Heather Mason | The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge

 

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In 2017, I would publish one blog post per week about a place in Joburg where I’d never been before. I expand the project to all of Gauteng Province rather than just Joburg. And just like that, #Gauteng52 was born.

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The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge 52 Weeks, 52 Places in Gauteng Province By Heather Mason

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The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge 52 Weeks, 52 Places in Gauteng Province By Heather Mason

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The Challenge I can’t remember exactly how or why I decided to do the #Gauteng52 challenge. I know it was sometime during the last few days of 2016. I know my original idea was to do #Joburg52 – visit 52 places around Joburg that I’d never been to before, and then blog about them. I mentioned the idea to a friend and he suggested I extend the challenge to all of Gauteng province. I started thinking about all the spots around Gauteng I’d been meaning to visit and never gotten around to. This seemed like a good way to finally get to all those places, and maybe discover some unexpected secrets along the way. I published the first #Gauteng52 post to my blog on 1 January 2017, and put another one up every week for the entire year. Some of my friends wondered why I would create such a significant challenge for myself for no particular reason.

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Others said there was no way I could find 52 interesting places I’d never been to before. I knew that wouldn’t be a problem, but in hindsight I’m also not sure why I decided to do this. I’m glad I did though. #Gauteng52 gave me a sense of purpose during what turned out to be a really tough year. There were a few weeks when #Gauteng52 was the only thing pushing me to get out of bed and do something. There were some weeks when I didn’t even feel like blogging, which had never happened to me in the seven years I’d been writing 2Summers. I had to keep going because of #Gauteng52. #Gauteng52 also brought new readers to my blog. I’ve met some of you at parties, during walking tours, and on the street. Lots of you have told me you visited new places because of #Gauteng52, just as I did. This makes me really happy. I’m hoping some of you will also buy this book. Actually, if you’re reading this I guess you probably already have. So thank you. A note on the content of the book: With the exception of some minor changes to make the text flow a bit more like book chapters than blog entries, I’ve left the posts more or less as I wrote them in 2017. A couple of the places I wrote about have closed or moved since 2017; I’ve noted those changes in the text. I wrote each of these posts after visiting a place only once. The descriptions are by no means comprehensive and reflect my own personal impressions. Wherever possible, I have included addresses and contact details for those wishing to visit themselves. I hope you enjoy the journey. Heather Mason

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1 | Hennops Hiking Trail >page 10 2 | Schwaben Butchery >page 14 29 | Sophiatown The Mix >page 118 30 | Fama Deli >page 122 18 Soshanguve 3 | Tolstoy Farm >page 18 31 | Correctional Services Museum >page 126 4 | Patisserie de Paris >page 24 32 | Solly’s Corner >page 132 5 | Little Sheep Restaurant >page 28 6 | Freedom Park >page 32 33 | ISKCON Lenasia >page 136 34 | Blue Door Print Studio >page 140 Brits 7| 8| 9| 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Multiflora Market >page 36 35 | Field Berry Farm >page 40 Melrose Temple >page 44 Chocoloza >page 50 Box Shop >page 52 Delta Park >page 56 Ellis House >page 60 Glory >page 64 Majestic video store >page 68 Roodepoort Museum >page 72 James Hall Museum of Transport >page 76 Winnie’s Tuckshop >page 144 Magaliesburg 36 38 26 44 Cullinan 1 31 6 Pretoria Bronkhorstspruit 27 49 Lanseria Tembisa 37 Midrand 35 28 5 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | Tswaing Meteorite Crater >page 80 Aranda Textile Mills >page 84 Victorian Secret >page 88 Breezeblock >page 92 Print shop PrintALine >page 96 Randfontein 16 19 Soweto 11 20 Benoni 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | Food Junxion >page 100 Turffontein Racecourse >page 102 Café Patisse >page 106 Pretoria Antique Route 6 >page 108 Carletonville Lenasia 33 8 3 50 Nigel 27 | Anton Smit Sculpture Park >page 112 28 | Bapsfontein Hotel >page 114 Gauteng Vereeniging 43

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Johannesburg 4 Sandton Craighall Park 12 41 Modderfontein Birdhaven 52 Glenhazel 15 Greenside 40 9 39 Zoo Lake Orange Grove Edenvale 25 Houghton 2 Sophiatown 14 Melville Estate Bedfordview 29 47 Industria North 51 34 Parktown 45 21 48 10 Brixton Braamfontein Hillbrow Yeoville 30 Langlaagte 32 46 13 Troyeville Fordsburg 23 Carlton Centre 42 22 Kensington 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | Reefsteamers Magaliesburg Express >page 148 Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh >page 154 Pretoria suburb of Marabastad >page 156 City Deep Zoo Lake Swimming Pool >page 160 imPRESSed Craft Bindery and Letterpress >page 164 La Marina Foods >page 168 17 7 Rhodes Park >page 172 African Flavour Books >page 176 24 Turffontein Cullinan >page 180 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | Jesuit Institute >page 184 August House >page 188 Via La Moda >page 192 Richmond Studio Café >page 196 Culinary Table >page 200 Marievale Bird Sanctuary >page 202 Scala Barber >page 206 Feigel’s Kosher Delicatessen >page 210

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#Gauteng52: Over the course 4 Art Galleries 4 Towns/ Neighboorhoods 15 Restaurants/Bakeries/Cafés 4 Religious Institutions

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of this challenge I visited: Parks/ Nature Reserves 6 2 Farms 2Printers Shops 4 4 Factories/ Showrooms Museums 3 Racecourse 1 1 Swimming pool 1 Barbershop 1 Steam train

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These women are doing a good job of looking not terrified. But really…how safe is that tiny safety chain? Hiking the H ennops 10

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#Gauteng52, Week 1 Welcome to the #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I will visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. On Week 1, I went for a walk along the H­ ennops Hiking Trail. Trail I read about the Hennops trail, which is named for the Hennops River it crosses, on my friend Hitekani’s blog a couple of years ago. I’ve been meaning to do it ever since. (This is one of the great things about the #Gauteng52 challenge – it will motivate me to do lots of things I’ve been meaning to do.) I finally got around to it on the last day of 2016. The Hennops Hiking Trail The trail is on a private farm about 50 minutes north of my house in Melville, only 20 minutes from Joburg’s northern reaches of Fourways and Diepsloot. Even though it’s close to town, the Hennops farm is idyllic and made me feel like I was well away from the city. Admission to the hiking trails is R70 and there are three routes to choose from: the Krokodilberg route is about 12 kilometers; the Zebra route is 6 kilometers, and the Dassie route is 2.5 kilometers. We didn’t arrive until noon and it was already blazing hot, so we opted for the 6-kilometer route. Although not a serious hike, the Zebra route was enough to make us sweat and feel like we’d had a workout. There is one big uphill at the beginning and the rest is fairly easy. The route 11

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Setting out on the trail. is well marked and no one else was on it. I guess all the other hikers took the longer or shorter routes. The scenery along the six-kilometer trail is very pretty. We admired rolling green hills, interesting rocks, flowers, birds, and butterflies. We saw cows, horses, one donkey, and a couple of zebras. We also discovered a large cave, called the Dassie Cave, right along the river at the beginning of the trail. The hardest part of the hike was the river crossing at the beginning and end. The river must 12 The green foothills of the Magaliesburg Mountains.

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I have a thing for donkeys. Can you see how excited I am? Photo by Ray be crossed via a funny little cable car, which – although fairly easy to operate once we got the hang of it – was terrifying. (Further down the river there is a rope bridge, which is part of the 12-kilometer hike. I assume the rope bridge is less harrowing.) The Americans among you are probably thinking the same thing I thought: The Hennops cable car is a lawsuit waiting to happen. But this is South Africa, where people are less litigious and more adventurous. Anyway, I’m happy to call myself a Hennops cable car survivor. Thus ends my first #Gauteng52 post of the year. I’ve got lots of ideas lined up and I’m excited to write more. Seriously, I can barely wait for next week. The Hennops Hiking Trail is on Road R511, Hennopsriver, Schurveberg, Pretoria. 13

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Where Basotho Blankets 84 A woman checks out different blankets in the Aranda sales room.

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Welcome to Week 19 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which #Gauteng52, Week 19 I will visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit Aranda Textile Mills, home of the Basotho blanket. Are Made Basotho blankets are not made in Lesotho, the tiny country for which the blankets are named. Originally produced in England, these woollen symbols of Basotho culture are now produced at Aranda, a factory/ showroom in the South African town of Randfontein on Johannesburg’s West Rand. I’ve been wanting to visit Aranda since I learned about it in 2013 from the Basotho blanket ladies of Clarens. I finally got my chance a few weeks ago. Aranda’s extraordinary story started several generations ago with the Magnis, an Italian textile-making family in Tuscany. The Magnis’ factory was destroyed by the Germans during World War II, and a South African colonel convinced the family to move their operation to South Africa after the war ended. After 85

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