The Garden Route

Self-drive tours in the Garden RouteThe Tsala Treetop Lodge is set in the canopy of an ancient indigenous forest. Rough stone-masonry and water features prepare one for breath taking views from private elevated tree-house suites constructed from stone, wood and glass offering with private decks looking out over the treetops and infinity plunge pools. Glass walls provide surround-scene forest views and bathrooms have deep, free-standing stone tubs, twin sinks and al fresco showers.

The Western Cape

Leaving Cape Town spend a couple of nights in the winelands. Both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are good stopovers. There are wine tours and great restaurants.

Trip reports - the winelands in the Western Cape

Carry on through the Robertson valley to join the R62 to Montagu, Barrydale, and Oudtshoorn. From there its across the Outeniqua pass to George and then Knysna, Plettenbery Bay and Tsitsikamma.

On the return leg take the N2 to Mossel Bay  then through the farmlands in the Overberg region and Cape Agulhas at the southern most point of Africa. From there back to Hermanus for whale sighting during the Whale season from July to October. And along the coastal road back to Cape Town.

Questions never answered

This is something which bothered me at the time. It still bothers me. Pieces of a story which don’t fit together.

I asked him questions.

Questions he never answered? Instead he ducked and dived. Never once even acknowledging what I asked, over and over. All the while misrepresenting himself as the victim, a whistleblower and a political activist.

Something he was not. This had nothing to do with politics.


Mark Allan:

Love Knysna 1 September 2014 · 2.51am: I’ve made love to darkness, made reality disappear, kissed fantasy so light would reappear.

That is the post you made two days before KPH reported Liyema missing, two days after she was last seen. I couldn’t find it when I checked again ten days later. Did you delete it? If so why?

The posts about her disappearance and the burnt out car had also “disappeared”. Those are facts Mike Hampton.

Mark Allan: Unhealthy obsession? Let me explain unhealthy to you. Two days before the Knysna-Plett Herald reported Liyema Baleni missing, Hampton made a very odd post on the Love Knysna page. He then carried that article as well as another about a local gangsters body being found in a burnt out car on the Prince Alfred pass road.

What I have been wanting to ask him for so long, is why I couldn’t find those posts when I went to look a them a few days later. The first one worried me. It was out of place, it was odd.

“I’ve made love to darkness, made reality disappear, kissed fantasy so light would reappear”.

The timing was odd. The fact that all three disappeared at the same time, was odd. Was there a connection? This is the question I wanted to ask him in court. This is the question he does not want to answer. Now that is unhealthy.

Don’t you think so Paul Sharp?

Mark Allan: And did you get an answer? Would you care to share it Marge Canning? Because the questions I am asking also involve a young girl. But this one disappeared.

Just like the posts on his blog which disappeared. Did he explain why?

Mark Allan: Why do you have a judgement for R35k for defamation against you? Why do you not answer the question about the three posts that disappeared off your Facebook page? Why did you choose not to meet me in court? Why do you trawl these posts every single day? You huff, you puff, you twist, turn and distort. You are running as fast as you can from what you call your dark side? What is your dark side Mike Hampton? Would you not care to explain how you “made love to darkness”? And more importantly why that post dropped off your page? [reference to court case]

Mark Allan: That post I am questioning was made two days prior to the Knysna-Plett Herald article and two days after Liyema’s disappearance. It was not part of a weather report and he knows it. It was odd at the time and got odder still. Let me repeat myself. The Knysna-Plett Herald’s article about the girls disappearance appeared on Love Knysna a few days after it was published, as did the article about the burnt out vehicle being found with a body in it.

And being one of his most attentive followers, bells started ringing. But when I went back to check all three had been removed. Only Mike Hampton knows why.

Mark Allan: And here are a few questions for you Lauren Donson. Has Liyema Baleni been found? Do we, “the community” know what happened? If she has been found, no problem. I apologise for bothering you. But if she hasn’t been found may I suggest you ask Hampton whether he deleted those posts from the Love Knysna page and more importantly why. I tried to get him into court so I could ask him face to face. But he declined the invitation. Why?

Mark Allan: Liyema Baleni existed, the question is whether she still does and whether you are concerned or not. That is something that has really bothered me for close on two years now. But what bothers me even more is that the “Knysna community” for one reason or another does not feel comfortable with the questions they should be asking. Why?

Lauren Donson: Who is more racist mark or mike or blacks?

Mark Allan: I am talking about a nine year old child. You talk about black poenanie. It must be you. What the hell has racism to do with the fact that three posts were removed from Hamptons Facebook page and the communities responsibility to keep their children safe? Man oh man this is heavy going!

Mark Allan: He won’t engage with me. He refused to meet me in court. The question is why? I now have a judgement against him. Why did he let it go? Does it have anything to do with the very odd post he made on Facebook so long ago? Does it have anything to do with the fact that this and two other posts were removed from his profile and he is terrified of explaining why?

Mark Allan: Negative is what he does. If you can be bothered to read it, he records it all. Years and years of it. That is except why he removed the story about the disappearance of nine year old Liyema Baleni which he tries to write off as a smear campaign orchestrated by the DA. Just bullshit, smoke, mirrors and a lot of nasty stuff.

Mark Allan: This is the same man who has consistently failed to explain why he removed a post about a missing nine year old child from these pages. How do you and everyone put up with it? How dare he!

Mark Allan: And I still want to know why he removed that post about Liyema Baleni’s disappearance from the Love Knysna page. Knysna is a nasty little town with many secrets to hide.

Mark Allan: What is funny is how you all come out to play at the same time. Plenty of backslapping and ROFL at each others jokes. Trying to ignore the fact that someone committed a premeditated murder while you stood idly by. Trying to ignore the fact that little nine year old girl is still missing. What was the story no one wants to tell? Why did Hampton remove those three posts? Who is he trying to protect?

Mark Allan: [Hampton] went back two years and diligently reported most of the comments I have made about the Liyema Baleni posts he made. Facebook considered them to be a little too close to the bone and has deleted them.

‘Irrational, offensive’ blogger jailed for six months without internet access

Unseen opportunities

Sharing is caring. But what incentive is there for writers to write? To ask the questions that need to be asked, to explore and open the doors to what is new and exciting?

We have all the tools we need. But not the means.

This is what we need to change. At the beginning of everything we know today, webmasters would scour the net looking for sites with which they could exchange links and interact. But those days are gone. Just as most of the technical obstacles we all used to encount are gone.

Today anyone can set up a hosting account and a web site of their own with the minimal amount of help and without breaking the bank. Something that should ensure that this be a golden age. The realisation of all the dreams, hopes and aspirations. A culture that facilitates the free transfer of skills and know how.

But reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Greed and stupidity have dumbed it down to the point where we no longer communicate. And that needs to change.