Thursday, July 8, 2010


MAXMOM here...

Hello there to all my friends across the world!
(I hope this message will reach you...!)
Our recent trip to Mpumalanga (see previous post) left me with 770 photographs!!!
(Not bad for four days don't you think!?)
 My camera hardly left my hands and I realised then why the area is so appealing to artists and the numerous creative people who live there.
There are so many little 'studios' and quaint dwellings everywhere and it suggests that the environment promotes a creative ambience with beautiful people who live there.
Having said this, you will understand that I have millions of things I can blog about, my choice (from the photos) is endless!

It is apt that today I tell you a little about the..

is my favourite little town in the whole of South Africa!
 It sets off my imagination and allows me privy into a world of the past.
I could get lost in its history!
The town was shaped in an era where hopes were high for the discovery of gold. 
Pilgims Rest blossomed in the late 1800's and people travelled from far and wide, by horseback or ox-wagon, through treacherous terrain and prevailing diseases, in search of the dream of discovering a gold nugget in the little stream adjacent to the little town. There they spent many hours toiling in their pans for the elusive 'shiny one', only to drown their sorrows in makeshift pubs that evening!
Nowadays when one walks around the town, one can almost hear their drunken songs.
The entire town has been converted into a national monument.
Each little house is steeped in history and atmosphere....
...and there were folks who recorded its history...
(The 'office' in the Printing museum)

Should you ever visit there and really want to "experience" the town, you need to set aside an entire day!
But for the moment, let's focus on the little Printing Museum with its polished stone steps and wealth of printing paraphenalia...
(Who know what this gadget is???)

The little museum tells about days gone by and how budding journalists tried to spread the news of the prevailing gold rush.
There are many examples of the equipment the printers used...

But perhaps you'd like a glimpse of what they produced...

Nowadays we have so much at our modern disposal and I suggest that we take much of this for granted. We have scrapbooking shops, stores with endless supplies of cards, the internet and it's own supply of "cyber" messages. It is hard to believe that an era like that even existed!
 Can you imagine what it must have been like to receive a specially printed card in those times?
...Remember too, that those cards would have been loaded into mail bags which were hauled up hills and down valleys, on horseback, by a weary mail rider. It sometimes took months for the post to arrive (if it actually did?). Yet the spirit of communication prevailed and the cards served to re-seal old contacts with loved ones and friends.
It just makes me wonder if the time and trouble people took for their friends in those times still prevails today?
It's just a thought...

We are having some serious internet problems, so I hope that this blogpost today, will serve to uplift you in the same way those beautiful cards did in that long lost time.

Sending lots of love to you all...!

Please note that South Africa is having enormous internet problems at the moment. Apparently it is due to damaged sea cables which connect us with the rest of the world. 
I am thus not able to visit many blogs at the moment . 
Perhaps a message to all my friends across the world, via horseback or sailing ship, would reach you faster:)
I am sending my love to you all and hope that the problems of communication will soon be sorted out.
(They say "Perhaps" it will be rectified sometime next week)
With love


Anonymous said...

Caryl, as always I just LOVE reading your blog, it is just so informative! I always feel like I am there with you on your trips.

Don't worry about the internet being down, we'll be here waiting for you!

Hugs, Blu and Tessa too

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

You made it all the way from Africa to Virginia - our blogger has been giving us fits too!!

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

PS - our word verification is "saylate"

Anonymous said...

Wow awesome pics!! Soooo interesting!

houndstooth said...

I love history like that! When I was a kid, my dad would take us out to a lot of historic places and I always found it fascinating! I still love getting unique things in the mail!

Two French Bulldogs said...

What a cool place to visit. Mom likes museums like that.
Benny & Lily

Sheila and Bob said...

Thanks for all the interesting photos and information.
As you get older and realize you are not going to see everything in the world their is to see, you really appreciate when someone lets you in on their travel adventures.
Don't worry about the internet, we just keep checking.

Sheila & Bob

sprinkles said...

Your post reminds me of a ghost town my family used to visit every summer. I'm not sure why we quit going. I loved it!

The whole town is basically a musuem where you can walk around and see how people used to live. My mom used to work in the newspaper industry. She started out working in the back room stuffing the papers with ads and things before they were mailed out or delivered to the stores, then she worked as typesetter, then she became a reporter before retiring. The museum show cased the newsroom with the same kinds of equipment which she always found interesting.

Hope your internet gets up and running soon. I haven't had any issues with it lately except for some reason, your last post wouldn't load all the pictures.

sprinkles said...

^^^ I think it was more my computer than the internet though!

Maggie Mae and Max said...

Those pictures were most interesting! Blogger has not been nice to a lot of us over the past couple of days..I hope your internet problems go away soon.

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

rottrover said...

You made it all the way to Southern California. Loved the old cards. Cheers!!

Jacqueline said...

An interesting, fascinating town with lovely pieces of history preserved so well for us to enjoy=those cards are really extraordinary for their time!...You always make learning about new things so fun and entertaining...I hope your internet problems are cleared up soon...Kisses to your beautiful babies and hugs to you, sweet friend.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What an interesting post!! I love seeing all of the older things that were used. I would love to go there!! Your post made it to Virginia and I am having crazy problems with blogger and now photobucket and am afraid to think about what is next. Thanks for sharing..that is really so interesting! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

the booker man said...

pilgrims rest is a neat little town! thanks for sharing some of it's history. those old cards are really cool, and i would definitely feel special to receive something like that in the mail!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

You are not the only one with internet problems Caryl, I've had them too--Yet another thing we have in common! :-)
But what an interesting post!! I'm so glad that you were able to post about a place that I will never be able to visit, but now feel like I have! :-)))

Angus said...

What's the betting everyhting will suddenly get better on Monday? Enjoy the final.

Bouncing Bertie said...

A thoughtful post, as ever. Just in my life time, communications technology has changed so much that I find it hard to believe that the main means of communication with my parents when I went to university was by letters (telephone was expensive and only for emergencies). I still treasure the postcards that my granny sent me one summer when I was about eight and she spent two months in Durban.
Hope the rest and recuperation break did its job.
Cheers, Gail.

Pip said...

Hi Caryl, I believe the little gaget on the porch is an acid wash for type set. Lead type (think of rubber stamps only in lead-cast) were hung in rows on the printer "platen", one letter or word per section. After much use the lead would get clogged with ink and paper dust, so the row of type was removed from the printer and dipped in a bath to clean them up.
Probably more than you wanted to know.
Your trip sounds like it was awesome, we love history and have spent sometime getting to know the history of your contient. Thank you so much for sharing this stuff. We would love to hear more!
TK mom

Pip said...

PeeEss that printer before the stamp machine is a Heidelberg Windmill. It was the printer that Will Smith's character fixed in the move 7lbs.

Scout and Freyja said...

I ♥ each and every photo - antiques have always been a love of mine.

Valerie Cummings said...

Oh loved seeing those cards!!! Id love to see it in person!!! Hope you get your internet back soon!!! Hugs Joey and Kealani

The Life of Riley said...

I enjoyed seeing the old printing presses and postcards, your photos of Pilgrims Rest, and being reminded There is still something very special about receiving a handwritten card or letter, but there are so many other ways to communicate now.

You wondered if the time and trouble people took for their friends in those times still prevails today. It does – just in different formats, and you have just shown one of these by your post. You took hundred of photos, you spent time choosing photos you thought your friends would enjoy, you took time to describe what your visit was like (so we could imagine being there) and you sent forth through the internet your message to your many friends all around the world, and gave us the opportunity to communicate with you through “notes” at the end of your post. The method may be different, but the spirit of communication still prevails. Thank you.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Dear Maxmom
Thank you for sharing each photo with us. What a journey time has taken us on. And in the next generation what we do now- will seem primative, I am sure.
I cannot even imagine how technology will change.
We felt like we were on tour with you.
And then I had to go back to your last post and see if any sunbirds were flitting here and there from flower to flower. And then to finish, I had to look at each photo again and feel the feelings of looking over those cliffs and up into the far distance.
Thank you again for sharing the Rainbow Nation

How Sam Sees It said...

It's like stepping back in time! I'm glad you had a great trip!


meowmeowmans said...

Thanks for such an interesting and educational post (as always), Maxmom! Hope you had a great trip!

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey MaxMom,
Thanks for the insight into the Pilgrim's Rest Printing Museum. Our dad is a history buff and mom likes it too. Dad grew up in Boston which is an American Historical Area. Mom is from California. There's a number of restored mining camps in California and also the whole town of Columbia that mom and dad visited long ago; way before us Bumpass Hounds came to be. We look forward to more of your insightful postings.
- TBH&K,_California

Asta said...

Dear MaxMom

thank you for all these beautiful posts.Pease forgive us for our absence

it's been crazy here and I just never get around to doing all I want.
Thank you also for being such generous and loving and perfect hosts ..for the world Cup..South Africa and you can be very very proud!
We Thank you a billion times
Ami and George and Asta

Ms. ~K said...

What a fun post. I love old cards. I'm so happy you were able to get away for a while before you start working.
Hope the pups are well, and sending hugs to you.

Unknown said...

Yet another wonderful post that has me reaching for my passport! Speaking of which, Clive & Co. have been visiting us in South Carolina! Drop by to see us and NSLM together at last!

Your pal,


Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

Oh, what lovely postcards! Mom loves the old time fonts as well. That town looks like a fun place to visit.
We hope you get your internet back soon!

Cloud and his mom

PS. Viva Espana! :-)

The Heartbeats said...

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Wags & Wiggles,

Deborah said...

I love old towns like that. We don't have anything of that magnitude here, but we do have a lot of museums that are small towns within the town!
Glad you had a nice visit~