December greetings from Outeniqua Adventure Tours, 2012
Can it really be the end of 2012 already?? It is really rather scary how quickly the years are now flying by. It is always said that the older one gets, the faster time passes, how true this appears to be! Happily, there are signs that tourists are again finding their way to the Garden Route, and that next year should be an improvement on the past two years. On looking back, we have managed to fit a lot into the year, with, I think, more highs than lows!
Our 2012 year started with a real treat.
We travelled from Cape Town to Pretoria on the Pride of Africa, of Rovos Rail, the ‘most luxurious train in the world’! WOW! We were thoroughly spoiled; the cabins, the dining, and the staff were all superb. The train journeys Rovos Rail offer, are indeed, a very special experience.
We have had some lovely tours this year, which have been varied, interesting, and we have again found more exciting places to visit.
Our annual Pre-Argus tour, this year with more Americans than British, was a great success. This is a road bike tour and after cycling about 900kms, through the winelands of the Boland, the Great and Little Karoo, the Garden Route, the Overberg, finishing with the spectacular Gordon’s Bay Drive, these people all had great Argus rides.
We organised a couple of Senior ‘adventurer’ tours. One of these tours included Sutherland and some extraordinary stargazing. Another seniors’ tour went to Addo Game Reserve, explored Port Alfred and the Settler Country, and then on to Kariega Private Game Reserve for some fabulous game spotting. These game reserve tours are wonderful to experience, but at the present time, tinged with sadness and anxiety about the future fate of our amazing Rhino species. To date in SA alone, in 2012, almost 600 rhino have been slaughtered for their horns. It is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive for these parks to keep rhino on their property.
Our Spring cycle tours, as always, were well supported, and lots of fun. We took yet another group to Bosch Luys Kloof Private Nature Reserve, (a fabulously surprising venue in the Swartberg range), and are looking to repeat this tour with another group sometime next year. We also extended our boundaries to explore the Eastern Cape, in the Bedford area, another region steeped in Settler/Boer history. We met some really interesting people who were able to tell the stories!
In May we enjoyed a fabulous trip to Mzikaba, on the Transkei coast, with family and friends, and spent many happy hours paddling up the river, enjoying the peace, tranquility, and beauty of the area. The nearby Cape Vulture colony was very special to see. (No mention shall be made of the success(??) the fishermen enjoyed!)
Mom celebrated her 99th birthday in July and continues to enjoy good health.
We are all wondering about the next BIG birthday!
Geraldine, James and family are settled in Port Elizabeth, with the children happily at school there. Helen and Andrew, continue to thrive in Gauteng, keeping busy with work and two new dogs, recently acquired from various ‘rescue’ establishments.
Next year is looking promising with the prospect of hosting two more cycling groups from the USA, and more of our regular groups making enquiries about tours next year.
Thank you all, so much, for the loyal support and friendship we have enjoyed over the past years.
From both of us, we wish you safe, blessed, and happy holidays, and an exciting, fulfilling 2013.
Dave and Cheryl