12th to 14th October 2007

Kokstad holds a very special place in my heart.

The young Milner Snell, who plays such a major part in the Kokstad Museum, met me on the road and took me to the first of several launches. This first launch was at the Kokstad Museum and was attended by several school principals who were coming to get the free copies of "Children of the Mist" that I was donating to the community. We were able, this time, to get up to the top of the Griqua National Church Tower and look down at the views below.

That night I hosted about 40 Kokstad-ians at a launch at Willowdale. The evening was a great success with a large number of books being sold.

I stayed with Heather and Don Hogg, like last year, and with this perfect base went to the Kokstad Museum for the celebration of its 25th Anniversary. Some very special people attended the launch including Noo Dorning who's vision 25 years ago had seen it happen. Noo and several other people spoke and the Griqua community put on a perfectly wonderful play - with traditional Griqua dialect and laughter from the sidelines...the women dressed in their white kappies. I was lucky to be able to video tape most of the play - which was priceless.

Image right: The Ongeluksnek pass in the Drakensberg

That afternoon Milner took me out once again to the old Griqua laager at Mount Currie and I, once again, soaked in the magical peace of this mystical slope - so remote yet to historically significant.

The last day at Kokstad with Milner and the Haviside's was  one of the highlights of my trip. We went up into the Ongeluksnek on a perfect day - the sun shone, the newly burnt grass glowed green and the shabeen at Queen's Mercy where we enjoyed a beer brought a touch of perfection to an already perfect day. Oh, and "God's window" over the Ongeluksnek was an absolute joy to behold - not so for the Griqua 150 year ago!

Unfortunately as I had a long drive to Grahamstown ahead I had to retire half way through the Springbok's thrashing of the Argentinian team in the semi-finals of the rugby world cup. So it is the Springboks vs the English n the finals!




12th The trip toKokstad; school principals at the Kokstad Museum at the launch of "Children of the Mist" - with a donation of 50 copies; CNA (South Africa's largest book chain) recognise "Children of the Mist" as their number two best seller; climbing the Griqua Church tower; launch at Willowdale.

Full story at this link

13th The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Kokstad Museum which included talks by Noo and Pie Dorning; the classic Griqua play (which I video taped); my presentation of the "Children of the Mist"Griqua play at the poem

Full story at this link

14th The amazing trip up the Ongeluksnek.... accident pass - in the Drakensberg - going through the border post; a visit to Queen's Mercyand an authentic shabeen; lunch by the river; and the view's from "God's Window" 

Full story at this link

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour