Tag Archives: water

Jugs ‘o water

Jugs 'o water
Kerry-Anne commented on the fact that in the USA we're always presented with glasses of water upon arrival at a restaurant - which is probably always a good thing as it's believed that people are in a permanent state of dehydration.

It's interesting how this norm in America is most often not even a consideration in South Africa, and how at times one has to ask for water more than once before it arrives - almost as though the staff delay the free drink so that one orders more paid drinks.

Open gardens: Tree tap

Open gardens: Tree tap
Only when a young girl from a sitting with her family at the garden table next to ours mentioned it did I spot the unusually-placed tap embedded in this tree.

Now, that's a fairly large tree - I'd guess it's in excess of 100 years old. So, either someone drilled a horizontal hole into the tree and then a vertical one straight down into the ground (which seems unlikely to me), or the water point is so old that the tree grew around the original pipe.

In any event, it was kinda weird to see a tap coming out of a tree with no obvious pipes in the vicinity.

See this post for more about this photo and Rustenberg Wine's open gardens.

Slippery when wet

Slippery when wet
The name of this title reminds me of an album released a long long time ago.

I was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident about two years ago. I'd stopped my car at a wet intersection. I started to pull away once the traffic lights turned green, and at the same time a driver (from the opposing side of the intersection) turned across my path. I planted my foot on brakes as quickly as I could, the car's anti-lock braking system kicked in, but the road was too slippery - I t-boned the other driver's car on their passenger-side door.

Given the relatively low-speed at which I hit the other vehicle, I was somewhat surprised at the impact of the accident, and the amount of damage both vehicles sustained. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured - probably because all involved had been wearing their seat-belts. But, the jolt from the impact made me realise how seriously-hard an immovable object must be when traveling at any speed over 20km/h.

Chilly-cold, rains and floods!

Rain drops on glass window
The weather turns really quickly in Cape Town. It can be sunny and warmish on one day, and icy-cold, wet, and stormy the next.

It rained so much in Cape Town on Saturday and Sunday that the banks of the Liesbeek River burst leading to the M3 highway (near UCT) being knee-deep in water! Take a look at the photos, and read this article on IOL.

Do the roads around your city ever flood? Isn't it scary when your car hits water that's deeper than you expect it to be?!

Yachts of the yacht basin

Yachts of the yacht basin
Even though I'd have to take motion sickness medication, still, I'd love to spend a day or two one of these beauties - as long as the weather was good. :)

For reference, this yacht basin is the one that the Cape Grace and One and Only hotels at the V&A Waterfront back on to.

Green ponds and lilypads

Green ponds and lilypads
I wrote, in my previous post, about the Meulwater Wild Flower Reserve (map) just above the town of Paarl.

This is the little pond that leads into the small wild-flower garden. The actual flower reserve stretches out far beyond the formal garden, but we decided that since it looked as though it could rain any minute that we'd stick around in the garden - not too far away from the shelter of our car. :)

Isn't the reflection on the water beautiful, and isn't this the perfect vista just waiting to be painted in watercolours?

The lion and the water spout

The lion and the water spout
This lion-shaped water spout is found in an extremely popular place - a place that you're very likely to have visited if you've lived in Cape Town or ever been here on vacation for more than a week. Do you recognise the spout? Have you seen it before? Can you guess where it is?

Leave a comment if you have an idea of where I took this photo. Given the background, it shouldn't be too difficult for you to guess! :)

Life-giving water

Biblical fountain
What you see in this photo is one of the small water fountains in Cape Town's Company Gardens.

I always find these small fountains to be a reminder of the origin of the Cape Town we know today. As you no doubt already know, Cape Town (aka The Cape of Good Hope, aka The Cape of Storms) was once a replenishing station for trading vessels sailing around the bottom of Africa - often between Europe and India.

The water from this fountain no doubt comes from the slopes of Table Mountain, where rainwater drains into the ground and makes it's way to the lower-lying areas. Don't you think we're lucky to live in a city that backs onto such an awesome mountain?

Now that’s a dirty swimming pool!

A dirty swimming pool
First let me say that this isn't my swimming pool. :) I held my camera over a rather tall wall to take this random picture of what looks like the swimming pool of an school or sports club in Cape Town (over the road from Vigiletti Motors in Roeland Street).

It's really easy to keep my own pool clean during the cool winter months. All that I do is dump a cup of chlorine into the water once or twice a week and run the pump every second day (I don't have one of those fancy salt water chlorinators). However, now that the air has warmed up again I'm back to adding chlorine daily and running the pool pump for hours on end.

I wish there were a more energy efficient way to keep pools clean. It often feels like we don't make enough use of the pool to justify it's existence. This mindset however changes quickly when the heat of January an February strikes us in Cape Town. :)

Report a running tap or a leaking pipe

A running tap
Many have been ecstatic that Cape Town had such great weather while the world came to visit us this June/July - but now that spring has sprung a little earlier than normal and warmer weather approaches the reality that the rest of the year may be a dry one starts to set in. See the chart on Cape Water Solution's blog post.

Fortunately, contrary to how it appears, this tap isn't actually leaking - I turned it open a little to illustrate a leaking tap and have the opportunity to share with you the City of Cape Town's share-call number (086 010 3054) where you're able to lodge any complaints about water wastage, leaking taps, poor sanitation, etc.

I've been saying it for ages - but I really need to get working on my grey-water solution for summer. Either that, or I need to pave my entire lawn... but it's a catch-22: Pave the lawn to save water while killing off more plant-life that we can't afford to lose. Perhaps the answer is to make sure that my garden consists mostly of indigenous plants!

We must take a boat ride!

Waterfront boats
It's a shame that us Capetonians leave the pleasures of boat rides into Table Bay to those visiting our city. We should really take time from our day-to-day lives to enjoy these pleasures that tourists more often get to enjoy.

I think we'll soon have to take a clear winter-morning trip out into the bay and then, perhaps in February next year, enjoy a warm sunset trip over to Clifton 4th beach. Take another look at the photo - doesn't that just sound perfect?

Charter a boat in beautiful luxury

A beautiful boat

Of all the things that you could do in Cape Town, chartering a yacht must be one of the most luxurious experiences. I guess something even more luxurious would be to charter a yacht overnight and invite a few friends for a party while moored off Clifton 4th beach.

I'm not sure of the name of the vessel in this photo, but while trying to find out, I discovered that the large boat in the photo in this previous post appears to be the Princess Emma, one of the most luxurious charters available at the Cape Town Waterfront.

Given the overnight rate of approximately R40 000, I assume that it would most often be companies that would charter the vessel to either treat their employees (most likely the directors ;) ), or to impress prospective clients. Nevertheless, if you have a mere R40 000 to spend on a night's entertainment, and if you'd like to be super-popular with your friends, this sure is the way to go. :D

The Cape Grace Hotel and the yacht basin

Yachts and Boats

The Cape Grace Hotel (the brown building) must be one of the best-situated of all the Cape Town hotels. In the morning, people who stay on the other side of the building see the sun rising over the Waterfront and harbour while the group on this side have a view of Table Mountain, Lion's Head and Signal Hill bathed in the wonderfully soft morning light. In the evening, while one group watches the lights of the shops and boats, and feels the vibrancy of the Waterfront, the group on this side of the hotel gets to watch these beautiful yachts bobbing in the basin, with the sky turning red as the sun sets behind the mountain. The Cape Grace must be a beautiful place to stay!

We've never been inside the hotel - and since we live not too far away and it's fairly expensive I doubt we would stay at the hotel. So, please, if you've stayed there, leave a note and let us know how accurate my description above is. :)

Nymphaea what?

Water Lily

The flower above is commonly known as a water lily, but to the botanists among you it's more likely known as a member of the Nymphaeaceae family, possibly either the Nymphaea Alba (White Water Lily) or the Nymphaea Capensis (Cape Blue Water Lily). What makes it difficult for me to decide is that the only references I've found so far to water lilies in the Western Cape talk about the Capensis, and yet this flower looks yellowish - a lot like the Alba. But the Alba is apparently found in the northern hemisphere, in places like England and North America.

That aside, I discovered an online store that sells what appears to be dried Nymphaea Alba. One can apparently use the dried flower to make a tea that, according to them, has the following effect: "White Lotus is both narcotic and euphoric. Like Blue Lotus, the plant is said to increase sexual arousal and enjoyment."

Now, while the name Nymphaea appears to support this, I'm keen for someone to (at their own risk ;) ) get some and give it a go. If you have tried the tea, then please do leave a comment below and let us know if you experienced any effects!

Water snakes and lily pads

Lycodonomorphus rufulus

We visited friends of ours at their home in Constantia for a sunny afternoon outside by the pool. Before you think that this is the pool to which I'm referring - well, no, the pool in the photo is a little garden rock pool filled with frogs, tadpoles, fish and a plethora of other aquatic critters.

From what I can tell, the little fiend that you see in the rock pool is a very young Lycodonomorphus rufulus, also known as the South African Brown Water Snake. We stood and watched the snake come up every five minutes for a breath of air and then descend below the water, behind a couple of rocks.

The last time we watched him descend I'm not sure that it was out of choice - he was being hounded by a small fish that seemed to be nibbling at his tummy. :)

To Hout Bay from Kommetjie

Hout Bay from a Kommetjie beach

Today's photo was taken just a little way from the photo in this post; in the distance, over the ocean, you can see Hout Bay.

The route from Kommetjie to Hout Bay has one of the prettiest views in the country - it's the famous Chapman's Peak Drive (M6), which you can see on this map. Check out the Chapman's Peak Drive website for information on whether or not the road is open (it sometimes closes in the event of rockfalls), the toll cost for using the road, and beautiful photos taken from the many viewing spots along the way.

In good weather, Chappies (our affectionate name for the road) is definitely worth the trip and the small toll charge. It may even be a cool idea to visit Cape Point in the early morning, take the coastal road past Scarborough through to Kommetjie and Noordhoek, and then head over Chappies and have lunch in Hout Bay. Keep in mind that there's lots to see along the way, so you may only end up in Hout Bay for a mid-afternoon lunch. If you're unfamiliar with the route, take a look at this route map that I drew using Google Maps.

Jazz on water

Yacht basin an the V&A Waterfront

I'm not much of a jazz fan, but I have to admit that the AquaJazz show at the V&A Waterfront's Aqua Festival was pretty good. I took this photo to the right of the stage, a little while before the show - as the light was fading. Isn't the yacht basin just beautiful? It must be awesome to own an apartment that's part of such a beautiful view... even more, it must be awesome to own that huge yacht in the middle of the photo!

The seals that you see on the jetty are interesting creatures. For each show that I've attended they've sat on the jetty talking to each other in their dog-like grunts and barks. The jetty connects to a landing that the performers use to walk to the stage, and often the stage security guys have to spray water on the seals to encourage them to move off the landing so that the performers can make their way to the stage without being pushed into the water by a huge lumbering seal.

It's really entertaining to watch the little dance between the seals and the security people. :D

Edit: I've just published an album for the AquaJazz show here.

Lakes, trees and microlights

Lakes and trees

We took a road that we hadn't taken before, into the hills behind Durbanville, and happened upon the Western Cape Microlight Club's airfield at Contermanskloof. I really wanted to take a cool photo at the club house, but there were no microlights to be seen and the club house isn't really the most inspiring building. So, I took a photo of this lake surrounded by those invasive Australian Blue Gum trees instead! :)

If you have Google Earth installed, you can follow this link to view the airfield from the air. And, if you have an interest in microlights, be sure to check out the Microlighters forum.