I have taken a few years off from work to travel and see parts of the world I've only dreamt of. I'm on my adventure with my husband Mark. We have a home in Tunbridge Wells in England, three children and a Jack Russell called Max.
We left Cape Town this morning during a big Cycle Race whereby the roads around Camps Bay were closed off.
Stellenbosch was en route and we stopped to have a mooch around. It had a cafe style vibe, with lots of restaurants and bars offering al fresco dining. There were lots of beautiful people and high profile cars enjoying a casual drinks and lazy lunches. It is the place to go for a relaxed hour or two with friends and family.
We have now arrived in Franschhoek. Our hotel is pretty with a colonial charm. Our room is on the bottom right.
Upon arrival, we booked a tour of the wineries for tomorrow, then found the Tuk Tuk Microbrewery! Beer, nachos, guacamole, chips, dips – yum yum yum.
After lounging by the pool reading my book, we headed out to a pizzeria for dinner. The sound of the saxophone drew us in. The music was fantastic and the musician played whilst he walked around the restaurant, inside and out. He never made eye contact with anyone, he was just content in his own world.
Today we met up with my cousin Steve Bailey. We laughed, we shared memories and we hugged. It’s been a long time since we were running around as 10 year olds. I still think of him as my cool cousin, but now he is all grown up, with a beautiful wife, with a beautiful house, with beautiful kids. He loves Cape Town and Cape Town loves him. See you in 2018 Steve & Taryn! 😉
I bought a 16G memory card from the Garden Shopping Mall. It was not as impressive as the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The blog is now much easier to work on my phone.
Mark in the market
We then went to the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay. It was a very pretty place in big marques and wood chip scattered on the floor. It mainly catered for vegetarians, gluten free and the health conscious. Very trendy with lots of choice for street food and produce. We had lamb wraps and berry smoothies.
After our amazing time on top of Table Mountain, we headed for the beach. Here we befriended a couple of guys with their dogs. Maurice was originally from Spain and Paul was from Zimbabwe. They had been in Cape Town for 7 years, but were planning on setting up a hotel business in Spain. They had 2 gorgeous doggies. Then along came their friends and it became a beach party! They were all so friendly and gave us good advice. I love the fact they meet on the beach at the end of the day. It’s a great way to wind down.
Later, we went out for Korean food. It was delicious and the service in The Seoul Restaurant was fantastic.
To say it is hot now is a slight understatement. It’s scorching.
We came here in Autumn to avoid the really hot weather, but surprisingly it has gone from forceful winds to sweltering heat. Apparently, that is quite normal here!
So, we queue to buy tickets for the cable car that takes you up the last part of the mountain. It’s either that or a two hour climb to the top. It’s R255 each for a return. Talking to others, the climb up is very hard going, but the climb down is even harder. I’m glad we decided to take the cable car. We were planning on going up by foot, but the heat today would have made it unbearable for me. It’s 1085m above sea level.
The cableway has been operating since 1929. It has a rotating floor and travels at 10meters per second.
The top was stunning. Mark loved the lizards and the small mammals (Dassie). He scared me a few times by balancing on rocks near the edge, stumbling once or twice ‘for fun’.
We met Brian, an ex-sports coach from Stratford. Funnily enough, he had previously taught at St Gregory’s in TWells. Small world. Brian had bought a flat in Cape Town 12 years ago for £15k. Great buy. He’d been travelling for the last 8 months and SA was his last stop. He decided to travel as his kids had left home, oh and so did his wife!
So, we’ve been to the southern most point and been blown away in the strong winds. Now for some lunch..
We got talking to some other Brits from Canterbury, then walked around town and bought myself a little african bag for my travels R60, about £4.
Heading to Boulders Beach in search of African Penguins..
It was amazing. Hundreds of tiny penguins on a sandy beach. We took lots of pictures, but nothing could capture the natural beauty of seeing them in their natural environment. From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the colony has grown to over two thousand. However, the African penguin, previously known as the Jackass Penguin due to their donkey-like braying call, is listed as an endangered species.
Our guide for the day was Icaarus. He was so eloquent and took us all around the Cape Peninsula.
First stop was watching the seals in Hout Bay. Twisting and flying through the water, their effortless acrobatic display was mesmerising.
We then went to take photos of the dramatic mountains at Chapman’s Point, Noordhoek.
The Cape of Good Hope in Table Mountain Nature Reserve was strategically between two major ocean currents ensuring a rich diversity of marine life. Humpback whales, dolphins, Bryde’s whales and seals. Both the Atlantic Ocean on the west side and the Indian Ocean waters from the east side have markedly different temperatures. So we’ll be swimming on the east side!
It was incredibly windy. People were literally being blown over! One poor woman fell backwards onto rocks. It was crazy.
Here’s me holding onto rocks to anchor myself.
At the southern most point in Africa, Mark managed to befriend a baboon. It must have been something he said, because he suddenly got up and ran off. Women screamed as he ran towards them at speed. Hilarious 🙂
We got our hire car today and headed straight to the V&A Waterfront. It was full of boats, a big wheel, designer shops and restaurants. Stylish and bustling. Mark bought a SA sim card so calling in South Africa is now cheap. We tasted local craft beer in Mitchells, a scottish bar and then had lunch and drank gourmet milkshakes in Gibsons overlooking the harbour. We then strolled around the town, found some colourful bars and markets.