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Ratelman & Was en Strykmuseum

The Garden Route is undoubtedly the adventure belt of South Africa and athletes of every sport discipline have events aplenty to compete, not just against each other, but also against themselves.

On Saturday the 5th of November, Chain Gang Events will be hosting the 2nd annual Ratelman Challenge. Starting at the ATKV Hartenbos’ amphitheatre, this cross duathlon will test the mettle of all competitors.

The Ratelman, named after the honey badger with its renowned strength and persistence, starts with a 10km trial run through the spectacular indigenous vegetation of the Hartenbos Landgoed. This is followed by a 40km mountain bike route around the Hartebeeskuil dam and ends with a 5km train run on the gorgeous Hartenbos beach front.

The event starts at 09:00 and entry fees are R250 for solo athletes and R300 for teams of three.

While in Hartenbos, make sure to visit one of South Africa’s most unique museums. The Janine Was & Strykmuseum may just be one of the Garden Route’s best kept secrets.

Owner Jan Ellis had always had a passion for antiques and when a fellow classic car enthusiast told him about a collection of irons for sale in Kleinmond, he purchased this collection in 1976, before another interested party could take it all overseas. Even as a hobbyist collector, Jan always wanted to share his ever growing stockpile with the world and started to exhibit them at the back of his industrial laundry in Hartenbos.

With the death of his daughter, Janine Verburgt, Jan decided to turn this bevy of irons and washing implements into a proper museum in memory of his daughter. The museum was renamed the Janine Was & Strykmuseum or the Janine Iron & Washing Museum.

With a nominal entrance fee of only R5, it is obvious that this is a matter of the heart for Jan. On entry, visitors can watch a 20 minute video about the history of laundry through the ages from where they can immerse themselves in the more than 640 irons on display as well as washing machines and implements. Some of the items in the collection are the only remaining examples of their kind.

There is evidence that ironing has been part of our existence since the 8th century with ‘cold ironing’ been done with flat stones and the ‘pan iron’ invented by the Chinese in the same century. Before steam and electricity irons were a work of art with a different implement to iron pleats or ruffles, irons with slots to get around buttons, curved irons for hats and decorative ornaments.

It is a museum well worth visiting, not only for its uniqueness, but in appreciation of the evolution of one of the most menial of household chores. They are situated in Tulbacgh Avenue, Hartenbos.


The Janine Was & Strykmuseum is open:

Monday – Friday from 07:00 to 17:00

Saturday from 08:00 – 17:00

Sunday from 08:00 to 14:00


For more information on the Ratelman Challenge visit


You can contact Chain Gang Events on 071 678 7147 (Juan)

Find them on Facebook at

Visit their website at


You can contact the Janine Was & Strykmuseum on 044 695 0527 or 083 283 3831 (Jan)

Read more about them on TripAdvisor


Pictures: Supplied

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