Wine, Sea, Whales and lots of fun!

A weekend away to explore the country, sometimes you just really need it. Because you are tired, you are tired of the city or just because it is an amazing experience.

Wine, Sea, Whales and lots of fun!

2018-10-03

In September 2018 I drove from Cape Town to the most southern tip of Africa with beautiful stops and via Hermanus back to Cape Town. For my internship I am in Cape Town for 5 months, and after 3.5 weeks I could not wait to go into nature and drive for hours through beautiful landscapes.

We left our hotel on Saturday 22 September at half past eight in the morning and drove towards the Kayamandi with the rising sun. Kayamandi is a township where we went to visit a local woman who had made delicious breakfast for us consisting of a vetkoek and chakalaka. And of course, we got a fresh cup of Rooibos tea. A few of us could wear a beautiful dress and in honor of Heritage Day we were drawn on our faces.

After Kayamandi we drove on to Simonsig, a wine estate in Stellenbosch. Here it was time for the first wine tasting, champagne included too! All my senses were going with the combination of the sun beeming down and beautiful views. The champagne offered was incredibly diverse and ...declious. The champagnes over 12 years old were the most intense. 

When we finished the wine tasting in Simonsig we continued our road trip to Franschhoek for a wine and chocolate tasting. There were 3 types of red wine with matching chocolates selected for us. For example: tmint chocolate for a fresher wine and a cranberry chocolate for a fruity wine. We were in a stunning room with beautiful views. We ended this experience with a tipsy walk around the wine estate to take in the scenery!

Already very much fuelled with wine, we went to two more wine tasting sessions and a market in Franschhoek to line our stomachs. Live music, local and hand-made jewelry, fashion and homewares stalls were scattered around the market. 

It was now time for a long ride in the car, what is no punishment with such landscapes. During the drive we stopped twice because there were baboons along the road with babies and once to buy something in a small village. The drive to Agulhas was about 3 hours and went along the Theewaterskloof, mountain landscapes, large valley’s and the most adorable villages I have ever seen. The gratitude and the realization that I live in this beautiful country was enormous.

When arriving in Cape Agulhas, it was a kilometer walk to the southernmost point of Africa. It was a bit foggy which gave a surreal fairytale like effect. When standing at the official meeting point of the oceans, it was crazy to see two oceans next to each other. Because the current works very differently, the waves were clearly moving in different directions of each other. The sea was wild. 

Back in the car we drove to the hostel where we would stay. It was a nice hostel, very quiet and clean. Here we spent the evening braaiing to celebrate Heritage Day and ate deliciously braai'd chicken. You can't go wrong!

The following day, we drove to Gansbaai for breakfast and.. whale watching! After breakfast it was time for a small briefing where everything was told what to expect, what we were probably going to see and what the rules were. Life jackets and a raincoat on and on the boat for a trip by sea to spot whales, dolphins, penguins, sea lions and sharks! It was a beautiful trip and unfortunately no sharks were found, but the number of whales, sea lions and dolphins made the trip complete.

The next destination was Hermanus. In Hermanus we unfortunately did not have a lot of time, but it was fantastic. Because the whales have babies, they are looking for a protected bay, which Hermanus is perfect for. This allows you to see a lot of playing and jumping whales from shore. We saw over 20 whales in 30 minutes!

On to our last destination, Betty's Beach. That means, Penguins! A lot of penguins. We walked along the boardwalk to watch these funny creatures interact with each other. 

In total, we were away for less than 36 hours, but it felt like a week. I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone who has limited time but would love to experience the Western Cape.