I need a bit of time to process it all, it was quite a topsy-turvy day. It started by Ellie being confused and getting out of bed an hour early and that gave us a head start. It was quite an interesting drive, when we left home it was 14 degrees and by the time we got to Van Stadens it had dropped to eight. The mist over Lake farm was quite a sight. Fortunately for us it warmed up quite rapidly after that.

There was a meeting planned at 8:30 and before that we quickly got to the arboretum to attach the piece of pipe to the Gem and try out the new stopcock. All went smoothly and the water came out at a good pressure until some hair roots got dislodged somewhere in the feed pipe and our outlet got clogged. By now we had run out of time and hurried to the meeting.

Goodman, Jenny, Rob, Neil and Tony were also there and the program for the open day got discussed so everybody is on the same wavelength. Rob got called away by working for water and ended up doing a five hour hike up the gorge to show them what needs to be done.

Neil got going with his brush cutter, Jenny with her greenhouse and we turned our attention to the picnic tables, first the fixed one on the main picnic area. I planed the inserted piece down by hand while Ellie fetched water and then we cleaned the algae of the table which was quite a job producing a thick sludge and one container of water was not enough to clean it properly. After that the final coat on the Mountain View picnic site, while Ellie was painting I erected the first cycle track sign:

IMGP2886

Looks kinda cute I think but the pole is too short and will soon be obscured by the bush so I think the poles ex nursery will be better.

Lastly the main table at the Lookout got its second coat, starts looking ok.

IMGP2884

We were hoping we could give the cleaned table a first coat but it was too wet still so we went for coffee instead and afterwards got back to the arboretum to sort the pipe out. Strange to think that after all this time it is actually all done, I can’t quite believe it. Later that was confirmed when Jenny told Ellie that it might be nice to have water on the main picnic site near the old water drum, yeah right!

During lunch Neil got called away for an interview so we had to tackle the entrance circle on our own. Pottaman had deliver a reasonable amount of soil so we could start with our landscaping. We managed to do some rock work, moved some soil and planted 5 aloes, hard work so I had enough at 3pm and we checked out our wet table which was now dry enough to paint, closed stopcocks in the arboretum and had a relaxing cuppa in the Fovs room.

On our way out we saw Goodman was still in the office and Ellie asked him if we could get more soil delivered and we ended up doing a site inspection of the entrance circle with lots of chatting so we got a bit more insight into the history of Van Stadens and Goodman’s plans.