Village News|

Warning: The following lyrics could stick with you for days … even weeks!

I talk to the trees,
But they don’t listen to me,
I talk to the stars,
But they never hear me.’

Clint Eastwood in Paint your Wagon could well have been in Storms River Village when he sang the lyrics to this iconic song.  What is the relevance you may well ask?

First the stars and then the trees – the wagons need no explanation.

Given the total lack of air and light pollution in the natural setting of the Tsitsikamma, looking upward into the black of night is what most visitors instinctively do.  Our milky way advertises itself.  Better defined as rare, rather than unique, it is worthwhile pointing out.

What is unique, however, are our arboreal foreign diplomats, planted here in the 19th century.  As the story goes, something that has been handed down from one generation to the next, suggests it was snobbishly vogue to brag about one’s worldly travel by planting a foreign tree or trees on this new 19th century route between Kaffraria (today Eastern Cape) and the Cape Colony (today Western Cape).  The Tzitzi’kama (now Storms River Village) was a welcome stopover in celebration (or relief) of having traversed the tricky Storms River gorge on ox wagon. Nonetheless, it proved to be a most popular place to refresh and replenish the batteries.

Starting from the East and moving to the West just after the Plaatbos forest entrance/exit gate, using the historical road just after Thomas Bain pass (later called the R102), we have a South American Tipu tree (Tipuana tipu – in picture), an American Redwood, an avenue of English Oaks right to the village edge, then strangely 5 different Australian Eucalyptus trees planted in one small area just off the SANParks office, numerous giant flowering gums standing guard over our historic hotel (formerly the Duthie Hunting Box) and finally, just west of the central area, a Clanwilliam cedar (Widringtonia cedarbergensis) – clearly someone thought Clanwilliam was in another country!  We believe this tree could be the biggest in the country and by default, the biggest on the continent, if not the globe.

If you are dendrologically inclined, come and show off your tree knowledge and then cap the experience off by joining the locals over a well-deserved beer from our Tsitsikamma Micro-Brewery or simply have a cuppa at one of our several restaurants.  And, when you toddle home to your accommodation, never forget to look skyward – you will be impressed!



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