• The Woodturners…

    Father and son team, John and Andrew Early have turned their obsession with the beauty of wood into award winning pieces, using only salvaged pieces of wood. Each bowl is turned from wet wood, left to dry for up to four years, then re-turned, sanded and waxed or oiled. “Pieces will continue to dry throughout their lifetime in a dynamic process that makes them ‘living' art works, says Andrew. Experience John and Andrew Early's beautiful wooden vessels and exclusive furniture, which is sought after by decorators around the globe, and which has earned them an Elle Decoration International Design Award and a Conde Nast House Style Award. 0723656270 www.andrewearly.co.za
  • Michael J Mawdsley Jnr

    Michael trained and worked as a goldsmith and jeweller for over 25 years before turning his mind and hands to sculpture - an almost inevitable move since at the core of all his work, the creative drive had always been the main motivation.

    The whole process of taking a basic idea through to a finished bronze requires the same creative drive and ability whether working as a creative goldsmith & jeweller or a sculptor and although Michael still produces jewellery, he finds the sheer physicality of the bronze art form more challenging and more satisfying.

    Michael’s sculptural work to date covers the triad of African Wildlife, the Human Form and the Local Flora. He has produced works from the very small, often to use as door knockers or business card holders, through to large, stand-alone works of art.

    If you are interested in commissioning a specific work, please either phone him on +27 (0)83 294 0107 to discuss.
    Michael John Mawdsley Jnr: http://www.vivavoce.co.za/

  • Rob Fowler at Corrie Lynn

    Corrie Lynn & Co. furniture has been in operation for more than 10 years. They specialise in custom-made furniture using a variety of different woods.

    Robin Fowler, a self-taught cabinet-maker has successfully been designing and manufacturing wooden furniture for a variety of clients all over South Africa. These clients include corporate businesses, game lodges, hotels, restaurants as well as individuals looking for something different.

    Robin has mentored and trained Corrie Lynn & Co staff to produce furniture from raw wood to the finished product. Staff member’s craftsmanship is recognised through labels attached to the individual pieces of furniture.

    Furniture Making Workshops
    Due to demand, Robin is now offering different courses in furniture making at his workshop at Corrie Lynn Farm in the beautiful Dargle Valley in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

    Courses have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 participants to allow for individual attention.

    The courses vary from a very basic level for first time furniture-makers to more advanced specific courses on joints and specialised machinery. The price of the course includes all materials, refreshments and lunches.

  • Lemonwood Facebook page

Things to do in & around the Dargle

Lemonwood is an ideal base in which to explore the Natal Midlands. Being in the centre of the Midlands, there are all the craft attractions of the Midlands Meander on our doorstep.

www.midlandsmeander.co.za Everything you need to know about the Midlands Meander!

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For information about local environmental issues: www.dargleconservancy.org


Only 20km north of Pietermaritzburg, in the foothills of the Natal Midlands, lies the golfer friendly Sakabula Golf Club. Sakabula has 18 holes consisting of two very distinct and contrasting nines. On the first nine holes (par 37), you will find the challenges of steep hills and cross-sloping fairways, with the pins tucked away and barely in sight. At 3252 meter in length, this nine tests the players who battle with distance and stamina while offering some forgiveness to the wayward golfer! The second nine holes (par 36), are played with the constant threat of dams and reeds on the right and a seriously electrified out-of-bounds fence on the left. This nine plays a lot shorter at 3193 meters but requires accuracy off the t-boxes. In the club house, the traditional “Full Breakfast” is always well received and a fully stocked bar is always welcome at the end of a long round of golf. If it is serene spaces and tranquility you’re after, Sakabula will not disappoint. Tel:  033 330 6751 Fax:  033 330 4605 Cell:  082 551 9918 Email:  golfclub@sakabula.co.za  Website:  www.sakabula.co.za

Gowrie Golf course – 033 266 6294
Bosch Hoek golf course – 033 234 4232

Karkloof canopy tours – Tel:   033 330 3415
Fax:  033 330 3417
Cell:  076 241 2888
Email:  info@karkloofcanopytour.co.za
Website:  www.karkloofcanopytour.co.za 

Sporting events: http://www.sa-venues.com/events/kwazulunatal/

 Artists in the Midlands:

 Lions river club

www.lionsriverclub.co.za  – Thhttp://www.lionsriverclub.co.za/Newsletter.htm


 Battle Field Tours

 Fugitives’ Drift offers world-renowned battlefield tours, conducted by guides trained by the late David Rattray. Our guides specialise in all the battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War and tours are conducted daily to the battlefields of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana. For further information, please contact Fugitives’ Drift on 034 271 8051, or via email: reservations@fugitivesdrift.com.

Penny Farthing Battlefield Tours Tour the battlefields with Foy Vermaak, an English, Afrikaans and Zulu linguist who was born and grew up in this once turbulent area and has accumulated a comprehensive knowledge of the history and cultures over a period of 50 years. He is soft-spoken and delivers his balanced message with patience, in a style that grips even the less interested listener to make the battlefields come alive! Email: foy@pennyf.co.za
Tel/fax +27 34 6421925 | Cell: 082 259 6006 www.pennyf.co.za  PO.Box 1358 , Dundee, 3000
Campaign Trails – Nicki von der Heyde – Winner of Tour Operator of the Year 2006, 2008 & 2009. Nicki arranges tours and excursions through the Anglo Zulu and Anglo Boer war battlefields and is renowned for her expert knowledge and passion for her subject. These tours may be in a safari vehicle, on horseback or on foot and include cultural experiences and spectacular scenery. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an honorary life member of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society. Member of SATSA.  www.campaigntrails.co.za  Email: info@campaigntrails.co.za Tel: +27 31 767 4166 Fax: +27 31 7674166
Mobile +27 82 6534166  Skype: campaigntrail 

 PMB Heritage Tours – Making History Unforgettable Evan Jones conducts personalised battlefield tours in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Tours can vary from 1 day to 1 month, and the company has links with other small tour operators throughout South Africa to arrange ongoing tours in other areas of the Country for clients.
Evan Jones based in Dundee, was registered in 1991 as Specialist Battlefields Guide. Also a registered Kwa Zulu-Natal Provincial guide he also takes clients on tailor-made tours throughout KZN , the Free State and Northern Cape provinces. He has acquired a vast knowledge of both the battlefields and his beautiful home province of KZN. His easy going, professional and informative presentations are delivered with wit and humour, and bring out his long held passion for history and the battlefields. He is a full time independent tour operator and has previously been awarded Tour Operator of the Year by KwaZulu-Natal Tourism, and has received many other service accolades. In 2007 he was awarded badge No 27 by the International Guild of Battlefield guides, and became the first South African to receive this prestigious award.
Tel/Fax: +27-34-2124040  Mobile: +27-82-8078598 Email: battleguide@telkomsa.net Web: www.batttleguide.co.za

4X4 Trails & Routes, Sani Pass Tours –  http://www.sanipasstours.com/

Wine Tasting

 Kleinberg Wines was started in 1994. The Kleinberg label is sold in South Africa exclusively to restaurants, pubs, guesthouses and hotels, usually with a specialized back label incorporating the name and logo of the restaurant, pub, guesthouse or hotel. Back labels are also designed specifically for special events such as weddings, conferences, school centenaries, etc. The Seven Oaks label was launched in 1999. Seven Oaks is sold in South Africa exclusively to the retail trade (bottle/liquor stores and grocery stores). www.kleinberg.co.za  Kleinbosch Estate, Mount West Road  3280, South Africa  033 266 6170
The Wine Cellar – A piece of the Cape Wine Route on the Midlands Meander. Speciality wine and coffee shop, stocking a wide variety of wines, liqueurs, beers, coffees and cigars. Cheese platter/picnic basket by prior arrangement, to be enjoyed beside the river. B&B / Self-catering cottage is also available.  Open Friday to Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only. Open every day during school holidays.   www.thewinecellar.co.za/  info@thewinecellar.co.za. Tel & Fax: 033 267 7044. Old Main Road (R103) Rosetta, KZN. Midlands Meander

 has been a community facility since 1921 and is home to many different and enthusiastic sports sections. It provides a beautiful setting and fantastic grounds and

Wedding suppliers:

Lastingham – wedding and conference venue

Granny mouse Tel:  033 234 4071 Fax:  033 234 4429 Email: reservations@grannymouse.co.za Website:www.grannymouse.co.za 

For unique gifts: www.petalmania.co.za

Aviemoore Gowns: Dresses for hire / alteration or made to measure contact Michelle:  aviemoregowns@gmail.com


For the best local restaurants:

Cooking Bear – Restaurant in the Natal Midlands

The Corner Post

 La Popote.  Enjoy a lazy breakfast or lunch under the trees or tuck into bowls of hot soup in front of a fire on chilly days.
(Booking has become essential) Contact Details: Tel:  033 343 1448 Fax:  033 343 1449 Cell:  082 448 8246 Email:  mwsuetar@mweb.co.za

La Lampara – La Lampara Restaurant is housed in an old dairy. The food is modern Italian with a new menu weekly. A wood burning pizza oven supplies wonderful Pizza as well as many of the blackboard menu dishes.

A strong warm Tuscan feel prevails. Sit on the herb fringed terrace or enjoy a meal around a log fire on a misty midlands evening – Top 100 restaurants & American express Top 10 Fine Dining Awards.

Open Thursday – Saturday for Lunch & Dinner. Sunday – Lunch only – Functions by arrangement – Open all public holidays & regret NO dogs allowed.

Tel:  033 234 4225 Fax:  033 234 4754 Cell:  082 416 0195 Email:  lampara@mweb.co.za

Caversham Mill Restaurant is a first class, well-priced establishment offering modern comfort food, individually prepared and served in an idyllic Midlands setting. The menu is la Carte, and caters for all tastes. Breakfast, lunches and intimate dinners are prepared using fresh, locally produced ingredients. Sit in the restaurant, on the deck, or on the lawns overlooking the tumbling waterfall and the wheel of the old mill (which is in the process of being restored), and soak in the historic ambiance!

Tel:  033 234 4524 Fax:  033 234 4524 Cell:  082 904 6559 Email:  cavershammill@mweb.co.za  Website:  www.caversham.co.za 

Gunthers – A Taste of Germany and Switzerland. High on a hill overlooking the beautiful Caversham Valley is a little piece of Switzerland and “Gunther’s hospitality”. Enjoy a light meal of German / Swiss sausages plus draught and wind. Vacuum packs also available for home grilling. Your hosts Carmen & Gunther look forward to welcoming you.
Tel:  033 234 4171 Fax:  033 234 4171 Cell: 083 600 0923 Email: Gunthers@telkomsa.net
The battlefield area is also accessible for day trips or more extensive overnight stays.

The Bierfassl Restaurant and pub is an Austrian themed tavern , providing welcome respite for hungry and thirsty “meanderers”.

Situated conveniently right in the heart of Nottingham Road. Sit on our shady veranda and lawns or inside the cosy panelled pub. Sample specialties from mouth watering Eisbeins, Austrian style sausages, warm soups, to local trout and pork products.

Sip on an ice cold Nottingham Road draught, whilst the kids entertain themselves in our exciting play area. Open from 11am daily.
We are ideally suited for pre-wedding get togethers. Please contact us to find out how we can help you www.bierfassl.co.za e-mail bierfassl@telkomsa.net

Nottingham Road Hotel: We offer A la Carte dining and for a more relaxed atmosphere you can unwind in the legendary pub and enjoy a sumptuous traditional pub meal. www.nottinghamroadhotel.wordpress.com

Notties Pub is affectionately known to locals and many past travelers and is renowned for its festive atmosphere, fine fare and warm hospitality and has really stood the test of time with the original wooden pub. Everyone knows the Notties Pub! Even people who have not yet been clever enough to venture up or down hill to Nottingham Road have heard, via some grapevine, of the legendary Notties Pub.

Local sons and daughters, like their parents and grandparents before them, spend many a pleasant night in Notties pub, entering into the same old high spirits! Friday nights at Notties are legendary – there’s hardly weekend that goes past without some kind of fun going on there! Saturday Rugby fever sees the pub packed – with free breakfast rolls and the odd draught beer on the house to be enjoyed as people help their heroes win the game.

Also day trips to the world famous Drakensberg are easily accomplished. If you are spending more than a couple of days on the area a picnic, walk or inspection of the cave art (or all three) is a must.

Nature Reserves

Historic Giant’s Castle Game Reserve, home of the eland and the majestic bearded vulture, lies in the Central Berg region of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site. Giant’s Castle camp is situated on a gassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views for hikers and mountain climbers.

Superb rock art is high among its special attractions. The renowned vulture restaurant is open in winter for visitors to watch bearded vultures and other endangered species feeding.Visit the Main Caves Museum for fascinating insight into the past lifestyle of the San people

Highmoor Nature Reserve nestles in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park’s Central Region and is bordered by Kamberg and Lotheni to the South and Giants Castle to the North. Highmoor forms part of the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area and is approximately 15 000 hectares in extent and boasts a huge array of rare, endemic and endangered species.  Visitors to Highmoor return again and again as there is an incredible sense of freedom emanating from the wide landscapes of mountains, grasslands and streams. Highmoor possesses seven tastefully concealed campsites which are reputed to be both the highest and quaintest campsites in KwaZulu-Natal. The communal ablution block is equiped with hot and cold showers and flush toilets. As you can imagine, Highmoor does get cold, very cold, so do come prepared. Highmoor also offers some of the countries’ most exciting fly fishing. To ensure the sustainability of SA’s wildest trout, we implement two control measures. There are two closed seasons, the 19th of December to the 28th of February and the 1st of July to the 31st of August. The open fishing seasons are from the 1st of March to the 30th of June and from the 1st of September to the 18th of December.

Kamberg nature reserve nestles in the foothills of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park , its central position ideal for visits to many other well known Berg areas from Lotheni to Giants Castle. Kamberg is a delightful spot in it’s own right with three attractive picnic sites near the river and trout dams which provide a relaxing alternative to the scenic attractions of the many well maintained walks in the area.  These self guided trails from the camp, take visitors into the surrounding areas of the ‘Little Berg’ as well as along the Mooi River. Trout fishing can be enjoyed in the many dams which are open to anglers all year round and in the river during the fly fishing season. Please remember that you must purchase a rod ticket from the camp office before you start fishing. The cost is R50.00 per day to visitors that are staying in the camp and R60.00 to day visitors. 

 Places to Visit…

A visit to Sue Tarr’s Summerhouse at Folly Hill will transport you into another world. Situated not far from Hilton Village on a small-holding, Sue has created a tranquil, country retreat in which you can escape. The Summerhouse used to be an old milking parlour and many Winterskloof residents used to walk to Folly Hill to fetch their milk. The old milking pens and feeding troughs provide a backdrop to the carefully arranged displays.
Browse through a wonderful selection of gifts, decor items, selected kitchen and tableware as well as an array of silk flowers. Bring your container with you and have your silk flowers arranged.
We are Lou Harvey stockists, carry a selection of Nguni skins from northern Natal and a range of Thokomala hand crocheted blankets, scarves and beanies, made by a rural KwaZulu-Natal community.
The nursery specialises in old fashioned plants and perennials for the garden and has a wide selection of plants and roses suitable for a cold climate.
The old calf pens are now a cosy rustic restaurant, La Popote. Enjoy a lazy breakfast or lunch under the trees or tuck into bowls of hot soup in front of a fire on chilly days.
(Booking has become essential)

Contact Details: Tel:  033 343 1448 Fax:  033 343 1449 Cell:  082 448 8246 Email:  mwsuetar@mweb.co.za

Granny Mouse Country House and Spa is in the magnificent Caversham Valley in Balgowan and surrounded by gardens overlooking conservancy areas on the Lion’s River. Award winning restaurants offer a range of menu items from relaxed Bistro though to Fine Dining in the Eaves restaurant. The refurbished property has retained its reputation for a relaxed gourmet experience, whilst introducing new menus and concepts to diners.

Granny Mouse is the proud holder of a Diners Club Winelist “Diamond Award” for our 2011 and 2010 winelist. This follows on from the 2009 & 2008 Platinum Awards. The chefs are renowned for creating pairing menus which can be served in the intimate setting of the wine cellar or one of the restaurants.

The evening is ended in the newly launched smoking lounge – Cigar – which is gaining a reputation for its single malts and range of Cigars.

Weddings and Conferences are part of what we offer – catering to groups of people up to 120 whilst at all times maintaining service excellence and the little personal touches that create the memories.

Our Chapel, with valley views, provides the perfect setting to tie the knot.
Tel:  033 234 4071 Fax:  033 234 4429 Email: reservations@grannymouse.co.za Website:www.grannymouse.co.za 

Fordoun combines the attractions of an award winning upmarket boutique hotel and spa with a top class conference, wedding and event destination and a superior restaurant. Fordoun caters for resident guests of the hotel as well as day visitors during the week at the Spa. Skye restaurant is open to the guests through out the week and weekend however booking is essential. Tel:  033 266 6217 Fax:  033 266 6630 Cell: 082 334 2189
Email:  Richard@fordoun.com / info@fordoun.com Website:  www.fordoun.com 

Yellowwood Cafe is situated on the Farm Fairfell. Originally built in 1872 by Sir George Sutton, the building has been declared a National Monument. It is our pleasure and a privilege to be able to have you as guests in this wonderful heritage site.

We serve wholesome country food prepared using locally produced ingredients. We serve lunches, dinners and teas and offer a varied menu including light meals as well as a traditional a la carte menu. Yellowwood is the perfect place to take some time out from a busy life and enjoy a meal in a relaxed atmosphere, either indoors, on the patio, the veranda or out on the lawns with our unique view of the magnificent Howick Falls waterfall.
The whole family is welcome at Yellowwood. From our lovely front lawn there is access to a variety of jungle gyms and fantasy play equipment, a small bike track for under 5’s and our delightful miniature animals. We are proud to be home to the only 2 miniature donkeys in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Jupiter and Anushka.

We cater for weddings, conferences and any other function large or small, including children’s birthday parties. We have 3 function venues. The Sutton Room is an elegant and cozy room that offers seating for up to 45 people. Our Patio area is an outdoor area that seats up to 100 people. The Fairfell Hall is a large function venue seating up to 200 guests

Tel:  033 330 2461  Fax:  086 541 9067  Cell:  082 575 0602 Email: info@yellowwood.co.za Website:  www.yellowwood.co.za

 The Karkloof Farmers’ Market is a fresh produce market offering high quality, choice, fresh produce from local farmers and producers in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.The Karkloof Farmers’ Market is a unique in-door Market with a wide variety of stalls offering everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to delicious home-baked treats and organic products.There is something for the whole family, hearty breakfasts, premium coffee, an indigenous nursery and activities for kids.
Fill up your basket with: Delicious crisp vegetables and herbs;
– Traditional French Artisan breads; – Organic cheese and yoghurt; – Camembert made in the French tradition;  – Tempting chocolate brownies; – Wedgewood nougat and Angel biscuits; – A selection of nuts and dried fruit;
– Mustards, pickles and preserves; – Pizza and pasta; – Ready-made meals, pies and quiches; – Something for afternoon tea – biscuits, cakes and tarts; – Focaccia, health bread and muffins; – Fresh flowers and seedlings;
– And so much more…
The Karkloof Farmers’ Market offers you a morning out for the whole family:
– Meet the farmers that produce the goods on offer;- Enjoy a hearty breakfast from a variety of mouth-watering options; – Sip on a fresh fruit juice, yogi shake or milkshake; – Savour a premium, free-trade, coffee or cappuccino; – Kids activities include pony rides, a jungle gym and enormous sand pit; and Spend some time selecting indigenous plants in the nursery.
The Karkloof Farmer’s Market offers you a wholesome, community, shopping experience – meet the locals and get a taste of the Midlands way of life. Pack a picnic basket from the variety of stalls offering quality local produce and then take in the rest of the Midlands Meander.

Supporting local farmers, growers and producers is what this Market is all about. Learn about the products you are buying, how they are made, the ingredients that go into them and how best to enjoy them. Food is seasonal so while you may not always find what you are looking for, you will always find something different and you can be assured it will be fresh. The Karkloof Farmers’ Market is a vibrant meeting place. The experience is as much about purchasing fresh local produce as it is connecting with those in the community. Don’t miss out on a fun-filled morning.

Tel:  082 820 8986  Fax:  086 529 5108 Cell:  082 851 8649 Email:  andrea@karklooffarmersmarket.co.za Website:  www.karklooffarmersmarket.co.za


Brookdale – 033 266 6208 – http://www.brookdale.co.za/
Fourdoun – 033 266 6217 – www.fordoun.com 
Indigo fields – 033 266 6101 – http://www.indigofields.co.za
We are conveniently situated for the private schools in the area from Nottingham Road to Pietermaritzburg, especially for the events or open weekends at Michaelhouse, Hilton and St. Anne’s.

Moving on???

Accommodation in the rest of South Africa with Stayinsa.co.za South Africa Accommodation Directory.

 www.sa-venues.com – For your accommodation requirements outside The Dargle Valley.

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  1. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga
    group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks


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  • Pet Friendly @ Lemonwood Farm…

    Bring your dogs on holiday with you to Lemonwood farm!

    Canine Guest Etiquette
    A guesthouse owner's list of dos and don'ts - by Elaine Hurford

    •When you arrive - PLEASE leave your dog/s in the car. Don't let them out on a stranger's property until the host has given you the go-ahead. The resident dogs might not like it. It's best to meet on neutral territory OUTSIDE the gate where they can sniff and get to know each other, and then bring them into the property together.
    •Close gates behind you at all times! This is absolutely vital both in town (traffic risks) and rural areas (there may be farm animals about).
    •Bring the lead! I can't believe how many people travel with no form of restraint for their dogs. It's plain stupid.
    •If you are asked to keep your dog on a lead outside the room or cottage, kindly adhere to this rule. If your dog chases and harms the resident cats or ducks for example, you will have a very unhappy host. Remember that in rural areas some farmers don't hesitate to shoot strange dogs on their property. Sheep and ostriches present wildly exotic scents to urban dogs, and you do not want to go home with a corpse.
    •Bring your own dog bedding AND a big old sheet to cover sofas, chairs, beds or other comfy and tempting places to sleep. The dog will feel more at home and the host will appreciate the fact that your pooch hasn't left hair or mud on the furniture.
    •Feed your dog out of doors or in the kitchen / bathroom, preferably on a piece of newspaper, and clean up afterwards. Pick up dog poos and dispose away from the premises in a knotted plastic bag.
    •Travel with your grooming tool to brush sand and mud out of doors. Don't let wet dogs into the house - you know very well how smelly a wet dog can be.
    •Bring favourite toys and chews with you. It makes the dog feel more secure and prevents furniture damage.
    •Ask ahead whether there is an enclosed garden or patio where you can safely leave them while you go out to a restaurant or shopping. (Some owners do not make this clear in their Pet Policy.) It's not always possible to take your dog everywhere with you, and you can't leave a large pup indoors to consume the furniture and carpets - even for a minute.
    •Check ahead that the local vet will be in residence - or consult your latest edition of The South African Pet-friendly Directory to find out where the nearest vet is. Many small towns don't have a vet. You don't want to be stuck in an emergency and your host won't want to tend to emergencies at night or after hours.
    •If your dogs are diggers, they are best left at home until you've cured them. One remedy is to bury a ball of chicken wire in the hole and cover it with sand, or bury the dog's own excrement in the hole and cover it. Both are unpleasant finds for the digging dog.
    •If your dogs are barkers (and most dogs will start protecting "their" new territory very quickly), keep them quiet until a respectable hour in the morning, and on weekend afternoons. Even if they don't bark at home, you never know what exciting stimuli might be on the other side of a new fence.
    •Please keep your dogs from jumping at the hosts' small children or grandchildren - and for that matter on the hosts themselves! Your dogs may be very sociable but a lavish display of affection from a strange dog may frighten small children.

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