Wild Hearts

bike  weekOnly those that cut loose and ride their bikes know the absolute freedom the open road offers – A bike trip is a whole lot more than just arriving at your destination. It is about the open road, the raw beauty of the back roads, the freedom, the scenery, the people you meet, your fellow bike companions, and of course the bike you riding. You become one with the elements feeling all the changes as you climb and descend the passes.

Plett Adventure Bike Week is taking place from the 26th April to 4th May. It is guaranteed to please everybody. Plettenberg Bay is the perfect location to act as a hub for the Plett Adventure Bike Week, with some of the best riding terrain in South Africa. There will be an exhibition area, where vendors can display and sell their biking goods. It will also be a meeting place for riders to go out and explore one of the many routes. Plettenberg Bay, with its mild climate and beautiful beaches has so much to offer, the whole family will find something to do. Plenty of activities and entertainment will keep the non- bikers happy.

And then there are the passes , Baviaanskloof Kloof, maybe for the more experienced, Prince Alfreds Pass, very picturesque, Swartberg Pass and the ride to “Die Hel”, with awesome views and scenery. More information about routes and trips see Plett Adventure Bike Week

special

So beg, borrow, buy or bring your own bike, and if that fails still come because I am sure, with your appetite whet you will soon be back in Plettenberg Bay on a bike!

Remember…
Your gear – head scarf, beanie, helmut, boots, waterproofs, leathers, gloves.
A backpack – to hold your goodies, a change of clothes etc
A Map – somebody needs to lead.
First Aid – always a good idea.
A bike and of course an adventurous spirit.

Adventure and Passion at AfriCanyon

This gallery contains 18 photos.

  One of our guests had the opportunity to try out kloofing,  a good local name for canyoning, right here in the  Garden Route, specifically the Crags near Plettenberg Bay. This is his story….. “As everyone knows trying out new things can be a bit daunting. I was pleasantly surprised … Continue reading

Plett Rage Student Festival

PLETT RAGE is the longest running student festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It started with a couple hundred students coming to Plett for a few days in the early 80’s to celebrate summer. Now the Plett Rage Student Festival is a 10 day non-stop party, attracting students from all over the country. Time to say good-bye to school and hello to freedom and the summer holidays in Plett!

About 15 000 students will descend on Plett on the 29th November 2013. Organisers have been hard at work and this year promises to be awesome with a great line up of bands, 10 days of partying, 6 epic festival venues, and amazing sponsors. Most of the day time activities take place on Central Beach; where ragers will get to play volley ball, touch rugby, beach soccer, and 360 Ball – a new ball and racquet sport sponsored by Carling Black Label. The atmosphere could not be more perfect to chill out, listen to cool tunes, work on the tan, relax and soak up the good sunshine!

Rage Tip 1: Red Frogs are the good guys and they will be there to help and support the students. Providing a very necessary service, Red Frogs are an internationally recognised student holiday support network aiming to provide a positive presence in the partying environment. Look out for their Chill Tent when the partying gets too much; you will be in good hands.

Rage Tip 2: Remember if the going gets tough, take time out and explore our beautiful Plettenberg Bay. We have the best beaches and our forests are full of stunning hikes. Check out our adrenalin sports, like Bungi Jumping  or  Sea Kayaking  The new guys on the block would love to show you Canyoning, which is a lot more than abseiling and  kloofing! 

Rage Tip 3: Students are to take responsibility and care and not put themselves into dangerous situations. Its all about having fun in a responsible manner! Remember to keep your emergency contact numbers, and local transport numbers somewhere safe, in case you lose your cellphone.

Rage Tip 4: Treat the place where you’re staying as you would your own home.  Be considerate of your neighbours – you are on holiday, they are not!  Familiarise yourself with your neighbours and look out for each other.  Don’t walk alone at night, stay in groups, use the designated taxis! Have a blast! But do it responsibly.

Freedom is just beginning, you don’t want to wreck it.

For important numbers and more info go to http://www.plettrage.co.za

Plett Downhill Rage

Since the birth of skateboarding in the early fifties, downhill skating has been transported to another level and in the last 10 years has become a phenomenal culture attracting the adrenalin junkies. It is both dangerous and fun and has to be the most thrilling experience on four wheels. Along with the growth of the sport we have seen incredible technology and there are a wide range of wheels and boards that are highly functional and innovative.

Last year we saw the final leg of the world series – Hot Wheels Africa 2012 – held in Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve, close to Cape Town. It proved to be the right type of hill – long enough, fast enough and technical enough! It was a huge event attracting the largest crowd to date. We saw downhill gravity racers from all over the world competing. Douglas Silva from Brazil won the world title.

corners

On the 29th November – 1st December we will get to experience this amazing sport right here in Plettenberg Bay. Plett Downhill Rage Longboarding Event is set to take place over three days, we will get to see gravity powered longboard racers speeding down Plett’s very own Oddland Drive. The skaters are excpected to reach speeds of 100km per hour… there is no room for error. Top riders from around the country and our very own locals will get the opportunity to skate legally down Oddlands. Plettenberg Bay has such awesome hills, Natures Valley offers a scenic forest stretch that is full of turns and excites most skaters.
This event forms part of Plett Rage Student Festival and the organisers Nature Sport Company have made every effort to ensure the safety and well being of both participants and spectators. Sector 9 is one of the many sponsers and there is R40 000 worth of prizes up for grabs.

We are so excited to be hosting an event like this in Plettenberg Bay, allowing people the chance to experience the adrenalin rush of this sport. we trust it will become an annual event, just like Plett Rage has. For a taste of whats to come visit:

Radical Raptors

Radical Raptors is a real treat for those who are interested in birds and even those who aren’t; because you will certainly be left intrigued! Radical Raptors is a must visit- located at the Heath on the N2 about 7km out of Plettenberg Bay towards Knysna .

Adult raptors have few predators and can live up to 20 to 30 years in the wild. Unfortunately because of their slow breeding rate and high mortality (only about ¼ survive their first year), population is reduced. Human impact,  poisoning, illegal trade and hunting, inexperienced hand raising, also contributes to further drops in survival.

At this Birds of Prey Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre – they rescue, rehabilitate and release these magnificent birds of prey. The centre trains the raptors to ensure they are able to hunt and take care of themselves, then releases them as soon as possible. If the birds are non-releasable they are trained and free flown in order for us spectators to experience their amazing abilities in their natural surroundings. You can watch their outstanding flying performances, some will even land on your gloved hand. These birds play a huge role in creating community awareness of the impact of humans on their environment. It definitely stopped me using poison to eradicate mice.

Our beautiful gardens at Cornerway House are often alive with local birds so we really appreciate the work of Radical Raptors towards the survival of indigenous birds in the Plettenberg Bay area.

Radical Raptors, which is run as a non profit organisation, was opened 4 and ½ years ago by Janet and Dennis. They are both passionate about their raptors and educating the public. Every visitor contributes to the excellent work that is done here.

So if you are looking for a special experience with these majestic raptors – a visit to Radical Raptors in Plettenberg Bay is a highly recommended.

Plett welcomes the Whales

Humback Whale TailEach year with great anticipation we welcome the first appearance of whales in our Plettenberg Bay. They are such welcomed visitors, crossing thousands of miles of ocean to visit our coastline and bask in our warmer Indian Ocean water.

Southern right whales were almost hunted to extinction, because they were the right whales to hunt – hence their name. They visit Plettenberg Bay between June and November to mate and calve; who wouldn’t want spend time in our beautiful bay?  A fully grown Southern right whale can weigh up to 80 tons – almost 12 african elephants and can live up to 50 years. A close encounter is something not to be missed , they are truly massive and magnificent. They are easily identified by their black colour and callosities on the head: “little bonnets”. It is difficult to distinguish their sex but if you happen to see them mating and are fortunate enough to be close, the 4 metre male organ makes identification relatively obvious! :)  The female’s gestation period is approx. 12 months and the calf’s birth occurs in the same waters of Plettenberg Bay a year later.

whaleHumpback whales pass our shores on their way to their breeding grounds of Madagascar and Mozambique. They are the most energetic of all the large whales and are well known for their spectacular breaching, lobtailing, flipper slapping and skyhopping. Bryde Whales, smaller and slender are seen all year round, their large upright dorsal fin makes them look like huge dolphins.

So jump at the opportunity to go out with one of our local Whale watching boats and get really close to these mammoth mammels. Boats with permits are allowed to approach whales within 50 metres. Plettenberg Bay has several species of whales, dolphins and marine birds. Along Robberg Nature Reserve Peninsula you can see our large colony of Cape Fur Seals, the peninsula is also a great place for viewing whales.

whales

Whether you prefer the close encounter, on a comfortable boat, an energetic kayak trip, a stroll on one of our beautiful beaches, or rather a bench perched at one of our look-out points with binoculars, take time out to watch the whales. Plettenberg Bay is known as the whale capital of the world!

A Vibrant Habitat

Birds of Eden is just off the N2 north of Plettenberg Bay, about a 20 minute drive from Cornerway House.  The sanctuary which is a huge dome, covers about 2 hectares of indigenous forest. It is home to about 3000 birds, that have been rescued, no longer wanted or are in need of a secure environment. Here they can live in a natural protective environment. There are over 200 species. One can take a guided tour or stroll on your own. They have a very comprehensive booklet which makes the identification process easier. Birds of Eden’s mission is to care for the birds and educate the public.   Jandaya Conure
One unintentionally seems to overlook the majestic life of the bird. Once we walked through the doors and into the “Garden of Eden” this changed within a split second. I felt humbled by walking into this vibrant mixed habitat of these colourful, complex creatures that I don’t often acknowledge, grateful that these birds have been taken in to flourish all together, kind of like a Noah’s Ark.

Ibis

We couldn’t start the journey until we had fuelled up on an English Breakfast at the stunningly positioned little restaurant in the garden. This overlooks the bird pond that is home to hundreds of brightly coloured ducks, ibis, flamingo and proud nesting weavers. You can’t help but become enchanted instantly!

We walked through the garden at a leisurely pace (keep your camera battery fully charged!) most of the way accompanied by friendly ring-necks perched on our shoulders, stuff out of story-tales.

Ringneck

The garden consists of an incredible bamboo suspension bridge, (that makes your tummy slightly tingle) an overhead flowing waterfall, that you pass underneath and boardwalks laid out in a magical mezzanine-like layout, that takes you from top to bottom of the valley that is Birds of Eden. You are lead from the birds on and around the water where the colourful creatures that prefer the ground to graze,
all the way to the parrots and enormous South American bats claiming the higher reaches of the enormous enclosure.
If you have the time, and love it as much as we did, definitely take a walk around again, we did!

Since I was exposed to the beautiful creation that is the “Birds of Eden” I have a new found respect and appreciation for these magnificent creatures!

We highly recommend “Birds of Eden” and will definitely be back sooner than later for another enchanting visit!

Birds of Eden was created back in 2005, and is the largest single free flight aviary in the world. Check out http://www.birdsofeden.co.za

Here are some more of our photos from the visit to Birds of Eden:

PheasantSpoonbill

Red Lory

birds of eden

curious birdsblack swans

Flamingo

Mute swan

Land Art Plettenberg Bay

Land art KeurboomsIn 2011, Plettenberg bay hosted South Africa’s first international Land Art event presented by Site Specific. The artist–led project was conceived by Strijdom van der Merwe and Anni Snyman in an attempt to create more opportunities for Land Art in South Africa.

Cornerway House’s Dee, was a “Gorilla” Land Artist for this site-specific week in 2011 in Plettenberg Bay. Her concept was an installation in the Square outside a popular Coffee Shop, Liquor Store, not a very sophisticated Supermarket and an Arty Video Store. This evoked the need to display THE DICHOTOMY of BITOU.
Dee used the tree in a giant planter situated in the middle of the Square and draped it with opposing items. The one side represented the beauty and natural resources including items of learning. The other side contrasted enormously with 3 mobiles hanging off the branches made of syringes, a condom circle and a large pomander of beer cans, wine and brandy bottles. This representing the destructive elements of our society! Needless to say we had no neutral comments passed on this installation!.Dee Land Art

Dee Land Art 2011

 It is with great excitement and anticipation that we will be hosting the 2nd International Land Art Biennale event in Plettenberg Bay. Between 10 & 17 August2013 our landscapes and open spaces will be artistically transformed into a visual ecstasy. This land art event celebrates the beauty of our natural environment and our rich cultural history. It allows the community spirit, that is in all of us to be enhanced and transported to another level….
This promises to be an awesome event, as we will have such influential artists from South Africa and overseas, sharing with our very own local artists. This year we see the inclusion of the Site Specific side artists, which allows artists to take part at their own exspense.

One of these fringe artists is Adriaan Augustyn who, together with Pletts phenominal Malcom Solomens, will create a work that has been inspired from their observation of the way man has become, through ignorance, arrogance and greed, unconscious and conscious agents in the destruction of nature. “The chain of ‘trash’ is suspended within the forest
tunnels and along the paths symbolizing the vortex nature of water going
down the drain. The aim is to raise awareness in those that witness this
work at how each action has a reaction. The days of dumping waste far
away, are gone and each individual is now challenged to evaluate his part in
the creation of the vortex drain of our natural resources. At this point
lies the opportunity for change and creating a new and inspirational vortex
with the potential to uplift rather than destroy.”  They will be sourcing their materials from the Win Win Swop Shop, a recycling initiative started last year.site specific

site specific

site specificFor more information on the International Land Art Biennale 2013, events and artists visit   www.sitespecific.org.za

If you would like to visit Plettenberg Bay for this exciting event, please contact us on cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za or visit our www.cornerwayhouse.co.za

No Fuss Hike

salt river 3

Whether it’s a quick walk you’d like, or a leisurely stroll, Salt River in Nature’s Valley is the one to do.
Abounding with beauty from every angle, Salt River will capture your heart! It’s one of our favourite Plettenberg Bay hikes. Set out along the beach, savour the majestic coastline, and stumble upon all sorts of special sea creatures. Climbing over the Blue Rocks be it the right time of the year, you are almost guaranteed a whale spotting. Over the rocks and a few steps up into the fynbos forest and on your way down take a look to the left and be prepared to be blown away. What lies before you is a special place!
Sit! Relax! Skim stones along the river! Take time out! Watch the whales! Enjoy life! Savour the moment…for those steps up are a killer! One step at a time and you’ll make it. Take a breather and enjoy the view, there’s nowhere else in the world you would rather be at this moment.

Salt-River-Walk

Back on top and enjoying the coolness of the trees, make your way to the Village Viewpoint. Blown away second time round! After experiencing this magnificent view, there’s a path taking you down the hillside and back towards the beach.
What goes up must come down! As many steps as there are going up there are taking you down!
This walk can be done either way, back to front and front to back. So put on your shoes, pack your lunch bag and set off!

Natures-Valley-Walk

Winter has its Way with Us

There is something about icy winter air that makes me want to hibernate like so many of us.

Living in the southern hemisphere we all tend to be  like little solar powered bodies and try very hard to ignore the wintery warning signs.

Instead we soak up what we can of the last few rays.  All the signs are there though, the crisp chill, the icy breeze, the days growing shorter. We hesitate to pack out our winter clothes. Then when winter is finaly upon us, I like many of you I am sure, turn into a hermit. I spend more time indoors and much less outdoors. I add layer and layer just to conceal the tell tale signs of hot chocolate and too many inactive hours curled up on the couch. Not to mention the warm malva puddings, that seems so easy to whip up.

delicious malva pudding

delicious malva pudding

 

So this winter, which we can say, with out a doubt,  winter has arrived with vengeance. I promise myself I will continue with my exercise routine. I will keep reminding myself of our natural beauty and get outdoors and explore our surroundings. I will make every effort to cycle, walk and work in the veggie garden. I will keep my grumblings about the cold and how ill prepared I am for it, to a minium.  

leeks

leeks

spinach

spinach

lemon tree

so ripe

chilly winter day

chilly winter day

I will embrace the cold and allow myself the indulgence of hot chocolate and lazy times on the couch. We have a lot to look forward to, this cold weather is bringing the Southern Right Whales to our doorstep.

So lets celebrate the  Secret Season here in Plettenberg Bay together.

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