Eleven eager girls set off with Mesdames Dugmore and Cӱrus during the July holidays to attend this ever-green festival for all the many arts. The first stop-over was at the remote Nieu Bethesda where the group visited the renown Owl House and the Kitching Fossil Institute which included a walk-about in the riverbed discovering their own fossils! (There are MANY to discover).

This was followed by the sleep-over at the picturesque Weltevreden Farm, before an early breakfast the next morning. The next stop, at Ms Mjadu's hometown of Somerset East, where the girls were delighted to learn about King Ferd the Third (Prof Walter Battiss) at Battiss House. He was, of course a painter of note, and his wife, Grace Battiss (née Anderson) was an art teacher at PHSG who helped with the design of our stylized Iris emblem.

Then the last stretch of the road was over the mountains to the bustling town which houses Rhodes University and hosts the annual arts festival. Five days of theatre in all its many guises followed and the girls were treated to three or four shows per day; workshops; lectures and many trips to Sisa with his outstanding coffee and the variety of intriguing stalls at the Village Green. Just before the return trip, the group also took in the windswept Port Alfred and wet their toes in the icy sea.

Here's hoping everyone will return to the glorious Eastern Cape to continue their discoveries in this fascinating part of South Africa in the very near future.