ISSUE 20, January 2007
Editorial
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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The owners are very hands-on, and the lodge and surrounding buildings have been decorated in a very stylish manner. In the grounds is their own recently planted vineyard. The environment encourages long walks and is a paradise for bird and nature lovers, as well as being a really romantic location.
    The final leg of our trip took us through some breathtaking scenery, taking us several thousand feet up virtually into the clouds through the Franschhoek Pass to the Cape Winelands.
    Like many of the towns we visited, Franschhoek has just one main street. Here there is a conglomeration of the most stylish shops that we had come across with prices to match. As well as spending your time visiting the numerous vineyards for which the area is famous, there are also some excellent restaurants. The better and most popular ones do, however, need to be booked in advance. Several of the vineyards also have their own restaurant. The one we tried, Haute CabriŤre Cellar was very good. Food is paired with a suitable wine, available by the glass as well as the bottle, with the total menu offered in both small and normal size portions.
    Crime is rife, particularly in the cities, and it is important to constantly have your wits about you. Taxis, as we know them, are called cabs and can be quite expensive. However, drivers will also quote a price and not put on their meters. Taxis are mini-buses which are shared with other people, usually going to a determined destination.
    The country is vast, and although the roads are well maintained, they are not, in some areas, as wide as they need to be which can result, if driving, in being stuck behind a truck without being able to pass it. If you hire a car, it is worth remembering to have cash with you to buy petrol as this is one of the only times when you canít use a credit card.
    The good news, however, is that the cost of petrol is about half that in the UK, and they also drive on the left-hand side of the road. Your driving licence, however, does need to include a photograph. Also, make sure, when you take the vehicle, that any scratches and dents are noted and that on returning the car that the body work is checked, and you have a receipt to this effect.
    Otherwise, you may find that your credit card is debited for things that you were not aware of. This, unfortunately, applies in whatever country you visit. Smoking is still acceptable in lots of places although some restaurants have separate areas for smokers.
    Flying time is approximately 11 hours non-stop, but as the country is in the southern hemisphere there is very little time difference, so you donít have to worry about jet lag. Having said that, you are still spending a lot of time travelling, and might need an early night when you arrive!

Natasha Blair travelled courtesy of Africa Pride.
Tel. 01904 781 500; www.african-pride.co.uk
Heathrow Express: 0845 600 1515; www.heathrowexpress.com




Vineyards in the Hex River Valley

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