This is the last one, bunnies… Except for a later post on the shark dive.
January 5th was the trip to Gansbaai for White Shark Cage Diving and since it was such a huge high-light for all three of us, I decided that this should be a post on its own! After the boat trip we stopped in Hermanus briefly and visited the SASC down 700 fargin steps!!! I then dozed in the car on the way home, and was woken so that we could have a late “lunch” at Houw Hoek Padstal, which is just before Sir Lowry’s Pass. It was pretty good, and we were starving! All through our trip, and after being repeatedly warned and seeing signs everywhere to be careful of baboons, I was beginning to wonder if they weren’t a touristy-type legend (heh heh), when we finally saw some at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass- and they do NOT get out of the road! We actually had to slow right down and swerve around them, they just don’t move! We were all lights out pretty early this day lemme tell you!
Tuesday January 6th started with an early morning trip to Butterfly World in Stellenbosch, with scones and jam for breakfast at their little tearoom! It is such a cool place, and you walk through sections with various birds and lizards and such in (all non-insectivorous of course) and the place is swarming with butterflies! They sit on your clothes and fly within a hairs’ breadth of your face and there are so many different ones! It’s hot as all Hades in there though as they’re tropical insects and need a very hot, humid, moist climate- so be warned. It’s luckily not too big; otherwise I would not have been able to see the whole place- being the heat and sun worshipper that I am… NOT!! After we left the farm, we set off to see some of the Stellenbosch wine route. Our first stop was Fairview wine estate, where we decided to do the “Master Tasting” of eight different wines, each with a particular cheese to go with it (they do goats milk and cheeses). It was very interesting, and it’s really quite incredible how the taste of the wine changes when you eat a nice cheese with it. We allowed damien to do this tasting with us, just for interest’s sake, but he was completely unimpressed with the wines and the cheeses! He remains unconvinced that wines can be enjoyed at all. From Fairview we went to Kanonkop, where the woman doing the tasting and talking asked why I was so serious. Glugs promptly told her I was “…actually English…”- meaning that the English are serious- but she misunderstood and translated everything after that from Afrikaans into English! I giggled but said nothing! We bought one of their cabernets. From there we went to Muratie, which is fascinating because they have decades of spider wiggles all over the place that they preserve to maintain the place’s atmosphere! Glugs had been there before and wanted some more of their port, so we tasted a few of their wines, and bought a Cabernet and a port. We then stopped briefly at Spier, but it so huge we decided not to stay- stopping in their shop for a gift-set of four bottles for Glugs’ brother who was hosting us on our holiday (he loves his wine, and spent his wedding night at Spier). Then we were off to Zevenwacht, which my Glugs had also seen before and wanted to show me- its gawjiss, with a big lake in front of the house! We had a light lunch there and then tried some of their wines and cheeses. After that we drove through to Franschoek to see the view from the mountain overlooking the town! The drive home was through the magnificent Franschoek Mountain Pass!
We were going to stop in Grabouw and pick some fresh boerewors off the trees, but we’d seen several warning signs for the poisonous striped wind socks so we changed our minds…
On January 7th we had a braai with acidicice and her other half! What a jol that was, and REALLY strangely… I took no photographs! I had my camera- but I didn’t even take it out of its bag! With Damien’s help chopping wood with an axe, acidicice and I had to keep the fire going whilst Glugs and Rudi went for more coke and brandy- Rudi using the chance to test-drive Glugs’ Navara, and neither of them took their cellphones with them! The fire was a success though, with me cheering her and Damien on! We had a fantastic evening, and I got embarrassingly blotto on “Spin” and red wine! I haven’t been so drunk since mid-2008 sometime when I put away 3 long island iced teas on an empty stomach and spent the night wishing I could throw up before waking up drunk… thankfully I realised where I was headed and stopped drinking early enough to be relatively tipsy when we went home instead of completely torched!
It was an awesome way to end our holiday acidicice- thank you!
All three of us had woken up with the feeling that we were glad our holiday was drawing to a close. It was obviously just long enough to do lots but not feel like we’d missed anything- even though there was so much we still wanted to see. We wanted to go home to our own beds and our cats and our shower.
Thursday January 8th and Friday January 9th was the trip home again with that loooong road through the Karoo. It went surprisingly quickly, and we stayed overnight in Colesberg this time (having booked far enough in advance). The bed and breakfast was called Nanna Rous’, and our room was called “the chapel”. Much to our chagrin, we were in single beds again, though we already knew we’d be sharing a room with Damien. After Glugs and I had taken a stroll through the little town- where all the houses are still built right on the street and there are more churches than most cities have- we walked over to the Horse & Mill Pub in Colesberg (which is apparently Harley country) on my parents’ recommendation. Glugs and Damien giggled themselves silly at the grammatical and spelling errors in the write up about the town and its history that I found inside my menu, and I had to sternly (yes, sternly) tell them to be sure not to embarrass anyone as it was probably a staff member of the pub who’d written it, LOL! After a pretty good meal, we added our bit of graffiti to the walls of the pub and walked back to the B&B. It was hot as blazes in our room, where the ceiling fan didn’t work, and the revolving fan on a stand that we stood in the middle of the room barely reached any of us. I slept very badly, actually spending part of the night in a chair so that I could feel the fan on me. Breakfast was served at 7AM, and we left soon afterwards. The rest of the trip was almost non-stop.
We stopped for a very late lunch just outside Johannesburg, with about an hour to go till we were home, when we realised we were all starving, but were going home to an empty fridge and SO didn’t have the stamina to still do a little grocery shopping as well…
Our cats were so happy to see us that Taxi literally didn’t leave my side for the entire weekend, and took up the same position when I came home from work every day for the next week. Greebo feigned indifference, but was very glad to see Damien. Baby Magic easily doubled in size whilst we were away, and this trip wasn’t too much of an issue as she is still little- where Greebo and Taxi have never been without us for such a long period of time!
Back in our own beds, with our own showers… it was bliss, and we spent the weekend doing almost nothing! My mommy and daddy darling popped in on the Sunday to see photographs and say welcome home (my mom on crutches after breaking her ankle on the 30th December) and Glugs had to go to work on the Sunday to get their servers and such all up and running for Monday’s work commencement, but other than that we relaxed.
It was all so awesome and I was so very spoilt…
Oh, and take my advice- use Engen One Stops and FLAT ignore the Caltex Star Stops and Shell Ultracities. They’re friggin horrible, but I was not once disappointed by Engen. Oh, and expect queues, it is one of the tourist capitals after all.