‘Hello Obby, you look very busy this morning.’
‘Good morning Mrs Macdassie,’ greets Obby waving his Pritt covered hand.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I am putting a photo album together for Mrs Sidebottom.’
‘That’s lovely, but I thought photo albums were a thing of the past, well that is according to Davina, she says she has a picture gallery on her phone.’
‘Well, Mrs Sidebottom says she would like to see ‘snaps’ of the holiday pictures of the two British Bears who were here for ten days, and as there official tour guide and chief photographer I have decided to put them all in an album for her to see.’
Mrs Macdassie just smiled to herself as she lay on the rock sunning herself, typical Obby, making himself sound so important.
‘I must be going now,’ Obby shouted to her clutching the album under his arm. ‘ Don’t stay in the sun too long Mrs Macdassie, as I think it is ageing your fur,’ and off he went down the mountain slope.
Mrs Macdassie shook her head, got up and moved to the shade.
Mrs Sidebottom was looking forward to seeing the photo album which Obby was putting together for her,call her old fashioned but there is nothing more pleasurable than paging through photos.She smiled when Yitzhak complained that he had gone through so much printer ink and couldn’t understand why. She had her suspicions that Obby was the culprit, but said nothing.
She doesn’t know how Obby ended up being the tour guide for the two British bears who had come out on holiday for ten days or where he had even meet them.But for those ten days she hardly saw him, and felt sorry for Toby and Ollie who felt a bit left out now that he had other friends. When the time was right she would have a word with him and tell him that he mustn’t do that in future because when Cyril has other friends and leaves him out he gets upset.
Obby arrived, his usual cheerful self. Through the window he climbed into her bedroom so none of the other residents would see him. She knew that he had been seen on lots of occasions, but the wonderful people of Hermanus chose to keep it ‘their’ secret, although Obby though only a few people knew of his existence and found it amusing as he devised all these plans of ‘not been seen or as he put it NBS and taps his nose.
Obby started with an introduction…’ Drum roll please Mrs Sidebottom,’ who pretended to beat a drum.
‘I would like to introduce you to my two British Bear friends.
The one on the left is Bobby Bear,’ Obby pointed to his picture and the other poser is Rudy. They have are besties Mrs Sidebottom, like you and me,’ he said with his charming smile.
Hermanus holiday- Day One
‘ The first thing they wanted to do was get some sun,’ Obby told Mrs Sidebottom,’ Do you know that they have lots of rain in England?’
The Blue Flag Grotto Beach is well known for its massive stretch of stunning sandy beach and ocean. It is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike and boasts a view of the mountainous areas behind whilst still having a seemingly unending view of the beach. This beach is perfect for swimming, suntanning, games and long, leisurely walks and with ample parking it is the ideal holiday point for many. Check out: hermanus.co.za
Bobby Bear at Voelklip
Another surfer favourite – this beach is also ideal for non-sand lovers as it offers leveled(sic) grassy lawns to picnic along, as well as a small sandy shore. The beach itself is quite small but offers enough space for enjoyable swimming and sunbathing. Due to its popularity there is usually a lifeguard on duty and plenty of parking close by. check out hermanus.co.za
Check out the restaurants :http://www.hermanusrestaurants.co.za
‘They wanted to go to the beach again and swim,’ Obby told Mrs Sidebottom and said they would like to go to ‘Grow Toe’ beach, he said he scratched his head because he had never heard of a beach with that name, and was worried that he wasn’t much of a tour guide. Then he realised they wanted to go back to Grotto Beach for a swim. He laughed.
‘When we got to the beach they were so excited, they just ran towards the water and dived right in without staying between the life guards beacons, and I ran after them and told them to only swim where it was safe and where there were life guards, and I explained to them about the rip currents and what they should do if they ever get caught in one.’
‘Oh Obby,’ exclaimed Mrs Sidebottom, ‘They were so lucky to have a sensible guide like you, but as you say they were just so excited they did not think.’
Obby looked very pleased with himself. He loved getting praise.
This picture, above, shows very clearly what rip currents look like. The water flows in towards the beach over shallow water or sandbanks (The water is a lighter colour and waves break evenly over these areas) and to get back out to sea it often forms a rip – or “river” of water – between two sand banks ( waves seldom break in a rip and the water is darker green because it is deeper).
If you are caught in a rip-current: -Do not panic and do not try to swim against the current. As hard as it sounds let the current take you out to sea. -Tread water by moving your arms and legs in circular movements to stay afloat and keep your lungs gently filled with air to aid in your buoyancy. -Raise one arm in the air and shout for help to alert people on the shore that you are in trouble. -The rip-current force dissipates the further out to sea it gets so at your first opportunity swim parallel to the shore front until you are free of the rip and then use the incoming waves to aid your progress to get back to shore.
See more at: http://www.algoafm.co.za/Article/37618/nsri-cautions-against-rip-currents-with-spring-tide#sthash.YxCtrApk.dpuf http://www.algoafm.co.za/Article/37618/nsri-cautions-against-rip-currents-with-spring-tide
‘We walked back from Grotto beach along the cliff path; they were very slow because they kept on taking lots of pictures and selfies. They couldn’t believe the colour of the water,and guess what when we got to Sievers Punt we saw five whales and lots of dolphins, and Rudy was so excited that he slipped and hit his head.’
‘Oh no Obby, was it bad?’
‘It was a little cut ,but fortunately Mrs Macdassie was sunning herself (again) on the nearby rocks and she said he just needed a plaster and she had some on her because Alfie her youngest is accident prone, and then she pointed to him hanging upside down on the rubbish bin and kept a plaster handy.’
‘Because Rudy had a sore head we decided it best we call it a day,’ Obby told Ms Sidebottom.
‘That was the sensible thing to do Obby, well done!’
The Cliff Path attracts thousands of whale-watchers every year for the best shore-based whale-watching in the world; but not only whale-watching may be enjoyed on the Cliff Path – it is also a nature-lover’s paradise. http://fernkloof.com/marine.mv
‘ Would you like some juice young man before we look at Day 3?’ Mrs Sidebottom asked Obby.
‘Yes please and can you put a little umbrella in for decoration?’ he asked, ‘Like the ones they have at the rock parties.’
‘And what do you know about rock parties?’
‘In summer Cyril and Davina host rock parties in the Old Harbour and on arrival I get a can of coke with a little umbrella in it which Cyril makes himself out of old wrappers he finds in the bins.’ Obby tells her. ‘He is so artistic that I think he should put on an exhibition at the Hermanus FynArts Festival and make a giant umbrella sculpture for display at Gearings Point but he says it is difficult for an up and coming artist to get their foot off the rock and in the door and especially if you have four furry legs . I said to him being different is great and he mustn’t let that stop him and anyway the art community embrace all great and small.’
Mrs Sidebottom smiled to herself as it sounded like a bit of a sermon as she poured his juice and gave him a straw.
‘ We decided that we would go snorkelling, so we went to the Marine tidal pool, and they were amazed what they could see,’ Obby pointed to the photo.
‘I sat on the rocks talking to Cyril while they swam, and he suggested that they should go kayaking in Walker Bay,which I thought was an excellent idea.’
‘ We met Thabo and his friends at the New Harbour fishing off the pier, and you know what Mrs Sidebottom they only use fishing line , a hook and a bit of bait and they catch loads of fish like that. Some other boys who had nice fishing rods didn’t catch anything,’ Obby told her.
‘ When they had caught enough fish to take home, Thabo invited us to his house and said that he was sure his mother wouldn’t mind and if they were lucky she might even allow them to ‘braai’ the fish. The bears looked confused as they didn’t know what ‘braai’ was and I explained it to them and they both shouted out ‘Barbie’ as if they were now Australians!’
‘It was the first time Rudy and Bobby had ever seen a township and they fascinated by all the activity, and with all the children playing in the street and people selling things, and then Thabo and his friends got out their hand made go-karts and they pulled Bobby and Ruby along at great speed and they loved ever minute of it and shouted to go faster and faster, until Thabo’s mother came out the house and told them to, ‘Slow down, I don’t want to spend my afternoon at the hospital ‘and with that she went back inside.’
Mrs Sidebottom smiled as she thought of Thabo’s mother Miliswa, a wonderful hard working mother and an active community member too.
‘ I told Thabo that I wanted to take the bears cycling on the bike trails but Bobby had never ridden a bike before. And he said to me,’ No problem there Obs, we make a plan,’ and then he disappeared and came back with a bicycle and a helmet.
‘Bobby was practising riding up and down the road and all the children were watching and encouraging him and some were saying take off the side wheels, and then Thabo’s mother appeared(again), Obby rolled his eyes- and she said,’ Thabo don’t you dare that off those side wheels, I don’t want to spend the afternoon at the hospital,’ and went back inside for about a minute before the door was opened again and she added, ‘ Thabo why don’t you ever wear the helmet when you ride your bike, I see its good enough for the bear but not you,’ and back inside she went,Thabo’s mother can be very strict you know Mrs Sidebottom, so we decided not to ask her to braai the fish, but later on when she sent Zandile the neighbours child to come and get us as she had made a pot of food for us and some of the other children in the street, but while she was dishing up she said, ‘ Thabo, I know you and your friends went to play in another street and thought I wouldn’t know , but remember I have eyes in the back of my head.’
Obby asked Mrs Sidebottom if she was tired of looking at the photos and she told him that she was enjoying it very much listening to the stories.
‘On day five we went to visit Sa’ood because the bears love to play cricket and I knew that it would be fun for them, so we all met at the community hall. But then we saw this big truck and lots of parcels being unloaded and lots of people with their children and there was even a Father Christmas, and so Sa’ood asked what was going on and they said it was an organisation that was giving out food parcels and presents for the children. Then he asked one of the ladies who was helping, ‘ Aunty I know someone who is very old and sickly and she looks after her grandchildren on her pension, please can I get one for her?‘ he asked. The aunty looked at him and said okay but it is very heavy to carry, and Sa’ood showed her his muscles as she laughed.Then he asked her if we could all help unpacking the truck and we did. It was the most amazing day Mrs Sidebottom, and I cannot believe how kind the people were and then Bobby bear told us that when he grows up he wants be to a doctor.
‘Oh Obby there are such good people out there, and you all helped too. Did you manage to play any cricket?’
‘No, but it was the best day ever and the bears had such a brilliant day and Bobby bear was in his element when we went to took the food parcel to the old lady and she told him all about her illness and he was very interested in her medical history, and you know Mrs Sidebottom he is going to be an excellent doctor one day. And while they were talking I fixed the wheel on her wheel-chair, it was so old and rusty, so I greased all the wheels,’ he told her.
‘Oh no,’ Mrs Sidebottom thought to herself as she had visions of the old lady suddenly finding that her wheel-chair goes at great speed.
‘ You are going to love day six Mrs Sidebottom as we went to one of your favourite places,’ he said before turning over to the next page.
‘ I know where you took them’ she said excitedly.
‘Fernkloof,’ she answered.
And then Obby turned the page over.
‘Obby they are beautiful, tell me all about that day.’
‘I wanted to show them where I come from because they kept on asking me if I had also had a passport, and I didn’t know what they meant so I asked Cyril. And he told me I mustn’t worry because I was a ‘Citizen of Fernkloof’ and all the money in the world couldn’t buy that passport and you know what else he said, Mrs Sidebottom?’ Obby looked at her as he lowered his voice, ‘Money can’t buy love.’
‘I met them at their hotel early so we didn’t have to walk in the midday heat,’ Obby said in a responsible tone.
‘What hotel were they staying at?’ Mrs Sidebottom enquired.
‘The Barest of Necessities,’ Obby answered, ‘And it is really posh.’
Mrs Sidebottom tried not to raise her eyebrows in surprise and looked down at the photos.
‘ I made sure they had sun hats and lots of drinking water before we set off, and oh boy were they slow as they huffed and puffed all the way up the mountain. But when they finally got to my house they were as red as tomatoes.’
‘Well I am glad you made them wear sun hats and they had plenty of water to drink as I have seen many walkers who do not prepare adequately for their hike and get dehydrated,’ Mrs Sidebottom added.
‘Davina and her friends were at home too, conveniently might I say, and they were sunning themselves on the rocks with their painted claws and keep looking at us sitting on the ledge admiring the view- I just couldn’t understand their behaviour. Then Mr Macdassie called them in. The bears seemed a bit disappointed when they left.’
‘ To be young again,’ Mrs Sidebottom said.
‘What do you mean by that?’ he asked.
‘Just that,’ she replied.
Hiking Routes In The Fernkloof Nature Reserve Hermanus
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve is situated in Hermanus, the whale watching capital of the world! Hiking is just one of the many things you can do in Hermanus. The reserve has many routes that you can take, all clearly marked. They all branch off from one another so closely follow the signage of the route that you are on.
The various routes will guide you through shrub vegetation, forests and past dams. Pack plenty of refreshments and snacks to enjoy along the way. On a hot day pack your swimsuit and swim in any one of the dams along your hiking trail.
Duration: 2 till 2.5 hours
There is a gentle incline that is moderately steep, with steps for short sections. This route reaches the summit of the hill called Lemoenkop. From the top there are spectacular views of Walkerbay, the town of Hermanus and the surrounding hills. This is also a nature trail with a series of numbered marker posts at which features of interest can be seen.
Duration: 2 till 2.5 hours
A circular walk on a generally gentle incline with short moderately steep sections. This route leads north into the afro-montane forest patch known as Assegaaibos and to a small waterfall in the forest. The trail then doubles back and heads west to a point below Kanonkop, from where another path leads up to the Jeep Track. The red route gently drops back south to an intersection with the blue route, then north east down to the visitor centre.
Duration: 1 till 1.5 hours
Hike: Short and Easy
A short and easy circular walk with several options for extending further by deviating onto the contour path, the red route or taking a loop within the red route. The blue route drops down towards the gardens, crosses the tar road between the visitor centre and the offices and climbs gradually west to the rock bluff called Klipspringer, where these delightful small antelope can often be seen. It then returns to the visitor centre, joining the red route for the last 600m.
Duration: 1 Day
Hike: Moderate/ Difficult
The orange route has an inner circuit and a longer outer circuit, both with the option of overnighting in Galpin Hut. It is a moderately arduous/difficult walk with some steep sections. The outer circuit climbs up to 700m. The inner circuit does a short loop around Galpin Hut and GalpinKop, while the other one extends east and provides access to Aasvoelkop before dropping down to join the jeep track.
Both circuits provide wonderful views of Walkerbay and the Hemel en Aarde valley, as well as interesting perspectives of the Table Mountain Group geology and the mountain fynbos vegetation. A middle path option runs from Galpin Hut southeast to join mid way on the jeep track. The trail is marked in orange only from the saddle of Lemoenkop (on the Green route) and distances are given from the visitor centre.
‘This was a day of action Mrs Sidebottom and we had so much fun, it was our day of an adrenaline rush,’ he said.
‘And what is your understanding of adrenaline Obby,’ she asked him.
‘It is when you get super excited because you are doing something super fast or super dangerous, its like when I go really really fast in your…’ and realising what he was going to say he stopped mid sentence.
‘In my what Obby?’ coaxed Mrs Sidebottom.
‘I meant to say when I run really really fast.’ then he carried on showing her the photos of their action packed day.
‘ We started the day off with a bit of paragliding, as the weather conditions were perfect, it took awhile for the launch because both bears were very scared and clung onto each other for dear life.’
‘When the finally took flight they yelped with such excitement and said the view was spectacular,’ Obby told her, ‘But there was one very small problem with the landing,’ he went on to say,’ They missed the landing site and found themselves in the middle of the color run.’
‘Oh dear,’ Mrs Sidebottom said whilst putting her hand over her mouth in shock, before carrying on enquiring, ‘And what happened next?’
‘Bobby won the race and Rudy came second,’ Obby smiled cheekily.
Mrs Sidebottom was even more shocked.
South Africa is a well-established paragliding destination, and Hermanus (just a 90-minute drive from Cape Town) is one of the Western Cape’s most scenic offerings. With an excellent blend of ocean, mountain and urban scenery, paragliding is offered throughout the year, provided you have the right weather conditions, of course.
Hermanus is a Western Cape Town famous for its whale watching, and paragliding offers the best possible aerial views of these ocean giants. Even if you don’t see any whales during your paragliding adventure, the scenery, serenity and occasional adrenalin rush is enough to keep you going.
‘ The bears wanted to go mountain biking,and as you know there are lots of trails for this, so it was a day out on our bikes.’
‘I hope you went and got a permit Obby which as you know is easy to get.’
‘Yes we went to the bicycle shop where they sell the permits, and I saw the coolest bicycle there with an engine.But I don’t really need a bicycle like that because I have the…’, Obby caught himself again.
‘You have what Obby?’ trying to get him to finish what he wanted to say.
‘I have my feet’
‘What route did you cycle?’ Mrs Sidebottom asked
‘We went on the green MTB route, because the bears are just beginners so I thought that was ideal for them,and it would only take us about one hour to do 5 km’s. It took us the whole day and if I am honest Mrs Sidebottom I don’t think they are ever going to be Tour de France riders because ever time they saw a small hill they got off their bikes and pushed their bikes and when they got to the top they stopped,’ Obby rolled his eyes.
‘Why was that?’
‘Because they were on a teddy bear’s picnic,’ Obby exclaimed in an exasperated tone.
Hermanus MTB Trails
Starting at the Hemel-en-Aarde Village, four different routes will take you deep into the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley where beautiful views are only a part of the enjoyment. Each track has its own difficulty and will cater for every class and style of mountain biker. From river meanders to vineyards, and some stunning views over Hermanus and the Overstrand.
30 min – 1 hr
|Easy & ideal for beginners
Tar & gravel roads
Non technical single track
1 – 2 hrs
|Longer distance for novice to intermediate riders
Tar & gravel roads
More single track, more hills
2 – 4 hrs
|Longer & tougher distance for intermediate riders
Tar & gravel roads
More single track, more hills, stunning views
3 – 5 hrs
|Even longer & tougher. More hills, for experienced riders
Tar & gravel roads, with jeep track
More single track, stunning views
‘This was their second last day in Hermanus, and the bears said that they woke up feeling a bit sad because they said it was the best holiday they had ever had.’ Obby told Mrs Sidebottom.
‘It is a magical place and we are very lucky to live here and it would be nice to be able to help people that do live here enjoy it as much as we do,’ she added.
‘Yes, like it would be nice if some of Thabo’s friends could learn to swim because they would be able to play in the water and not just sit on the rocks and watch.’
‘How many of Thabo’s friends cannot swim.’
‘There are six of them.’
‘Well maybe we can think of a plan to help them becuase as you know Obby being able to swim is very important for their own future safety.’
‘Yes, Mrs Sidebottom you and I must try and put our heads together and think how we can help, because if we put our heads together we will have one head, imagine that.’ Obby laughed.
‘The bears wanted to play a bit of golf in the sun because they have only played in the rain in England, and between you and me,’ he whispered,’ I think they are better off playing in the rain because they spend most of the day covered in sand in the bunkers.’
‘Were you their caddy?’ Mrs Sidebottom asked
‘I was the driver of the…,’ Obby stopped mid sentence.
‘The driver of what,’ she asked, trying to get him to completed his sentence.
Obby looked all around the room embarrassed, before answering her, ‘The golf cart.’
‘And that golf cart didn’t happen to be my mobility scooter?’
She could see that he had a guilty look on his face as he remained quite.
‘Because I got a letter from the golf club saying that I am banned from the golf course because I was spotted dune racing up and down the sand bunkers, and I should enter the Dakar rally and they sent me the official race link!’ she told him.
Obby said nothing as he kept his head down, she knew him well enough to know that he would never admit or deny that he ‘borrowed’ her mobility scooter without asking.But she loved him all the same. In fact, just a little more.
‘They wanted to go shopping for gifts for their family and friends, and they also wanted some T-shirts for themselves, so we went to Market Square,’ he told Mrs Sidebottom.
‘And they also asked me what I wanted as a present because I had been a fantastic tour guide and friend,’ he beamed.
‘Yes, I think you made their holiday very adventurous, and did an excellent job in showing them how much there is to do on holiday here. So Obby what present did they get you?’ she asked.
‘I didn’t want a present Mrs Sidebottom because I have everything I want,’ and he gave her a big hug, ‘But I did ask if they could buy a present for my best-friend.’ Obby dug in his rucksack and gave her a present.
Her eyes filled with tears at his thoughtfulness as she hugged him.