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April 11, 2013 / samwilson60

The perfect Easter weekend

Once we were on the road we made pretty good time. We really enjoyed the meandering drive and when we finally arrived in Langebaan, we were blown away by the welcome. Neither of us had seen Sandy for years and we’d never even met her parents, but we were taken in as if we were part of the family.

Within minutes we were feasting on artisanal bread, real cheeses, awesome picked onions… My mouth is watering just writing about it! Once we’d feasted till we could feast no more, we took ourselves and the dogs down to the lagoon for a much needed leg stretch. We had guessed it would be from the living-room view but the waterfront was absolutely beautiful.

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View from the house

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After a well-earned(?) drink at the far end of the lagoon, we walked back and headed home for yet more amazing food – this time a truly South African snoek bobotie. Yummy!

After the most luxurious sleep to date, we went into town for breakfast and a mosey round the local produce market, then set off in convoy to Cape Town, via Darling for beer tasting and one of the many vineyards for wine and oysters (it’s a hard life, and a REALLY unfortunate time to be on a malaria-induced alcohol ban!). Once at Sandy and Bianca’s, we fired up the braai and saw how the experts do it.

The next day was Easter Sunday and Sandy and Bianca were hosting brunch. We were very grateful gatecrashers and really enjoyed meeting more of the families. Once again we feasted on a mix of familiar and less familiar fare, including pickled snoek, a traditional Cape Malay dish, and once we’d all had more than we could manage and more, we took the dogs down to the beach in Noordhoek for our benefit as much as theirs, and to check out the Kakapo shipwreck (photos taken the time we remembered to take the camera!).

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On the way home, we stopped at Kalk Bay, yet another of Cape Town’s fantastic seafront getaways, this time for cocktails, and on Easter Monday we left the Tinker Beast at home while Sandy (braai master, chauffeur AND tour guide) drove us around the peninsula to the long-awaited Cape Point. En route, we stopped to check out the harbour and pick up some biltong in Simon’s Town, then visited and pick-nicked with the penguins in Boulders for as long as the rain would allow.

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Our next, and possibly most exciting stop, was Cape Point, not the most southerly point in Africa but the most south-westerly and, much like Nordkapp, a significant landmark in our Cape to Cape adventure. It felt surprisingly similar to Nordkapp in fact – the visibility was better but not much, and it was no doubt warmer and drier, but again, not much!

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We cut the peninsula tour short on leaving Cape Point, having realised it was already nearly 6pm, still raining and getting dark. Heading home for soup and games suddenly held so much more appeal, and that was before we even knew about the chestnuts. We relived our childhoods as we tried to remember how one goes about cooking a chestnut in the fire, let alone getting it out of its shell, and had a great evening with our oh-so generous hosts.

Left to our own devices the following day, we were determined not to let our to-do list get in the way of our touristing, but with everyone but us now back at work, we did have a certain amount of shopping to do. Top of the list was new auxiliary batteries for the Tinker Beast. After various false alarms (or warning signs?), we’d discovered we really had beaten the old ones up one too many times, and although we didn’t really know where to go, we knew Cape Town was our best shot at replacing them. We visited various potential suppliers and, while most didn’t have quite what we needed, all were incredibly helpful and with their help we eventually found what we were looking for. We found better batteries than we were looking for actually, but when the manager offered them to us at cost after hearing of our adventure, we couldn’t say no. Having also found new trainers for Sam and bought pick-nick supplies, it was time to resume the peninsula tour. We headed back to the Kakapo first, with the camera this time, then proceeded up Chapman’s Peak, through Hout Bay, then Camps Bay and back to base in time to get ourselves up Lion’s Head for a sundowner with Sandy, Bianca and the dogs.

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Touristing took more of a back seat on our last day in town. We now had two shiny new batteries that needed fitting and no excuse not to dust out the car in the process. That said, this was also our first dry morning in a few days and we were determined to get out for a sunset hike. For this, Sandy took us to Silvermine dam. The sun actually came up before we’d made it out of the car, but the hike was still all we’d hoped for and more – around the ‘bowl’ above the water. It was a little improvised and we were slightly nervous about Sandy ever making it to work that day, but she seemed to agree it was worth it!

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Back at ‘home’ we got down to work, but after lunch Cat snuck out for a very scenic run along the nearby green belt and we both took the new batteries for a test drive via the fishmongers and Groot Constantia vineyard, in preparation for a gourmet, goodbye fish braai later that night.

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After that it really was time to say goodbye to Sandy, Bianca and Cape Town. We would have loved to stay longer and see and do more – shamefully, we hadn’t even made it into town itself – but we’d been on the road a day shy of seven months and still hadn’t reached the real Cape Hot, let alone worked out quite how we were getting back again. Many would say it’s a crime to leave Cape Town without having entered town itself but we consider it a sign of our confidence that we’ll be back 🙂 We were also excited about continuing the adventure but that made it no easier to leave. We are so, so grateful to Sandy, Bianca, Amouret and Arthur for the home comforts, tour guiding and generosity, and to Lise and Co on the other side of the equator for their equally generous support – you guys are legends, the lot of you!!

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. leelee / Apr 11 2013 6:25 pm

    I miss my sis!!! And beeeeeegest of lurve right back atya kids! ❤ ❤ ❤ xxx

  2. leelee / Apr 11 2013 6:27 pm

    PS. town is over-rated – you definitely got to see the best bits! but you’re right. there’s plenty more, so you’d better make sure you get back there 🙂

  3. Peter Cullen / Apr 11 2013 9:55 pm

    What great friends.

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