Best (and worst) of Cape Town and the Winelands

| | , ,

This is the last blogpost from our trip to South Africa (I promise). I was writing most of it sitting on the airplane back to Amsterdam a few weeks ago. I couldn’t sleep because my back was bugging me. It did not handle the thick carpets and looong corridors at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa very well. They were horrible to wheel on. But besides the horrible cruise carpets (flashbacks from Norwegian Epic), the Vineyard was a really nice and accessible hotel with delicate rooms and a lovely pool in a huge garden. Usually quite expensive, but we got a good deal through Booking.com.

The Vineyard had a pool both inside and outside.
The Vineyard had a nice pool both inside and outside.

So instead of sleeping, I was pondering about our holiday instead. Was it a good one…?

Oh yeah! We had three weeks (for at least 3 of us) packed with sunshine, road tripping, wild (and not so wild) animals, birds, eternity pools, ordinary pools, laughter and music. And not to forget – an ‘obscene’ amount of tasty food and some ‘serious wine tasting’.

The boats in Arniston - one of them are called 'Oslo'
The boats in Arniston. We noticed that of them was named ‘Oslo’.

We all gained weight. Some of us had to buy new trousers, when we got back. But what else can you expect when there are so many places offering tasty meals and good wine?

Of course we encountered some heavy rain and floodings during our trip (we feel sorry for Skeiding and Knysna). But what could you expect with Gry&Jobetrotter (aka The Rainmakers) in the group…? Most of the trip was nice and sunny, with temperatures around 30 degrees celsius.

But besides some rainy days, I think the majority was very happy with the trip. Before Ingrid and Olivier went home, we had a little poll (not pool) to see if we could agree on ‘Best of Cape Town and the Winelands’. Perhaps I don’t remember all the verdicts correctly (or objectively). But hopefully I am not too far out. And hopefully it gives you an impression, and perhaps some travel tips for your next holiday…?

To sum it up, and to quote Jo when he got the question from a security guy at the airport: ‘Yes, it has been a very nice holiday…fantastic actually!’

Best experience:
Cheetah encounter and white shark diving (for the brave of us). Game drive and relaxing by the pool at Aquila Game Reserve (for the more brittle of us).

The brave among us returning from their encounter with the big white shark.
The brave among us returning from their encounter with the big white shark.

Best wine:
The Mulderbosch chenin blanc and Constitution road from Robertson Winery (red).

2013-12-25 16.07.17

Best bed:
The Vineyard Hotel and Spa (with Anha Casa as runner up).

But Skeiding had the nicest looking one...
But Skeiding probably had the nicest looking one…

Best location:
The Commodore Hotel (if you want wheeling distance to V&A Waterfront).

To wheel yourself from the V&A to the Commodore you faced a sidewalk with very uneven surface. Good tip - take the lift in the parking house instead!
To wheel yourself from the V&A, back to the Commodore, you will face a small hill with a very uneven sidewalk (hard to wheel). Good tip – take the lift in the parking house instead!

Best beach:
Camps Bay (to walk along and to gaze upon).

2014-01-11 15.47.52

Best view:
Oh, there are so many to choose from! How about the view to Camps Bay from Table Mountain? Or the view to Cape of Good Hope from Cape Point? Or gazing at elephants while having brunch by the pool at Aquila? Probably the majority would agree on the latter…

View to Camps Bay
View to Camps Bay from Table Mountain.

Best pool:
The eternity pool at Aquila. Very refreshing (= cold) but very hard to beat.

Relaxing at the pool in Aquila.
Relaxing by the pool in Aquila.

Best wheelchair access:
Anha Casa. Where else can you find a small B&B with 3 rooms that are all wheelchair accessible? Besides that – the Protea Hotel President was our favourite accesswise.

Nice welcome at Anha Casa.
Nice welcome at Anha Casa.

Best meal:
Stuffed chicken at Eat Restaurant in Hermanus among many hard competitors. Se further writings about food and wine in ‘I heard it through the grapewine’.

One of the many chocolate desserts during the trip.
At Eat restaurant in Hermanus: One of the many chocolate desserts during the trip.

Biggest disappointment:
The fireworks at V&A Waterfront.

Number of fireworks we saw at New Years Eve: 0 Number of drones we saw: 1
Number of fireworks we saw at New Years Eve: 0 – Number of drones we saw: 1

Best breakfast:
Probably a tie between Gubas de Hoek and Skeiding Guest Farm.

2014-01-05 14.26.50

Best animal:
Spotting the rare bontebok and the wild zebra at Cape of Good Hope. And of course the penguins at Boulders and the cheetah with wheelchair fobia.

2014-01-10 10.19.40
The penguins at Boulders were definitely the cutest!

Best guide (in the world):
Warren. Of course. The history student at Robben Island came in at nr. 2.

Warren happy to have spotted the rare bontebok (in the background).
Warren happy to have spotted the rare bontebok (in the background).

Worst person:
Barbara! She resides in Arniston. She might pat you on the head while she speaks to you in a freaky voice with a fake smile. Stay away or you might have to serve time…

This is not Barbara. Be happy for that!
This is not Barbara. Be happy for that!

Best buy:
The plane tickets to Cape Town & sunscreen.

View to Cape Town and Lions Head from Table Mountain.
View to Cape Town and Lions Head from Table Mountain.

Best value for money:
The food and wine in South Africa (in general).

The food at Skeiding Guestfarm was memorable.
The food at Skeiding Guest Farm was tasteful in more aspect than one.

Best drink:
The Cosmopolitan at Tuscany Beach (Camps Bay). Not very hard competition. Stick to the wine most places in South Africa!

Trying out the cosmo at V&A. Go to Camps Bay instead!
Trying out the cosmo at V&A Waterfront. For cocktails – go to Camps Bay instead!

The most creative drink:
The Pangalactic gargal blaster (the name and the look of it was better than the actual taste) at Tuscany Beach in Camps Bay.

gargal

Best museum experience:
The Robben Island Museum.

View to Cape Town from Robben Island
View to Cape Town from Robben Island

Best sushi:
At Drydock Food Company (Knysna)

In Knysna we took the ferry John Benn to see the famous Knysna keyes.
In Knysna we took the traditional boat John Benn (wheelchair accessible), to see the famous Knysna heads.

Worst service:
New Year’s Eve at Karibu (V&A). Hard to beat!

2013-12-31 21.11.32

Best winefarm:
Springfield Estate in Robertson. However the trip at the riverboat at Viljoensdrift was also very very nice.

At Vljoensdrift.
At Viljoensdrift.

Best hotel / B&B:
Gubas de Hoek (Robertson). There might be diverse opinions on this one though.

2013-12-28 09.24.03

Worst music:
Dancehall music (svensktoppar) and South Africa’s version of Rune Rudberg and Hellbillies at Skeiding Guest Farm.

2014-01-05 13.47.10

Best Music:
Music for Men by the Gossip that we listened to in the car.

music-for-men

Scariest snake:
The imaginary one at Skeiding. We did not see any real ones.

Saddest moment:
When Ingrid and Olivier (and Warren) left and it started raining. And we were stuck for 1,5 day in pouring rain with Vikingarna and James Last at Skeiding Guest Farm.

During our farm tour the first drops of rain came.
During our farm tour in Skeiding the first drops of rain came.

Best moment:
Random moments of pure joy and happiness.. 🙂

Wine can also be enjoyed in the pool (in Gubas de Hoek).
Wine can also be enjoyed in the pool (at Gubas de Hoek).
Some of us dared to meet the shark in a cage.
Some of us dared to meet the shark in a cage. And some were just proud of their superwoman!
Some of us blogged in a cage instead...
Some of us blogged inside a cage instead…
Happy people in the cable car on their way down from Table Mountain.
Happy people in the wheelchair accessible cable car (5 wheelchairs at the same time actually) on their way down from Table Mountain.
2013-12-28 17.52.29
Happy guys enjoying a drink during game drive in Aquila.
Happy Couple at Cape Point.
Happy couple at Cape Point.
Happy penguins at Boulders
Happy penguins at Boulders
Happy people at Cape of Good Hope.
Happy people at Cape of Good Hope.

And then it only remains to say:

Thank you for the lovely trip and thank you for your attention! We’ll travel again, don’t know where, don’t know when. But I know we’ll travel again some sunny day…

Previous

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes

The Art of Wheeling

Next

1 thought on “Best (and worst) of Cape Town and the Winelands”

Comments are closed.