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One of the marvellous aspects of the South African ‘West Coast’ area is not only the incredibel spring flower displays but the characters that abound in this harsh and windy area.

We decided to pop in to ‘Bokkom Lane/Laan’ near Velddrif. Now, here are some real characters! It’s on the Breede River mouth where the huge river meets the Atlantic ocean and some entrepreneurial locals have set up fish shops, restaurants, bars and all manner of stalls selling paraphernalia.

But first a little education:

Bokkoms (or Bokkems) is whole, salted and dried mullet (more specifically the Southern mullet, Liza richardsonii, a type of fish commonly known in the Western Cape of South Africa as “harders”), and is a well-known delicacy from the West Coast region of South Africa. This salted fish is dried in the sun and wind and is eaten after peeling off the skin. In some cases it is also smoked. It is sometimes referred to as “fish biltong”.

A cluster of bokkoms

A cluster of bokkoms

 

Stop and read some of the signs at this shop!

Stop and read some of the signs at this shop!

It's all about the fish.

It’s all about the fish.

Pelicans paddle near to the stalls in the shallow reaches of the Breede River.

Pelicans paddle near to the stalls in the shallow reaches of the Breede River.

 

A great spot to see the flowers and a very short drive to Langebaan and Churchaven.

Ostrich chicks and flowers in Yzerfontein.

Ostrich chicks and flowers in Yzerfontein.

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West Coast National Park

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Flowers everywhere, up on the West Coast near Brittania Bay and St Helena Bay.

 

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Even more flowers!

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This is owner Douw Steyn's mansion - reportedly the most epensive home ever built in South Africa. Note the two aquaducts gushing water into a disused quarry.

This is owner Douw Steyn’s mansion – reportedly the most epensive home ever built in South Africa. Note the two aquaducts gushing water into a disused quarry.

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Plenty of construction space

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A Jack Nicklaus golf course, no less

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That’s the main residence in the distance!

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Gotthard’s dinosaur

An elephant peers out from a tree

An elephant peers out from a tree

 

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Steyn City has a number of underpasses which are used by pedestrians moving throughout the complex, plus golfers making their way across the course and avoiding the roads.

Sculptor Charles Gotthard hs drawn inspiration from Antoni Gaudi of Barcelona fame in transforming these subways into works of art.

It's tiring work viewing these sculptures

It’s tiring work viewing these sculptures

Charles' wife Marguerite briefs your truly on the artwork.

Charles’ wife Marguerite briefs your truly on the artwork.

Stunning!

Stunning!

 

A dinosaur doubling up as a kids’ slide takes shape on a sandy hillock – a future playground.

The massive Steyn City development in Gauteng, South Africa has been enhanced spectacularly with artworks by renowned sculptor Charles Gotthard.

Charles is a ceramic sculptor  presently resides in the beautiful Magaliesburg valley, North of Johannesburg. In 1973 he qualified in Architectural Ceramics winning the award for the best sculptural student at the Johannesburg College of Art. Since his second year at Art College he has held several successful one-man exhibitions in ceramics & has won several awards such as the Corobrik Top Award in 1976.

An 'indaba'

An ‘indaba’

His works have been bought by art museums across South Africa such as the Pretoria Art Museum, Potchefstroom & the Tasgallery in Cape Town. Charles specializes in larger sculptural works & has already done several public commissions. Steyn City is just one of these large commissions.

We were privileged to visit the artworks with Charles and his wife, Marguerite. Charles has a really quirky sense of humour and it was very insightful hearing about the sculptures and the thinking behind them.

One of my favorite Charles quotes – and there are many – is: “The only culture is agriculture”. He underplays and undersells himself – an enchanting characteristic.

At the equestrian centre

At the equestrian centre

Entrance to the Equestrian Centre

Entrance to the Equestrian Centre

For more information on Charles Gotthard, click here.

Simple and effective.

Simple and effective.

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More food porn…

Good morning guests!

Good morning guests!

The buffet table - groaning with all thing fresh

The buffet table – groaning with all thing fresh

Wild mushrooms and home made sausage

Wild mushrooms and home made sausage

A brioche that even the FRench would be proud of - encircling a green picked pear.

A brioche that even the French would be proud of – encircling a green picked apple.

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