December 18, 2008

South Africa Travelogue Part 3

On Monday, Dec. 1st, we went on a whale watching boat tour with 15-20 other people and our guide, Christopher, who was quite a character who had six children, he told us.
We saw 8 or 10 whales, pretty close up, and it was amazing but we never did see one breech. Too bad they don't perform on command.
Afterwards we went into town (Hermanus) for a gelato and then bought a couple bottles of wine (about $5.00 each) and sat on our patio at the dreaded Hermanus Beach Club and drank with our neighbors Paddy and Sandra from Cape Town. They were there on holiday and couldn't believe we were going back and forth to Cape Town as if it were down the street.
Had dinner at the Fisherman's Cottage Restaurant. We had an avocado, feta and tomato salad, a fried camembert appetizer with an ugly, snotty-looking sauce, and a seafood curry dish that was spicy and delicious.
Tuesday we had our favorite breakfast at The Zebra Crossing and then drove back to Cape Town to Stellenbosch which is wine country and where all the wineries are. They call them wine farms. I love that. The town of Stellenbosch is very charming, lots of beautiful shops and restaurants.
We went to the Spier Winery and had a lovely lunch on the patio - I had a smoked salmon trout salad (yum) and Claire had a cheese platter, and of course we had wine. Afterwards we did some tasting. And then we went to Ernie Els' wine farm which was just gorgeous. The grounds, the was spectacular. We did a little tasting there too, but mostly we spit because we had to drive home from there. It's a shame, isn't it, to spit out wine?
Back in Hermanus that evening we went to dinner at Season, a very new and lovely restaurant that someone had told us about. It was beautiful with delicious food and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I know you want to know what we ate, don't you? We shared the poached pear salad with blue cheese, walnuts and pancetta. Claire had tuna loin for her entree, I had chicken on couscous with apricots (lovely), and we shared a trio of chocolates for dessert. Also I had a double shot of vodka, Claire had wine and for dessert an Irish coffee. This meal cost us $36 including tip. Not per person. For both of us. In the states, what? $125, minimum.
On Wednesday we packed up (Tuesday was our last night at The Hermanus Beach Club - yippee!) and drove to Cape Town after breakfast to spend two nights before heading to Kruger. On the drive there was a family of monkeys just wandering by the side of the highway - about six or eight of them. Very funny to see.
We stayed at The Trevoyan Guest House which is incredibly lovely. We had a beautiful room with all the amenities. The grounds and common areas were gorgeous, with a beautiful pool and a lovely screened porch where we ate breakfast. $120 U.S. per night.
Here's the entry to our room:
It was on Gilmoure Hill Road off of Kloof Nek and was right down the street from The Chocolate House which had an amazing selection guessed it...chocolate.
We wandered around Cape Town, had a sandwich at a bakery, and just explored.
Later we went to Camps Bay, an upscale beach community with white sand beaches and rows of restaurants and shops. We ate at a restaurant called Tuscany which was ok, not great, and cost $60 for both of us, the most expensive meal so far.
Stay tuned...more to come.

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