WATCH: Inside the winter issue of Stellenbosch Visio

Over the past year, most of us have discovered two distinct sides to our personalities. The one revels in sensory experiences while the other indulges in virtual reality, writes Stellenbosch Visio editor Francé Beyers.

No longer able to shake hands when we meet or to greet friends with a hug, our other senses have become more sharply attuned to the physical world. In contrast to this, and in the absence of international travel, we have also become seasoned virtual travellers.

This issue of Stellenbosch Visio offers a smorgasbord of experiences for both these ‘selves’. For our sensual self, Dave Pepler shares his delight in the earthy smells of mushrooms gathered in the wild (p. 96), while Danene van der Westhuyzen finds sensory bliss in the taste of !/abbas, the Kalahari truffle (p. 80). Ryan Sandes talks about the exhilaration of trail running in the mountains (p. 91) and Richard Holmes writes about becoming ‘one with the wind’ when taking a hot-air balloon trip over the Nubib mountains and the ancient ochre dunes of the Namib Desert (p. 84).

For your virtual travels, Stellenbosch Visio is happy to act as a guide with a special feature on the remarkable journeys you can undertake to museums worldwide (p. 57). You can now get to know more about Egyptian mummification practices in the British Museum, take a tour of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and see the Mona Lisa close-up in the Louvre in Paris. No entry fees, no queues, no throngs to peer through. Bliss.

We are all finding a new rhythm to our lives. In between the daily challenges of homeschooling our children, working from home and shopping online, many of us have rediscovered the joys of hiking, cycling and exploring the beauty of our landscapes. During lockdown I tried my hand at baking cinnabuns, did tele-conferencing and Pilates on Zoom and made albums from digitised old photographs. More recently, I hiked our surrounding mountains and travelled in my own country. In doing this I have gained an enormous appreciation for the beauty of South Africa. Let’s not forget about those other timeless indulgences, such as owning the priceless beauty of diamonds like those featured in a photo article on the latest Graff Tribal collection, shot in the dunes near Cape Town (p. 40). 

Winter, kaggelvuur en rooiwyn is een van die Boland se spesiale ervarings. Maar met die oorweldigende aanbod van uitstekende wyne, hoe kies n mens? Om dit effens makliker te maak, vertel Emile Joubert van die ses lekkerste Stellenbosse rooiwyne wat hy hierdie winter in sy glas sal skink (bl. 50). 

Geniet jou huis, jou huismense, jou vriende en ons lieflike omgewing hierdie winter. Stap teen n berg uit, gaan eet by n lekker restaurant, ontdek die wynroetes, en ondersteun ons plaaslike ondernemings en toerisme. Suid-Afrika bied eindelose moontlikhede.

Share your thoughts with Francé and send an email to editor@stellenboschvisio.co.za.