Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Report Back #27

1. Mount Ceder: Cederberg Conservancy meeting

2. Map updates and corrections blog

3. Graham Bellairs: Sandfontein movie

4. Gifberg, gifboom, et seq

5. Koppieshoogte and the Khoi monument

1. Mount Ceder: Cederberg Conservancy meeting

The Kaartmans were invited to introduce ‘Hike the Cederberg’ to the quarterly meeting of the Cederberg Conservancy last weekend. The venue was that great place, Mount Ceder, another one of those which, if you haven’t stayed there yet, it’s high time that you did.
It was Civil Society weekend for us, and if you think all Civil Society organizations are para-political animals, like fighters for AIDS treatment, for better education standards, for dumping e-tolling, etc etc you’d be wrong. On our way into the mountains we visited the Liggiefees at PA Hamlet – it’s an outdoor evening of music and lekker kos and bright and pretty Christmas lights put on by, and in aid of, the local Ouetehuis [Engelsmanne say ‘old age home’]. It did not sound like the sort of thing the Kaartmanne would normally drop everything to attend – but it was an eye-opener. The event drew the communities of ‘Hemlit’ and ‘Sêris’ together in a really joyful evening that transcended many social barriers, and sparked fresh hope on a weekend when the news was dominated by yet-more evidence of our kleptocratic leaders wallowing in their stolen wealth.
Mount Ceder Rock Art: Top: the famous rhino; bottom: a group of hunters possibly carrying game; a flying antelope. The paintings were damaged early in the twentieth century.
At Op die Berg we diverted for a brief visit to another great initiative – there in the Kerksaal was an expert guitar-player and music teacher voluntarily running a workshop for twenty-odd teenagers from the surrounding farms. I forget [with regret] the name of the organization that raised the money to buy the guitars, transport the boys and girls, feed them and reward them with prizes later, but it was all really good civil society stuff, building communities, developing young people, inspiring hope in the future once again.
And of course at Mount Ceder we sat in on the Conservancy meeting, another civil society initiative that unites the landowners of the Cederberg in an effort to conserve their wonderful environment while developing sustainable tourism, better security, labour development and facilities for the benefit of all. It was a privilege to attend the meeting and the absolutely magnificent dinner that followed; this Kaartman was deeply honoured to receive honorary Friendship of the Conservancy.
   Quinton Martins of the Cape Leopard Trust also graciously conferred upon us status as Creatures worth Conserving – see pic.
Thanks for that, Quinton. 
  Before leaving our comfortable and well-appointed cottage at Mount Ceder we enjoyed a dip in the Grootrivier and a visit to some of the great rock paintings on the farm.
Grootrivier drift: Left, 1948; right: 1972

2. Map updates and corrections blog

After much thought we decided that the easiest way to gather comments, suggestions and corrections to the hiking map was to put up a blog – it deals with all our maps – that lists every problem and/or update that has come to light. Please contribute – all whose suggestions are accepted will be acknowledged in Edition #2. We’re very pleased that Edition #1 is being extensively road-tested by 120 boys from Bishops as I write – we’re hoping for plenty of remarks! We already have several small corrections to ‘Hike the Cederberg’, the most important of which is probably Kunje’s phone number: they contacted us just too late! Go to Slingsby Maps Info to contribute your comments.
Don’t forget to give some time to Cederberg Names – we’re getting a regular stream of visitors there.
Other new blogs are Slingsby Maps Reviews and Slingsby Maps Retail Outlets.

3. Graham Bellairs: Sandfontein movie

Graham sent me a great selection of pics from the remote and glorious Sandfontein area that I felt should be widely shared. We’ve put up a short three-minute movie on YouTube – watch it on full screen, or set it as a screen-saver.

4. Gifberg, gifboom, et seq

A couple of weeks ago we put up a post at Maps for Afrika concerning Gifberg. We know it’s a great place but we were unprepared for the instant, massive response, mysteriously from the USA and from Poland! We realise that ‘gifboom’ is not just a plant, it’s also an app for smart phones, but why Poland? The blog post is already by far the most visited we have ever had, and still growing. It must have been something picked up by the search engines, so here’s a list of some key words on that post, to see whether the same thing happens here!
Gifberg Gifboom Jansu Huisamen Poison Mountain Jacques Tredoux Luca Wiedouw Weimaraner Spook Hyaenanche globosa Namaqualand Putty

If we get another thousand hits in three days I’ll let you know.

5. Koppieshoogte and the Khoi monument

As you approach Op die Berg from the south you pass through a shallow nek between the mountain on your right, and a low ridge on your left. This is Koppieshoogte, an uneasy name for the spot where the severed heads of Galant and his fellow-murderer, Abel, were gruesomely displayed in 1825. Both had been executed at Worcester for their roles in the murder of Willem van der Merwe of Houdenbek farm, the farm school teacher Johannes Verlee and an unfortunate visitor. The three were murdered by Galant and his gang of slaves who had risen in revolt against the farmers at a time when rumours of emancipation had caused unease on many farms. André Brink famously dramatised the whole affair in his brilliant ‘A Chain of Voices’ (highly recommended).
To cut a long story short, on our recent visit we were told that the local Koue Bokkeveld Khoi leadership had recently erected a monument to Galant and Abel at the roadside, at Koppieshoogte.
Koppieshoogte ‘monument’ – I’m not convinced that this isn’t commemorating a road accident victim rather than Galant and Abel ...
I am reasonably certain that both Galant and Abel were of Indian origin, from the Coromandel coast originally, so why they should be so honoured by the Khoi I am not sure – but I digress. The monument was disappointing. I’m not referring here in any disparaging way to the fact that it resembles a pile of stones – such piles often had deep religious significance to the Khoi. What was really disappointing was the wreath. Didn’t the Graeco-Romans invent the idea of wreaths? And roses ... ?
Go figure.
Joy van Biljon of Ceres sent me this report:
Research complete re “monument”.  The man who I thought would know popped in to inform me. Unfortunately he was in a hurry, but here is what he said.
It was erected by the Khoisan Group on heritage day in memory of the Koppies Hoogte event.  The idea is that anyone who wants to, can add a stone as they pass by.  There was a ceremony on heritage day.  The leader for this area is Abre Hector who comes from the Cederberg  and he in turn reports to the chief of the Koranas.  The movement is a loose alliance of different groups who feel they are “first people”.  They do extensive DNA testing and the main aim is to make people proud of their heritage.  They are also busy researching old graves and trying to declare them as heritage sights.   Their logo is something like “the land is the Khoi and the Khoi is the land.”  They have a newspaper called Eerste Nasie Nuus. (There is an example on the web)(link did not work – Ed.)  The local coordinator, Jonathon Coetzee will send me his copy of the article about the monument and I will scan it for you.

Kaartman, December 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Moritz and Angus

Sad to have to report the loss of two of the Cederberg’s sincerest devotees. Moritz Connrad would have been known to many readers of this blog; he and Andrea contributed valuable insights and information to the new hiking map, even though their farm, Enjolife, fell outside the mapped area. Moritz died tragically in a light aircraft accident a week ago; he leaves his wife and two young children and a host of grieving friends. At times like these we face our hopelessness and helplessness  – we want so much to do something, say something, put this awful thing to rights. We are devastated by the suddenness and the harshness of Moritz’s passing; our thoughts, sympathy and condolences go to Andrea and the children. 
Angus Wilson, a forester of note and devotee of the Cederberg, died while on holiday a fortnight ago. Called out to advise at the scene of a veld fire, Angus suffered a heart attack. At his memorial the parson described Angus as a tall tree in the forest; he was indeed a tree. I knew him for over forty years, and in the early years he gave me many ideas and insights into the areas we were mapping. We shared many close friends with Angus and Gilian, and we followed their fortunes and those of their family in short, early morning chats on Muizenberg beach, while walking the dogs. Our sympathies and condolences to Gilian and the family. Angus was 79; a tree has indeed fallen in the forest.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Report Back #25: Not quite the last ... first it's MOVIE TIME!

Can’t seem to leave this Cederberg thing alone. The Cederberg Names blog is pretty much complete and up there for your info [and comment!]; but I recently was asked for GPS tracks, and thereby an idea was born.
It’s worried me that we have this extraordinary set of 16000+ photographs, thanks to Matt Britton, but as long as they are buried on a hard drive they are of no use to anyone. 

And so the plan is to produce a CD [or maybe a DVD, depending on space required] that contains the following:
* Tracks for the major hikes and day walks – probably 30 to 40 of these. These will be in kml format for Google Earth, and gpx format for use in GPS readers. I can’t possibly put them in all the different current GPS-file formats so you would have to download the free converter that suits you;
* a photo-string of 50 to 100 captioned, geo-tagged photos per hike, in kmz format, that can be loaded into Google Earth where they will appear as a string of ‘thumbnails’ along the relevant route; click on each mini-pic to open it up;
* and possibly a slide-show/movie that you can open in Picasa or Windows Media Player of the same photos, for the same hikes.
   The CD will thus allow you not only to plan future trips to the Cederberg but also to glimpse the corners that you may not know. I’m sure that Galeo and others may not like the idea but, if you prefer self-discovery, you don’t have to buy the CD.
An important aspect of Matt’s photos is that they were all taken in the same year [2011] in the same 5-month period [May to September]. They are thus a comprehensive and historic record of burnt and unburnt areas, the state of paths and, very importantly, the state of many of the surviving cedars. The info on the CD will thus become something of an historic record as well.
We have put together a couple of ‘teasers’ as movies on YouTube – these are shortened, 1 min 30 sec versions of the photo-strings proposed above. The music is mostly pretty awful, but we can only afford non-copyrighted freebies here so you may want to turn off the sound ...
Try them – just click on the name:

Heuningvlei Donkey Trail
Sas se Kloof [Kleinvlei to Wupperthal]
Zimri se Pad [Pakhuis to Boskloof]
Krakadouw [Heuningvlei to Groot Krakadouw Peak

and also

1600 Cape Flowers 1 and 1600 Cape Flowers 2 [each with 90 flowers]

... which means that the Corrections Blog will have to wait a little longer ....

Kaartman, 22 October 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Report Back #24: the Launches

So there it is – suddenly it’s out there, and two years of work have come to an end. Well, not really, because in the nature of maps they don’t come to an end, they need constant revision and updating ... of which more anon.
Kaartman holding forth at the MCSA in Cape Town; pic by Rob of Outward Ventures
The MCSA launch on 30 August went off very well – more than 100 in the crowd on a pretty miserable wintry evening, and this mapmaker was much relieved that none of the questions afterwards were too hairy! There were a couple of prizes, too; to my eternal embarrassment I forgot to mention that one of the prizes was Tony Lourens’ brilliant new book, ‘Cape Peninsula Select’, donated by him ... many thanks, Tony.

The gluhwein flowed and the sarmies produced by the Outward Ventures staff and Mrs Kaartman were all gobbled before the evening was out. Lots of maps were sold, too – there is a huge and hefty printer’s bill to pay, two double-sided A1 maps on waterproof paper don’t come cheap, so lots of thanks due to the buyers, too. The maps sold included a couple of dozen ‘seconds’ – copies with a printer’s fingerprint on the front cover, or slightly odd folding, etc etc, but otherwise perfectly good. We offered them to indigent students and other disadvantaged persons – strange how quite a few of those were very, very senior students ...
Some familiar faces at the MCSA launch; pic by Rob of Outward Ventures
A very special vote of thanks is due to the staff of Outward Ventures for all the many ways they helped ....

A couple of weeks later we moved on to Clanwilliam, with a lekker and appropriate venue in the Timeline Hall at the Living Landscape Project. Surrounded by images of rock art and the San people we celebrated the map as well as forty years of the Cederberg Wilderness, joined by a couple of dozen intrepid locals. Patrick Lane, head honcho of the Wilderness, gave a really good short presentation of what the Wilderness was all about, then accepted two large display copies of the map, the north and the south, which will be displayed at the new Algeria reception – still under construction. More Outward Ventures sarmies were washed down, this time with a truly good dry red donated by the Pakhuys Country Winery – you really should get some of that. Thanks, Lizzie!
In the blue in the Timeline Hall in Clanwilliam; Patrick Lane and Kaartman again; pic by Mariaan Smuts
Special thanks to Lesley Beake at Living Landscapes, the staff there, and Mariaan Smuts for great help that made this such a success.

The next day we moved on in the pouring rain to Vanrhynsdorp, after a rugby match that took place in some foreign country at about 9:30 that morning. While we were watching a French referee disgrace himself Patrick Lane was returning to the Agter-Pakhuis, to Bushmans Kloof, in fact, to attend the collaring of a large male leopard trapped by the Cape Leopard Trust. As it turns out Mrs Kaartman and I had previously met this beastie ... well, not face to face, but he had almost certainly seen us, even tho’ we unobservant humans had not seen him. 

A month or so ago we were photographing his spoor – which Quinton Martins later described as ‘exceptionally large’ – when we noticed that the grass flattened by his feet was still slowly rising ... turns out that he weighed in at 57.5 kg, the largest leopard yet collared by the Cape Leopard Trust.
Pic by Dave Mohr
The pics were taken by Dave Mohr and sent to us by his wife Di. Patrick gave the Mohr’s two small sons, aged 8, the moment of a lifetime when he invited them to stroke the fur of the slumbering beastie. I shouldn’t be surprised if the combined weight of your boys is less that 57.5 kg, Di ...
Patrick Lane encouraging small Mohrs to stroke the leopard – pic by Dave Mohr
After bouncing around the wondrous blooms of the Northern Cape, we left a display copy of the new map with Charité van Rijswijk at her excellent restaurant/farm stall at Traveller’s Rest, and hit the road for Wupperthal. There’s more of this all on the other blog, but wat lansering betref it needs to be known that the Wupperthal launch was an unscheduled resounding success. We arrived there to find that a huge tourism-promotion-cum-job-creation programme was about to be launched, replete with hundreds of orange-clad men and women, a brass band, and amongst the dignitaries none other than Patrick Lane again – this man gets around – and the esteemed Rudolf Andrag, who had been at our Clanwilliam launch.
Musical launch of Hike the Cederberg at Wupperthal; left to right, Ingar Valentyn (Wupperthal Tourism), Kaartman, and the President of the MCSA; brass band, others and historic Church behind. Pic by Jeanne Ward
So what did Geoff Ward of Outward Ventures do? He hijacked the brass band, and we had a musical photo-shoot of the official handover of the new map plus a framed copy to the Wupperthal Tourism Bureau. We had the President of the Moravian Church in SA in the pic too, nogal – I was not introduced but I think he is the Rev Brian Abrahams – please someone put me right on this. So instead of the MCSA in Cape Town, at Wupperthal we had the MCSA. (Don’t be confused, please). Many thanks, especially to the band.

The map is launched, and there will be one last blog to come in this series. It’s to be a ‘corrections and changes’ blog, where you’ll be invited to send in any changes you feel should be made to ‘Hike the Cederberg’, in its edition#2.

So it remains only to once again thank all of you – a hundred or more good people – who have contributed both to the map itself, and to its launch. I can’t name you all because we forgot to get the names of the musicians in that excellent brass band ...

Kaartman, September 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

#23 You’re invited to the launch ...

... of HIKE the CEDERBERG ...

1. Two launches, and your invitation

2. No days left to buy at the pre-launch special price

3. Cederberg Names: please visit, comment, contribute

4. Spring flowers

5. New postage stamps

1. Two launches, and your invitation

You’re cordially invited to all or any of the TWO launches we are planning; here are the details to date, and if there are any changes we’ll let you know next week. All are welcome; no need to RSVP

30 August 2013 (Friday) at the Mountain Club of SA Club House in Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town, at 8:00 for 8:30 pm
There’ll be a short presentation by the cartographer [20/25 mins], questions and signings, tea, coffee, snacks, some wine and maybe some gluhwein.
ALL Slingsby Maps will be on sale at 10% discount
A FEW ‘seconds’ [ie maps with dirty marks on the cover] of our new Hike the Cederberg map will be available for R100 cash on the nail to indigent students and other economically-disadvantaged persons.
 ALL WELCOME (you don’t have to be an MCSA member)

13 September 2013 (yes, Friday 13th) at the Living Landscape hall, Park Road, CLANWILLIAM, at 12 for 12:30 pm

There’ll be a short presentation by the cartographer [20/25 mins], questions and signings, tea, coffee, snacks, and a glass of wine, so come and lunch with us before you finish your weekend shopping. ALL WELCOME
We will also make a special presentation in honour of the 40th birthday of the CEDERBERG WILDERNESS

2. No days left to buy at the pre-launch special price ...

Time has run out on our special offer, but you can still buy Hike the Cederberg online for only R225. 
Maps make great birthday and Christmas presents, and if you buy more than one copy you save on postage!

3. Cederberg Names: please visit, comment, contribute

The new blog is up and running ... as I write this we are up to letter P, with QR up soon [that’s about two-thirds through the 1300 names!]. PLEASE have a look at the blog and comment or, if you can, please contribute! We’d love to have a pic for every entry, so if you’d like to help then send in your pics, they can be low-res email pics ... and you will be acknowledged. This is a worthwhile project that will help researchers as well as just being of great interest to all who know and love the Cederberg. I’ve posted some sample entries on this blog, to whet your appetite ...

4. Spring flowers

It’s already a bumper year in flowerland, and if you don’t have a booking it’s probably too late. Compensate with a great DVD of more than 1400 images of Cape Flowers, most of them of publishable resolution, all of them named with botanical and common names. It makes a great gift, or screen saver and / or botanical guide, so get yours now for just R100  plus postage ...

5. New postage stamps

... were a disappointment. We understood that they were to feature Cederberg rock formations – but there is only one of those; the rest are all in other less-important places in the country ...

Go for it.

Kaartman, August 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

#22 Report Back July 2013

IT’S HERE! “Hike the Cederberg” is AT THE PRINTER and in a day or two I will be holding proof copies in my grubby, ink-stained paws. You can PRE-ORDER at a special pre-launch price of R150, which is about 33% off the eventual recommended retail price. You’ll get a signed, first edition copy – but don’t delay, the offer closes on August 28th.
Pre-order from the website, either by credit card [Add to Cart button] or by EFT [EFT button].
We are expecting stock from the printer in the first half of August, and as soon as you receive your tracking number you’ll know that your maps are on their way to you.
Official launches for the maps will be on August 29th [Cape Union Mart, Canal Walk] and at the Mountain Club in Hatfield Street on August 30th. We are hoping to organise one or two other venues in due course, and we’ll blog our open invitation to all of these as soon as we have more details.
If you are a retailer who would like to sell on to your customers or resort guests please contact us by return email for details of a special initial wholesale price.

1. A Close Encounter ...

2. A ‘New’ Peak ...

3. There are NO ‘Imaginative’ Paths on my Map ...

4. Cederberg Names Blog ...

1. A Close Encounter ...

Shows you can’t be too cheeky in life. On our recent trip to Bakkrans we found this:

so we bent down and grinned. Several weeks later a startled Quinton Martins sent us these ...

The dates and times on the pics show us that when Tigger passed that way (36 hours before us) we were walking to our cabin in the dark, about 200 m away ...

2. A ‘New’ Peak ...

Torben Wiborg, Graham Bellairs and friends recently ‘bagged’ the 1600+ metre peaks in the Koerasieberg complex, and at Wegwaai. At the former they found that the Trig Beacon had a name ...

... so there it is, minutes before deadline, on the map as ‘Hoogvertoon Peak’. They also found that the height of Wegwaai is 1641m, not 1631 as the Trig Survey has it ... duly corrected on the map, just three hours before it went to print!

3. There are NO ‘Imaginative’ Paths on my Map ...

Had an email the other day that suggested that the path south from Sneeukop Hut to Eselbank se Hoek is ‘imaginative’ ... and that came from experienced Cederbergers whom at first I felt I had to believe. So here goes ... sorry, ouens, but your eyes were blinded by the rising moon or something. I’ll admit that the path is faint, but it’s absolutely clear to see on Google Earth. Matt Britton took a GPS track for that path that perfectly matches the path that is visible on Google Earth. The path on the new map perfectly matches the GPS track that Matt took that is visible etc etc etc ... had you cast about a little more patiently you had to have found the way.
I rest my case ... the map’s path matches Google Earth’s path exactly ...

Which thus leads to the following unequivocal statement from this cartographer ...
There are NO ‘imaginative’ paths that are approved for public use, with permit or without, on my map “HIKE THE CEDERBERG”.

... which does not include ways-to-go or paths keyed as not recommended, of course.

That said, there will of course be little-used paths that fade or become overgrown with time, especially after fires, which is exactly why we always revise our maps, and do not simply reprint them. This blog will remain open for comments, etc. and we’ll log as many changes over the forthcoming years as inputs are received ... if you find that that path is gone or hard to find, let us know and we’ll get the info out there.

4. Cederberg Names Blog ...

With all the new names gathered for the new maps, plus plenty of old ones that deserve explanation, I have taken the list of all the place names on the maps and started a new blog – link here – that attempts to [a] translate names into English and [b] explain their origins. I’m going to leave the blog up permanently (it’s not complete yet, by the way) for researchers, Cederberg lovers, whoever may be interested, and if you have a dispute, an explanation or a better idea, PLEASE get in touch and I’ll bring it up to date.
Lots of the stuff is quite interesting – do you know why it’s “Algeria”, for instance? Check the blog!

All the inputs acknowledged are now printed on the map; you can find them all there!

Happy hiking!

– Kaartman, Madiba’s 95th birthday, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Map Samples for your Comment

 1. If you have not yet seen Report Back #21, please scroll down to the next blog.

2. The map samples on this page will change from day to day, i.e. I won’t be posting a new blog for every sample, so if you would like to comment on this or any other sample please log in regularly! Most browsers will let you enlarge the sample by clicking on it. 

3. If you’d like to comment, please use my email if you have it, or the contact form on the website.

4. The map has gone for printing, so your comments will be held for the next edition.

Sample #1: Please note that the path that enters the fram to the right of SNEEUKOP and goes south to Eselbank se Hoek is NOT  a fanciful path - it's right there on the ground!

Sample #2: Any comment on this area? We have had no response from Karukareb so the name will be removed.
Sample #3: Any comment? We are not 100% sure of Filander se Gat ...
Sample #4:
Sample #7: sorted

Sample #8:
This area had some controversies when the mapping started; any further comment?

Sample #9:
Welbedacht/Tafelberg area: any comments?

Sample #10: 
Sample #11:

-- Kaartman, July 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#21 Report Back June 2013

The End is nigh! ... great news is that not only is the final checking in process, we even have an Official Launch Date (of which more details later), for “Hike the Cederberg”, as the map will be named.
The covers of the map set, front and back;
pics by Graham Bellairs and Matt du Plessis
Why the ‘hike the’? Well, we have to distinguish it carefully from our touring map of the Cederberg, which has been available in various editions since 1976. The eleventh edition of this one is next on our job card, and this time will include the popular spring flower areas north to Nieuwoudtville, Loeriesfontein and Calvinia.

But that’s a different story. The hiking maps will only be sold together, in a folding plastic wallet. Each map is roughly A1, printed on 80 gsm Duraflex waterproof paper, so the set will be relatively expensive, but the good news is that there will be a pre-launch special at a cheaper price – I’ll let you know when you can order. The set consists of two double-side maps, and they fit together like this:

In the meantime, I am going to start putting up sample bits of map, asking for your comments. These will be added from day to day to the same blog page. I can’t send out 120 emails every time, so if you would like to be involved in the checking process please visit the blog regularly from Monday 1 July. The absolute deadline for all inputs is WEDNESDAY 17 JULY. Please use the contact form on the Slingsby Maps website if you don’t have my email address.

The process started in May 2011, when Matt Britton took his first of 16 000 photos of the Cederberg Trails, is finally reaching fruition!
Matt’s photo no 1: Kliphuis;
Matt’s photo number 16 124: Boskloof. 650km in 25 days.

A great new footpath

Drikus Mouton of Wilderness Search and Resue sent me a gps track for this great little walk between Heuningvlei and Biedouw ... if you know of any details along the route, please let me know [click on map to enlarge it].

Old Ruins

Janette Deacon and Nic Wiltshire sent me their list, with co-ordinates, of ruins in the Cederberg. Many we have already but there are a good few new ones, all valuable landmarks in the Wilderness.

Doc Spock’s Rock?

Charles Merry sent me pics of Doc’s Rock, near Arch Peak, named, I’m told, for the famous Doc Watson. It’s now been suggested that the rock is really called ‘Spock’s Rock’, after the controversial how-to-bring-up-your-kids guy, not the Star Trek Vulcan. I expect a torrent of comment on this one ....

Underneath the Arches ...

I now have six rock arches in the southern area ... all look quite different in the pictures, and each has quite different coordinates, so they are indeed obviously different ... BUT I have lots and lots of contradictions about which is called what. For now I’m going to stick to the names as I have them, unless someone out there is willing to come to my office to try to sort it all out ...

But, thanks to Martin Hutton-Squire, we now have firm boundaries for the MCSA property at Breekkrantz.

Kliphuis cottages ...
Peter Hart pointed out that the new prefab cottages next to the road at Kliphuis [Pakhuis Pass] are staff quarters, not cottages for hire.

Cederberg Heritage Route
There’s a great article about the route in the June ‘Country Life’; in the meantime Peter Hart has urged all those involved to attend the AGM in Wupperthal on July 17th.

Checking ....
And special thanks to Rudolf Andrag and Patrick Lane and Steven Windell for some great inputs in the checking process. Next week I’m looking forward to a visit from Alex Basson ...

Already acknowledged:
Rudolf Andrag, Alex Basson, Graham Bellairs, Chris Berens, Arrie Beukes, Willem Beukes, Matthew Britton, Hendrico Burger, Lizette Burger, Theresa Burton, Eleanore Colyn, Andrea and Moritz Connrad, Louis Conradie, Janette Deacon, David Donald, Rika du Plessis, Connie & Lizzie du Toit, Laurence Elton, Kerneels Filander, Ferdi Fischer, David Fox, Carina Hanekom, Petrus Hanekom, Theunis Hanekom, Peter Hart, Ronnie Hazell, Tony Heher, Martin Hutton-Squire, Sam Jack, James Joubert, Jeroen Kant, Gerrit Karsten, Tony Kings, Isak Koopman, Thys Kruger, Paul la Grange, Patrick Lane, Johann Lanz, John Ross, Justin Lawson, Denis le Jeune, Margie le Roux, Nicky Lombard, Tony Lourens, Sandy MacDonald, Pieter Malan, Quinton Martins, Annette Mason, Charles Merry, Eugene Moll, Dermot Moore, Wim Morris, Greg Moseley, Drikus Mouton, Anneke Nieuwoudt, Cisca Nieuwoudt, Jannie and Katrin Nieuwoudt, Marianna Nieuwoudt, Pip Nieuwoudt, Barry Ockhuis, Joey Ockhuis, Kellie of Grasvlei, Caro & Steve Oldroyd, Paddy O’Leary, Mare Olivier, Linton Pope, Peter Jan Randewijk, Trevor Rennison, Galeo Saintz, Mike Scott, Jasper Slingsby, Mariet Smit, Mariaan Smuts, Haffie Strauss, Julyan Symons, Gert Theron, Georgina Thomas, Edmund Thompson, Ingar Valentyn, Johann van Biljon, Anne-Marie van der Merwe, Leonie van der Merwe, George van der Watt, Andricus van der Westhuizen, Hennie van der Westhuizen, Johan van der Westhuizen, Mike van Wieringen, Charité van Rijswijck, Kosie Viljoen, Jill Wagner, Torben Wiborg, Ezan Wilson, Nicholas Wiltshire, Steven Windell and Louise Esterhuizen, Mary Anne Zimri

-- Kaartman, June 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

#20 Report Back, May-June 2013

1. Maps 3 and 4

2. Bakkrans

3. Snippets, Thanks and Allsorts

And before we start, welcome back to SA, Matt the Brit! our intrepid map-researcher nearly disappeared into the depths of the United States, but he’s back!

1. Maps 3 and 4

Lots of bits and pieces to report on this month; it’s hard to know where to start.
The big news is that Map 3 beta is almost there; Map 4 is 99.5% done and dusted, and maps one and two just need to be separated into two maps at 1:40 000 rather than 1:50 000. So once the checking is complete, here goes ... within 60 days the maps will be [at the very least] AT THE PRINTER! And I hope I haven’t stuck my neck out so that you can cut it off ...
Below is a sample from map 4 of a part of the Kromrivier area, to show our final decisions on characterising paths, distances, co-ords, etc etc. Click on the map to enlarge it.
Speaking of Kromrivier, does anyone have news of Rudolf Andrag? He has not answered any recent emails ... Rudolf, please get in touch!

Nicky Lombard kindly sent the attached pic and co-ords for another arch “on Apex Peak”. However, the co-ords place it firmly on Arch Peak. Nicky records its name as Hondverbrand Arch – any other offers? The arch is similar to the Vlerkboog, but if you look carefully you’ll see that it’s not the same. See map below for its position.

Lost in the rush was this email that came some time ago from Mike Scott – apologies for no earlier acknowledgment, Mike – “the picture from Johan Lanz of the arch in the ‘Klein Beesgat’ area, might be more familiar to many mountaineers, especially MCSA members, as Di Wilson’s arch, or Doc’s Rock arch as it is on the ridge above Doc’s Rock (named after the late Doc Watson). Doc’s Rock is usually gained from the Suurvlakte side, and is a useful campsite for climbing Apex Peak, or continuing a traverse to Sandfontein area.”

I can’t put all three names [Di Wilson’s Arch, Doc’s Rock Arch, Klein Beesgat Arch] on the map and would appreciate some comment on which name to choose. In the meantime, Charles Merry sent this pic of Doc’s Rock, including some familiar characters ...

The boundaries of the MCSA property still have to go in to map 4; Martin Hutton-Squire is kindly working on these.

2. Bakkrans
Thanks to Johan van der Westhuizen and Arrie Beukes we visited Bakkrans and came away with even more names and some great info about the Rooi Cederberg Karoo Park: see our blog about Bakkrans at Maps for Afrika for more details. There is another sample piece of map 4 on the blog.

3. Snippets, Thanks, and Allsorts

a. David Fox of Cape Hike confirmed that the mystery hut in last month’s blog is definitely ‘Africa Hut’ at Beaverlac. Many thanks, Dave. Unfortunately Beaverlac is too far south to be included on the new map, but you can download a free maplet of the place here 

b. Rika du Plessis of CapeNature has provided us with a maplet of Truitjieskraal ... we’re looking at producing a full-colour freebie in due course. Thanks, Rika!

c. Annette Mason sent us these two pics of the old Forester’s House at Heuningvlei – some more for your collection, Pieter Malan. Annette says these are from about 1989.

d. Denis le Jeune tells me that there will be an article on the Cederberg Heritage Route and Cederberg 100 in the July edition of Country Life

e. Sam Jack sent this post-fire report:
“Had another lovely weather trip to the Cederberg couple of weeks ago. Spent time in the Welbedacht, Heuningvlei and Rocklands environs. Both Heuningvlei and Rocklands burnt out, Sneeuberg too. Pity some of the old cedar plantations near Groothoek near Heuningvlei have burnt...the largest one remained unscathed, but trees are dying there and little/no recruitment.”
Sam also sent this old Cameron photo of Dassieberg, taken from Grootlandsvlakte, looking south-east [date unknown]. If you look carefully you can see that the base of the rocky hill is fringed with a healthy growth of young cedars. If you go there now, there are none ...

f. Speaking of fires, CapeNature has circulated info about the new cottages and campsites at Kliphuis
I was a little mystified by the pic of the cottages – can you help here, Patrick? What are the spanking new cottages across the road, where the old wooden houses used to stand?

g. We need much more of the following if conservation is to achieve anything in the New SA ...

During the celebration of the Big Brag event of the Green Fingers project in October 2012 an art competition was held for the participating learners. Bothashalte Primary school won the competition and received an environmental educational camp at the Cape Leopard Trust as the winning prize. The prize was sponsored by Witzenberg Municipality and Essen Municipality, Belgium. In February 2013 two teachers and nineteen learners went on the camp. Different themes like biodiversity, leopard biology, birding and animal tracking, geology, rock art, and astronomy and survival skills were introduced to the learners. Each learner got the opportunity to do artistic pictures of the fynbos plants which they thoroughly enjoyed. The learners had some physical and emotional challenges when they were participating in hiking activities and sleeping out in the wild in a tent. 
The learners had great fun when they were given the opportunity to swim in the river. Both teachers and learners were amazed by the different types of birds, animals and star gazing. The most interesting part of the camp for the learners was when they explored the Stadsaal. The Stadsaal is a cave where different San rock art and stone tools are found. The camp which was a combination of adventure, art and science left both the teachers and learners with an enriched knowledge of the environment and wildlife.

h. Dermot Moore sent this last word on the aircraft crash in the Pakhuis area, in 1945. Many thanks, Dermot.

As my cousin, Paddy O’Leary has probably informed you, I am the son of Kevin O’Leary who was one of the SAAF members killed in the Cederberg accident of 1945. As I was only 2½ years old at the time, clearly I do not have any recollection of this unfortunate incident. By its very nature, it was a turning point in the lives of my mother and me, not to mention the O’Leary family who were awaiting Kevin’s arrival in Cape Town.  My mother remarried with her new husband formally adopting me and giving his name in the process. Thus, my surname is now Moore and not O’Leary.

Over the years I have been preoccupied with pursuing a career in higher education (with the career occasionally pursuing me) and bringing up a family, leaving little time for leisurely activities such as research into my own family history. Ironically, I started my academic life as an historian having done post-graduate research on the SAAF’s role in the Korean War, among other topics. In retirement, I finally have the opportunity for reading and research of a more personal nature. I am currently working with pdf copies of a number of official documents from the Military Archives pertaining to my father’s SAAF career, including the proceedings of the Inquiry that looked into the accident. I will keep you posted as the narrative unravels. I look forward to orientating myself with the help of your very detailed maps.

You have already drawn attention to the incorrect date in the article in the May 2012 issue of the Go Magazine, however, the Travel Section of a recent edition of the Sunday Times carried an account of a hike to the crash site, also carrying the incorrect date of 1946.

As far as a memorial is concerned; Kevin O’Leary is buried in West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg where the military graves are cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, while he is commemorated along with all the other airmen who lost their lives in SAAF uniform at the SAAF National Memorial overlooking Zwartkop Air Force Base. His name is inscribed in the official SAAF Roll of Honour kept at the National Memorial. I hope that my own research and writing will be a memorial to him that can be passed on to my own children and grandchildren, and to interested members of the O’Leary family.  

My own view is that the pristine beauty of the Cederberg is the most suitable on-site memorial to those who died there on 8 July 1945, sans graffiti and braai debris. 

Thank you for the great service you render with the compilation of your maps.

Kind regards,
Dermot Moore 5 April 2013

Inputs acknowledged from:
Rudolf Andrag, Alex Basson, Graham Bellairs, Chris Berens, Arrie Beukes, Willem Beukes, Hendrico Burger, Lizette Burger, Theresa Burton, Eleanore Colyn, Andrea and Moritz Connrad, Louis Conradie, David Donald, Rika du Plessis, Connie & Lizzie du Toit, Laurence Elton, Kerneels Filander, Ferdi Fischer, David Fox, Carina Hanekom, Petrus Hanekom, Theunis Hanekom, Peter Hart, Ronnie Hazell, Tony Heher, Martin Hutton-Squire, Sam Jack, James Joubert, Jeroen Kant, Gerrit Karsten, Tony Kings, Isak Koopman, Thys Kruger, Paul la Grange, Patrick Lane, Johann Lanz, John Ross, Justin Lawson, Denis le Jeune, Margie le Roux, Nicky Lombard, Tony Lourens, Sandy MacDonald, Pieter Malan, Quinton Martins, Annette Mason, Charles Merry, Eugene Moll, Dermot Moore, Wim Morris, Greg Moseley, Anneke Nieuwoudt, Cisca Nieuwoudt, Jannie and Katrin Nieuwoudt, Marianna Nieuwoudt, Pip Nieuwoudt, Barry Ockhuis, Joey Ockhuis, Kellie of Grasvlei, Caro & Steve Oldroyd, Paddy O’Leary, Mare Olivier, Linton Pope, Peter Jan Randewijk, Trevor Rennison, Galeo Saintz, Mike Scott, Mariet Smit, Mariaan Smuts, Haffie Strauss, Julyan Symons, Gert Theron, Edmund Thompson, Ingar Valentyn, Anne-Marie van der Merwe, Leonie van der Merwe, George van der Watt, Andricus van der Westhuizen, Hennie van der Westhuizen, Georgina and Johann van Biljon, Johan van der Westhuizen, Mike van Wieringen, Charité van Rijswijck, Kosie Viljoen, Jill Wagner, Torben Wiborg, Ezan Wilson, Steven Windell and Louise Esterhuizen, Mary Anne Zimri

– Kaartman, J-J-June 1st [it’s c-c-cold!]