A while back mom was inspired to “get out more”. So, we drove out to the Botanical Garden for a lush little day out.
I hadn’t been to Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in a good minute. I was all chubbed up and sans any inkling of a fashion sense the last time I posed in front of the waterfall. Unfortunately for you, that picture is buried in a pile of mislabeled albums and crashed hard drives. Fortunately for you, I recreated the magic for this post. (Reason 1. If only to have a photo of yourself in front of the waterfall, like everyone else in the West Rand.)
The garden is filled with fauna and flora – no surprises there, but also houses a number of unique attractions. Perhaps unique attractions implies that you won’t find anything vaguely similar in any vaguely similar establishment – perhaps the word unique is wrong. But they were unique to me.
My favourite flora of the day was a daisy-plant. I am nowhere near a botanist, so it is likely that this specific resemblant of a daisy, is not in fact a daisy. (There’s a photo above for you to draw your own conclusion.) I grew up drawing daisies, wreathing them through flower crowns and tracing embroidered daisy-outlines on my clothes. I found the comfort of these memories in my little daisy friends, so Dean took a much needed water break while I photographed them. My favourite fauna find was the tortoise, who I’ll call Big Tortoise cause it is a big tortoise and I lack the know-how to specify it by anything other than that. Big Tortoise is so big I was convinced it was a rock until a group of children started crowding around it. (Reason 2. Fauna and flora finds.)
First unique attraction (unique unique not just to me unique) is the eagles’ nest which nestles in a cliff-crevice alongside the waterfall. The nest belongs to a breeding pair of Verreaux Eagles. I’ve never seen the pair, but apparently it’s quite the sighting. (Reason 3. I spy something beginning with E.)
Second is a gym. Not just any old “I-need-to-swipe-my-card-so-I’ll-just-go-to-kauai”-gym – an outdoor, body-weight based gym. Something like a jungle gym for adults. Okay, not quite, but definitely the most fun I’ve had on exercise equipment ever ever (despite the fact that I’m a real life Betty Spaghetty doll, which renders my arm muscles completely useless). (Reason 4. Garden-gym.)
Third was my meal at Eagle’s Fare. We fuelled up here after our bitty hike and intense body-weight work-out.
I opened the menu more out of habit than actual interest. Toasted cheese on white with chips has been my go-to since I was young. Reliable and comforting, my relationship with toasted cheese has reached next-level status since I became a vegetarian. One simply does not just not have toasted cheese on the menu. To my surprise, Eagle’s Fare had actual vegetarian offerings. Beef burgers were my hardest goodbye when I became vegetarian, so any veggie alternative has me sold. (So far The Stack at Hudsons is top of the list for veggie burgers). I ordered the spinach and feta burger, confused as to how spinach and feta form a patty, but intrigued to find out.
I found out. Spinach and feta do not form a patty. They sat atop a butter-ed up bun as individuals. A generous plonking of creamed spinach salted with an equally generous helping of feta. I was lit-ter-rally eating creamed spinach on a bun.
Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty and left me sufficiently satisfied and pleasantly surprised. But it definitely seems like the type of meal you whip up cause that’s all that’s in the fridge and you’re a broke-ass student who can’t afford post-jol McDonald’s. (Reason 5. Spinach and feta plonked on a bun.)
I’m a sucker for sunshine, so anything with sun and minimal physical exhaustion is my cuppa. The garden is your oyster, really. No need to limit yourself to photos in front of a ‘fall and veggies onna bun – try one of the hiking trails or wait until your favourite local act is playing to experience the wonders of Walter’s Garden.
You’ll be just as pleased as mom and dad if you go!
Find them here:
Address: End of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, Gauteng.
NB: If you’re a broke-ass student, take your student card and save R13 on entrance! Woo, enough for chips at McD’s!