Mohair Headquarters now in our neighbourhood.

Mohair Headquarters now in our neighbourhood.

It’s winter and as we turn towards mohair for warmth we would like to introduce a new neighbour to 6th Avenue: the Mohair Headquarters housing Mohair South Africa, The Mohair Trust and The Mohair Empowerment Trust. They are just up the road from us at Dempsey’s Guest House in Walmer.
This beautifully designed Karoo-inspired building adds quality to the popular 6th Avenue strip of interesting and varied businesses. The building was designed by Jason Erlank Architects and built by BSP Construction. The inspiration behind the building design was to recreate a farm shed and bring the rural story of mohair to life, in a modern way. Vintage farm equipment has been incorporated into the building. The building is shaped like two barns that have been linked by a walkway. This new Mohair HQ is a one-stop shop for mohair, it houses a library space for students, a mohair research library, a crafting space as well as a mini conference centre for functions and fashion shows. The retail store stocks the best of local and international mohair designs. The new Mohair HQ is also close to the airport allowing easy access for tourists and visitors.

The mohair comes from the Angora goat farms of the Karoo which are spread across the Eastern, Northern and Southern Cape. South Africa is the biggest role player in the world in terms of mohair quality, production and processing and accounts for 53% of global mohair production. Combined with Lesotho, SA produces 70% of the world’s mohair. Port Elizabeth is the mohair capital of the world.

 

mohair south africa

Mohair South Africa

mohair sa now in walmer

Mohair SA now in Walmer

ruth mcnaughton for studio mohair

Ruth McNaughton for “Studio Mohair”

 

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127 Fordyce Road

Corner of Fordyce Road and 6th Avenues,

Walmer, Port Elizabeth

Tel:        041 487 1386

E-mail: info@mohair.co.za   marketing@mohair.co.za

Mohair South Africa: http://www.mohair.co.za

 

The Mohair Trust: http://www.namc.co.za/pages/industries/agricultural-industry-trusts/mohair-trust

The Mohair Empowerment Trust: http://www.mohairempower.co.za/

Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s deck!

Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s deck!

We often spot these beautiful Knysna Turacos flitting from branch to branch, tree to tree in the distance, seldom near and seldom stopping long enough for us to really see them clearly, let alone to capture them on camera. They tend to be shy and skittish. Recently we heard a strange sounding thud on our deck; to our amazement it was a Knysna Turaco that had made a crash landing on our deck and was gingerly negotiating its steps on the coffee table. We observed in disbelief. It stayed a long while and then moved to the top of the couch, a few seconds later it moved into a tree very close by where it stayed for an unusually long time. We managed to take a few photographs of this unusual visitor to our deck. When the bird is in flight, the flash of crimson under those wings will take your breath away. Oh to be in the right place at the right time to capture that sight on camera.

safely in a tree at a distance from us

Safely in a tree at a distance from us

Gentle negotiation of knysna turaco

Gentle negotiation of Knysna Turaco

pretty painted face of turaco

Pretty painted face of Turaco

A Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s Deck!

A Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s Deck!

We often spot these beautiful Knysna Turacos flitting from branch to branch, tree to tree in the distance, seldom near and seldom stopping long enough for us to really see them clearly, let alone to capture them on camera. They tend to be shy and skittish. Recently we heard a strange sounding thud on our deck; to our amazement it was a Knysna Turaco that had made a crash landing on our deck and was gingerly negotiating its steps on the coffee table. We observed in disbelief. It stayed a long while and then moved to the top of the couch, a few seconds later it moved into a tree very close by where it stayed for an unusually long time. We managed to take a few photographs of this unusual visitor to our deck. When the bird is in flight, the flash of crimson under those wings will take your breath away. Oh to be in the right place at the right time to capture that sight on camera.

knysna turaco on coffee table

Knysna Turaco on coffee table

Pretty painted eye of the Knysna Turaco

Pretty painted eye of the Knysna Turaco

turaco settles at a safer distance

Turaco settles at a safer distance

Lloyd Road lodgers allow photo shoot near Dempsey’s, PE.

Lloyd Road lodgers allow photo shoot near Dempsey’s, PE.

These Lloyd Road Lodgers nonchalantly allowed a photo shoot one hot summer’s day this year, all I had to do was approach slowly and calmly and the scene was mine for the taking. Close up they are distinctly beautiful. They used to be called the ‘Dikkop’ bird, an Afrikaans word meaning ‘thick head’. Their name has been changed to “Thick Knee” bird.

Here’s a post from “Neseier”, a great young blogger living in the Karoo. ‘Neseier’ is Afrikaans for ‘nest egg’. Here she shares her experience of the Thick Knee:- https://greatgardenbirds.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/three-thick-knees/

From Wikipedia:- “The spotted thick-knee, which can reach up to 45.5 cm (17.9 in) in height, has long legs and brown-and-white speckled plumage which provides camouflage making it difficult to spot the bird in the grasslands and savannas where it roams. Its head is large and round with a prominent yellow eye and a short, stout beak. When in flight or standing in a characteristic position with its wings raised, it shows a striking contrasting pattern. Its legs are long and yellow and the tibiotarsal joint is expanded giving it the name “thick-knee”.

The spotted thick-knee is nocturnal and squats on the ground during the daytime making it difficult to spot. It hunts exclusively on the ground, feeding on insects, small mammals and lizards. It also nests on the ground, lining a scrape with grasses, feathers, pebbles and twigs. The female typically lays two eggs, and males and females rear the offspring together, with both bringing food back to the nest. The birds will defend the nest and adopt a defensive pose with wings spread and tail cocked and will even peck an intruder. Sometimes they will fake injuries to lead predators away from the nest.

The spotted thick-knee is native to the grasslands and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. Its range extends from Senegal, Mali and Mauritania in the west to Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa in the east and south.”

quite tame yet cautious thick knee birds

Quite tame yet cautious Thick Knee birds

 

 

inquisitive yet guarded

Inquisitive yet guarded

 

exposed watch of the thick knee bird

Exposed watch of the Thick Knee bird

 

The Bottlenose dolphin reigns in Algoa Bay.

The Bottlenose dolphin reigns in Algoa Bay.

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Last week we attended Raggy Charters’ launch of Algoa Bay being the Bottlenose dolphin capital of the world. The venue was The Algoa Bay Yacht Club, always providing great views of the yacht basin and harbour, superb ambience and good food from The Chartroom Restaurant. Raggy Charters runs whale and dolphin-watching tours. Owner Lloyd Edwards, who is also Chairperson of the Baywatch Marine Conservation confirmed that our special Algoa Bay hosts the largest schools of Bottlenose dolphins in the world. For almost 20 years Lloyd has been monitoring the location of these dolphins along with the size of their pods. Since the Raggy tours started in 1997, dolphins have been sighted on 90% of their tours, they have been spotted on the past 28 cruises in a row. Marine biologists at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have recently completed their study confirming that approximately 30 000 bottlenose dolphins use Algoa Bay. We look forward to the launch of a Dolphin Festival hopefully to coincide with Marine Month in October.

Dr. Lorien Pichegru, Algoa Bay Hope Spot chairperson and leading marine life researcher in SA said Algoa Bay is home to more than half of the world’s African penguin population. She said that sustainable econmic growth in Nelson Mandela Bay, could be promoted by blending blue economy and tourism through initiatives such as this one.

On the subject of the African penguin, SAMREC is Port Elizabeth’s marine bird rehabilitation and education centre situated in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve; their main aim is to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured seabirds, particularly the critically endangered African Penguin.

 

Take a look at our post on the new ‘3 in 1’ tour on offer by Raggy Charters:- http://dempseys.co.za/three-in-one-new-tour-from-raggy-charters-port-elizabeth/

Also our share of Lloyd Edwards in the SA Country Life mag:- http://dempseys.co.za/port-elizabeth-features-again-in-sa-country-life-mag/

And this magnificent book on SA coasts; Lloyd and Lorien are contributors:- http://dempseys.co.za/magnificent-book-of-our-south-african-coasts/

 

The Chartroom Restaurant is open to all ABYC members, the general public and also for corporate bookings and evening functions. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Phone 041 585 2893 or 072 462 2676.  Large groups, small conferences and all other celebrations are also catered for.

The Chartroom has an interesting and varied menu, ranging from kiddies meals to pub lunches to steaks and seafood, fresh from the ocean.

The Chartroom also caters to a host of birthday parties and weddings.

Members get to use the facility at no charge. Non Members are encouraged to support the ABYC Community Sailing Program.

 

Sources: PE Herald and Port Elizabeth Express newspapers, Algoa Bay Hope Spot, SAMREC, Baywatch Marine Conservation.

raggy charters poster displayed in our office at dempsey's gh

Raggy Charters poster displayed in our office at Dempsey’s GH

algoa bay: bottlenose dolphin capital of the world

Algoa Bay: Bottlenose dolphin capital of the world

 

 

Unusual sighting of the Sacred Ibis at the beach, Port Elizabeth.

Unusual sighting of the Sacred Ibis at the beach, Port Elizabeth.

photo of sacred ibis by: steve garvie, dunfermline, fife, scotland

Photo of Sacred Ibis by: Steve Garvie, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

These are very poor photos ( below) taken with a cell phone camera and from a distance but we needed to capture this strange sighting. It was quite bizarre to spot about twelve Sacred Ibis birds clambering along the rocks at Millers Beach last week. All were fishing alongside the regular seagulls for delicacies amongst the rocks. We were under the impression that the sacred ibis wouldn’t be found near the coast but after looking up the information we have learned that indeed they can be found at the coast. “The African sacred ibis thrives in large colonies near waterways throughout Africa. It inhabits wetlands such as marshes, swamps, riverbanks, flood plains and mud flats both coastal and inland. It is also known to visit pastures, ploughed land and rubbish dumps.” That doesn’t exactly say AT the beach, wading through little waves lapping up against the rocks at low tide!

sacred ibis, port elizabeth beachfront

Sacred Ibis, Port Elizabeth beachfront

sacred ibis with seagulls, millers beach, pe

Sacred Ibis with seagulls, Millers Beach, PE

The buzz at 154 Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

The buzz at 154 Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

Some more rearranging of the furniture in Walmer has brought with it a ‘buzz’. We’ve been watching the changing space at No. 154 Main Road, Walmer, barely 2kms from us Dempsey’s Guest House. If we remember correctly, it all started years ago with the opening of The Scrapbook Nook and then Execu Cut. Alongside them was Casa Rosa Florist and then up popped Pro Natural and quite soon thereafter Micoffee. ProNatural and Casa Rosa have moved over to the new wing and Mike and his Micoffee are now stationed up front near the road, a coffee ‘drive through’ we believe. Go Mike! The 2 Fat Butchers have left our immediate neighbourhood and are now trading next to the new Banneton Bakery and Cafe. And behind but not last, Cupboard Love has moved from their Richmond Hill premises. We popped in the other day to take some photos. We will wait awhile until ‘the dust has settled’ before we take some more photos and bring you some more news and information on the businesses in operation there.

154 main road walmer

154 Main Road, Walmer

micoffee 'drive through' almost completed

Micoffee ‘drive through’ almost completed

neat execu cut

Neat Execu Cut

the scrapbook nook, where it all started

The Scrapbook Nook, where it all started

micoffee's aroma

Micoffee’s aroma

154 main road, walmer

154 Main Road, Walmer

Gift of maté gourd from Uruguayan guests at Dempsey’s.

Gift of maté gourd from Uruguayan guests at Dempsey’s.

Special guests from Uruguay landed up with us due to a double booking at another guest house. A tense start soon warmed into lasting smiles as we exchanged knowledge on each other’s countries and on the excitement of travel. We learnt about their local beverage called ‘maté.’ It is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, a tea leaf mix that is steeped in a traditional calabash gourd, hot water is added to it during the day, a metal or silver straw called a ‘bombilla’, is used for sipping on the tea during the course of the day. Yerba maté leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the brewed liquid in but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture. A modern bombilla design uses a straight tube with holes, or a spring sleeve to act as a sieve.

We were gifted with an ornament of a maté  gourd, a most pleasant surprise, thank you to Gustavo and Federica!  All we had to give them was some of Jack’s delicious home-made biltong. We hope that they enjoyed it. Jack suggested he visit them in Uruguay to teach them how to make the biltong; Uruguay is certainly not short on cows, the present count is five cows to one person with most people being in the farming industry or veterinary profession!

Once they had left we found the large bag of tea in their room; the tea leaves looked a bit like finely chopped and dried marijuana!

 

Maté information sourced from Wikipedia:

Country of origin: Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivian Chaco, Brazil. Introduced:16th century AD

Mate also known as yerba mate or cimarrón is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, particularly in Argentina (where it is defined by law as the “national infusion”) Uruguay, Paraguay, the Bolivian Chaco and Southern Brazil and in southern Chile. It is also consumed by the Druze in Syria, the largest importer in the world, and in Lebanon.

water flask, calabash with bombilla and bag of mate tea

Water flask, calabash with bombilla and bag of Mate tea

our ornament gift on the right

Our ornament gift on the right

one large bag of mate tea!

One large bag of Mate tea!

this is what the tea looks like

This is what the tea looks like

special gift from uruguay

Special gift from Uruguay

 

 

K’s Karoo photo selected for UK website:- www.karoodesign.com

K’s Karoo photo selected for UK website:- www.karoodesign.com

KarooDesign

Karoo Design, one of the best design and branding agencies in the UK, selected one of Kathy’s photos to include in their revamped website. It’s the photograph taken from a national road through the Karoo, blue mountains and beautiful space surrounding. A few more photographs are waiting in the wings for the next shuffle of photographs on their website.

Karoo Design, in their own words: “We’re an independent design and branding agency with offices in London and Southampton. In today’s fast changing world, smart-thinking innovative design adds value and competitive advantage. We deliver specialist graphic design, branding and advertising services to help our clients stand out from the crowd and achieve their goals. But don’t just take our word for it – see what our clients say.”

© 2015 Karoo Design Ltd
Registered in England & Wales No. 5040562
Registered address: 2 Venture Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 7NP, United Kingdom
Karoo photography: © H Van Blommestein © Ryno Ferreira © Kath Rath

Kathy’s first international recognition was in 2013 when many of her photos were included in the first South African Travel App called: ” South Africa Travel the Rainbow Nation,” created and published by Charlene Smith, internationally recognized journalist and writer. Here’s the link to that story:- http://dempseys.co.za/charlene-smiths-app-south-africa-travelthe-rainbow-nation/

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Locally, in 2015, Kathy’s photo was included in this great book:- “Absolutely Awesome South Africa”. Here’s the link to that story:- http://dempseys.co.za/proud-contributor-to-absolutely-awesome-south-africa-publication/

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Proudly South African contributor.

Gift of coffee from Vietnamese guest at Dempsey’s.

Gift of coffee from Vietnamese guest at Dempsey’s.

A kind Vietnamese guest staying at Dempsey’s Guest House, surprised us a with a gift pack of coffee with a coffee filter included, all the way from Vietnam. He demonstrated how to use the coffee filter and insisted that we add condensed milk for the real Vietnamese effect. You cannot scare us with condensed milk! It was a sweet, strong experience. Thank you Trung!

 

neatly packaged coffee with filter from vietnam

Neatly packaged coffee with filter from Vietnam

long strong process, condensed milk was added, yumm

Long strong process, condensed milk was added, yumm