|Name||Contact||Area / Specialisation|
|Peter Haarhoff||082 853 email@example.com||South Peninsula|
|Franziska Ruetschi||073 635 firstname.lastname@example.org||General|
|Dave Smith||082 990 email@example.com||North & Table view|
|Roland Trautmann||084 411 firstname.lastname@example.org||Wellington, Paarl, Malmesbury|
|Hans Wendt||082 521 email@example.com||Somerset West, Helderberg, Stellenbosch|
|Alushca Ritchie||082 874 firstname.lastname@example.org||Specialist Tours, Adventure & set time departures|
|Max von Dürckheim||082 441 email@example.com||German Language tours|
|Andrea Deary||083 368 firstname.lastname@example.org||General & Township|
|Garth Angus||083 email@example.com||Southern suburbs|
|Sylvia Barrath||073 228 firstname.lastname@example.org||Special Languages|
|Hannetjie Coetzee||082 454 email@example.com||Garden route & Oudtshoorn|
|Allan Theronfirstname.lastname@example.org||Overall project co ordinator|
Monthly Archives: June 2010
So yesterday was a day of firsts for me. My first ever live soccer match – Cape Town Stadium – Italy vs Paraguay. But more about that later.
I drove up to Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve with a group of Canadian visitors. Rain almost all the way up and then when it looked as if it was clearing in the area of the game reserve – a light drizzle, but cold. Nevertheless, plenty of blankets and a covered viewing vehicle and off they went. Game viewing was good too, Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo and they even spotted the lion (well done Jason).
It was on the way back that the fist came for me – first I thought it was light rain, but drifting and then slowly heavier and the surrounding fynbos was transformed into a white wonderland. I have seen snow before, but never seen snow falling. By the time we came over the pass the lower slopes of the Matroosberg were visibe – all covered in snow. Wonderful – all the way from Canada to see snow in sunny South Africa – but it is winter here after all.
Belinda’s pictures from the Vlakkenberg Hike. You always know a hike has been a good one when the pics come flooding in.
Another stunning wine walk
This was not planned as a walk in the Winelands, but when you look at the views from high above the Constantia Valley and the experience wine tasting at Groot Constantia at the end, this has to rate up there with the best in the world.
Saturday was a stunning early winters day in Cape Town, ideal hiking weather. This, plus the planned route up to Vlakkenberg Peak and the end point in Groot Constantia attracted a big group of Meridian Hiking Club members, plus visitors from Germany (Thomas & Katrina) and the USA (Trika & Kim). The short trek up from Constantia Nek up to Vlakkenberg Nek needs a bit of effort but once into the natural fynbos vegetation higher up the slope it is a real pleasure. The sound of grassbirds, sunbirds and sugarbirds is endless. After the rain and mist of the previous two days, the birds were ready for a bit of sun. Less than an hour up to Vlakkenberg Nek and the one of the three rocky peaks for a tea break and the view overlooking Hout Bay – what a treat. There is a bit of scrambling up there for the more adventurous, but you need to know where to go.
Back to the main path to join the route to Vlakkenberg Peak and the traditional group photocall. The fairly level section from there to join the path down Vlakkenberg Ridge has some stunning Proteas and a display of flowers & fynbos. The real treat (and surprise for those who have not done this route before) is the view over the Constantia wine farms from the top and forest of Silvertrees on the way down. It is a fairly steep path down, a bit tough on the knees but firm underfoot and well maintained. Once in the Silvertree forest it is a real pleasure. Back into Groot Constantia it is short walk past the historic swimming pool and on to Simon’s Restaurant for a drink and a snack. Wine tasting is available and a cellar tour is an option. For those with an interest in history there is an excellent museum in the old manor house.
What could be better than a day out in the Stellenbosch Winelands? This time not just sitting in a vehicle driving from one tasting to another, but walking through the vineyards, interacting with the winemakers and workers, admiring scenery and getting close to both the cultivated and natural environment.
Guided by knowledgeable local wine guide, Annelee Steyn, this was a day to remember. Starting on the popular Delvera Estate, this is going to be part of a three day / two night, ‘slackpacker’ style hiking trail. Not only will you walk through the vineyards and meet the locals, but you will sample a wide variety of wines derived from the vineyards you have walked through, taste local cuisine and get some good exercise – reasonably easy walking, but with a level of fitness required for full enjoyment.
There are opportunities to sample food at a few different venues, served by the most delightfully hospitable waitresses and restaurant supervisors. There was an amazing impression that the managers were there in the background but that they preferred and trusted the staff to interact with customers. This was not unique to one establishment, but was a trend found at all the places that we visited.
Depending on the season, wine making activities can be followed and experienced, pruning, picking, crushing and possibly blending your own. Watch his space – there is more to come.