Staycation in South Africa

With the only few weeks left I have in South Africa I wanted to make to the most of it. Luckily my girlfriend Helen planned to fly to Cape Town and visit for 10 days. As soon as I knew she was coming out I began planning little trips in and around Cape Town. Here’s an itinerary of what we got up to over the 10 days she was in South Africa.

Day 1

After Helen’s long 11 hour flight the night before. Day one was just a day to relax and get use to the different changes in the weather. We decided to take a quick stroll up Paarl rock. It was a really hot day and getting to to the top of Paarl rock is really steep in places. so the walk wasn’t as easy as first thought. Finally after thirty minutes of walking we made it to the top. The view from the top of the rock made the steep walk well worth it. We had a great view of Paarl and the many vineyards which surround the town. After making it down safely we then ventured to the Spice Route. The Spice Route has so much to do, From wine and beer tasting to biltong and chocolate tasting. We ended up going to the restaurant which have the most amazing pizza’s. For most of the evening we sat on the balcony watching the sun go down over the vineyard with a few glasses of wine.

Day 2

The next morning was an early start for the 2 hour journey up to Hermanus. On the way to Hermanus we drove through Franshhoek and up the Franshhoek pass which had amazing views of the mountains which surround Franshhoek. Heramanus is a fishing town which is famous for its whale watching and shark cage diving. Sadly for us the whales only pass through Hermanus over a few weeks in September and October.IMG_7555 I was lucky enough to have seen the whales pass through in October 2015. We stopped of at a small cafe in the centre of Hermanus for extra breakfast and then had a look around the town. After looking around Hermanus we then headed for Betty’s Bai which is along the Garden Route heading towards Cape Town. At Betty’s Bai there is a small colony of African Penguins.Betty’s Bai is nice as its not filled with tourist not like Boulders beach in Simonstown which is a tourist hotspot. After wondering around watching the penguins waddle along the rocks we decided to head home. I took the Garden Route towards Cape Town. With the a clear blue sky the view was amazing, with Table Mountain standing tall on the other side of the bay. The evening was spent round my friends farm having a Braai and a few drinks beside the pool.

Day 3

Day three was a more chilled out day. We headed into Cape town to visit the Waterfront shopping centre and have a look around the shops. The waterfront has all the big brand shops and many restaurants. We enjoyed looking through the shops which we would usually find in England and also the ones we haven’t seen before.  After having lunch at the waterfront we headed back to Paarl and passed by the Spice Route again to try the wine and chocolate tasting which we didn’t manage to do on day one. Both tasting are cheap and well worth the money. The beer tasting at Spice Route is also very good but after the wine and chocolate tasting beer tasting was the last thing we wanted to do.

Day 4

On day five me and Helen woke up early to have a breakfast and get ready to drive into Cape Town to climb Lions Head. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was a king hot which probably wasn’t the best time to climb Lions Head. But we soldiered determined to reach the the summit.

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At the top of Lions Head

The climb was hard with plenty of steep challenging climbs. Finally after an hour and forty minutes we made it to the top. The views we stunning at the top. with good viewing points overlooking Table Mountain, Cape Town and Camps Bay beach. We sat at the top admiring the view and taking a rest before we headed back down. After the climb we were pretty tired so we decided to head off home and rest. In the evening we went to a restaurant called the Blacksmith. The restaurant had an amazing view of the sunsetting over the mountains on the other side of Paarl.We followed this u by going to Stellenbosch for several drinks at Mystic Bar.

Day 5

The following morning was a right off as me and especially Helen were suffering with terrible hangovers from the night before. This was then an excuse to just sit by the pool all day reading or just generally sunbathing. In the evening we order pizza and watched the England vs Scotland rugby game.

Day 6

Day six was a Sunday, which was the perfect day to spend int he vineyards wine tasting.

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The view from Roca.

We headed of to Franshhoek with a few friends to visit the various different vineyards in and around the town. throughout the day we visited we visited five different vineyards for wine tasting. Finishing off at my favourite Restaurant in South Africa, ROCA. Roca is set on the slops of the mountains which surround one side of Franshhoek. The views from Roca are amazing, we usually go there for sundowners to watch the sun set behind the mountains which also gives the vineyards a glowing colour as the sunsets. This was the perfect way to finish the weekend off.

Day 7

Time for a safari. Its impossible to travel all the way to South Africa and not go on safari. We booked a day safari at Aquila private game reserve which is a 2 hour car journey from Paarl. Helen’s goal was to see an elephant in the wild and with a few minutes off entering the game reserve we came across two huge bull elephants drinking at a waterhole.

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Poach eggs not Elephants

At the waterhole there was also several hippos just chilling in the shallow water. we ventured on through the bush a bit further and then we spotted a group of rhinos from the safari truck just grazing in the bushes. We were lucky to see rhinos as they are usually rare to see in the wild and it was even more special to see the rhinos in a group. For the rest of the safari we came across giraffes, wildebeest and several springbok but sadly to my disappointment we didn’t see and lions. The safari lasted about three to four hours and we were so lucky to see so many animals. The evening was spent as usual, drinking wine on the balcony at the lodge we were staying at.

Day 8

After a long day on safari the day before, today we decided to chill out in Cape town. So we IMG_7266ventured to Bloubergstrand which is a town on the edge of Cape Town. From the beach at Bloubergstrand you get an amazing view of Table Mountain, Lions Head and Cape Town. We wondered around the sea front and along the beach admiring the view and finished with food at Blue Peter which is located on the sea front. From Blue Peter you get good views of Robbin Island.

Day 9

Our last day spent together in South Africa before Helen had to fly home. Typically it was the coldest and wettest day its been in Paarl for serval months. But the terrible weather didn’t stop us from enjoying our last day. We ventured to Warwick winery near Stellenbosch were we sat for the majority of the day wine tasting before we headed of to fairview to try some cheese tasting. Sadly our before we knew it our holiday together had came to an end. I hope Helen went back with some great memories because I knew I certainly did.

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