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Unread 20 Feb 19, 11:45 PM  
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BONZO
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Cape Town Capers - Day 6 Cape Point and Franschhoek

Day 6 Tuesday 15th January 2019

Cape Town Capers
January 2019


Cast (its the usual one!)
Me: Shaun, 50s, loves travelling, eating and drinking (not necessarily in that order!)
Alison: 50s, ditto to the above!


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So, today we are on the move!

We have a very roundabout route to Franschhoek, via Cape Point. We packed up, had breakfast and checked out before asking the valet to collect our car and park up at the front of the hotel. We said our goodbyes and made our way out of Cape Town for the long drive South and only had a couple of minor wrong turns before getting back on track.

So, just to avoid any confusion the southern end of the Cape Peninsula boasts two points of interest, the Cape of Good Hope and the more southerly and a bit higher situated Cape Point. However, the most southern point of Africa is to be found 150 kilometres towards the southeast. There, at Cape Agulhas, the two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic 'meet'. For the early seafarers the Cape of Good Hope marked the turning point in their luck because once the "Cape of Storms", as Bartholomeus Diaz called it in 1488, had been passed, the battle against the sea was basically won.

The drive down was pleasant enough on nice coastal roads with stunning scenery to match and the traffic was actually quite light and stress free, especially being able to drive on the correct side of the road. As civilisation and towns run out we turned off the main road and arrived at the National Park toll booth. Certainly not as cheap as Id expected but I hadnt travelled all this way just to turn back due to the price as I have done at Lands End in the dim and distant past.



Once we paid and entered the park proper



it was a good 10/15 minutes drive down to Cape Point proper. Plenty of parking spaces and even a free golf buggy (tips advised) to take you from your car to the visitor centre if you are that far away.



We were on a little bit of tight schedule so we paid a small fee to take the Flying Dutchman Funicular Train to the Lighthouse at Cape Point.





Thats our excuse and we are sticking to it . All quite interesting and some wonderful views




so we just took a couple of selfies and came back down.







Before getting into the car we ordered a couple of coffees and sandwiches for later from the caf. Interesting to see that they had gin and tonic mix on tap, tempted to give it a try but I was driving so gave it a miss. We sat on the patio overlooking the sea and drank our coffee and took in the dramatic views.



No time to hang around so we drove back down through the park to the Cape of Good Hope and managed to bag a prime spot to park the car up. We wandered along the shoreline, getting as close to the sea as we dared before getting the obligatory photograph taken at the Cape of Good Hope signage.



We drove away from the main car park and pulled in further down the road, facing the sea and watched the local wildlife and wild sea crashing in whilst eating our sandwiches. Felt like a typical old codger thing to do except that wed forgotten our tartan blanket!

On the way out from the park we stopped along the way to watch the Cape baboons which were huge with menacing teeth. Wouldnt want to get on the wrong side of those guys!






We left the same way we came in and slowly made our along the False Bay coastline before stopping at Boulders Beach near Simons Town to see the penguins. Boulders Beach comprises three beaches, three boardwalks and a penguin viewing area. To get access to the penguin viewing area you have to pay a small conservation fee at the visitors centre which is fair enough. A well maintained boardwalk takes you out across the sand with a really good view of the penguins and nesting sites along the beach. The whole sea area is a no fishing zone so theres no need for additional food for these chaps.








After a while of being slightly mesmerised by the penguins we made our way back to the car park and headed further north along the coast road towards Franschhoek but got slightly frustrated as it was school chucking out time and the traffic wasnt as free flowing as it was on the way down.

We pressed onto to Franschhoek driving through Fish Hoek, Muizenburg and Stellenbosch before finally arriving. The scenery changed dramatically from a dry and rugged look to almost green and leafy, almost but not unlike somewhere in the Home Counties or the South of France.

We drove through Franschhoek main town centre and noticed the number of galleries and antique shops that filled the tree-lined streets, and vineyards established more than 300 years ago cascading down the hillsides a very different and nice vibe about the place.

We found our hotel, La Cabriere Country House, just outside the main strip and just tucked away behind the Huguenot Memorial. We drove in and were greeted by the manager who showed us to our room where we had a half bottle of local bubbly on ice waiting for us which was a nice touch.








The room was in a lovely courtyard setting with modern fixtures and fittings all done to a very high standard. The garden areas were beautifully maintained in an English Country garden style, a real oasis of peace and quiet.




There are some very pleasant gardens and 2 open air swimming pools one heated and one unheated.







Theres a small dining room area (just for breakfast as they dont serve food at other times, other than complimentary tea/coffee and cake every afternoon). We unpacked and changed into swimming costumes and just chilled besides the outdoor pool in the sun pure bliss!







Dinner tonight was at Le Bon Vivant in the town (previously recommended) so we strolled out in the evening sun to the restaurant, soaking up the local views as we went such a contrast to Cape Town. We were offered the choice of an inside or outside table but chose inside as the wind was getting up a little. We settled down and looked over the menu and the waitress made a special mention of the Chefs surprise menu options.



Basically the chef decides what to serve you (it could be something from the menu, or not as the case may be!) I asked if I could avoid any seafood and that wasnt a problem Alison was braver and said shed have anything!

The options were either a 4 or 6 course meal with an optional wine pairing. We opted for the 4 course and we were blown away, the dishes were exquisitely presented, delicious and the wine pairings hit the spot - Im a convert!

We started with delicious home-made bread options, served with various dips and butters



Between us we had marinated springbok with cumin gnocchi, pork belly with apple, trout, some sort of sausage with orange, springbok fillet, lemon souffle and chocolate truffles. Here are a few of the photos











We rolled out of the restaurant after a leisurely couple of hours and decided to get a taxi back to La Cabriere.

What a wonderful day!
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Edited at 11:55 PM.
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Unread 21 Feb 19, 05:48 PM  
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anji
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Wow - great day! I remember those baboons - they were chasing people for their bags and stealing stuff. Didn't like them one bit. The penguins, on the other hand ... loved them! Spent ages watching them.

Your new hotel looks beautiful. Not sure I would have gone for the mystery meal but could definitely have eaten the dessert!
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Unread 21 Feb 19, 10:15 PM  
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Melbatb
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What another fabulous day! Seeing the penguins must have been a highlight!

The dinner looks delicious!
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Unread 22 Feb 19, 08:24 AM  
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Omega1
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Glad you enjoyed Bon Vivant, its one of our favourites in Franschhoek. We ate there about a week after you - excellent as usual. We dont usually take photos of food but my main of Springbok was so beautifully presented.
Really enjoying your report.

Edited at 11:43 AM.
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Unread 22 Feb 19, 06:29 PM  
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BONZO
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Those Baboons where huge and menacing when they showed their teeth, I'd certainly give them a wide berth if I was out walking there.

As for the mystery meal, at least we had the opportunity to let them know what we didn't like upfront (i.e. no fish for me) and the wine pairings were sublime - all things that I wouldn't normally go for but I guess I'm getting slightly more adventurous in my old age.

Omega1 - thanks for the previous restaurant recommendations, couldn't fit them all in although another one coming up in next report.
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1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney ~ Santa Fe
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2006 ~ DLP ~ Newport Bay
2007 ~ POR ~ HRH ~ GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, VWL
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
2013 ~ AKL ~ HRH ~ BCV ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Unread 2 Mar 19, 09:17 PM  
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all looks lovely again
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