Scott Balson's trip to South Africa -
16th September 2006 - Plettenburg Bay

Perth : Johannesburg : Pretoria : Pietersburg : Pilgrim's Rest : Ladysmith : Champagne Castle : Estcourt : Durban : Ixopo
Kokstad : Port Elizabeth : Plettenburg Bay : Cape Town : Victoria West : Griquatown : Mafikeng : Johannesburg : Perth

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Left Port Elizabeth at 9am and was in Plettenburg Bay by midday. The road to Plettenburg Bay was excellent and traffic light. The splendid view from the bridge over the Storms River caused some delay but the photographs made it worth while.

Image right: View from Brookes Hill Hotel on morning of 16th September

I am staying at the Ocean Watch Guest House which comes with my full recommendations - the view from their "Shell Room" is fantastic - overlooking the bay and what has to be one of South Africa's most beautiful locations.

I contacted Cecil le Fleur from the Griqua National Conference at Kranshoek to set up a meeting with Alan le Fleur, the new Paramount Chief, at which I would present a copy of "Children of the Mist" to the people. This meeting was, without doubt, one of the highlights of my trip. More below.

On the way to Plettenburg Bay

Storms River Gorge

The Tsitiskama forest region

Carla enjoying

the views

The deserted Khoisan

Arts and Crafts Centre

Nearing Plettenburg


Dolphins in Plett

Ocean View Guest House

view from the "Shell Room"

Dinner in Plett

I was met at the entrance of Kranshoek by one of the Griqua National Conference elders and taken into the administration building where I was joined by Griqua Paramount Chief Alan le Fleur and five of his senior men. Kranshoek is a mixture of several hundred African-styled shanties and a few larger houses, some quite nice with the centre of the sprawling township being marked by the rather plain looking Griqua Church and a small park where a monument to their leader Abraham le Fleur lies centre stage. Alongside the monument lie several graves including that of Adam Kok IIIs daughter, Rachel Susanah - who married le Fleur. 

It was a quite extraordinary meeting with the elders. The meeting started with a hearty rendition of a Christian prayer sung by the elders in Afrikaans. After sitting around a small wooden table and being introduced by Leraar May I gave a bit of my and the book's background before presenting a copy of "Children of the Mist" to the Griqua Paramount Chief Alan le Fleur on behalf of the Griqua National Conference.

Their Pastor, David Jansen, told me how the history of the Griqua was largely lost and I related how the Bergenaars used to cure their biltong under the horse's saddle - much to their mirth!

We then walked outside and the elders posed in front of the monument to Abraham le Fleur (Die Kneg - or God's Messenger) before I left.

The short time I had with the Griquas and their own apparent uncertainty about their own history really struck me - so I have committed to send the community a number of the books once "Children of the Mist" has been published for the general public.

Beacon's Island Hotel at
Plettenburg Bay

The entrance to Kranshoek -
Griqua settlement

The shanties at Kranshoek

The store at Kranshoek

Community Hall

The Griqua Church

L-R: Claude Jacobs, Leraar May,
J Dirkse, Chief Alan le Fleur,
W Kreul and Rev David Jansen

Presenting Alan le Fleur
with "Children of the Mist"
National Griqua Conference

The elders at the Griqua

Andrew le Fleur's

monument at Kranshoek

Alan at his grandmother's grave


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