On Monday, I woke up with a bit of a cold so was pretty well out of commission from Monday to Thursday. I went into the daycare on Monday and Thursday to see my class. I missed them!
FRIDAY: Cape Point, Boulders Beach, & Wine Tasting!
On Friday I got picked up for a weekend tour to Cape Point and through some of the winelands. We started off stopping at Camps Bay beach then headed down Chapman’s Peak Drive toward Cape Point. The drive was absolutely stunning, winding through the mountains, driving along the coast. Our guide pointed out all the areas on the mountain that had been burnt in the big fires a few weeks ago. Its scary how close it came to the houses and the road!
We arrived at Cape Point National Park (part of Table Mountain National Park) and were stuck behind a group of ostriches walking along the road! We first went to the Cape of Good Hope. This is one of the moments on the trip that I had been looking forward to since the very beginning of the planning stage! I couldn’t believe I was actually there, and took my time taking it all in! We were lucky to have some time between large tour groups all to ourselves to get some good photos and to appreciate where we were without a huge crowd!
From there, we drove over to Cape Point. The park has so many hiking trails you could easily spend several days exploring and getting lost. We walked up to the lighthouse and had a really cool 360 degree view. It’s so cool to think that the next landmass would be Antarctica!
Our next stop was Boulders Beach, where a colony of African Penguins lives! I’m so shocked that people are allowed on the beach, and to interact with the penguins with so little enforcement and supervision but I’m glad we were! It was high tide so we had to maneuver over huge boulders to make our way across the beach. We saw groups of penguins hanging out on the beach, sunbathing on the rocks, and swimming around in the sea. There were many people there swimming as well (even though the water was freezing!)
From there, we made our way to Kalk Bay and stopped for lunch at a cool little fish and chips restaurant. We were right on the harbor and the fish was so fresh! After we ate we walked along and in the harbor and on the ocean side there were a ton of seals swimming around, eating, and one even climbed up to lay on the walkway. I find it so incredible being so close to these animals.
Next up was Steenberg Wine Estate for a wine tasting. The property was beautiful! Rows and rows of grapes with Table Mountain in the background! I’m not a big fan of wine, but this area is known for it’s vinyards so I felt like I should try it out. Many people were on a one day tour so we headed back to Cape Town and dropped everyone off. Myself and another girl are on a three-day tour so we were dropped at our guesthouse, and were both exhausted so had an early night!
SATURDAY: Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Tasting in Stellenbosch
This morning, we were up and out at 7:30am. We drove over to the Old Biscuit Mill in a suburb of Cape Town called Woodstock, where they have the most amazing market on Saturdays. When we got there however, we realized it didn’t open until 9am. We decided to go walk through the Company Gardens, which is one of the oldest (and most beautiful) gardens in Cape Town. There are HUGE trees that are hundreds of years old surrounded by all types of flowers and plants from all over the world, little ducklings waddling around behind their mom, and a stunning view of Table Mountain.
We got back to Old Biscuit Mill and the Neighbourgoods Market just before 9am and were able to walk around and see all the stalls as they got set up and before it got too crowded. First thing, I got a mini lemon merengue tart and it was SO GOOD! Like a pre breakfast dessert! The stalls were incredible, everything from Chinese pot stickers, to bonsai plants, to hand crafted bags and soaps. We were able to try honeycomb, which was so fun for me (the name Pamela means ‘sweet like honey’) I bought a little jar of locally produced honey with a honey comb chunk floating in the middle. From the beginning I was excited to try eggs benedict form a particular stall. They always sell out well before the market closes. I ended up being first in line, and I’m still upset I didn’t buy two. It was probably the best egg dish I’ve ever had! By the time I looked up from my plate, the line was wrapped around the adjacent stalls, and was only going to get longer. I’ll be thinking about those eggs for days. We perused around the craft side of the market, got some delicious white chocolate smoothies, and drove toward Stellenbosch for more wine tasting!
Now it is only myself and another girl on the tour, and neither of us are too keen on wine, so our guide brought us to Fairview Wine Estate to do a wine and cheese tasting. The cheese was delicious! All locally produced we tried feta, brie, and goat cheese along with some others and enjoyed them as we drank our wine. From their we drove to the Spice Route which has wine tasting, they roast their own coffee, and make their own ice cream and chocolate. We opted for the chocolate tasting and sampled a bunch of dark chocolates coming from all over Africa and South America. I’m not usually a dark chocolate fan but these were very good! Up until now, we’ve basically been eating ALL day and I couldn’t be happier, but when our guide asked if we were ready to stop for lunch, we both laughed because we were stuffed! On our way to our guesthouse in Stellenbosch, we drove past Drakenstein Lion Park, it looked really cool and since we’re not particularly in a hurry we decided to stop (an advantage of having a small group!) the park in a nutshell rescues lions from abusive situations around the world, particularly circuses. Some of the stories were heartbreaking, but it was wonderful to see them safe and sound again. This park also has two tigers which we saw swimming in their waterhole cooling down. It was about 34 degrees with no wind!
After lounging all afternoon out of the heat, we went out for a quick dinner in the city centre, and had an early night!
SUNDAY: Cape Agulhas and Hermanus
This morning we left Stellenbosch and headed south to Cape Agulhas, the most southern point of Africa and the point where the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans meet! This cape is not as well known as Cape Point and is farther form the city so was not crowded at all which was fantastic! We spent some time there, and climbed up to the tippy top of the lighthouse, before heading to Hermanus for lunch. Between July and November, Hermanus is known for some of the best land based whale watching in the world, unfortunately, we were a few months too early, but had a lovely lunch on the coast!
The drive back to Cape Town was easily the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken. We drove from Betty’s Bay along the coast, winding around the hills with the most stunning view of the ocean and Table Mountain. Absolutely breathtaking.
I made it home just after 5pm, in time to quickly get ready and go to Hillsong Church! It is fast becoming my favourite place in Cape Town. I love ending my week there with a really cool community of people I already feel like I’m becoming a part of. I noticed driving from the mall next door a beautiful view of the church with Table Mountain in the background! I’m constantly blown away by this beautiful city and the fact that I’m currently calling it ‘home’.