WET, WET, WET
If the Garden route continues to receive it's average rainfall until the end of the year, then the region will come within a whisper of breaking the record for the wettest year in recorded history. The most rainfall ever recorded in a 365 day period was 1219mm. The George airport weather station has already recorded 906mm to the end of August. In fact the amount recorded in August was only 52mm short of the entire rainfall recorded in 2005, which was the driest year in recorded history. Does anyone smell climate change here?
Whales, Whisky and all that Jazz
The program for this new festival which takes place from 22 - 25 September, is now available on the Plett Tourism web site. So if you want a weekend break or find yourself in the area, I am sure there is something in the lineup to keep you entertained.
The event will culminate in a Jazz Festival staged on Central Beach on Sunday from 12pm.
Wednesday nights at the Kilzer's is a raucus celebration of food and wine. The Kilzer's cookery school in Knysna opens it's doors once a week to patrons who get to watch this fun couple and thier students in action as they prepare three delicious courses. The atmosphere is very light hearted as the Kilzer's regularly interrupt thier explanations with good humoured banter. They have created a 'restaurant' experience that is truly unique, and one which I would highly recommend for any visitor.
The collapse of a portion of the Kaaimans Pass road between Wilderness and George has finally resulted in Premier Rasool declaring the Garden Route a disaster area. What this means is that funds become quickly available to rebuild the road, which is the main route into the region. The closure of the pass to heavy vehicles has meant that load carriers have been using the much longer R62 Langkloof road into the region, resulting in significant transport cost increases.
The Langkloof road has also become quite dangerous, because of the volume of trucks, lack of overtaking opportunities and the fact that drivers are unfamiliar with the road. After one particularly nasty accident, one carrier is now refusing to use the road, and is sending thier trucks through Bloemfontein instead, an even longer route.
Running Out of Steam
Damage to the rail road between Wilderness and George, caused by the landslide on Kaaimans Pass, have meant that the popular Outeniqua Choo-Choo steam train can no longer operate along this stretch. Tour operators expect that this will have a negative impact on visitor numbers to Knysna over the summer season, as the train represents a big drawcard for the town.
We will have to wait until the end of September to hear what the fate of Plett's suspended municipal manager, George Seitisho, will be. The advocate presiding over the case has requested more time to review all the information prior to announcing his findings. Once this has been done he will also make recommendations to the council.
The trial of former mayor, Euan Wildeman, will only commence once the findings against George Seitisho have been announced.
Both Wildeman and Seitisho have been charged with mishandling public funds and contraventions of the Municipal Finance Act.
Until next time.....
The Accommodation Bureau team