Day ten - Kokstad,
12th October 2007

An early start from Eddie and Moira's house on the road to Kokstad.

The trip took over two hours as Chele and I visited her mother's old hotel at remote Donnybrook - about half an hour from Ixopo.

I was met on the outskirts of this historic town of Kokstad by my good friend Milner Snell. After exchanging a flurry of book inscribings we set off to the Kokstad Museum where I gave a short presentation on the book "Children of the Mist" to an audience of Griqua school principles. Before my talk a choir sang traditional songs and the minister of the Griqua National Church thanked me for my contribution to the welfare of the Griqua people.

I then handed out 50 copies of the book to school principals and the Griqua Church.


Pietermaritzburg sunrise from
Eddie and Moira's house

Shanty town outside
Pietermaritzburg

On the road to

Ixopo via Richmond

On the road

to Ixopo

Chele at the Donnybrook hotel

her mother once owned

And blast from the past - as a
teenager at the hotel's pool!

Ixopo

Umzimkhulu Valley

Nearing Kokstad

Mount Currie from road on
Umzimkhulu side

Kokstad Museum
Celebrations

Museum's 25th
anniversary

School principals at
book donation

The choir sings to celebrate
the book launch

Mrs Pienaar - a Griqua
dressed in traditional gear

Some of the leaders
at the launch

Reciting my poem

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

Book donations to schools

The school
representatives

Dower's famous book

My beautiful Chele...
far more beautiful than a rose

After the launch I went to Fraaiuitzicht Bed and Breakfast in Kokstad. The small Bed and Breakfast has great views.

Milner came back at about 2pm and took me into town where I discovered that "Children of the Mist" was CNA's number two best selling book nationwide! Image below.

After leaving the shopping centre we went to the Griqua Church and, unlike last year, were able to get onto the turret which had magnificent views of the city and Mount Currie - see images below.

It was then time to return to the Kokstad Museum and look around before their open today tomorrow - in celebration of Adam Kok IIIs birthday.

Back to the B&B to catch up on the photos etc...before this evening's launch at Willowdale.

The infamous Griqua "Twist

Valley" - Kokstad's crime centre

Griqua in Twist Valley

My book - CNA's no two
Best Seller

A Kokstad alleyway

Kokstad street

The Griqua priest

With Milner on top of
the Griqua Church

Mount Currie

The Griqua Church grounds

Rev Dower

Griqua hearse

Ongeluk's Nek remains

Old Laager palace

Strachan coins

Kok title deed

Milner and Griqua coach

Furniture built for Adam Kok
by Rev William Dower

Adam Kok's old Palace

Only known drawing of
Smith Pommer

Pin oak trees brought up
from Strachan's Clydesdale

Milner arrived at the B&B at about 6pm and Mrs Pie Dorning, who lives across the road, accompanied me to the Willowdale Guest House. This small farm resort is about 10km out of Kokstad on the road to Umzimkhulu.

Image right" Max and Nikki - owners of Willowdale Lodge

There was a good crowd at the launch  about 40 people, mainly white farmers from the district. The launch went extremey well and over 20 books were sold. After the launch we had snacks and drinks and I was back at the B&B by about 10pm. Willowdale is an excellent venue for a book launch - it is run by Max and Nikk who hold regular historic evenings. Their website is at this link.

Left Willowdale at about 9pm... tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the Kokstad Museum!

Chele at Willowdale

Barry Elliot at the bar

Some of the guests at

the Willowdale launch

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour