WIN. A weekend escape of Overberg Magic

GANSBAAI  is the home of responsible tourism and one of my favourite South African towns . I am thrilled to offer you an opportunity to win a weekend to this fabulous Overberg village as well as tickets to a fun filled weekend camping in a mystical forest .

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Sunset in the ancient Klipgat Cave

The Greenpop Reforest Fest will be held in the Platbos Forest from 10th – 12th March and is suitable for the whole family.

You will spend one day working hard planting trees and the next day enjoying a variety of activities before heading home, restored by nature.

 The festival is the brainchild of Greenpop , a lively bunch who started a Treevolution.

 

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Surrounded by nature. Photo credit @Greenpop

The Gansbaai Weekend Away prize inludes:

A two-night stay for two at the easy-going and friendly Saxon Lodge Gansbaai.
A meal for two at five star Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
A stunning ride from the mountains to the beach with Fatbike Tours South Africa.

The competition runs from the 18-25 January, so be sure to get your entries in today!

Enter now: http://bit.ly/GPGansbaai

 

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Views from the deck at Saxon Lodge

Keen to know more?

 Below are all the detail about the festival. Get a group of family , friends and kids together and enjoy a weekend break in the ancient, indigenous  Platbos Forest, it really is a magical place.

 

A CELEBRATION OF PLANTING AND PLAY!

A weekend away for the whole family  where you help re-plant the ancient, indigenous Platbos Forest, learn all about holistic green living, and have a TREE-mendously fun time with the kids.

We’ll plant thousands of trees, camp under the stars and ancient Milkwood trees, play and learn at a variety of fun workshops, and enjoy  family entertainment in nature.

Ready to get your hands dirty for a good cause?

9 REASONS  TO BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW:

1. You’ll help to plant 1000s of trees – what a great reason to dig in and get dirty!
2. Make new friends and reconnect with old ones.
3. Relax and join in the great line-up of family activities, you don’t need to plan a thing!
4. Sleep under the stars: pitch your tent ,or rent one from us.
5. Take a break from cooking and opt for the weekend meal-plan.
6. Experience the beautiful eco-ablution facilities provided.
7. Find the one thousand year old Milkwood tree.
8. Enjoy a talent show under a star-lit sky.
9. Unplug for some quality family time.

Ticket details.
We value inclusivity and want our festival to be available to as many different people as possible. If you can afford it, please consider purchasing a Generosity ticket. For every Generosity ticket purchased, we will be able to offer a Subsidised ticket to someone who cannot afford the Regular ticket price.

Ticket Prices:
Adult Generosity ticket: R500
Adult Regular price ticket: R390
Adult Subsidised ticket: R280
Children ticket (4 to 12): R220
Children below 4: free

PROGRAMME:

Friday:
Arrive Friday evening and relax into a chilled night of gentle tunes under the canopy of the ancient indigenous forest. Enjoy delicious food and start bonding with new friends around the campfire.

Saturday:
Saturday is an action-packed day of tree-planting and getting your hands dirty, helping to restore an ecosystem that is one of the most rare and endangered in the Western Cape. After planting thousands of trees in your teams, return to camp for a good shower and a forest party to celebrate the achievement. Greenpop provides an awesome musical line-up at the intimate main stage, with some of South Africa’s coolest emerging bands as well as a talent show and entertainment for the whole family. Line up to be announced soon!

Sunday:
Sunday is a day to relax your body and stimulate your mind. It’s filled with fun, educational activities and workshops including:
Forest walks  |  Yoga  |  Hula Hooping   |

Performances      |    Treasure hunts     |    And some surprises   |

Talks by various personalities in conservation and sustainable living   |

Interactive music sessions and instrument making  |   Arts and crafts   |  Talent shows   |

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Happy workers from the 2016 festival. Photo credit @Greenpop

HOW TO GET THERE:

Platbos forest is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Cape Town. If you are travelling in a car, please try to carpool if you can. Our partners Find a Lift (http://findalift.co.za/) have a great carpooling site where you can find travel buddies and rides if you need.

Directions:
Remember you might be arriving in the dark on Friday evening, so be sure to read these directions carefully and have them on hand.

From Cape Town, take the N2 highway towards Hermanus.
Take the Hermanus turn off and go directly into Hermanus town.

Drive through Hermanus town towards Stanford on the R43.

On the R43 road from Stanford to Gansbaai, look out for the Grootbos turnoff on your left hand side, approximately 12km after passing Stanford town. (If you get to Gansbaai you have gone too far)

Turn left at the Grootbos turn off and travel for just over 6km along this tar, and then gravel, road (do not turn into the actual Grootbos Estate).

Just before the 6km mark, you will see a turnoff over a cattle grid on your right hand side, and a wooden sign, ‘Platbos Forest’. This entrance to the forest is CLOSED for Festival goers. Please do not turn up this road as you cannot gain access to the Fest from here.

Continue along the road you are on, following the Greenpop signboards and flags. Turn right onto the entrance road (marked with Greenpop signboards) immediately after you have passed the Platbos entrance.

Follow the signboards until you come to the Festival Entrance.

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ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS:
Camping

Bring your own tent and camp in our general campsite. Please follow instructions of the welcoming team and parking guards. No dogs are allowed in the forest 😦

Camper van area
Allowed in this area: camper vans, caravans (including tow vehicle), motor homes, trailer tents (including tow vehicle), roof top tents (including vehicle – must be permanent or semi permanent fixtures to the vehicle).
NOTE:The above MUST be able to comfortably fit into the 7 x 5m area allocated. Greenpop reserves the right to exclude any of the above if it does not meet the required and generally accepted standards of what defines each of the above mentioned.
NOT ALLOWED IN THE CAMPERVAN AREA:
Cars (including with mattresses)
Bakkies (including with mattresses)
Combis (including with mattresses and/or tents placed on the roof)
Trucks (including with mattresses and/or tents placed on the roof of flatbed.)

PS If you are up for a bit more of a party, maybe you’d like to join for the FRIENDS weekend (it’s still family friendly but we’ll stay up a bit later ;)) on 17-19 March 2017. Check out the event page Greenpop Reforest Fest: Friends Weekend 2017!

Watch this vid from last year’s Fest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNxOW6yiu84

Follow and support Greenpop    FaceBook     Twitter      Instagram

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Gansbaai Harbour

 

Hermanus Fynarts Festival.

I like art, although I am not a frequent visitor of galleries, nor do I have a cheque book that can cope with the price tags attached to what I like. That said, art can be enjoyed and appreciated just by looking and I have just spent two days doing exactly that at the Hermanus Fynarts Festival.

Now in its fourth year, this festival is really coming into its own and getting bigger and better all the time. This year the festival theme is A French Connection, and considering South Africa’s passion and excellence in all things related to food, wine and the performing arts, coupled with our French Hugenot heritage, it’s a very good connection all round.

During his performance at “Last night at the Proms” our very own maestro Richard Cock dismissed politicians, statesmen and business leaders and boldly stated…

“ We ,the creatives are the future of this country, because creatives talk to our souls.”

I tend to agree with him. I have spent two days viewing beautiful and thought provoking art, listened to exquisite music, eaten food made with passion and flair and spent time on the beach with my camera. My world is in perfect harmony. I have been rejuvenated.

Richard also noted that the arts had a very difficult job as the natural beauty of the area is a tough competitor. I say that while nature and art might have been competing, they complimented and inspired one another, and they both won. After all, we are in South Africa, the most talented and beautiful country in the world.

So whatever talks to your soul, inspires and delights you, you will find it in Hermanus this week until the final day of the festival on Sunday 19th June.

Spread out over Hermanus and the surrounding area the festival is a celebration of sculpture, paintings, food, wine, music and poetry. You can wander around and look, you can taste, listen and learn. There are talks, workshops, cooking demos and wine tastings with lots of mixing and matching at a variety of venues. Visit wine estates, hotels, galleries, churches and municipal halls, just look for the Hermanus Fynarts posters and signs that are dotted all around.

To view the complete program of events, talks and workshops click here to view and book if necessary.

 

All the galleries and venues displaying artworks are free and a handy map showing the location is readily available as Hermanus now boasts a First Fridays Artwalk through the village.

As I am neither a foodie nor a wine lover, I focussed on the art and this is what I found and loved. It represents a tiny fraction of what is on display.

My photographs do not do justice to the artwork, they serve only to give an idea of the feast that awaits your eyes.

The featured artist of the festival is Louis Jansen van Vuuren, a home grown talent who now spends his time in France and South Africa. His exhibition titled “Heaven and Earth” can be seen at the Rossouw Modern SPACE Gallery.

 

I met Terry Kobus  of Originals Art Gallery and was very moved by his works inspired by the child refugees of Syria.

 

I also loved his African scenes.

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Terry Kobus

I was intrigued by the sculptures by Jaco Sieberhagen, all the ones on display at the Rossouw Modern as well as the large piece on the cliffs at Gearing’s Point. Jaco depicts individuals and the components that make us who we are.

 

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Jaco Sieberhagen’s beautiful installation overlooking Walker Bay in Hermanus

At the entrance the the Rossouw Modern the Wild Dogs by Frans Mulder seem to run of of the painting at you. I spent ages at this painting.

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Wild Dogs by Frans Mulder

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Frans Mulder, up close of wild dog

 

I was lucky enough to find Malcolm of Malcolm Bowling Art Gallery at work. His love and understanding of animals is reflected in all his paintings and drawings.

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Malcolm Bowling, a masterpiece in my eyes. 

 

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Malcolm bowling drawing

 

The natural beauty that is in your face as you walk between galleries is art in itself. Sunrise and sunset in the Overberg can be spectacular, so do remember to keep an eye on the sky.

 

At Birkenhead House in Voelklip, a suburb of Hermanus, the abstract sculpture panels by Dylan Lewis are very interesting.  Animal spoor in relief, moulded, and painted using the unique technique developed by him.

 

Sculptures on the Cliffs at Gearing’s Point. 

This year traditional artists were asked to nominate a sculptor to exhibit with them.  My favourites pieces were Stairway to Heaven by Strijdom van der Merwe, Love Alone by George Holloway, Traveller by Jaco Sieberhagen and Assemble by  Lionel Smit.

African stories are told on beautiful tapestries by the artists of The Keiskamma Art Project. 

 

 

I could go on and on with pictures and stories, there is so much talent in our creative country. Below are the last few artists I just have to mention. Go and feast on art in Hermanus, it is so inspiring.

Sculpture by Bruce Little and Etching by Titia Ballot

 

Oil paintings by Solly Smook

 

 

Arabian Heart Throb by Florian Junge seen at the Walker Bay Gallery.

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Arabian Heartthrob by Florian Junge

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Close up of Florian Junge’s Arabian Heart throb

Don’t miss the ceramic displays at the Windsor Hotel and the beautiful jewellery at the Marine Hotel.

Hermanus is a one and a half hour drive from Cape Town so a day trip visit to the festival is easy. There is so much to see and do that overnighting is recommended and there is plenty of accommodation available. With the public holiday on Thursday, why not take Friday off and head for Hermanus.

 

Thank you to the amazing Mary Faure and the organisers of the FynArts Festival for hosting me in Hermanus. To Auberge Burgundy for the comfortable accommodation right at the beach, Burgundy Restaurant for breakfasts to fuel me for the day and Frieda Lloyd for her time, coffee and passion for her area. All opinions are my own.