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A 17 year old boy from an old farming family embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to start farming and developing, together with his father, a large abandoned tract of beautiful mountain country, on top of the wild plateaus of the Great Winterhoek Mountains, in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa. This was completely wild country at that time in the late 1940’s with leopards, foxes, baboons, wild game and many wild donkeys roaming the deep ravines and Kouga River valleys and gorges. The scenery was, and still is, absolutely majestic with a breathtaking abundance of fauna and flora. Scores of photographs are provided to illustrate this and many other features and anecdotes related in the book. To reach the area which has lately been declared a World Heritage Site, within the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve, you have to travel either down the Baviaanskloof from Willowmore or Uniondale from the west, or from Port Elizabeth through the Gamtoos Valley and Patensie to the eastern entrance gate of the Mega Reserve in the Poortjies at Cambria. En route you traverse five of the most scenic and renowned mountain passes of South Africa. The area that we are mainly concerned with is situated between the last three passes before you exit the reserve through the eastern gate in the Poortjies. Goodhope and Bergplaas, situated on the large Plateau on top of Combrink se Berg, with Enkeldoorn to the west and Coutieskraal and Rooilaagte to the east and South east, are where most of the activities took place. At the summit of the second last pass called Holgat pass, there is now a large parking area with toilet facilities, with the 140 meter long old road to the Cable-way, leading off from the opposite side. The Winston Le Roux Cable way with a span of 410 meters and which is higher than the highest bridge in the world, had a carrying capacity of five tons. It was designed and built by Winston Le Roux, in 1967 and was erected across the 386 meter deep gorge between the two main farms, Good hope and Enkeldoorn to reduce traveling time - in a vehicle’s lowest gears - from 31/2 hours to 12 minutes. As far as is known it is the only private cable-way built on the continent of Africa, if not in the world, and that, by an ordinary young farmer and his regular farm workers. The formidable task of construction and how the more than 6 tons of cables were brought through the precipitous depths of the abyss, and strained to a load of 40 tons on the supporting anchors, is described in detail. Water was distributed over 22 kilometers, making use of furrows and cable–suspended pipes, and 100 kilometers of fencing were built employing mostly a ‘donkey- train,’ so called by his late father, for transport through the inaccessible mountain terrain. It was afterwards calculated that this donkey train which ran on only ‘water and grass’, did more than 2000 kilometers, to complete the projects. Each of the 35 Chapters contain one or more interesting and entertaining and some hilarious stories, like his father and grandfather’s motorbike and Model T Ford trips through the passes, the tulip-run of the cattle herd, old Richard Nortjé’s pork marketing trips with his Belsize - frustrating the three spinster sisters - and herding the first large flock of sheep of 740 head, right across the high peaks of the Great Winterhoek mountains. These stories are related to complete this saga of the taming of Bergplaas and her seven sisters. The restoration of four very rare vintage cars are described and illustrated in detail. The first one was a 1909 12/14 Alldays & Onions, the parts of which took twenty years to search out from all over the Eastern and Western Cape, and of which model there are only two left in existence in the world. What you will read in this book is sure to be of great interest to everyone because of its uniqueness, which is not available anywhere else.Biografía del autor:
The Author grew up on the family sheep ranches at Willowmore in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa. After attending Muir College in Uitenhage he joined his father at the age of 17 in the late 1940’s to extend their farming activities by embarking on the development of a block of eight adjoining farms, comprised of about 8000 hectares, situated on the high plateaus of the Great Winterhoek Mountains. The area now falls within the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve and has lately been declared a world Heritage site. It was completely wild country that had to be developed right from scratch. He was in charge of this, which took about seven years to complete. He designed and built a cable-way with a carrying capacity of 5 tons across the gorge which separates the two main farms. It has a span of 410 meters and is higher than the highest bridge in the world... It shortened the traveling time between the farms from 31/2 hours to 12 minutes. This is as far as known the only privately built cable-way on the continent of Africa if not in the world Water was distributed out of the mountains for 22 kilometers. More than 100 kilometers of fencing was erected. After the development of the farms the Author went to live in Humansdorp where he opened a general engineering-works followed by civil construction activities; He also started indulging in a great passion of his to restore veteran and vintage cars, of which he completed four so far. He afterwards went to Natal, Free State and Transvaal where he was involved with transport, civil engineering works, and coal and mica mining. Since 1999 he has also been involved, but mainly so from 2008, in the research and development of technical market indicators, and trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He found this the most intricate and mind taxing activity of everything he ever indulged in during his varied business endeavors He has written a treatise on the development process and results, and sends out a news letter entitled:- “Profitable Cyclical Trading in Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange - Employing Knowledge and Experience.” A copy of which may be requested free of charge from his email address: - firstname.lastname@example.org through this you may follow his trades on the JSE. Now in his early eighties and still very active and in excellent health, he lives in Johannesburg. You are invited to visit his website at: http://winstonlrx606.wix.com/baviaanskloof-saga
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