Gentil #Lentil Holiday Recipe

One thing I hate, is eating out every day while on holiday. A parallel peeve is to spend hours in the kitchen as therein is no holiday.


One thing I hate, is eating out every day while on holiday. A parallel peeve is to spend hours in the kitchen as therein is no holiday.

Essential luggage is our 6,5l slow cooker. This wonderful device creates most beautiful meals while nobody is watching, also ideal for Vegan and vegetarian meals.

I made non-vegetarian Lentil Curry today and it cooked itself in 3-4 hours. My wife was quite impressed to find dinner waiting as she returned from her walkabout.

  • About 600g mutton sausage – optional.
  • One huge brown onion, sliced.
  • One packet of dry lentils.
  • Teaspoon of salt – I used sea salt as pink salt lacks iodine, a necessary ingredient for proper thyroid functioning. If you love having bulging eyes or a goiter, use pink salt which just is sodium chloride with minuscule bits of minerals, not enough to be nutritious..

Set the slow cooker to High and place the sausage at the bottom, with the onion on top. Let it simmer for an hour. Cover the lentils in water in a separate bowl, meanwhile, allowing it to expand a bit. After an hour, add the lentils but do cover with lukewarm water so as not to crack the earthenware pot.

Let this go for another 2-3 hours. Mix a packet (or two) of curry – we use Rajah Mild & Spicy – with hot water, a tablespoon of honey or apricot jam and some vinegar. I actually add the salt here and not into the food directly, but that is just convenient. Whisk to incorporate and then pour into the lentil stew when well blended.

Let simmer for another ten minutes or so, then dish up. I think serving it on a bed of Basmati or Jasmin rice may also be a good idea.

With this, a nice glass of rosé wine might round off an easy meal.

Serves 4.

Using Free WiFi? Read this….

First, we cried Free Mandela. Next came Free Love, then Free Willy. Eventually, we see Free WiFi all over. The Millennial Creed.

Data is expensive, in my country at least twenty times dearer than even the worst in the USA. It stands to reason that #socialmedia junkies will crave for free Internet access. There always is a quest for the cyberholy grail, Free WiFi.

These hotspots are very unsafe and are best avoided. A rat, meaning a hacker, may be lurking and inject malicious code into the wireless router. The router then will allow him access to any or all devices connected wirelessly to it.

Hackers now can take control of your pukka smartphone or other device, without you even knowing. He can access all your data, steal passwords, banking information and clone your ID.

You also put every person in your contacts at risk as he can now send messages to then all, maybe include a cute emoji that contains a spyware bot – voila! Your entire cyber community betrayed because you wanted a free ride.

In 2018, would you go down to the dockyards for a one night stand, using no protection? No, if you had any margin of sense, of course you wouldn’t. Why take your smart device down a similar road?

Practise a safe connectivity regiment. Don’t let your devices sleep around, promote cyber chastity and prudence.

Read more about malware and cyber attacks here>

Travel #Photography Conundrum

Your suggestion? Please motivate and tell us how experienced you are.

If money, weight and space were of no consideration, choosing a camera to travel with would have been easy. We often travel and also on trains, where space can be restricted. Another consideration is speed – one may have one, maybe two seconds to aim, compose, shoot.

Time is of the essence.

Battery life is critical. For instance, Canon just released their M50 mirrorless camera, which is small, lightweight, fast and affordable yet its battery life is dysmal compared to the company’s excellent EOS 80D DSLR. The former can take but 260 instead of the 960 photos of the latter, on one charge.

DSLR’s offer excellent photo quality, have larger sensors, which is important and some can do professional video as well. They are large, cost more generally and require the switching of lenses, not advisable out there in mud & dust.

Bridge cameras are an attractive option because of excellent zoom, up the the equivalent of 2,000mm focal length on Nikon P900. Lenses are fixed, great for convenience. The drawback? Smaller image sensors, therefore lower print quality, worse low light performance. Some are also slow but shoot RAW, can take external flash, microphone, headphone as in Canon’s nifty Powershot SX60HS. Bridge cameras aren’t always as cheap, though, as Leica, Panasonic and Sony will prove – despite small sensors of no larger than 1″. One inch, for millennials. 25mm.

Compacts use the same tiny sensors as smartphones and are therefore discounted for this discussion.

DSLR market has a rich harvest of lenses, with Canon being top dog. Mirrorless cameras are only marginally catered for.

As for deciding between a small sensor bridge or a large sensor DSLR? Cost is a factor as lenses with equivalent reach will make the DSLR route insanely expensive and lenses will be huge, weigh a ton. Bridge cameras cando it all but is a tiny sensor good for 2x2m prints?

What would you choose? Options are:

– Canon EOS 80D with Sigma 18-300mm contemporary lens

– Canon Powershot SX60HS

– Nikon B700

The 80D route will cost three times more than either bridge camera or double the price of Panasonic Lumux FZ2500.

Your suggestion? Please motivate and tell us how experienced you are.

Makadas #makadas

A peek into South African rail history.

The name of a rural rail service, first seen between Hutchinson and Calvinia in the Great Karoo desert of South Africa in 1917.

A second Makadas was implemented from 1925-1982 between Touwsriver and Ladismith.

There is much speculation about the origins of the name and, as there is no proof either way, the topic is shelved here. Opinions are just that.

An honourable endeauvour is the revival of rail travel in South Africa. There are various heritage trains and there is interest in reviving the Touwsriver – Ladismith Makadas. Steam trains are revived, a prime example would be

Photo: Blackie, South Africa’s first steam locomotive circa 1859

The railway line from Cape Town reached Worcester in 1876, Touws River, then known as Montague Road, in 1877 and Matjiesfontein in 1878.

Welcome to Cottage Imvana #Bulwer

If you want to “get away from it all,” I guess this is just it.

A new rural stay in Bulwer, kwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Pet friendly, owner operated and a down-to-earth kind of holiday environment to wean Millennials and even Baby Boomers off anything geek-ish. A place to experience and enjoy nature as God had made it.

Bring clothes for all seasons, very good hiking footwear, sunscreen and your camera. The area is quite photogenic.

If you want to “get away from it all,” I guess this is just it.

Charter Your Own Train!

You can charter your own coach or even a whole Metrorail train!

You can charter your own coach or even a whole Metrorail train!

This, of course is great for educational purposes as schools do make use of this facility regularly. Also ideal for social functions such as birthdays, weddings, church activities or even corporate events such as team building, year end functions or conferences.

The service is available from 9am – 3pm and must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

Security Guards are provided and we can also provide guides!

A favourite route is the scenic Southern Line from Cape Town to Fish Hoek, as depicted here. Or visit Strand, Stellenbosch or a wine farm in the Boland.

All you need to do, is to determine how many passengers you want to bring along, as well as a date. Then contact me on and I will send you a quotation.

We can even assist in arranging meals at some great restaurants, mountain hiking, museum tours – you tell me what your needs are and I help you meet them.

Don’t delay, do this today!!

Random Rural Routes

This is real travel. Adventure is what births the traveler. You get people who fly across the globe without being travelers, you see. Travel is ingrained in the bone marrow from an early age.

It was back in the 1960’s and we wore safari suits & sandals. Randomly, we siblings would be summoned to bath, comb the cropped Nr 4 haistyles and get into the car.

A big car with tiny fins at the rear and a star on the hood. Lots of space inside, which was cool. A cavernous trunk that could swallow a platoon of Trojan invaders. And a kosblik.

We have this thing called padkos in South Africa. It usually consisted of cold boerewors, hard boiled eggs, sandwiches, frikkadelle, lamb chops, karringmelkbeskuit. (Google the unknown terms!)

We would lock up and go and before the car was in top gear, someone would ask: “Where are we going to?” Dad would usually answer: “We are following the car’s nose.”

This is real travel. Adventure is what births the traveler. You get people who fly across the globe without being travelers, you see. Travel is ingrained in the bone marrow from an early age.

So we would stop somewhere under a tree, at a hongertafeltjie – I coined that term for the concrete tables and benches by the roadside.

Padkos would be enjoyed al fresco. At the grave between Tweedside and Matjiesfontein, or in Bain’s Kloof, or somewhere between two Free State dorpies. Once, we had melktert in the middle of the Karoo, between Britstown and Strydenburg.

Such random travels took us to the Kruger National Park or the Big Hole in Kimberley. We camped where the two oceans meet at Agulhas, ate dried fruit in Montagu and swatted muggies at Gouda.

In this spirit of adventure, we crossed the Breede at Malgas (Malagas, really) and helped the wiry Oom Moksie Dunn haul the heavy pont across the river.

We saw the secretary bird kill a snake near Kimberley and blue cranes in wheat fields. At Roedtan, we ate putu-pap and lamb for breakfast.

High up in a tower we could overlook the entire smokey Johannesburg. And went into a studio where a livebroadcast was being done. I was six years old.

We saw weird and wonderful animals in zoos and visited Cape Point, went up Table Mountain.

We ate bokkems at Gouda and quinces at Halfmanshof. And we ate mebos. Passing through little dorpies, we always had our Thermos flask filled with sweet, black coffee – and consumed it at a suitable outlook or hongertafeltjie somewhere between Rondomverdwaal and Halfverskrik.

So we discovered the Tsitsikamma, rode ostriches, ventured into the Waenhuiskrans at Arniston.

This is just a taste of travel. Real travel, not the plastic kind you get at thirty thousand feet.

One must have it in your bones. Thanks, Dad, for making a real traveler out of your son before he was seven years old. As Awethentiq is it gets.

Twitter & IG @awethentiq