could cut with a knife, while an odd plastic bag filled with several pairs of toddler shoes, seemed to fit right in with the Otherworld ambience of the Silent Hill series.

After finding this one following a longish search, we re-entered the world of sunshine, and made our way home.

Visit Take a Break at www.geocaching.com

This was day 29 of 30 consecutive caching days.

22 September 2012 – Round Trip to Caledon

067 Dassiesfontein

#67 DASSIESFONTEIN (GC23EV8)
Dassiesfontein Farm Stall along the N2 near Caledon, South Africa

S34°13.504 E19°17.788

Dassiesfontein is one of those traditional old-school farm stalls, where you are likely to find everything – from a West Coast bokkom to a leather belt; home-made jam to a wicker basket, not to mention home-baked pies, warm-out-of-the-oven farm bread and freshly brewed coffee.

We started our quick road trip with an ample serving of pepper-steak pie and coffee, before spending most of the morning browsing around the store’s many nooks and crannies.

The cache was a quick grab before setting off to the next.

Visit Dassiesfontein at www.geocaching.com

068 Take a Bath

#68 TAKE A BATH (GC10V2B)
Bath River in Caledon, South Africa

S34°13.845 E19°26.224

The next cache took us to a national monument located in the Overberg town of Caledon – a bridge dating from 1866 and built over the Baths River.

Way before the Europeans settled in this region, the local Khoi-Khoi had discovered the hot springs (or baths) in the area, Caledon is know for today.

Development started in 1710 when Ferdinand Appel secured farmland in the area, on condition that he erects a bath building allowing visitors access to the hot springs.

Like other natural springs in South Africa, the thermal springs in Caledon are not related to volcanic activity.  The water is warmed due to its flow over pressure-heated rocks deep within the earth crust and remains at a steady temperature of about 50°C.

Visit Take a Bath at www.geocaching.com

069 Hemel en Aarde

#69 HEMEL EN AARDE (GCKZBJ)
Shaw’s Pass in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley between Caledon and Hermanus, South Africa

S34°18.708 E19°24.985

This cache is located within Shaw’s Pass on the R320.  As the pass, and in fact most of the R320, is currently undergoing construction work, it took quite a bit of off-roading with the A4 to reach it.

Due to the ongoing roadworks, the cache has since been temporarily disabled.

The ‘Bossies are certainly looking forward to the completion of this scenic route through the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and short cut to Caledon!

Visit Hemel en Aarde at www.geocaching.com

070 Take a Break Overberg View

#70 TAKE A BREAK – OVERBERG VIEW (GC32BAE)
At a roadside stop along the N2 near Caledon, South Africa

S34°13.283 E19°18.417

Our last cache for the day was a quick park-and-grab at a scenic roadside stop along the N2.

This spot allows for panoramic views of the surrounding green wheat and yellow canola fields.  Beautiful!

Visit Take a Break – Overberg View at www.geocaching.com

This was day 28 of 30 consecutive caching days.

21 September 2012 – Whale Tale

#65 WHALE TALE (GC35G8N)
Coastal path in Kleinmond, South Africa

S34°20.714 E19°00.265

This cache took us to a beautiful spot along the Kleinmond Coastal Path… twice!

We could not find it first time around and had to return later during the day.  Problem was that the cache was hidden by a stone lodge so tightly, we could not move it.  Having had some spinach for lunch, we eventually managed to dislodge the culprit and sign the log.

Visit Whale Tale at www.geocaching.com

#66 BETTY’S SECRET BAY (GC3AW3M)
Jock’s Bay in Betty’s Bay, South Africa

S34°21.317 E18°55.999

This cache is located in a beautiful, almost hidden little stretch of beach, known as Jock’s Bay – perfect for sundowners!

It is also the start of a coastal path dedicated to environmentalist Denys Heeson who was first to initiate regular “Hack Sundays” during which residents would gather, their goal to clear alien vegetation in favour of the natural fynbos.  The first hacking was held in 1963 and has continued ever since with Hack #500 begin held on Sunday, 5 August 2004, making it the oldest continuous hack group in the Western Cape.

Visit Betty’s Secret Bay at www.geocaching.com

This was day 27 of 30 consecutive caching days.

20 September 2012 – Zwelihle View

#64 ZWELIHLE VIEW (GC1GQHT)
Up Rotary Way near Hermanus, South Africa

S34°24.925 E19°13.111

Finding this close-to-home cache located on the mountain slope behind Mount Pleasant, has been on our list for quite awhile, however continuous roadworks along the R43 have been enough reason to delay.

We eventually managed to get onto Rotary Way, from where we followed the contour path over the neck and all along the mountain slope.

The view from the cache site was remarkable and we promptly decided this was the ideal spot to part with Clancy, the tea-drinking Swagman that have been sharing our travels since we grabbed him at the Hiddingh Security TB Hotel in Cape Town.

Visit Zwelihle View at www.geocaching.com

This was day 26 of 30 consecutive caching days.