Friday, December 11, 2009

Cape Town, South Africa

Pine Mountain News

This week winter showed up as evidenced by
the nearly 5 inches of snow on the ground.
More storms are on the way so that
accumulation could easily double in the net
few days.
The Christmas lights are up and their
multicolored glow is reflected by the white snow.

This week winter began and I spent time in the
greenhouse checking on the fish and vegetables.

Poem of the Week

Sauntering around Trappist Abbey

by emily d stine

Slamming the car door, I submerge my senses
to chill of December, exhaling clouds of white.
We wander up to Abbey Way, quaint crosses
affix off-white walls. Indiscriminate we pick
a trail, assuming they all lead back to base.
Frost outlines the brush beneath us, I’m reminded
wistfully of snow. But it never snows in Oregon
and to the hike back my mind goes. We stumble
upon Our Lady of Guadalupe, a quiet shrine
where coins, flowers, trinkets are left
in homage to the lady divine.

We keep climbing, and the hills bend into a meadow.
Trees covered in caterpillar green overwhelm the
silent beauty of the scene. We pause to breathe
one moment,perhaps two, and saunter back down to
a little pond, and watch the birds bathe in the
frosty blue.

Feature Story of the Week Cape Town South Africa

by Jordan Williams

I have to admit, I’ve long been reluctant to travel
to Africa, which was a silly kind of phobia for me.
But I grew up when all you saw of Africa on the
television was starving children in ads for UNICEF
, and that combined with a general paranoia about
diseases like Ebola had more or less kept me off the
continent, except for a trip into Egypt to see the

So I decided to go to Cape Town, South Africa,
which is in fact the most popular tourist
destination in Africa. So I figure that millions
of tourists can’t be wrong, and I scheduled my
trip. Cape Town is the largest city in South Africa
and one of the largest on the continent.

They also speak English, which my monolingual
self considers to be a major benefit. I didn’t have
any real plans when I touched down, planning to
interrogate the first local I could find who didn’t
run away fast enough. But first, I spent some
time just wandering around the city.

It was a good time, as there is unsurprisingly
quite a lot to see in Cape Town. For one
thing, there’s quite a lot of interesting
architecture. There’s quite a lot in the Cape
Dutch style, which is drawn from the old
architectural styles of the Netherlands,
Germany and France.

Cape Town also has the advantage of being
placed on a peninsula, allowing it to have
close access to a number of beaches with
a variety of different environments. I am
a fairly big fan of beaches, so I was
enjoying it. I also enjoyed the sharks.

Oh, yes, sharks. Now, these were nowhere
near the beach, so don’t get worried. But
one of the things that you can do in Cape
Town is go down in a shark cage and get
up close and personal with sharks. Now,
I love both Scuba and sharks, so this was
a blast for me. I was actually able to
reach out and touch one, which was pretty

There’s also sand boarding, where you ride
a board down sand dunes like you would a
surfboard. I’m not much of a surfer, but I
did manage to stand up the whole way
down the dunes, which was fun. There’s
also, apparently, ostrich riding, but
considering my size, I decided to take it
easy on the birds.

There’s also a lot of natural splendor to
take in, as the Table Mountain National
Park is nearby. This includes the flat
topped Table Mountain, which allows
you to get some great hiking and
mountain climbing in, if that’s your
kind of thing.

One thing that I enjoyed at the park was
the baboons, which were plentiful in the
southern part of the park. These are
fun to look at, and I got some great
pictures, but you need to avoid feeding
them (and they will try for it) because it
makes them too familiar with humans,
which is dangerous for everyone.

I had a great time in Cape Town, and it’s
got me excited for more travels on the
continent. If you’re looking for somewhere
to travel for the whole family, I don’t think
you could wrong with a trip to Cape Town.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is another evening at Pine Mountain ranch.
We have finished dinner and are relaxing in
the family room by a warm fire in the fireplace.
Laurel and Grace are watching a movie and I
reclining in my easy chair by the warm fire
reading my Discover magazine.

Tonight I am enjoying a plate of chocolate chip
cookies and my coffee flavor of the week
African Safari from
This American roast coffee is a blend of 4 of Africa's
finest coffees.Tanzanian Peaberry, Kenya AA,
Ethiopian, and Zambian Terranova.

Well my coffee and my cookies are finished now
and the movie is over so it is time for bed. Good
night all see you next week.