Spent our last day in Cape Town exploring the City Centre sights, we started off in the Castle of Good Hope which sits in the shadow of Table Mountain which dominates the skyline. We generally had a good wander round the city looking at places where Nelson Mandela gave his freedom speech and other sights of historical interest. We stopped for a late lunch at the Birds Cafe and had the biggest banana milkshake and chicken pie and butternut squash quiche (respectively) ever seen! We carried on our walk through the picturesque BoKaap district back to De Waterkant where we were staying.
The next day we drove to Stellenbosch in the pouring rain which luckily cleared up by the time we got there so at least we got to do some exploring. Stellenbosch is a beautiful historic town (the second oldest in South Africa) with lots of lovely oak tree lined streets and old buildings. We ate out in an old farmhouse by the river, recommended to us by the owner of the guest house (Doris, we have found your South African twin!). Dinner was fabulous, Caroline had the Bobotie which is a traditional Cape dish and Ras had a trio of springbok and Kudu obviously accompanied by yet another bottle of lovely red wine. The desert was what stole the show on this occassion though with a Cape Cheese Cake. It arrived looking remarkably like a traditional cheesecake ..... alas the first mouthful was a bit of a shock to the senses as instead of tasing like a sweet cheesecake, it turned out to be an whole cape brie sandwiched between some water biscuits, decorated with chutney and balsamic vinegar, not the chocolate sauce we'd anticipated. Once we were over the initial shock it was very good.
Our second and final day in Stellenbosch was spent on a wine tour, in the company of tour guide and wine expert Lucas. We visited 5 different wine farms (Simonsig, Kanonkop, Glen Cardou, Morgesen & funnily enough the name of the last one escapes us!!!) and tasted (in varying quantities) between 5 and 11 wines in each one, including some Cape Champagne (Cape Classique). Luckily we stopped for lunch at Glen Cardou (Rudolph Heiss' Estate) for some much needed sustenance!!
We left early the next day to head back to Cape Town airport to fly to Port Elizabeth. The drive back was uneventful if not a little delayed due to goats on the motorway, oh well I guess we are in Africa!! We landed in Port Elizabeth with was a warm and refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town. Laid back is not the word!! We picked up our new car and drove the 200Km to Tsitsikamma National Park where we stayed at Storms River Camp. We didn't really know what to expect as this is somewhere we had booked on recommendation. It was one of the most fantastic places either of us have ever been. Our first sight as we drove into the park and turned a corner was the sight of huge swells and waves crashing against the shore. Our chalet was 100m from the shoreline and the noise was like thunder and hurricane force winds as the waves pounded the shore, sending plumes of spray high into the air. We arrived just before sunset and spent a happy hour or two wandering the coast line and taking a few thousand photographs!
We were up early on Sunday, partly due to the sound of the waves outside and partly due to excitement! We breakfasted overlooking the ocean watching the sun rise and then headed straight to Storms River Village for our Treetop Canopy Tour. Caroline was a little apprehensive at first about throwing herself off the top of a tree attached to a rope (steel wire) but after the safety lesson and some reassurance and banter from the guide, soon got into the swing of things. What a fantastic way to see virtually untouched protected forest. Ten swings later we were both a bit sad to leave the forest - but you will be pleased to know we have a DVD of our experience so we can share it with you as often as you (we) like!! We travelled back the 10min drive to Storms River and walked a bit more in the National Park. First stop was the Storms River suspension bridge which is reached through a small beach and then a boardwalk through the forest, accomanied by Baboons eating their steals from the restaurant. After a few million steps (well a few anyway) we crossed the suspension bridges and spent a happy half an hour sat on a rock watching the waves crash in to the river mouth before heading back to the restaurant for ice cream and then back to the car.
We headed off to Plettenberg Bay, where we are now and checked into yet another lovely guest house with sea views and weaver birds in the palm tree on the patio. We dined watching the sun go down over the bay eating a pint of prawns and some Klipfish Gougons - Happy Days!