The Twitcher

LATEST TWITCH 25 01 2013

…Turns out that far from hiding in the Clarens woods (well, what’s left after the annual wood-chopping season), our Bigfoot clone has been seen cashing in empties at the Old Stone Bottle Store (Carling Black Label, if you are interested in his/her drinking habits) and caught on security cameras rising from the depths of the Ash River.     Kaalvoet was even photographed on the SAPS gate camera at the local Police Station, but somehow was neither spotted or detained.   Readers with more photographs to post should hurry along to the Brewery asap, as space on the ‘Creature Wall’ is running low. Turning to matters ornithological, as you would rightly expect, I have been pestered all week by growing flocks of Common Myna birds, or Indian Mynas (Acridotheres tristis) as they are more commonly known.   This little fellow is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) and is/was native to Asia.   It is an omnivorous open-woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, and has adapted extremely well to urban environments like Clarens – in spite of its rural location!   You will be riveted to know that the Indian Myna is an important motif in Indian culture and appears both in Sansrit and Prakrit literature (copies definitely not available at the Bibliophile).   The word “Myna” (as if you cared) is derived from the Hindi language mainā which itself is derived from Sanskrit madanā, but locally it is simply known as a cheeky little bugger.   The real point is that the range of the Myna is increasing at such a rapid rate that in 2000 the  IUCN Species Survival Commission declared it one of the world’s most invasive species and one of only three birds in the top 100 species that pose an impact to biodiversity, agriculture and human interests.   Whew!   Judging by the number of these visitors to my little corner of God’s green acre, it’s turning into a very real problem for Clarens. So I got to thinking.   We could arm the population with air rifles and publish recipes for Myna stew, Myna á l’Orange, or that well-known stand-by, Myna and Cherries in Phyllo Pastry.   However, given the average age of the village population and the prevalence of bottle-bottomed glasses, I suspect we would wind up with long queues in Casualty and not a dead Myna to our collective name.   So, it occurred to me that the previous Government, which we may or may not remember but obviously never supported, put a metaphorical fence around the Free State and insisted that visitors of Indian origin had but 24-hours to cross this enchanted land – and required a visa to do so.   At risk of exciting a host of retired civil servants now running cafes on the coast, could we not re-introduce this remarkable legislation and curb the widespread incursions of this bothersome creature?    Just think, whole squadrons of hot-air balloons with nets deployed across the Malutis; employment for legions of rubber-stamping visa issuers who would (again) simply refuse every application; and clear skies over Clarens!?!   Hhmmmm.   Perhaps I will just buy a pellet gun. The Twitcher

Clarens News January 18 2013

Notes from the Editor

How very disappointing, I had planned to devote this week’s News to the Flutter byes streaming through Clarens, but instead, have had to focus on far less appealing events. To find out more about the butterflies click right HERE Belenois aurota, photo by Avril de Montille Belenois aurota, photo by Avril de Montille Troubled times indeed. Clarens has been shocked by another attack on a resident, and takes this opportunity to commend her on her quick witted escape from her attacker. Clearly there is a problem starting to rear its head, and we must strike it down before it gains any further momentum. In the first place we must remember that we live in South Africa, and we are subject to the troubles of the country as a whole. Secondly, we must remain vigilant for potential criminals and deny them opportunities for opportunistic crimes, by not leaving valuables lying around, and keeping doors and windows locked. Finally, we must take this opportunity ourselves to increase our security as a town, by supporting the initiatives of the Sector Police Forum, and calling on the local police to take action in the form of bringing in Mounted Police, who will be able to patrol the village as a whole, and hopefully retake control over the Conservancy and the illegal grazing and wood gathering that is an ongoing problem. Although it may not sound important, it is symptomatic of a collapse of order, and must be checked as soon as possible. The SPF is having a meeting this afternoon (Thursday 17 Jan), and I will give a report back on the Clarens News Facebook page in the morning (click here to visit and like Clarens News on Facebook) To find out more about the SPF please click HERE On a more positive note Richard Rennie is up and about and seems fairly recovered from his ordeal.

Evidently the new year is bringing with it heightened levels of spleen, and I am reliably assured that the local vent – Eish – will be blowing off steam again, starting this Friday. In other words: You better watch out You better not cry Better not pout I’m telling you why ‘Cos Eish is coming back to town He’s making a list And checking it twice; Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice ‘Cos Eish is coming back to town He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake He knows if you’ve been bad or good So be good for goodness sake! ‘Cos Eish is coming back to town

At the Highland Coffee Roastery you will find locally made upcycled bags and tote carriers, made by local couple Johann and Susan Combrink from jute coffee bags and recycled clothes. To see their unique and stylish offerings, click HERE. If anyone has old denims which they would otherwise throw away, please take them to the Roastery. On the topic of the Roastery, Chris has a very interesting blog about coffee and his experiences in that world, to read it please click HERE.

For those of you sick of the taste of Caledon water and interruptions to your supply, please have a look at what DEW water catchers can do for you in terms of atmospheric water – click here Clarens News printed edition was snapped up over the festive period, the 1500 copies vanished at high speed, and special thanks to Clarens 66 Petrol Station for handing out so many of them. The next issue is due out at the end of Jan, you decide what you want it to do for you, and email me at For day to day events, updates, info and snippets, please visit the News on Facebook and like it. (click HERE)

And if you want support for your business, the Tourism Enterprise Partnership is bringing their South African Tourism National Road Show to the Golden Gate Hotel on the 24th of January. Industry experts will tell you how best to increase your business, and if you join up, you get 50% off on all your advertising costs among other benefits. To book clickHERE, and to find out more about the Partnership, you can visit their website by clickingHERE

Craft Beer Festival News

It might come as a surprise to people that there are internationally recognised styles of beer, as one would find in wine.  Therefore, if you ask for a lager in Johannesburg or New York, chances are you will get two beers sufficiently similar to call brothers, but with distinct nuances that comes from the brewer’s own take on the style, to make them each unique.  Whilst wines are categorised according to variety or cultivar of grape, beer is categorised according to flavour, colour, aroma, mouth feel and taste, amongst others.  Although the systematic study of beer styles is a modern phenomenon, the practice of distinguishing between different varieties of beer is ancient, dating to at least 2000 BC and local customs and names have been and are taken into consideration in the international style guide, which evolves all the time as brewers get more and more innovative.  (To read the rest of this article please click HERE Join the event on Facebook by clicking here To read more about Beer and the festival please click here

Live Music and Specials

Look out for the Highlander Happy Hour on Friday evenings, and the Friends Pub will enjoy Van Smith this weekend, will be good to hear them again. Don’t forget Friends Happy Hour on Wednesday evening with live music from Slipstream. Artichoke Restaurant has Deon Spruyt the Soutie from Toti on Sunday from lunch to sundown. Or if you are staying home, the Old Stone Bottle Store has a special on Klipdrift Brandy – R99 a bottle Street Cafe will be closed for refurbishment this weekend, breaking out a wall, redoing the whole place to make it more user friendly and a better time for all. Builders have assured them they will be done by Monday, but that may be ambitious. Good luck to them

Things to do

SCHAAPPLAATS – Bushman Paintings and Mountain walk I can’t think of a better way to start the day than taking an early morning walk to the cave at Schaapplaats.  But before you go – remember to phone Christine Walwyn on (058) 256 1176 or 083 630 3713 to warn her that you are coming. Schaapplaats is, after all, a working stud farm, and so it’s very important that the workers keep certain gates locked and that everyone knows exactly who is where on the farm. There is also an entrance fee of R50 which goes towards the upkeep of the trail and the safeguarding of the Bushman paintings. Shaapplaats Bushman Paintings Cave to read more please click here

Coming Up

Scooter Addicts are 4 guys on scooters, visiting 14 Children’ hospitals, over 8 months, covering 35000km’s from Cape Town to Dublin – all in aid of raising funds for the Children’s Red Cross Hospital. – read more about them. “We are sponsoring Dinner,bed and Breakfast at Witsieshoek on Monday 11th February and would like to offer a special for anyone to join them at R400 per person sharing. This includes dinner, bed and breakfast and we will donate R50 of this to  the Childrens Red Cross Hospital. Please, we would like you to be our guest and bring as many as you can!.  They have put so much effort and planning into this trip and are fantastic company, it would be great if we have some interested supporters.” To find out more about Witsieshoek (top of the Drakensberg and a stunningly beautiful place), click HERE 9 March 2013 – The SPF Macnollie fund raising challenge. Are you a hunting, shooting fishing kind of person? Compete to raise funds for the Sector Police Forum and keep Clarens safe. Click HERE for more details The Sandstone Gorge in Ficksburg has their Steam Heritage Festival which runs from the 4th to the 12th of May this year, and promises historic trains, a Sherman Tank, vintage tractors and dozers, as well as a Model T Ford grain truck, all of which are in operation and function in conjunction with the agricultural nature of the area it inhabits. Well, maybe not the Sherman tank (I hope), but all the rest. In the meantime to see more about the event, click here

2013/05/04 MTN National Marathon #4 Clarens Clarens Freestate
2013/05/05 Nissan National Half Marathon #4 Clarens Clarens Freestate

Community News

As mentioned in the opening paragraph of this letter, there is a lot happening in Clarens at the moment. To read about the SPF, Ratepayers and more, please click HERE

Ornithological Notes

219 shopping days to Christmas and village is so quiet, even the tumbleweeds have stayed away.    Parties of locals, with pitchforks and flaming torches have been combing the hills for our own Bigfoot, with no success, so there are no new postings on the Creature Wall in the Brewery.    My guess is that all the attention has made him/her lie low in the mountains, but I am grateful for the first round of suggestions for a name for our cuddly chap/chapess.   “Kaalvoet” is a definite favourite, but we have had one “Lofty”, one “Mattress” (which rather subjectively assumes the gender of the creature) and two “Oscars”, assumedly a play on Oscar Wilde.   Keep them coming; once we make contact, we will let him/her decide what s/he fancies as a moniker. (to read the rest of this weeks Twitcher please click HERE)

Clarens News Jan 11 2013

Notes from the Editor

With a trickle coming out the tap this morning, my shower took a record 10 minutes to get wet, the whole time I found myself thinking that the Beer Festival (see below) can’t come soon enough, then we can bathe in the stuff. To find out the latest about the town’s water issues, please click here For those of you sick of the taste of Caledon water and interruptions to your supply, please have a look at what DEW water catchers can do for you in terms of atmospheric water – click here I was quite surprised to discover that one of the oldest steam trains in the country is running just down the road from Clarens, at Ficksburg, in the Sandstone Estates. A 2 foot railway line allows them to rebuild engines and trains, and recreate an era of bygone times with what is called Narrow Gauge Locomotion. Their Steam Heritage Festival runs from the 4th to the 12th of May this year, and promises historic trains, a Sherman Tank, vintage tractors and dozers, as well as a Model T Ford grain truck, all of which are in operation and function in conjunction with the agricultural nature of the area it inhabits. Well, maybe not the Sherman tank (I hope), but all the rest. I will make a mission in the next couple of weeks to meet and interview the people who put this together and maintain a unique slice of history for us all to enjoy. In the meantime to see more about the event, click here And in other news I should tell you all that the last printed version of the Clarens Newswas snapped up over the festive period, the 1500 copies vanished at high speed, and special thanks to Clarens 66 Petrol Station for handing out so many of them. The next issue out at the end of Jan, you decide what you want it to do for you, and email me at

Craft Beer Festival News

With the Festival coming up late in February, the News has done a little research into Beer as a concept and as a recreation. So far, we like it. To find out more about the Festival and Craft Beer in general, please click here

Live Music and Specials

At Street Cafe the pool table and darts board are waiting for you, and their delicious prawn special (click here to hear more) is on again on Saturday and Sunday, as well as double Richelieu & coke special for R 25  for this weekend too. And daily specials to follow- watch this space. Their Happy Hour is on Monday evenings, and they will be having Christiaan performing there on Saturday evening. Also look out for the Highlander Happy Hour on Friday evenings, and the Friends Pub Happy Hour on Wednesday evening with live music from Slipstream. Also at FriendsBendover (click to see the event) will be up late on Friday night, and Slipstream will do the dirty work on Saturday night, see you there. Artichoke Restaurant has Christiaan van Zyl on Sunday from lunch to sundown. To find out more about this very regular and interesting musician click here

Things to do

Explore Clarens and the surrounding area for crystals. The local sandstone cliffs are part of the Clarens Formation which extends across the Drakensberg, and are rich in volcanic tubes and crystal bearing agate. You can also find Khoi-San artifacts, tools and arrow heads scattered around the top of the mountains overlooking Clarens. For more info on the Conservancy trails go to the Old Stone Bottle Store, Bibliophile or Mountain Odyssey and buy a Conservancy map (website still under construction)

Community News

Been a busy week for the News, Sector Policing Forum meeting to discuss the unfortunate incident which befell Richard Rennie on Old Year’s Eve is discussed in the Forum and the latest Ratepayers Newsletter is under Community News, click on either of the links to find out more.

Photo Competition

Summer time and a whole new look for Clarens, if anyone would like to sponsor prizes for this then the competition will carry their name. Please feel free to contact with ideas and suggestions.

Ornithological Notes

Well, only 226 shopping days to Christmas and the ankle-biters are all off to school again to rack up another year of educational achievement.    Thank goodness Clarens is not in Limpopo or we wouldn’t even be able to say that.   On a domestic note, several readers have called to claim sighting of the creature reported in last week’s Clarens News but as yet no-one has come up with a decent picture of this elusive visitor.   The ‘Creature Wall’ in the Clarens Brewery is yet to have any postings, so please come forward if you have anything to report.   Your faithful scribe has meanwhile done further research and can confirm that in the USA, where rates of obesity would make any Bigfoot hard to spot in a crowded mall, sightings of this creature seem quite common… (to read more please click here)

The Twitcher

Well, only 226 shopping days to Christmas and the ankle-biters are all off to school again to rack up another year of educational achievement.    Thank goodness Clarens is not in Limpopo or we wouldn’t even be able to say that.   On a domestic note, several readers have called to claim sighting of the creature reported in last week’s Clarens News but as yet no-one has come up with a decent picture of this elusive visitor.   The ‘Creature Wall’ in the Clarens Brewery is yet to have any postings, so please come forward if you have anything to report.   Your faithful scribe has meanwhile done further research and can confirm that in the USA, where rates of obesity would make any Bigfoot hard to spot in a crowded mall, sightings of this creature seem quite common…In that confused continent, Bigfoot is commonly described as a large, hairy ape-like creature, in a range of 2–3metres tall, weighing in excess of 230kgs, making our little chap/chapess seem quite delicate, or perhaps simply a petite female of the species.   Theirs is also known as “Sasquatch” and is covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair, has large eyes, a low-set forehead with a pronounced ridge, and is commonly reported to have a strong, unpleasant smell.   On hearing this description, a farmer’s wife from Fouriesburg nodded knowingly and suggested her own dear husband as a candidate for any identity parade, should one be held.   In the USA, the enormous footprints for which it is named are up to 60cm long and 20cm wide.   While it appears to have five toes — like all known apes — some tracks have only two to six toes, putting our own little cuddly bunny right in the zone.    Only problem is that America’s Bigfoot is usually described as a bipedal humanoid, and as we have not found any bicycle tracks, they may be unrelated.    The most recent reported sighting in our fair village was at the corner table in Mosaic last Friday night, although the lack of any clothing and widespread pizza smearing could mean that this was simply a well-proportioned visitor from Friends.   Please keep your eyes peeled but any further correspondence on the subject of Steel Wings members going walk-about will not be encouraged.   On a positive note, the Clarens Conservancy has suggested s/he be encouraged to eat the goats and cattle currently devastating the reserve, and will put up some signs to guide the dismemberment of these invaders. Finally, since our newest citizen may be around for a while to come, the Twitcher would welcome ideas on an appropriate name for our shy and odiferous friend in the veld.    “Kaalvoet” has been suggested by a committee in Ficksburg, while a feminist group in the Golden Gate has proposed “Koeksister”, in the conviction that she is a sweet (if hairy) girl and entitled to extensive Constitutional rights.   But I feel sure we can do better than that, and look forward to readers’ suggestions, which will be displayed on the Brewery’s “Creature Wall” in due course. The Twitcher

The Twitcher

17 01 2013  …Since I have been rudely accused of ignoring matters ornithological of late, a short story, which I am reliably informed is true and is certainly too good to dismiss.   My source is an esteemed Clarens resident, of impeccable credentials and a complete stranger to fiction.   The stirring story goes as follows:  Those of you who turn your eyes to the Heavens, for whatever reason, will have noticed that there are several families of Black Eagles in residence, particularly around the pass to Bethlehem.   Known more formally as Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii) these magnificent birds of prey (sorry, not vegetarians) were first recorded by the French naturalist Jules Verreaux, who visited southern Africa to open a chain of Brasseries in the early 18th century.   Males of the species weigh in at over 4kgs and have a wing span approaching 2.2 metres, so they are hard to miss if they swoop down to pinch your wig or snaffle your miniature Poodle – although they prefer Dassies.   The point of the story is that these noble creatures normally fly for about 30 summers before succumbing to age and the elements – largely as a result of their beaks wearing down and limiting their hunting abilities.  However, some Black Eagles reportedly decide not to turn their claws up and die, but instead  initiate a process to reinvent themselves.   In short, they retire to the hills and find a sharp rock on which they grind-down their beaks, stimulating a regrowth which, after some long while, results in a shiny new beak.   The plot thickens, as these feisty birds then use this new proboscis to pull out all their feathers, again to stimulate regrowth.   Thus, assuming you could penetrate the high mountains and were lucky enough to happen upon this process of reinvention, you would be confronted by a bright pink, duck-like apparition with a monstrous pecker (sorry, beak).    In due time, its thick black plumage grows back, although some cynical observers suggest that instead of a white ‘V’ on its back, there will now be a ‘VI’.   Once reborn, this extraordinary hunter then takes to the skies once more and lives another 30-years of rejuvenated life.   How’s that for overcoming adversity? Of course, there is no reason homo sapiens (no, that’s us, silly) couldn’t do the same.   Anyone wishing to go into the mountains to grind down their noses and tug out their thinning grey hair should contact the Twitcher for directions, who may be found most evenings on the third bar-stool on the left in the Clarens Brewery.   Take that David Attenborough!

The Twitcher

The excesses of the Christmas season are almost over and there is a sense of semi-hysterical relief that the world did not end as predicted by a group of dyslectic Mayan soothsayers.    Or perhaps it did, and Heaven simply looks a lot like Clarens.    Whatever.   The welcome arrival of the rains may have frustrated visiting golfers but it has cheered the farmers, who are up to their tractor bearings in mud and looking forward to a rich harvest.    The greening of the valley has also done wonders for the mood of the avian population, with an infinite variety of LBJs darting from the treetops to plunder the braai tables of our visitors.   Turns out that the experts who compile the bird books we refer to in times of confusion (pretty much every time we see a bird), have elected to change the names of many of our feathered friends however.   Of the 858 species which grace our share of the planet, it appears that many have been renamed as a result of ‘Taxonomic changes’, which frankly sounds more like an intervention by the Receiver of Revenue.   All sorts of other baffling terms are used to describe this assault on your faithful scribe’s already stressed memory banks, including something called ‘nomenclature’, which I thought was the rust that formed on the cod-pieces of medieval suits of armour.   Anyway, the net effect of this is that fellow twitchers everywhere are going to have to buy some new reference sources if they want to sound suitably clever at their next cocktail party.   Strangely, Woody and Doris Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus) are quite excited at the prospect of all this ornithological change and are contemplating changing the names of their chicks from Golum, Lefty and Squawk to Jacob, Cyril and Ace.   Political opportunism if you ask me. Now, to follow up on my pre-Christmas warning of sinister sightings in the Clarens underbrush!    Well.    It turns out that unidentifiable but seriously gargantuan tracks have been found along our enchanting hiking trails, suggesting the possibility that our very own ‘Bigfoot’ is abroad.    Several readers have called in to describe their unusual finds on the paths that criss-cross our scenic mountains, and agree that the creature responsible must be bigger than Bruce Weyer but smaller than King Kong.   Local palaeontologists have ruled out a dinosaur although they concede that the late hatching of a Massospondylus egg, perhaps part of a clutch from the Golden Gate National Park, could not be ruled out.    Casts of the footprints have been made and indicate a four-toed creature, weighing around 175kgs and standing up to 2,5 metres in height.   This description fits the Silver Wings biker known to be hibernating in Holkraans cave, except for the fact that he has only three-toes on each foot, as the unfortunate result of modifying his Harley to make vertical take-offs.   The plot thickens and any readers with more information, photographs or sightings should submit these to the Clarens Brewery for display on their ‘Creature Wall’.    Readers are urged to avoid any direct contact with the creature until there is confirmation of his/her dietary status.    Since the term ‘Bigfoot’ has been copyrighted by the Disney Corporation, readers are also invited to submit suggestions for a name for the village’s newest (?) resident. The Twitcher

Clarens News 03 Jan 13

Weekend Weather

Accuweather Clarens The New Year arrived with thunder and alarums to chase out the Old and welcome in a lucky 13 for all

Notes from the Editor

2013 A NEW YEAR INDEED Welcome everybody to this, a whole new year and a fresh chance to have a go at the resolutions you abandoned last year. I see the slightly surprised looks on the Mayan faces around the world, fear not, secret designs etched into an Oreo Cookie promise at least another couple of hundred years of meteor and apocalypse free weather. For those pets who thought the world was ending, here is a suggestion for getting their own back on firecracker throwers:

There's the one with the crackers...The printed version of the News has been a tremendous success, and the Clarens 66 petrol station has been brilliant in distributing copies as fast as they can get them to our visitors over the last 3 weeks. To find out more about being in the print version please email me on Matric results also out today, and our esteemed Minister of Basic Education has promised to make it even more basic, expecting an 80% pass rate now that correct spelling of your name counts for 25% towards your end of year marks… And the year is off to a flying start if you put any stock in the auguries of sport, I think we can safely expect NZ to be washed away based on their cricket team’s performance in Newlands on Wednesday. Well done Vern Philander, 5 for 7!!! Fantastic stuff. Especially pleasing to poor Richard Rennie whose biggest enjoyment is the cricket, I hope we do it just for him.Old Stone Bottle Store - Richard RennieTalking of Richard, please see the side bar piece for details of what happened to him on Old Years Day. He is still in ICU as of today, and his attacker is still behind bars. The alleged (hate using that word) attacker, one Moeketsi Moorosi, appeared in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, charged with (can you believe it) housebreaking and robbery, and has been remanded till the 14th when his case will go to a higher level, and hopefully the Magistrate, Hester Bothma, will see fit to revise his charges to Assault and Attempted Murder. Clarens residents are expected to be at the court to demand nothing less on the day. There will be community meeting at the NGK hall on Friday at 12 noon to discuss what further actions should be taken, and the creation of a petition to demand that our local station commander, Cpt Mohale, treats this crime with the attention it deserves. For the sake of the town and the continued safety of visitors and locals everybody is urged to attend. Also, if anyone knows about a missing cat in the top part of the square, please go to to see if you can give some informationInjured cat - Clarens NewsIn other news, here is a message from Simon Kerr about the Phatt Chef relocating to The Cranford Inn Phatt Chef closed from Jan 2 for renovation relocation recuperation rejuvenation and general rehabilitation of all concerned. Will REOPEN 11 Feb at CRANFORD INN in a new blaze of glory. Dinners for groups of 8 or more will be served upon request during the closed period. Cheers SimonWe wish him all the best and look forward to the reopening. In the meantime you can call him on 0824693832 

Things to do THIS weekend

Have a great time… And in the morning pop into the Highland Coffee Roastery to try a new creation by Barista Daniel at Highland Coffee: “Stile Macchiato di Daniel” or Macchiato Daniel’s style – a perfectly pulled double shot of espresso, marked with a dollop of creamily foamed milk in a cup lined with condensed milk. While you are there you may want to have a look at the latest Ornithological Note from the Twitcher by clicking here

The Famers Market

continues this Saturday outside Bibliophile, be sure to get there early to enjoy the freshest treats in the area.

Live Music

At Artichoke Restaurant one of the stars of the Smoking Dragon New Year festival, Wendy, will be performing on Friday night, Saturday night (which will also be a post New Year party) and Sunday lunch. Always a favourite sundown venue for locals. Street Cafe will have Deon Spruyt, the Soutie from Toti playing your choice on Saturday afternoon, and have a look out for their specials board, there will be fresh items on the menu every night next week. Friends always has a brilliant happy hour on Wednesday with local bands, and always has music over the weekends as well… Grouse has songs of sadness on Saturday for the farewell party for Steve and Wilma, they will be sorely missed


Mont D'Or January Specials

Coming Up

Golf Competition this weekend, good luck to all Clarens Craft Beer Festival And the biggest event on the Clarens calendar draws near, town is almost fully booked, so make a plan now if you still want to attendPlease click on the pic to go the site and find out all you want, or visit the Brewery to buy your ticket now

Richard Rennie demonstration - Artwork in the mirror above him

Richard Rennie demonstrating his technique One of South Africa’s most renowned artists, Richard Rennie, gallery owner, artist and old friend of Clarens, was brutally attacked by a man know to him and employed as his gardener on New Year’s Eve. The man asked for money, and when he saw that Richard had a considerable amount of cash on him (what with end of year business and public holiday banking issues), laid into him. Richard is 80 years old, and could offer no threat to anyone other than the ego of an aspirant water colourist asking an opinion on another Horeb impression, although his gentle and pleasant nature wouldn’t generally cause him to criticize anyone genuinely intrigued by the arts. Luckily a nearby security guard, Mr Calvin Thame, heard the screaming and rushed immediately to the scene, where he apprehended the perpetrator. We believe that he should be thanked, and rewarded on behalf of the community at large. Further than that however, it is crucial to the town to ensure that this never happens again. The Sector Police Forum is committed to maintaining the peacefulness of the town as much as possible, by raising funds for the salaries of uniformed reservists patrolling on the street in conjunction with the efforts of the SAPS. Unfortunately the current initiative of having 3 reservists on the ground leaves the SPF with a R3000 a month shortfall, for which they are having a fundraising “MacNollie” event in March. Johann Lehman, Chairman of the SPF, explained that if they had a wishlist, it would be to have double the number of reservists on a full time basis, with full permission from the SAPS to patrol in uniform. They are a registered non-profit organization and you can contact him on 0834479925 or the treasurer Alwyn Noeth on 0833835148 to make donations or join the Forum. If you would like to make a donation specifically for the security guard Mr Calvin Thame please make the reference Richard Rennie.Kelvin Thame - Clarens HeroRichard is currently in ICU in Bethlehem Hospital with 3 broken ribs and facial damage. We wish him a speedy recovery hope that his 2013 improves dramatically. Looking back at the records, this is not a violent town, and crimes of this nature are not to be tolerated. Although endemic to the country, this one act of opportunism can not be allowed to happen in Clarens again. We are a peaceful community, and will take great pains to ensure that we remain so.

To add your voice to this topic go to and join the chorus of support

Things to do in Clarens


The village is filled with an abundance of shopping, to see some of the local stores (no franchises) click HERE


Tasty treats, snacks and picnic basket fillers available HERE


Once you’re done shopping go and have a bite to eat and glass of whatever you like, to see them click HERE


Treat yourself to a good night’s rest and delightful hopitality at any of these establishments, click HERE


Turn that special moment into the occasion of a lifetime, clickHERE


And celebrate the event with an amazing adventure by clicking HERE


Why leave, you’re already here, so click HERE to find the home of your dreams, or HERE to see what is available to Rent


What have you and opportunities, to see what’s on offer click HERE


For those of you who have already made the best decision,  HERE are the people who can make things even better


The numbers everyone should have are all available rightHERE.

Clarens cap - Clarens News

Message from Rolf Schlub

I have now transferred R 1950.- to Paballo’s home care trust, resulting from the cap sales. The total is now R 4615.- to Paballo’s from the cap sales. My big thanks go to Ronel from the Clarens grocer, Dean from Maluti Tours and Jean from Clarens Destinations, all of them sold these caps without making a profit for themselves. (editor’s note well done on this initiative Rolf, thanks)

Street Cafe Pizza

Pizza Hut creates a “pizza perfume” Rose? Violet? Vanilla? If it were up to the Canadian branch of a fast-food chain the next trend in scent would be pizza. Smelling of “fresh dough and a little spice,” Pizza Hut in Canada has created a limited edition perfume. The idea started out as fun on the company’s Facebook page but then serious inquiries followed up, a spokesperson told the Globe and Mail newspaper. “We did a couple of rounds trying to get the right smell. All of them were not fun. You’d think cheese smells nice. Not so.” But the final result has been described as “delicious.” A limited edition of 100 bottles of the perfume is to go to the company’s Facebook page fans.