Loads of fun exploring the Garden Route
Geoff and I took a four day break and decided to explore the Garden Route in the Western Cape.
Having lived in Knysna I had an idea of what the area had to offer and was rather excited to share them with Geoff as he had not really explored this area.
We spent our first night in Sedgefield at Moyoli Inn which is situated a couple of meters from the magnificent Moyoli Beach. Waking up at sparrows on Monday morning we got our cameras and set off to watch the sunrise over the beach and ocean. WOW what an amazing experience – we walked along the endless beach for ever and enjoyed the tranquillity and splendour of vastness of the ocean and surroundings.
Setting off to Knysna we stopped at the Tourist Info Office to get maps of the area and off we went. Our point of interest was the Millwood Mines situated deep in the Knysna forest. As we drove up the mountain into the forest we saw a HUGE tree, obviously curiosity got the best of us and we stopped to take a closer look – there we found the memorial of the well known South African Writer Dalene Matthee, the tree was where she sat and wrote some of her works – she always said the tree was part of her inspiration when writing her novels and looking at the magnificence of it one can certainly understand why.
One the road again we drove further up the mountain to find the Millwood Mine which was established in the late 1800’s with the discovery of alluvial gold in the mountains. Hiking up towards old mine we discovered the tunnels from which they extracted gold, the machinery used for mining and the exit from which the coco pans exited the tunnels – it was quite incredible to see how they managed the mines and the difficulties they must have endured in order to excavate the tiny amounts of gold they thought would make them all wealthy, unfortunately their dreams of building a mining empire was short lived with the discovery of Gold in the Witwatersrand.
We visited The Outeniqua Transport Museum in George which was like stepping back in time, all the old locomotives from the “good old days” beautifully renovated and on display, giving us the feeling that we were a part of the grandeur of the Victorian Era. The ancient oak in town known as the “Slave Tree” which has a chain and lock embedded in the bark – the story goes that slaves were chained to the tree when being auctioned off to the highest bidder. It is said that the story is a myth, but who will ever know the truth…
The Museum in George is home to incredible antique relics from days gone by with the history of George and surrounds on display. We love history and learning about what all the little towns have hidden for discovery.
We had breakfast at a coffee shop in Knysna and then went in search of the one of the old homesteads that had laboriously been moved from The Millwood Mine Village to Knysna by ox wagon when the mining village was eventually closed down. On finding it we were surprised to learn that three other “buildings” had also been moved to Queen Street where the Knysna Museum is situated. All the little treasures that have been lovingly renovated and kept over all these years are amazing to see and makes you realise how times have changed…