Tag Archives: Wine Tasting

Perdekop Hiking Trail – Franschhoek

140This scenic hiking trail is in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, just outside the town of Franschoek, in the Western Cape. While the town is known for its wine and it’s gourmet restaurants, the surrounding mountains offer some very accessible hiking routes, ranging from a short two hour excursion, to a full days hiking such as this one. The destination is Perdekop (Horse Peak), from where there is a 360 degree panoramic view. While the walk up is fairly easy, the steep route down is challenging on the knees.

After last week’s rain, Sunday was one of those wonderful, sunny, Cape winter days. Nevertheless it was a cold start with a breeze coming off the snowy mountains not far away. Once we got walking the beanies and fleeces soon came off. The first part of the hike is a fairly easy undulating hike, to Uitkyk view point. There was plenty of opportunity to stop to take photographs of the views back down the valley to the Theewaterskloof Dam. We stopped for tea at the view point, enjoying the view over the Wemmershoek dam. The trek up from there to Perdekop is slightly more strenuous with the destination hidden from view133 for most of the route. Once it came in to view it seemed to get further away as we got closer. We made it there by lunch time and enjoyed the amazing 360 degree views all the way to Cape Town and Table Mountain in the distance and Worcester in the opposite direction. The circular path leads back down the valley to the start. Although shorter, this is the most strenuous part of the hike, with the path being almost entirely downhill and very steep in places. By the end most of the party knew where their knees were and there were a few sore feet and thighs. All was worth it though and certainly rates as another of the most scenic hikes in our beautiful Cape. It was great to stop for a quick cup of coffee in Franschhoek afterwards.

We will have to make a plan to come back for wine tasting on another occasion.

105088

IMG_0518084

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Hikes, Day Trekking, News, Wine Walks

Klapmutskop Hiking Trail – Klapmutskop

Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0002

This is a wonderful trail for a short outing in to the Cape Wine Region of Stellenbosch, for those who want a bit of outdoor activity to wet the appetite for wine tasting or other activities in the area. The hill leading up to the ‘kop’ (peak or head) is also extremely interesting from a botanical point of view, encompassing the three biomes of the region – renosterveld, fynbos and afro-mountain forest – all in a very small area. It forms an important part of the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy area.

Beautiful winters day

Looking back on the Simonsberg Mountains towards Stellenbosch – beautiful winters day

The walk starts at the Delvera Wine Estate, where you will need to purchase a walking permit (R30 as at June 2014) from the reception area. The first part of the hike meanders through the vineyards, marked with the various cultivars that you are passing by.  It is interesting to see the differences between the various vine varieties and how they are trellised and pruned or maintained as bush vines. The path is well marked, taking hikers over wide farm tracks with clay underfoot conditions.

As the path approaches the hill it enters the renosterveldt band the circles the ‘koppie’, zig-zaging gently up the slope. It is an excellent example of this severely threatened biome, with only 6% of the original area still regarded as sustainable. About half way up the hill the path skirts vineyards again, where the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy information board explains the importance of the area.Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0008

Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0015

View from the renosterveldt band. Cool overcast, slightly misty conditions on the day

Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0009

Transition from renosterveldt to fynbos

The path then climbs slightly more quickly through the renosterveldt band up to the fynbos band above. The transition between the two is quick and quite dramatic, suddenly hikers are in amongst proteas, restios and ericas, among others, putting the route firmly in the Cape Floral Kingdom. The fynbos band is quite short, before suddenly the forest at the top appears. Even when you know it is there it is a surprise – beautiful Breede River yellowwoods perched on top of this unlikely hilltop.

Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0016

The path tunnels in amongst the yellowwoods

 From the top, the 360 degree views of the Stellenbosch Mountains, Simonsberg, DuToitskloof and the Paarl Mountains are unmatched. On a fine day Table Mountain is also clear in the distance.

 

Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0032

View from the top

 The path back circle the hill on the other side, before joining the vineyard tracks once more and zig-zagging back to the farm. The hike is about 3 to 31/2 hours, allowing for photography and tea breaks.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Hikes, Day Trekking, Day Walks, Outdoor, Trekking South Africa, Western Cape Hiking Trails, Wine Walks

Devon Valley – Vineyard Trail

Devon Valley – Vineyard Trail description

Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0018

The Vineyard Trail is a circular route of approximately 11km. It starts and finishes at the Devon Valley Hotel and meanders through vineyards and the wine farm of the area. Although the paths are clear, the signposting is Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0002confusing in places and a wrong turn or missed marker can take hikers off on the wrong route. A map is provided at the hotel, although it is important to make sure you are given the correct one, as one of the alternative trails (green route on the map) is closed. Not all the hotel staff are properly briefed on the alternatives.

Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0082The trail starts from the parking area behind the hotel, follow the tarred exit road to the gate and turn left up the hill. Head up the tar road, to where it becomes a dirt track, passing buildings on your right, to a line of pine trees. At the pine trees there is a trail marker, turn right down the hill, keeping the vineyards on your right. At the bottom of the hill the path does a right turn before you pass between two posts on your left and on to a short tar road opposite the Protea Heights flower farm.Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0005

Note: At this stage the trail used to go up to the left. With the Protea Heights farm being fenced in, it now goes to the right. It can be confusing, as the old direction marker has not been removed and the new one is easy to miss.

Turn right down the tar road for a few metres, before following the sign at a left turn in to the vineyards, following a clear track. At the end of the track there is a sign pointing out a path between the rows of vines. Here there are two options:Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0010

  1. Either follow this path until it comes out on a T-junction with a farm track – there is no sign here – turn left up the hill until you come to the electric fence border of Protea Heights. Here you will see a very confusing sign with arrows pointing in different directions.
  2. Turn left and follow the farm track until you come to the electric fence border of Protea Heights and turn right, following the track along the fence until you come to the confusing sign pointing in both directions.

Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0076Follow the track along the electric fence until there is a fork. Follow the sign along the left hand fork. From here on most of the signage is fairly clear, although it is easy to miss a direction marker.

Shortly after this the track descends gently, with views of the outskirts of Stellenbosch and Simonsberg Mountain. Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0019As the track descends, there is radio mast is on the right at the highest point on the trail. Half way down the valley there is a marker showing the track that turns right up towards the FM radio mast at the highest point.

After passing the mast the track descends once more with a small farm dam in the valley on the right. Before a row of pine trees follow the marker to the left and then right to where there is a marker on one of the trees. Follow this row of trees to the left along the track until there is gap in a group of low trees.Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0032

There are wine cellars down in the valley to the right and the trail is well marked here with the track twisting through the vineyards, before coming to an old concrete water tank structure and a large stone pine, where the path turns right and then left passed the farm labourers cottages. Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0043This track comes out at Middlevlei Wine Estate, which is a good place to stop for a rest, wine tasting and their regular ‘Boere Braai’ lunch (this should be booked before departure to avoid disappointment).

After leaving the farm along the paved exit road, past the large farm dam, the track leads past a small cottage and towards a smaller dam. This is a good place for a picnic lunch if hikers do not want to take advantage of the Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0046Middlevlei offerings.

The path continues between the small and large dam, just below the main farm homestead. This is not clearly marked but it is easy to pick up the track through the vineyards on the opposite side by following the track close to the dam. The track through the vineyards is clearly marked after this.

Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0052Follow the track to a fenced off area surrounded by security wire, before turning right down the hill. This track is very clear and eventually comes out at the Aaldering Estate. If you are interested in wine tasting this is also a great stop, with an interesting Pinotage Blanc that is really worth tasting, among others.

Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0061 After leaving the estate via the main entrance, the road passes a small dam with the path turning off over the dam wall towards some cottages. The sign showing the way is in place, but easy to miss if you are distracted. After the passing the cottages head down a paved track between a row of olive trees and the vineyards. Half way down this path is a turn off on to a track between the vineyards. There are various twist and turns but the signage is all in place and the path clear up to the end of the farm track where it leaves the vineyards.Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0064

Follow the sign to the left before passing a group of cottages, where you are likely to be greeted by friendly wave and greeting by the inhabitants and excited children. Pass by two large green water tanks and then left again on to a farm track leading behind the cottages and the farmVineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0066 buildings. Now you should be able to see the track that leads up to the fenced Protea Heights property. Shortly after this it is a back on familiar territory and you cross the vineyards back to the confusing ‘backwards / forwards’ sign and then follow the farm track to tar road and that passes the Protea Heights entrance. Pass through the two posts Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0058 the left and the return route back to the hotel follows the same track as the as the start.

Vineyard Trail - Devon Valley - June 2014_0070

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Hikes, Day Trekking, Day Walks, Wine Walks

Bloupunt Waterfall and Montagu Hiking

Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_077Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_009Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_012Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_021Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_028Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_033
Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_061Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_063Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_064Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_073Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_076Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_086
Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_088Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_097Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_099Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_109Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_112Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_117
Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_122Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_125Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_127Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_129Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_131Montagu Hiking Oct 2012_132

Bloupunt Waterfall – Montagu, a set on Flickr.

A visit to Montagu is never complete without some hiking into the Cogmanskloof and surrounding valleys. I had the opportunity to spend a few days there while a client was enjoying the luxury of the Sanbona Private Game Reserve, so I took the opportunity to explore some of the trails and Montagu itself. I had passed through a few times and spend short periods there, but not enough to enjoy the hiking trails. Enough said, it needs a few days dedicated to hiking only, with the Cogmanskloof Trail and the Bloupunt Trail both a full days trekking. (My) photographs don’t really do justice to the overpowering cliff faces and twisted rock formations, as well as the sound of the waterfalls and continuous bird songs. I only walked as far as the waterfalls on Bloupunt Trail (3hrs return), having done a two hour walk to the ridge above the Cogmanskloof Pass (Aasvoël Trail) in the morning.

I’ll be back to make a booking for the overnight trek shortly.

Mountains, rocks and hikes – Montagu Oct 2012

2 Comments

Filed under Birding, Day Hikes, Day Trekking, Day Walks, Outdoor, overnight trails, Slackpacker, Slackpacking Trails, Tours, Western Cape Hiking Trails

Marita & Joseph Cederberg Tour

Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_112aMarita & Josef Cederberg 2012_104Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_095Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_089Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_077Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_071
Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_064Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_062Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_061Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_059Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_057Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_054
Marita & Josef Cederberg 2012_052Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_049 (1)Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_044 (1)Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_039 (1)Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_034 (1)Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_029 (1)
Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_028 (1)Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_024Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_020 - CopyMarita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_014Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_009Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_001

Marita & Joseph Cederberg Tour, a set on Flickr.

Tour to the Cederberg via the West Coast and returning through the Gydo Pass and Ceres

Leave a comment

Filed under Birding, Cedarberg, Cederberg, Day Hikes, Day Trekking, Day Walks, Outdoor, overnight trails, Slackpacker, Slackpacking Trails, Tours, Trekking South Africa, Western Cape Hiking Trails

Cederberg Tour with Marita & Joseph

A great four day tour, including some short walks and a trek up to the Maltese Cross. The sunset at Gecko Creek on our first evening was quite stunning and the rainbow on the second evening added to that.

On the second day, after the short hike along the Savilla Rock Art trail, the drive to Wuppertal was quite an experience with unequalled view of the Cederberg. The next day was for the longer hike up to the Maltese Cross, a visit to the historic Stadsaal and wine tasting at Cederberg Vineyards. We finished on the last day with a two hour walk through the amazing rock formations of the Lot’s Wife Trail.

More on this tour to follow.

Tour for Afruka Eco Tours: www.afrukaecotours.co.za ; info@afrukaecotours.co.za

Marita & Joseph Cederberg Oct 2012

Leave a comment

Filed under Cedarberg, Cederberg, Day Hikes, Day Trekking, Day Walks, overnight trails, Slackpacker, Slackpacking Trails, Trekking South Africa, Western Cape Hiking Trails

Lot’s Wife Trail – Cederberg

Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_120Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_119Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_121Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_124Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_125Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_127
Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_128Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_132Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_134Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_140Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_145Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_146
Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_148Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_161Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_162Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_164Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_166Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_168
Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_170Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_171Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_175Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_176Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_179Marita & Josef Cederberg Oct 2012_183

These amazing rock formations are on the Lot’s Wife Trail, in the central Cederberg, near Dwars Rivier. On tour with Marita & Joseph, we were looking for a last, short walk before returning to Cape Town. I had bypassed this trail many times before, but always focused on the Maltese Cross & Wolfberg Cracks. It really a worthwhile diversion, as the photos show, but in reality, are even more impressive.

The trail is also very close to the Cederberg Cellars, where one can finish off the hike with wine tasting.

Tour for Afruka Eco Tours: www.afrukaecotours.co.za ; contact: info@afrukaecotours.co.za

Gallery for Lot’s Wife Trail – Cederberg:

Lot’s Wife Trail – Cederberg

Leave a comment

Filed under Cedarberg, Cederberg, Day Hikes, Day Trekking, Day Walks, News, overnight trails, Slackpacker, Slackpacking Trails, Tours, Trekking South Africa, Western Cape Hiking Trails