Adventure, Africa, Culture

This plant can save the world

Raggy Charters https://www.raggycharters.co.za isn’t your normal dolphin-watching boat company.

You see owner Lloyd Edwards and manager Jake Keeton are putting back what they are using in carbon emissions whey they are whizzing their boat around Algoa Bay, the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world.

Fins are looking up: Algoa Bay

I have come to Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s Eastern Cape to find out more.

And to meet the locals…Human, dolphin and pussycat https://www.visiteasterncape.co.za www.southafrica.net and What’s new pussycat?.

Lead the way

Raggy Charters’ Lloyd and Jake (and Sahara their Jack Russell) have a mini-jungle of plants around their jetty.

And they plant a new spekboom plant every time they take the boat out.. it acts as a succulent. And here’s where you can find out a lot more… https://www.samara.co.za/blog/five-things-didnt-know-spekboom/.

Cuttings to the chase

The spekboom project which originated in the Eastern Cape is the idea of Aidan Lawrence, of SATSA Eastern Cape, who handed out 600 spekboom cuttings to delegates.

Our boat comes in

This is SA’s response to the carbon emissions problem.

Flying shame

And the flygskam (flying shame) campaign championed by Greta Thumberg among others.

All of which salves my conscience a little as I am acutely aware of how many air miles I have been chalking up.spekboom-planting-agents-samara-conservation-karoo-south-africa-marnus-ochse-980x560You see the humble speksboom only stores solar energy to perform photosynthesis at night.

And it is ten times more effective per hectare than any tropical rainforest.And I’ve seen how valuable our rainforests are this year, in Tobago, www.visittobsgo.gov.tt and It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago.

In the Tobago rainforest

While we doff our hats to what the South Africans are doing on the ground it is worth mentioning that global airlines and cruise liners continue to explore ways they can address carbon emissions.

 

Pppppick up a penguin

And British Airways www.ba.com are leading the way.

From the start of this year BA is now offsetting carbon emissions on all flights within the UK.And it is investing money in green projects around the world.

The challenge ahead

The challenge remains huge.

With a study from 1st Move International https://www.shipit.co.uk/blog/other-articles/cost-of-carbon highlighting the 20 top destinations for travellers from the UK.

Not to depress you but a return trip from London to Mallorca will cost the planet six trees.

Walking in Tenerife, the eco way to go

I feel a little less guilty because my flights to Tenerife www.hellocanaryislands.com and https://www.visitingtenerife.com.

And A walk through the ages… Tenerife Tenerife was five trees.

And I took me in some rainforest there too.

Plant those trees

The 15.62 average UK visitors to Spain would each owe 43,237,500 trees, about 3017 football pitches.

But who knew that Nature may just hold the answer in this little plant, the spekboom?

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Hungry and Thursday – Drink Canaria dry

It was a challenge, rescheduling our wine-tasting meeting in Tenerife from early evening to late morning.

But I’m always up for a challenge.

The problem was that we had a woman and a man down on our climb up to Aver the previous day.

And that meant postponing that night’s drinking.

But the Canarian wines dulled their senses and eased their pain (and mine).

Bentayga winery

I return to Canarian wine and that memorable CanariaWays.com http://www.canariaways.com trek https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/ and introduction to the magical multi-faceted North and West of Tenerife.

Because someone else has had the idea too… https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/ and they pinged me their latest news.

Ears to Tenerife

We’ve been drinking Canarian wine since the 15th Century while they’ve been drinking it since God put grapes in the ground.

And St Andrew stopped off on the island and got drunk, leaving a lasting legacy… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/02/tenerife-and-scotland-wave-the-same-flag/

There are 135 different varieties with the volcanic malvasía a particular favourite of William Shakespeare who references it in his plays.

El Grifo Winery

And which I tasted on that fact-finding mission.

You can find it in the off-sales Merchant of Vinos. OK, I made that last bit up.

There are many other native varieties such as the baboso, listán or vijariego, among others.

Vines at Camino La Faya

And needless to say I couldn’t pronounce any of them after drinking my fifth, sixth, seven, eighth… hic!

What distinguishes these wines is the salinity of the sea and volcanic minerals.  

And the islanders have been working hard to recover little-known native varieties that have gone on to prove very popular. 

Half a bottle to go… in Tenerife

The islands have 11 certificates of origin. Tenerife has five of these seals of quality:

Ycoden Daute Isora, Abona, Valle de Güímar, Tacoronte Acentejo and Valle de la Orotava. 

Islands’ vine lands

And the beauty is that each island is different:

Lanzarote is known for its volcanic malvasía and La Palma for the aromatic malvasía.

Is that all I’m getting?

There are also other peculiar wines such as wines from the whistling island La Gomera, made with the forastera variety.

The baboso reds hail from El Hierro, a variety recovered from the brink of extinction, as well as the more extended whites of Diego or Verijadiego.

It’s wine o’clock and guess what I have a bottle of malvasia in the rack and The Scary One’s off work tomorrow!