ATLANTIC GULL Celebrating life on the West Coast
JUNE 2014 AUGUST 2018
Rooibos luminary Barend Tra-Tra Valley hiatus Unspoilt Wupperthal Managing back pain
august events 2-5 Intimate events,
tastings, pairings and fine dining at CELEBRATION OF WINE – various times, De Warenmarkt, 20 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch, ph 021 8868275.
Pieter-Dirk Uys for WHEN IN DOUBT SAY DARLING which highlights the minefield of hashtags and hate speech – 8pm, Fugard Studio Theatre, District Six, ph 021 4614554
3-5 Sample rural hospitality, food, interactive wine tastings and activities at the ROBERTSON SLOW FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL Robertson Wine Valley, 2 Reitz St, ph 023 6263167. 4 The focus is on
wintery one-off brews at the WOODSTOCK WINTER BEER FESTIVAL – 1pm, Castle of Good Hope, Foreshore. Cost R60 – R100
4 Journalist Nancy Richards guides a walk exploring women’s impact on Cape Town’s past, present and future at the WOMEN’S WALK, with pitstops along the way – 10am, Company’s Garden Visitor Centre, Queen Victoria St, ph 072 3778014. Cost R225 - R300
about Atlantic Gull This monthly West Coast lifestyle publication is distributed to these estates: Atlantic Beach, Waters Edge, Sunset Links, Dune Ridge,
9-12 Purchase art for all budgets from 16 artists straight off the easel at SOLO STUDIOS IN RIEBEEK VALLEY – 10am, various venues, Riebeek Valley, ph 074 2096838. Cost R195 – R350 (Painting by Floris v Zyl) 10-11 SA’s finest drag divas present ABFAB DRAG with Soli Philander – 7.30pm, Artscape Theatre. Cost R100 16 Taste the 2018 winners, past auction and flagship wines at the NEDBANK CAPE WINEMAKERS GUILD AUCTION SHOWCASE – 6pm, Grand Ballroom, CTICC, ph 021 8520408. Cost R350
Sandown and La Paloma. Also to homes along many Blouberg, West Beach, Sunningdale, Flamingo Vlei and Wave’s Edge roads; as well as batches to high-visitor retail outlets from Milnerton to Duynefontein. Advertising booking deadline for the September 2018 issue: 31 July 2018. FRONT COVER: CHARMING! – Wupperthal post office by Peter Titmuss.
View the magazine online: www.atlanticgull.com
25 Festive fare,
cocktails, tasting stations, Russian roulette and live music at the VODKA FESTIVAL – 12pm, Hillcrest Quarry, M13, ph 021 9764959. Cost R190 – R250
26 Walk 5 or 10 km for the PSFA at BLISTERS FOR BREAD CHARITY FAMILY FUN WALK – 7am, Green Point Cricket Club, cnr Vlei Rd & Fritz Sonnenberg Rd, ph 021 5117130. Cost R60
30 Themed A Tribute to your Home, the
CAPE HOMEMAKERS EXPO offers all under one roof – 10am, CTICC. Cost R90
31 SA’s biggest dance musicians in action at INSOMNIA: NEON WONDERLAND – 8pm, Stellenbosch Town Hall. Cost R50
PUBLISHER/EDITOR/ADVERTISING: Mariette Greyling, Tomar Communications, tel 021 5540442, 082 5667816; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tomar.co.za. DISTRIBUTION MANAGERS: Frank Mwale & Austin Ng’omo
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PODIATRIST MIKE ERCHEN Registered HPCSA Practitioner
Medicross Table View
Tel 021 557 4606 www.problemfeet.co.za
Covering everything from general foot care to painful foot conditions such as diabetic foot assessments & treatment, sports injuries, ingrown toe nails, prescription innersoles & orthotics.
With their characteristic rosette spots, the enigmatic Cape mountain leopard is being hunted to the brink of extinction. Now on the IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species, sightings of these elusive animals are notoriously few and far between.
Almost half the mass of their African Panthera pardus pardus counterparts at 20 kg for females and 35 kg for males, the Cape mountain leopard is morphologically stockier and smaller. Although taxonomically assigned to a single subspecies, the southern African leopard population comprises a number of geographically isolated groups with slight genetic differences ascribed to isolation-by-distance. With home ranges of 200 – 1 000 km2 for males compared to Kruger leopards’ 25 – 50 km2, the Cape leopards are opportunistic and versatile hunters. They prey on crickets, lizards, rodents, hares, porcupine and even ungulates as large as eland. Typically, they take prey in proportion to availability in a given area. Cape mountain leopards are solitary and each individual defends an exclusive home range. They don’t ‘live’ in any one place for an extended period of time. There are approximately 30 to 35 adult males and females in the 3 000 km2 Cederberg Wilderness area.
After a gestation period of 100 days, females give birth to two or three cubs per litter and the inter-birthing period is about 18 months. They raise their young single-handedly. Sadly, the mortality rate is high during the first six months of a cub’s life as a result of malnutrition and predation by Black eagles and baboons. Habitat loss due to development, as well as direct persecution by farmers trying to protect their livestock are the two most common threats to Cape mountain leopards. But alarmingly, inhumane and illegal hunting with wire snares has been on the increase. Help the Cape Leopard Trust to conserve these magnificent animals by adopting a leopard spot today: https://capeleopard.org.za/sponsors/ adopt-a-spot. Ref: africageographic.com; capeleopard.org.za (including photo)
WEST COAST FARE
dollops of omega-3
Fast disappearing from restaurant menus along the West Coast, Smoorsnoek remains a lipsmacking dish chock-full of Omega-3 and a welcome alternative to braaiing this shiny-bodied fish. It’s also a good solution for using left-over braai snoek as a tasty meal option the next day.
Ingredients: 1 large onion finely chopped; 2 Tbsp olive oil; a knob of butter; 2 chopped garlic cloves; 1⁄2 red pepper chopped finely; 2 de-pipped chillies chopped finely; 300 gm smoked snoek with bones removed; 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes; 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley; 3 chopped tomatoes; black pepper; a lemon; steamed rice. Method: Flake the fish and set aside. Heat the olive oil and butter in a wide non-stick pan and sauté the onions until they start softening. Add the garlic, red pepper and chilli and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook slowly, stirring occasionally. To speed up cooking the potatoes, place a lid over the pan so that they steam. If the mix is starting to stick to the pan, add a splash of water, stir and continue to cook. When the potatoes are almost cooked, add the fish, tomatoes and parsley. If necessary replace the lid for a few more minutes to finish cooking the potatoes. When cooked, add a dash of lemon juice. Serve on steamed rice with a few good grinds of black pepper and another squeeze of lemon. Add a salad of avo and mango as a side dish and enjoy with Groote Post Chardonnay. 4
just the cup of tea With a brew of thinking differently and acting accordingly, Barend Salomo has made his mark as a rooibos agri-leader. Coming from stock who’ve been farming bush tea from the broom-like member of the Fabaceae family for almost 200 years, there’s no better man to spearhead rooibos farming and production than Barend Salomo. The tradition of his forefathers who picked Aspalathus linearis leaves growing in the wild paid poorly. Luckily the turnabout for the Wupperthal farmers came in the 1990s when they started cultivating and marketing their produce collectively. Quantifiable success was achieved in 2009 with the formation of the Wupperthal Original Rooibos Cooperative. Barend was appointed MD and at the beginning of this year he assumed the role of CEO. The co-operative initially had 53 members which grew to 92 but has since been whittled down to 65. A major milestone was realised when the co-op received Fairtrade certification in 2010, ensuring a minimum price that’s almost double the current market price. “This means we can spend more time developing our crops instead of supplementing our incomes with additional seasonal work,” Barend explained. As the Moravian Church owns roughly 36 000 ha of land around Wupperthal, the farmers lease land from the church. He continued, “Unfortunately only 7% is suitable for agriculture and approximately 201 ha is under rooibos cultivation currently.” Barend himself grows 15 ha of rooibos and said most other farmers produced on less than 2 ha. “Superior quality rooibos generally comes from the higher altitude areas with lower rainfall and consequently lower yield. Altogether we used to produce 40 tons, but with the severe three-year drought, we’ve only managed a paltry 8 tons this year. Fortunately, with the recent welcome FAST FACTS To veg out I take to the hills My sport is hiking As spectator I watch rugby and soccer My pet place on the West Coast is Wupperthal of course
rains, we’re hard at work planting seedlings and hope to up the output to 20 tons in January. That said, we need to step things up radically because demand is running at 60 tons a year!”
and then transferred to the Department of Welfare as administrative official in 1981. In 1993 he decided to return to his community to do what was in his blood: rooibos farming.
On the agenda is setting up a secondary processing facility in Wupperthal to provide job opportunities for the local youngsters who all take to the city in search of employment. “We want to retain our youth here where they belong,” Barend said. “Every day I marvel at the privilege we enjoy living in this beautiful setting with wide open spaces as our neighbours! But with 83% unemployment in the village, drastic action is needed.”
Meanwhile, the church took advantage of his leadership skills by appointing him mayor of Wupperthal from 1993 until 2000. Plus, apart from serving as chairman of the local sports body, he kick-started rieldans tutoring for the village children in 2006. This culminated in the team winning a sponsorship to compete in the USA in 2016.
Barend also left for Cape Town in 1978 to make a living after matriculating from Schoonspruit Secondary in Malmesbury. First he worked as senior debtor clerk at the Department of Education My favourite restaurant is Nancy’s Tearoom in Clanwilliam I love eating vegetables My signature drink is rooibos tea blended with ginger On TV I enjoy National Geographic programmes
Married to Amalia (aka Emily) and with two adult children, Barend is ever so active after hours as chairperson of the church council and choir leader. Notwithstanding his full schedule, he makes time to recharge by relishing the freedom of the veld with beloved Boerboel pups Rex and Spottie. Favourite reads are spiritual books by TD Jakes and Jentezen Franklin Contact Barend Salomo on 027 492 3019 or email barend@ wupperthal.co.za Main photo: Christine Nachmann, 082 8998690
‘lekker’ indeed Apart from its name sounding mouth-wateringly good, Lekkerbekkie Restaurant is sure to get your juices flowing with its fluffy scones, jam and whipped cream. But this little eatery, housed in the historic Leipoldt House in Wupperthal, is much more than a place for scoffing scones by the dozen while sipping the local redbush brew. Six days a week from 9h00 until 16h00, they serve hearty breakfasts, wholesome soups, lasagne and their pièce de résistance, silky-rich chicken pie. An indulgent spread of traditional fare such as curries, roast chicken, roast potatoes and fresh vegetables is also offered when booked in advance. For advance reservations, the restaurant will open on Sundays too. Owners Monica Valentyn, Cecilia van Rooy, Ricolene Coetzee and Alice Wynand pride themselves not only on their honed culinary prowess, but also on focussed service.
Guests can either soak up the peaceful, rural atmosphere on the expansive stoep, or sit cosily in the wooden-beamed voorkamer. While waiting for orders, do nip through to the museum on the other side of the building to immerse yourself in tales of yesteryear. To book for a traditional meal, phone Inge or Shirley-Ann on 027 4923410.
breathing space aplenty
Still wild, still craggy, still packed with charming eccentrics, the Cederberg is more appealing than ever these days as overwhelmed urbanites are heading out in search of a rural idyll. And with spring around the corner, a weekend escape into the mountains at Wupperthal is just the ticket. Long walks, fresh air, solitude and no traffic din add up to a dream package. The village has two private pet-friendly cottages featuring fairly rustic accommodation, but still providing all the basics for a weekend break. Sleeping six, Kloofhuis has two bedrooms with single beds, lounge, kitchen and a shower-only bathroom. Palmhuis 6
sleeps four in two bedrooms, a full bathroom, kitchen and lounge. Here you’ll experience isolation at its best. Visit rooibos tea farms, buy a pair of iconic shoes at the veldskoen factory (027 4923017), hike the wild flower and fynbos routes, study rock art or do some serious mountain biking, followed by a swim in the Tra-Tra River. In addition, experienced drivers can test their mettle on the Tra-Tra Valley 4x4 Route. Fortunately, with a touch of civilisation on your doorstep, you can stroll to Lekkerbekkie Restaurant for the perfect bush brew or even elect to enjoy all meals here. Rates are R190 pppn. To book, phone 027 4923410.
step back in time 2
Infused with age-old traditions, Wupperthal is an unspoilt breath of fresh air. To reach Wupperthal, travel through 72 km of remarkable scenery down the Pakhuis Pass into the Tra-Tra Valley. Set in the craggy northern foothills of the Cederberg wilderness, the village seems to hark back to the early 1900s – if you ignore the satellite dishes. Beyond pretty, there are 20 terraced whitewashed, thatch-roofed cottages in a meandering street. Water flows in furrows, while a thatched church, school, village store, post office, restaurant, tea production facility, hair salon, library, needlework centre, multi-media centre and two guesthouses complete the picture. At the general dealer, you’ll be transported back to the days of yore where one shop stocked everything from hair pins to bicycles. Although its origins are Rhenish, Wupperthal has been a Moravian mission station since 1965. Its name derives from the Wupper River in Germany. That used to be home to two Rhineland missionaries, Theobald von Wurmb and Johan Gottlieb Leipoldt (grandfather of renowned writer C Louis Leipoldt). These gentlemen arrived in the Cape in 1829 to spread the Word among indigenous people. After buying the Rietmond farm in 1830, they settled among the seven Khoikhoi families in the
valley, concentrating on spiritual upliftment and encouraging farming. Tough rules applied: obligatory Sunday church attendance; no magic; no swearing; foreswear all bitterness, scandalous talk, argument and lies; no strong drink; and couples should be legally married. A staunch moral code still prevails. When slavery was abolished eight years later, the population swelled with the arrival of many freed slaves and currently numbers 1 568. On Sundays and religious holidays, the hills come alive with the echo of song. Wupperthal vellies, also known as velskoene, are hand-made leather shoes from the oldest working shoe factory in South Africa. It was established by Leipoldt, who used to be a cobbler back in the day. Goats too, feature big time. Other produce in the area consist of all things dried: tobacco worked into rolls for roltabak, fruit, beans and of course rooibos tea.
Heat, dust, resolve and warm hearts – that’s Wupperthal, a sparkler in the wilderness. 1. The village by Hannes Steyn; 2. The Moravian church; 3. Main road by the late Ted Hoefsloot; 4. Tourism office; 5. Family time; 6. Traditional transport
maintaining a happy back One of the key components to general wellbeing is the health of the spine’s intervertebral discs. If we keep them happy, the likelihood of back pain is much less. Research has shown that the mechanism of disc destruction is predominantly flexion or in layman’s terms, bending. Over years, repetitive bending will result in disc destruction and ultimately back pain.
According to osteopath Dr Gerhard van der Merwe of the Spine Health & Back Pain Centre, we currently have an epidemic of back pain throughout the world. “One of the main reasons for this is that flexion movement patterns are being promoted at all levels, including in primary and secondary school, at university, the military, gyms and the corporate sector. Performing spine destruction exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, burpees, back extensions, to name but a few, will traumatise your spine and places unnecessary strain on the spinal tissue. There are more than 250 research articles that have proved this. “Repetitive bending during your daily life, ie bending to tie your shoes, making a bed, even bending forwards to stretch your hamstrings, or slouching while in front of the TV will eventually lead to disruption of the annulus within your intervertebral disc. This results in bulges or prolapses and ultimately back pain. “In addition, heavy weightlifting with poor technique can accelerate this process. I’ve seen numerous weightlifters between 20 and 25 years of age with significant disc trauma from heavy lifting with poor technique.” Van der Merwe encourages motion of the thoracic spine. This is an area that tends to stiffen as a result of spending eight hours in front of a computer for example. “Ultimately motion will come from the lower back and neck to compensate for the lack of mid-back motion, resulting in overload and pain.” The function of the muscles surrounding the pelvis is to prevent movement. They’re there to stabilise the spine and form a stiff rod to allow kinetic energy to travel through the spine. Weakness around the core allows for energy leakage and poor performance. Hence he encourages strengthening the core muscles – correctly and without flexion! 8
slim pets = healthy pets
Excessive weight in an otherwise healthy pet is a direct result of consuming unnecessary amounts of food. Any pet, neutered or not, will gain weight if it’s over-fed relative to its energy requirements. And you have control over the amount your dog or cat eats. Scientific weight loss diets contain the right levels and combinations of specific nutrients to modify the pet’s metabolism to a lean pattern. Cut out in-between snacks altogether. Dog owners should increase the time spent walking their pet at least twice daily and supplement the walks with play time. Cat owners should walk their cat on a harness in the garden, play with them or entice them to jump onto high shelves for food. Also, add interactive toys to its environment. Weight reduction needs to be done gradually - no crash diets. Once you’ve established a feeding plan that induces gradual weight loss over a few months, your pet will reach a point where weight maintenance occurs. You’d be surprised how much more active and alert your pet will be at an optimum weight. Also, your pet probably will live longer and have a much better quality of life. Another excellent option for owners of obese dogs is to book them in for regular hydrotherapy swimming sessions. It’s exercise which doesn’t add strain to the joints. Soon those kilos will start melting away – provided the dog is on a kilojoule-controlled diet!
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The charming West Coast of South Africa.