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