Take part in the Moonlight Mass social ride, treat your dog to a midday mountain meander, visit the stunningly colourful Jamestown Flower Farm, or hang out with aerial yoga. Mark these fun and fabulous autumn activities on your to-do list. By Mirandi Nel
When the full moon rises
The brainchild of Daniel Graham and Elad Kirshenbaum, the Moonlight Mass (#moonlightmass) started in 2015 as a social experiment on Twitter. Their aim was twofold: to bring a community together and to raise awareness about transportation choices and their carbon footprint. The Stellenbosch rendition has become so popular that it is now the town’s biggest social ride to create awareness about the local use of non-motorised transport.
What can you expect? On a date close to full moon (the exact date is announced on Facebook) participants meet at Die Rooiplein. They come from all walks of life – students, scholars, parents, lecturers, tourists – and their choice of transport may be equally varied. You’ll see bicycles and unicycles, longboards, skateboards, rollerblades and scooters, and even perhaps a horse or two. The only other thing needed is a battery-powered torch. So join in the fun and help spread awareness of non-motorised transport. Please note that you participate at your own risk.
Let the dogs out…
Whether you’re setting off on a midday meander or an easy-breezy mountain hike, going without your pooch is just not the same. So here are two of the best dog-friendly walks. Don’t forget plenty of water (for two- and four-leggeds), sunscreen and a hat. And remember to clean up after your dog!
Stellenbosch Mountain: Starting at Coetzenburg rugby fields, the hiking trail shoots up past the first cross and begins to hairpin up the face of the mountain. The path contours up towards the second cross and then dips down onto a 200m plateau. Many think this initial summit is the end of the road, but don’t be fooled – it’s not. The path continues across the south side of the mountain, which presents a view of Table Mountain and False Bay.
Lion’s Head: This short but challenging hike (including a few climbs where you might have to lend a helping paw) is tackled daily by people of all fitness levels. The 360° view of Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula, the Atlantic seaboard and the city makes the panting at the top all worth the while. The path starts on Signal Hill Road, at the forestry road.
Can you escape?
The team at Unlock Escape Room describes the experience it offers as “a board game in the real world that’s interactive”. Let’s be honest, we live in interesting times and sometimes we just need to take a break from the reality of life. Unlock Escape Rooms situated in Stellenbosch offers just that. The design team has created amazing immersive real-life escape game adventures for you to enjoy. Participants are locked in a room and have a limited time to find a way out by finding clues, solving puzzles, riddles, mysteries and completing challenges that follow a story to complete the game. The escape room’s life-like setting incorporates multi-dimensional elements, life-size and hands-on props and theatrical lighting, sounds and smells, all working together to give an amazing experience. The game is designed for players from 12 years old, but younger ones can join in with adult guidance.
Good to know: The designers recommend three or four players for the best experience and the cost is R250 per participant. All you will need are your razor-sharp wits and teamwork to achieve your goal. There are clues and riddles hidden deep within the room, so keep your eyes (and ears and noses) peeled to figure everything out together. Find it at Shop E205, Eikestad Mall.
All that blooms…
Wendy Attwell started Jamestown Flower Farm with her two right-hand helpers, Boston and Lenny, during lockdown last year and by the end of November the first flowers were ready for sale. The farm is situated in the historic village of Jamestown, just 4km outside Stellenbosch. “Each farm along the Webersvallei Road is a narrow strip about 20m wide and 300m long. Most of the farmers here grow vegetables and strawberries, but we wanted to do something a bit more fun and colourful,” says Wendy. At the moment the team is still experimenting to find out what grows well on the plot and what sells well in the market. On the website you see the following options: summer bouquet, mixed bouquet, pink dahlia, zinnias, yellow cosmos, white statis, corn cockle, nigellia, ornamental kale, Queen Anne’s lace and chocolate lace. Much, of course, depends on the season.
Hanging out with aerial yoga
Soleil Terblanche, the founder of Radiance Yoga Stellenbosch, has been teaching aerial yoga for more than a decade. She discovered the hammock-like-using activity when, after university, she worked at a summer camp in the USA and attended an aerial silk workshop. The team wanted to re-use the silks afterwards: “We started teaching each other aerial yoga from a manual. It was love at first swing. Aerial yoga is very safe and it’s not easy to fall out of the silk when you stick to the instructions and hold on. The silks can hold up to 1,000kg, so there’s nothing to fear,” says Soleil. COVID-19 restrictions closed down her teaching space so for the time being, classes are outdoors. You can hang with her this autumn from a tree in Stellenbosch, or in your own back garden.
Good to know: Send Soleil a WhatsApp message on +27 (0)82 955 6861 for more information.