Rhodes Stoepsitfees 2015

We are overjoyed to have had almost 150mm of very, very welcome rain since the 28th of October that augurs well for the veld flowers that will abound by the time that the Stoepsitfees takes place. Tony Kietzman, local flower guide will be on hand to conduct flower tours allowing participants to be acquainted with the wealth of Alpine flora to be found in the area.

While Mother Nature has blessed the Eastern Cape Highlands, preparations in the area for the 3rd Stoepsitfees are well underway. There will be at least 16 “stoepe” to visit with plenty to do, see and chat about.

Arts and craft venues have also increased in number. In addition to the Clay Café where Irene Walker’s Raku firing will be a prominent feature and the Rhodes Art Gallery where Gail Machanik will be doing print-making demonstrations and etching techniques, Sharlene Sankey at the Old Garage will be on hand offering hand-painted cards as well as cloth painting lessons. Spinning and felting demonstrations can be viewed at Woolworks in Zakhele. Woollen products on sale. Mpulukeng Lehanye, Mavis Masilo, Zaphi Singe, Nokwanda Boyizini & Nozlilo await your arrival to see how locally grown wool is converted into a wonderful array of hand-made products.

Raku firing was invented by the Emperor Rik-uak in 623 AD. At that time tea drinking ceremonies took a whole day as the Emperor wanted his guests to drink tea from a bowl that they had made at the ceremony. So the potters had to find a way of doing this and Raku potters will be drinking tea from their own tea bowls at the end of the firing!

At Walkerbouts Inn, interested stoepsitters can be shown the “bothouse” and tunnel with an old-engine oil fired “donkey” that heats water to warm the home-made tunnel. The heated water is piped to an underground network in the tunnel which heating allows for the cultivation of selected varieties of herbs that can be grown in winter.

An innovation for the 2015 event will be the Earlstown Donkey Express that will be on hand to convey participants from stoep to stoep or alternatively, a short trip from Rhodes to the stoeps on Earlstown, home of Toeka’s Country Restaurant and the Earlstown Cheese Factory.
Should all of the stoepsitting warrant some exercise, the newly opened Crystal Walk on the Rhodes commonage is a 4,1km in length – and there’s no charge for the stroll. The height difference between the start and the highest point at the gravel pit view point is approximately 160m. Ben McDhui Peak can be seen from the viewing point on the northern horizon.

The event will run from registration on the 11th to Sunday the 15th of February 2015. Rhodes Passports are a requirement at a cost of R225,00 that includes a goodie bag and can be arranged by completing the event application form. Day visitors can buy a passport only @ R60. Each stoep has a stamp to indicate (tjap!) participant’s presence at the particular stoep.

Contact Dave Walker at 045 974 9290 or e-mail: contact@rhodestourism.co.za

The Rhodes Stoepsitfees

Step back in time in the unique and historic village of Rhodes in the Eastern Cape Highlands. Join us for the Rhodes Stoepsitfees that will take place with registrations on the 11th February and will continue until the 15th February 2015. Plenty to do, see, hear and tell at the 16 participating stoeps. Enjoy the age old tradition of stoepsitting. Meander from stoep to stoep and revel in the age-old tradition of stoepsitting in the peace and tranquillity of Rhodes.


Dudley Carstens – Customs officer


Die Klein Pastorie – “n gesellige oomblik


Die Dansende Ketel – met breiers


The school hostel stoep


More stoeping at the Klein Pastorie


Knitted squares all set for stitching into blankets