The scenic Route 62, between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, has been named by CNN Travel as the world’s best road trip destination. Here are five must-see stops along the legendary Western Cape route.Voted the best road trip in the world by CNN, Route 62 in the Western Cape has it all: wildlife, good food, fine wines, beautiful views and lots to do. (Image: Route 62 website)CD AndersonA CNN Travel poll, as voted by tourists and travel journalists, puts the scenic and fun-filled road between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, Route 62, as the top road trip destination in the world, beating out a host of legendary global grand tours including Canada’s Alcan Highway and the Ticlio Pass in Peru.While Route 62 primarily connects Cape Town to Oudtshoorn, and ultimately the Garden Route further east, a host of attractions and activities along the road, and off its beaten path, incorporate smaller towns in the area, including Montagu, Humansdorp and parts of the Klein Karoo.CNN calls the road “a journey to the unexpected”, with something for everyone, highlighting the natural beauty of the region’s “fauna, rivers, valleys and plains” and the diversity of activities available that turn the seemingly mundane commute into an adventure.Everything and anything from wine tours and safari drives, heritage and art tours, hiking and mountain climbing, water sport and fishing, or just quiet contemplation while watching one of kind views with a cold drink and a good meal, Route 62 has it all.Ronnies Sex ShopThe legendary roadside bar, midway on the route, is a quirky and fun stop, popular among tourists and regular road warriors alike.Legend has it that in the late 1970s, local farmer Ronald Price opened a roadside produce stall, complete with a proudly handpainted sign. Friends of Ronnie mischievously amended the sign to its now infamous title, and convinced Ronnie to turn the stall into a coffee shop-bar for bikers and other travellers.Forty years later, and the quirkiness of the place didn’t end at the sign. Inside, the bar is completely covered with travellers’ graffiti, donated neckties, bras and other random bric-a-brac, ceiling to floor. Ronnies includes a full restaurant, overnight accommodation, communal pool with vista views of famous Karoo sunsets and good old-fashioned peace and quiet from the busy road, with just a touch of good-natured anarchy.ZA Route 62 – Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves & more https://t.co/AWzTXTPzPA pic.twitter.com/AIt9CuL3ri— Overlandtour (@overlandtourDE) March 2, 2017Route 62: Ronnies “Sex” Shop https://t.co/kGE3TBtLAa pic.twitter.com/ApX9em4r20— Sabine Ludwig (@sl4lifestyle) February 9, 2017Drive Route 62 Western Cape….and leave your name on the wall of Ronnies Sex Shop…best cheese and onion toasties ever….. pic.twitter.com/rMH6Njparg— Ross Nicholas (@rossrenee1) October 22, 2016The world’s longest wine routeIncorporating hundreds of small, up-and-coming winemakers and larger, more established wine farms, Route 62’s world class wine route centres on the industry’s defacto capital – the town of Robertson – where not only can you visit the Klipdrift brandy plant and see how this South African magic is made, but you get to taste some of the country’s award-winning wines. The town’s annual Wacky Wine Festival (between April and June) is a must-attend event, gathering the best wines of the region for wine fans with a sense of humour and a taste for the adventurous.Just beyond Robertson, the mountain town of Montagu is not only the home of South Africa’s dried fruit and nut industry, but it also has a popular natural spring spa and some of the best rock climbing in Africa.Bestee jou volgende #SaligeSondag op dié pragtige vrugteplaas net buite #Montagu! https://t.co/AzbtsEzGg3 @MontaguRoute62 #KleinKaroo pic.twitter.com/MEqL0ar2za— LekkeSlaap (@LekkeSlaap) February 19, 2017Take a trip down Route 62 to Montagu and go rock climbing – http://t.co/GKDiCfeaOq // pic.twitter.com/zfR7eFl1TQ— Nightjar Travel (@NightjarTravel) January 13, 2014Friday o’clock means a #brandy tasting at #Klipdrift #Distillery. #robertson #southafrica pic.twitter.com/9mzEKJDHcq— The Robertson Small (@Robertsonsmall1) August 14, 2015Cango CavesLocated inside the foothills of the Swartberg range and just outside Oudtshoorn, this extensive limestone system of tunnels and chambers dates back millions of years, and reaches almost 300m underground.Visitors can choose to see the caves as part of a conventional walking tour, or do something more daring in the Adventure Tour. It offers guided climbing tours through the caves’ darkest, narrowest and deepest chambers.All #AdventureTours for #Monday26December are #SoldOut. #LimitedSpace on the #HeritageTour. #BookYourTour @ 044-2727410 pic.twitter.com/TpDuwddzmR— Cango Caves (@CangoCavesOdn) December 24, 2016Call us on 044-2727410 to #BookYourTour. #OpenForBusiness #Heritage #Adventure #FamilyFun #LoveOudtshoorn #MeetSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/xd7GwzE8XA— Cango Caves (@CangoCavesOdn) October 28, 2016All #AdventureTour tickets are sold out for tomorrow, #29December. Book @ 044-2727410. pic.twitter.com/CH71cP434g— Cango Caves (@CangoCavesOdn) December 28, 2015WildlifeLike the rest of South Africa, the Route 62 region is rich in and famous for its variety of flora and fauna, from the world famous Garden Route bloom in September to the ostrich industries of Oudtshoorn. Here, visitors can ride an ostrich, buy ostrich curios and even sample the famous ostrich steak.There are a number of wildlife reserves, both private and public, including the Touwsberg nature reserve, near the town of Ladismith, and the Sanbona reserve. The latter offers both a heritage tour of the area’s indigenous San culture and there’s a chance you’ll see the only free-roaming white lions in the world.Animals that can be spotted regularly in the area include smaller buck: klipspringer, steenbok, duiker and springbok, as well as larger game such as wildebeest, kudu, giraffe, gemsbok and the Cape mountain zebra. Predators include leopard, rooikat and jackal.Meerkat Magic, also outside Oudtshoorn, is a one-of-a-kind research reserve, dedicated exclusively to studying the habits of wild meerkats. Open to the public, visitors can join guided tours of meerkat colonies with knowledgeable guides, and even learn how these popular creatures communicate.All the very best #Meerkat Magic Mojo my friends for 2017! From Grant Mc Ilrath The #Meerkat Man: Conserving wild #Meerkats since 1993. pic.twitter.com/rCbED4ZI5V— #Meerkat Mc Ilrath (@The_Meerkat_Man) December 31, 2016Ranger Marco photographed this healthy sub-adult #WhiteLion at #Sanbona this week. pic.twitter.com/G5sup8AS8s— Sanbona (@SanbonaSafari) July 4, 2013Oudtshoorn is a town in the Klein Karoo area of South Africa. It’s known for its ostrich farms and rests along the Route 62 wine route. pic.twitter.com/DnqZqfyOdN— Travel2SA (@Travel2SA1) December 10, 2016The views#DailyEscape: Oudtshoorn, Klein Karoo? : https://t.co/uZGrZ5iOP2 pic.twitter.com/w66plh2h2k— Travel Channel SA (@travelchannelsa) January 31, 2017#KleinKaroo #? https://t.co/HBOLywSLqr pic.twitter.com/qojZBRAvUw— Annalogy (@AnnaMartFourie) January 23, 2017Relive the nail-biting moments of the season 3 finale of @UltimateBraai on the banks of the Breede River at 4pm #WhatToWatch pic.twitter.com/yCVT0aD1DZ— Travel Channel SA (@travelchannelsa) November 15, 2016Swartberg Pass, from the appropriately named ‘Die Top’: September 2016———————————————————… https://t.co/MvXxZUfOGI pic.twitter.com/SQPJN2kE76— ESK Photography (@ESKPhotos) February 19, 2017The views from the top of the Swartberg Pass are stunning pic.twitter.com/xwigOF9OSC— Brian Lee (@LeeBJM) January 22, 2017From the dusty hum of the Klein Karoo and the lush, rolling valleys of the Breede River to the never-ending Swartberg mountain massifs in-between, while Route 62 might offer the best food, drink and roadside entertainment, there is still nothing that compares to just stopping anywhere along the route to appreciate the peaceful beauty of the region’s diverse landscape.Watch a video of the great views captured by Route 62 travellers here For more insight on Route 62 and the surrounding area, visit the Route 62 website. Source: CNN, Official Route 62 website Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Do you know when the U.S. last raised furnace efficiency standards? It was 1987. Do you know how long the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been trying to change that? At least since 2007.The past eight years have been a sad case of industry heavyweights preventing progress on this important issue. The DOE, however, just proposed a new rule, so we might finally see some action here. Do you know when it’s set to go into effect, if passed?A bit of furnace efficiency historyIn 1987, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act set a minimum of 78% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). That’s when furnaces with standing pilot lights went away.In 2007, the DOE proposed raising the minimum from 78 to 80 AFUE. What?! Yes, it’s true. They really did that, even though the rule would have had pretty much zero effect on saving energy.Why? Because even though 78 AFUE was the minimum allowed, nearly every furnace being made is 80 AFUE or higher. I think I’ve seen only one new furnace that had an AFUE lower than 80. RELATED ARTICLESA New Efficiency Standard for Gas FurnacesGovernment Orders More Efficient Furnace FansAll About Furnaces and Duct Systems When HVAC Manufacturers, Efficiency Advocates Find Common GroundWater Heaters Get an Efficiency MakeoverRefrigerators Get New Efficiency StandardsCongress Plays with the Light Bulb MandateCalifornia’s Efficiency Standards Applied to TVs President Obama Orders Energy Department to Raise Appliance Efficiency Standards So the battle began. The state of California and a coalition of environmental and energy efficiency groups sued the DOE. That led to a set of regional standards, whereby Northern states (those with more than 5,000 heating degree days) would have had to go to 90 AFUE and the warmer South and Southwest would get to stick with 80 AFUE.And that’s when the American Public Gas Association (APGA) blew up. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the APGA “argued that consumers would flock to electric resistance furnaces rather than install high-efficiency gas furnaces.” (See their article, Why DOE’s Cave on Furnace Standards Is Such a Big Deal.)There’s no way they really thought that would happen, of course. Heat pumps maybe, but electric resistance furnaces? No way. They’re not allowed for primary heating even here in Georgia, a warm state (IECC climate zones 2, 3, and 4). The truth is that the gas industry really should be afraid of heat pumps, not electric resistance heat.So the effort to enact regional standards fell apart.The latest move by the DOEOn February 10, 2015, the DOE announced a proposal to adopt a 92 AFUE standard nationwide. That’s nice. It should be higher and it should have been done a long time ago, but if enacted, it would effectively kill atmospheric combustion furnaces.There will be opposition. According to The ACHR News, Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), said, “Now, even though natural gas and oil prices are lower than they were [three years ago when the DOE issued regional standards] — in the case of oil, much lower — the DOE now feels a 92 percent nationwide standard is appropriate. How can that be? What’s changed?”And the Air Conditioning Contractors of America seems to be getting itself ready for opposition. “It’s very aggressive,” said senior vice president Charlie McCrudden in the same ACHR News article. “This would harm a lot of people, including those in lower income brackets.”So, as homes are required to reach greater levels of airtightness, the furnace efficiency circus continues.Oh, another thing: Do you know when the new requirement would go into effect, if approved? 2021. At the earliest.Pros and consChanging the minimum efficiency of equipment available isn’t a big deal for new homes. Yeah, the cost is a little higher, but it’s existing homes that will feel the biggest blow if the DOE proposal gets approved.DOE efficiency standards for equipment, however, cannot distinguish between new homes and existing homes. The DOE’s efficiency standards apply to equipment, not uses of equipment. So if the DOE approves this proposal, anyone changing out an atmospheric combustion furnace afterward will also have to change out the flue. That could add several hundred dollars to the cost. It may increase it even more, and in multifamily buildings, the difficulty level will be higher.The obvious benefit of going to a higher efficiency furnace is the energy savings. Going from 80 AFUE to 92 or, better, 95 AFUE will reduce the amount of natural gas or propane being used and save money for the homeowners. Unfortunately, the price of gas is really low in a lot of places now, so return on investment may not be favorable.The biggest reason to make the change, in my opinion, isn’t energy savings though. It’s indoor air quality. Condensing, sealed combustion furnaces that bring in their own combustion air won’t backdraft a natural draft water heater (which is still allowed in homes). It won’t depressurize a home and suck in bad air from the garage or moldy crawl space. And it won’t ever spill exhaust gases into a home when common-vented with a natural draft water heater because it cannot be common-vented.It’s past time to make this change. Let’s go, DOE. Make it happen.External Resources DOE – Rulemaking for Residential Furnaces Energy Conservation StandardsDOE page on residential furnacesACEEE – Why DOE’s Cave on Furnace Standards Is Such a Big DealAppliance Standards Awareness Project page on furnaces Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Recently, a salesperson asked me how I know the frameworks in my three books work, but particularly the ones in Eat Their Lunch and The Lost Art of Closing.I had a slide deck professionally designed. The outcome for this deck was answering the question, “Why should I do business with you and your company instead of my current supplier.” It worked well enough, allowing my team to tell our story (something marketing people find more valuable to clients than it is in practice). It also allowed us to explain why we do what we do different from our competitors, creating separation from the market. Naturally, it had the trophy slide, which included all of the big logos we had in our client portfolio.This deck was in service for years and faithfully updated. However, as the market changed, I began to struggle to help my clients make the changes they need to make to succeed. I knew what changes they needed to make, but rather than make those changes, they would stay with their existing supplier, or hire my company without making the changes. I wasn’t doing an outstanding job making my case, and in a moment of frustration, I built a new slide deck.The New DeckI built this deck intending to teach my clients and dream clients why they had to change. That is what we do in sales; we help our client’s change their results. Otherwise, why play at all?The deck I built did not look anything like my professionally designed deck based on the best practices, as defined by marketers. It violated all of the rules. Many of the slides contained nothing but raw data. If it were a traditional deck, you would say it had too much information, but I wanted the client to see it in its raw format, with no interpretation. The slides that followed the raw data were charts I created in Microsoft Excel; it was clear that I had not had the deck professionally designed, because I wanted the client to see the trend line for themselves.I clipped newspaper articles into Evernote for years, so I went back over those articles and captured images of the headlines and some of the money quotes. I supported the themes in the sections with data and with my company’s experience and internal data.The First CallThe first time I used my new deck was in a quarterly business review with an existing client in 2002. I wanted them to make changes to their policies, and I wanted to provide them with the context that would help them understand what I understood. The engagement with the content was excellent, and I did a sufficient job guiding them through the ideas.My focus was on how the trends and their implications were preventing my client from producing the results they needed. I focused on the strategic outcomes and nothing else. The conversation was among the best I had ever had with a client’s team, and we were talking about why they needed to change. By the end of the meeting, they believed they needed to change, and not because I alone convinced them. They had participated in deciding what things meant.At the end of the meeting, one of the managers asked me if he could have a copy of the slide deck. When I asked why he wanted it, he told me he needed to brief his leadership team later that afternoon. I agreed to give him the slide, he thanked me, and then he asked me to remove my logo.As I left the meeting, I realized the impact that the deck had on my client. I also recognized that I now had a Trojan horse inside my client’s four walls. It not only changed minds, but it began the conversation around change, changes they eventually made.Saying Goodbye to the Old DeckThe outcome of the meeting using the new deck was so much better than the old deck. No one had ever asked for that deck, and it never did anything to create the type of engagement the new presentation had provided. The old slide deck was lean back content, with client’s sitting passively while I talked to them. The new one was lean forward content, causing the client to ask questions, and not only of me but of each other.Even though I had the old deck on my laptop, I never had to use it. The new deck was more interesting to clients, and it sparked the kind of conversation where they discovered something about themselves.How I Know What I KnowI am grateful that I grew up in a highly competitive, highly commoditized business, the kind of environment that causes one to learn how to sell. When you can’t lean on your company’s history, your solutions, or any other external factor, you become the value proposition. While it might have been nice to have some external factor that might have made selling easier by creating some compelling differentiation, I would have been deprived of having to work on myself.I am not a researcher, not that you would know that by the way I read and study the things that interest me, the things I want to learn, and the things that are important to my clients. I have never developed theories and then set out to study them to create a framework or a book or some strategy. Everything I know, I learned from doing the work myself, calling prospects, making sales calls, nurturing relationships, and working to displace my competitors. The books that I read provided me with the concepts that helped me think about what I was doing, showing me things that I would not have seen had I not read them. Books can’t teach you to sell; they can only help you sell better.I write from the experience of a salesperson because I am one. While I love research, I believe that research and theories are one type of knowledge, and experience is an entirely different type of expertise. I only know what I know because I have done it myself, and because I have helped others repeat it.
The Uttar Pradesh police have arrested at least four persons in different districts for posting allegedly objectionable remarks on social media on the Pulwama suicide attack. A youth identified as Mohammad Osama was arrested in Mau for allegedly justifying the Pulwama attack, the police said. A resident of Madanpur area, Mr. Osama, in a Facebook post, called the attack a retaliation for the atrocities committed by the Army in Kashmir. He was booked under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 of the IT Act.Superintendent of Police Surendra Bahadur said “communal harmony could have been disturbed by the objectionable post”. In Ballia, one Ravi Prakash Maurya was arrested on similar charges, while in Lucknow, a first-year student, Razab Khan, was arrested and also expelled from his college for an objectionable post on Pulwama, the police said.Pro-Pak. sloganThe police arrested one Taufeek at Bansi in Siddharthnagar district for allegedly writing a pro-Pakistan slogan on Facebook.The police crackdown comes after a student of Aligarh Muslim University was on Friday booked for allegedly posting an objectionable tweet on the CRPF personnel who died in the suicide attack. Basim Hilal, a mathematics student at the university, allegedly posted on Twitter, “How’s the Jaish? Great Sir,” playing on a dialogue from the recently released film Uri. A case has been registered against the student, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, at the Civil Lines police station in Aligarh. The university has also suspended him.