The last few weeks Cape Town was on fire and to be honest it was an overkill of news from the fire front with lots of repeats, nonsense and so on. It became global news but yes it was in Cape Town and it was only 5500 hectare. A few years ago there was also a fire; here near Stanford: 25,000 hectare. It got a five-liner in a Capetonian newspaper but than for Capetonians this area is somewhere ‘abroad’. The fire in the Klein Rivier Mountains was far more ‘devastating’ for people and animals alike. Except for the baboons (here only 14 troops) far more diversity in animal- and plant-life than in the Cape Peninsula.
Well here follows what we blogged at the time:
For the third time within one year we experienced a mountain fire. This is a fynbos area and there seems to be a fynbos specie which roots start to burn spontaneously . Fynbos needs a fire every 10 years or so otherwise seeds won’t germinate. It’s a pure natural process but for human beings in a contemporary world very inconvenient. No electricity for 24 hours and no internet for 36 hrs; the latter due to the fact that Telkom forgot to turn a switch into adsl-mode… It’s Sunday you know and it’s Festive Season here in South Africa…. But the guys of the fire-brigade (virtually all volunteers) did a tremendous job and we all admire them greatly!!!
The picture shows the fire on Friday night and was taken about 10 kilometers from the nearest point of the fire with a 300mm lens. In total 25-thousand hectares went in smoke including 8 holiday homes and 3 boats. No people injured. Fires like this spread rapidly especially during drought periods and a bit of wind. The fire started Thursday at the other side of the mountain and Friday afternoon local politicians said to a journalist of a local newspaper that the fire was under control and just after that hell broke loose…… There are still journalists, so it seems, who believe in politicians….
Just outside our village something out of the ordinary is going on and that makes it all very intriguing. Eight or so people/couples each have a share in the Blue Moon community and all of these are extra-ordinary people with social engagement. Alternative energy sources and energy uses are experimented with, film- and theatre- decors are made (including those for US-movie makers who film on location in South Africa) and there is ….. The Last Resort. If you want to get rid of your kids for one or more days Craig and Cathy will not only look after them but will keep them so busy that you don’t have to look after them for a while when you collect them. We were there last Friday during a school outing of a pre-primary school. With simple means (no Nintendo or computer games, etc.) and in a nature concious/exploring way children are kept engaged with play, treasure hunts, camping (yes there are overnight facilities), etc.
Or as they state in their Facebook page: “We are a multi-functional venue with a heart. We do children’s parties ; children’s camps and live music concerts. Also available for private functions. We have a large sturdy stage with good lighting ; a dance area ; shaded areas ; a large, living labyrinth and a comfortable tipi. Also a lovely dam and within walking distance to the village of Stanford. Blue Moon Community Farm is also home to an accomplished potter ; an alternative technology enthusiast and a vermiculturalist organic landscaper, amongst other interesting people“.
Craig sees also another market: “Stanford is more and more becoming a true nature destination. Parents who want a quiet holiday without their youngsters can drop them here and go to whatever accommodation in this area“.
Many privileged South Africans live very secluded behind big walls and steel bars. In our village there is no more crime than in similar villages where-ever in the world and the fencing looks more friendly. Occasionally even eco-friendly as this fence of woven myrtle wood. The owner recently erected this fence to keep his dog inside and he planted some creepers that have to cover the wood in due time.
Not so long ago we explained a tour operator from Connecticut (USA) that if it rains in Stanford it comes from Cape Town but if the sun shines in Cape Town the Capetonians can thanks us for that. It’s just a matter of geographics. Anyway we just got the ‘wet greetings’ from Cape Town…