Kanawa Island

Definitely would like to go back to Kanawa one day. Oh, and quite a nice photo on their new ad too. I wonder who the photographer was? ;)


Jan 05

A New Branch or Two on the Family Tree

1876 Death Registration Persistence has finally paid off. For years I’ve been sifting through scans of old documents in an effort to extend the family tree further back in time on the Kakoschke line. After pouring over dozens of barely legible scans of births, deaths and marriages in Groß-Blumberg and Pommerzig from the latter half of the 19th century,  I recently came to the conclusion that a death registered in 1876 might well hold a relevant clue.

The document was very difficult to read for two reasons – the scan itself was not of a very good quality (but is all I have) and the old German handwriting too is quite difficult to read. From what I could make out though, it appeared that the deceased was Gottfried Kakoschke, a farmer, and the dates mentioned fit well with the possibility that he was my great-great grandfather, the father of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Kakoschke who emigrated to SA in 1878. It also appeared to mention the name Redlich, which was the maiden name of JFWK’s mother. If I wasn’t mistaken, it also looked as though it mentioned some details of the deceased’s parents (i.e. my great-great-great grandparents). So I sent the scan off for some expert transcription assistance and lo and behold…

Nr. 9Pommerzig am 6. März 1876
Vor dem unterzeichneten Standesbeamten erschien heute, der Persönlichkeit nach bekannt, der Bauer August Kakoschke, wohnhaft zu Groß-Blumberg und zeigte an, dass Gottfried Kakoschke, Bauer, sein Vater 59 Jahre alt, evangelischer Religion, wohnhaft zu Groß-Blumberg, verheiratet gewesen mit der lebenden Anna Dorothea, geborene Redlich, Sohn des Bauern George Kakoschke und dessen Ehefrau Christine, geborene Noske, in Groß-Blumberg am sechsten März des Jahres tausend acht hundert sechs und siebzig, vormittags um drei Uhr verstorben sei.
Vorgelesen, genehmigt und unterschrieben gezeichnet August Kakoschke.

Der Standesbeamte”


“Nr. 9 – Pommerzig on March 6, 1876
Before the undersigned registrar came today the person known as farmer August Kakoschke, residing at Groß-Blumberg and indicated that Gottfried Kakoschke, farmer, his father, was 59 years old, of Protestant religion, residing at Groß-Blumberg and married to the living Anna Dorothea, née Redlich, a son of farmer George Kakoschke and his wife Christine, née Noske, in Groß-Blumberg on the sixth of March of the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy six, had died at three o’clock in the morning.
Read over, approved and signed by August Kakoschke.

The Registrar”

Success at last! It is indeed the death registration of Gottfried, registered by his son August. This registration also revealed that August Kakoschke was a previously unknown brother of JFWK, aka Jack Kakoschke.

So I now know that my ggg grandfather was George Kakoschke, that he too was a farmer in Groß-Blumberg, and that my ggg grandmother was Christine Noske. Two more pieces of the puzzle found :)

But, that’s not all. From other old document scans I believe I’ve also identified the parents, and grandparents, of Jack Kakoschke’s mother, Johanne Dorothea, née Redlich (click to view details). It’s quite fortuitous that these 19th century German death records contain not only the name of the next of kin, but also the names of the deceased’s parents. I wish the Australian and British records did too.

Nov 21

55th Birthday Adventure Trip

Back when I turned 50 I decided I should indulge myself somewhat with a trip to Las Vegas. And for each 5 year “milestone” after that, to cross some places off my Bucket List. So, for my 55th birthday, it was off to Indonesia to visit Krakatoa and Komodo.

I met up with my daughters Skye & Jenny, and Jen’s husband Dave, in Jakarta. I had pre-arranged an overnight camping trip to Krakatoa through a chap named Thom. His website is Krakatau Adventure. He did a great job with the logistics at a reasonable price and I highly recommend his services.

The drive from Jakarta to Carita took about 3.5 hours. We stayed overnight in Carita then set off by dual-engined speed boat the following morning. The sea relatively calm thankfully (I’m not much of a mariner!) and after about 90 minutes we arrived at Rakata, an island that is a remnant of the huge 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. We spent some time snorkelling on a coral reef, followed by a picnic lunch on the beach. Part way through lunch we were joined by a couple of good sized Asian Water Monitors, one of which was a little too fearless! Nevertheless we enjoyed their company. In the early afternoon we continued our journey by the same speed boat to Anak Krakatau. Anak means “child of” and is the island that formed after 1883, rising above sea level in 1927. It continues to grow, erupting every few years. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the island with one guide while the other crew members set up camp and prepared dinner. Towards late afternoon we climbed the volcano as far as the first ridge – it’s not safe to go any further really. An awesome sight, accompanied by a beautiful sunset.

Krakatoa 2014
Krakatoa 2014Oct 26, 2014Photos: 88

Dinner was excellent (apart from the ants and flying insects!). We strolled along the black sand beach at night and sat by a small camp fire on the beach afterwards, before retiring for the evening. It was a bit of a long night – quite hot inside the tent and the ground was a little too hard for my back. In hindsight, bringing an air mattress would have been an excellent idea!

We were up before dawn, had a refreshing morning swim and watched the sunrise. Beautiful. At breakfast we were joined by yet another Asian Water Monitor! This one was even bigger than the ones we’d seen the previous day on Rakata. He was close to 2 metres long – a very handsome and majestic fellow indeed.

After packing up camp we boarded the boat, again this time stopping for some snorkelling at a spot where a recent lava flow has reached the ocean. The water was fairly clear – not heaps of marine life but interesting nonetheless as the water kept changing temperature! There were obviously some hot spots somewhere down in the depths.

After our snorkel we circumnavigated Anak Krakatau in the boat before heading back to the mainland. Road traffic was terrible and we didn’t get back to our hotel in Jakarta until the evening. By gosh the hot shower and soft clean bed felt good that night!

Next morning we flew Lion Air to Bali then Wings Air to Labuan Bajo in Flores, the jumping off point for Komodo National Park. We enjoyed a lovely authentic Italian lunch in town before setting off by slow-boat for Kanawa Island, which was to be out home for the next 4 days.

And what a beautiful spot Kanawa turned out to be. The accommodation was very simple and inexpensive, but the real treat was the island itself. Surrounded by coral reef and clear calm waters – a snorkeller’s dream come true.

Komodo & Kanawa 2014
Komodo & Kanawa 2014Oct 29, 2014Photos: 123

We did a full day trip to Komodo National Park and I was so happy to finally see Komodo Dragon’s in the wild, something I’ve wanted to do since I was knee high to a grasshopper. And if that wasn’t enough, the day-trip also included swimming with Manta Rays! What an awesome experience that was too.

Final stop for the trip was a couple of nights at the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali. It certainly felt quite luxurious after the rustic nights on Kanawa. And the food was excellent!

Chillin' at the Hard Rock

Chillin’ at the Hard Rock


Nov 21

2014 Summer Holiday

Had a very enjoyable 4 week break this summer. We visited Thailand, staying at some old favourites, plus visited some new places. The Lebua Hotel in Bangkok is just a delightful place to stay. Once again I couldn’t fault anything about our visit and will definitely be returning first chance we have! Likewise, the Sunrise Tropical Resort in Krabi is like an old friend – I never tire of going back.

This time we also visited Koh Tao, Koh Nangyuan and Koh Samui on the eastern side of the Thai peninsula. Loved the place we stayed in Koh Tao – The Thipwimarn Resort. And Koh Nangyuan was really nice. Our 4 days there flew by and I think we will definitely be heading back there again one day.

We also made our first visit to Sri Lanka this trip. After stopping just the one night in Colombo at the Cinnamon Grand (another lovely hotel), we caught the train up to Kandy – an interesting experience, although not quite as nice as I was expecting. A couple nights in Kandy, then travelled by road to the Back of Beyond eco-lodge at Dehigaha Ela. Very rustic (the rooms don’t even have walls!), but very enjoyable. We also travelled by road to Sigiriya, Girithale and Pinnawala. At the latter we could watch the elephants bathe from our hotel window.

Finally, we spent a few days in the Maldives – a country I’ve been meaning to visit for a long time, since we live so close. Beautiful beaches, good snorkelling. A great way to finish off the trip.

Page 1 of 1212345...10...Last »