Before we arrived in Cape Town, I’d never heard of Hermanus. After we checked into our hotel, someone mentioned a placed called Hermanus (in a conversation I may or may not have been eavesdropping on while sipping on my bubbly by the pool) and from that point onwards, everyone seemed to talk about this amazing place that you had to go whale watching in.
Best part – the whales came right up to the shore area and you didn’t even need to get on a boat to see them.
Following our morning up on Table Mountain, we hot-footed it back to The Glen to drop off our rental car (which we’d gotten the day before to head to Muizenberg, to see the penguins of boulder’s beach and head down the Cape Peninsula) and hopped right into our tour guide’s car with minutes to spare. (Atta boy!)
The plan was for our driver to show us a different part of South Africa outside of Cape Town and boy, were we game for that! We zoomed out of Cape Town, past Stellenbosch and soon enough were in the mountains where we had to stop to soak in the stunning view of the South African countryside.
*Random aside: I should probably have pulled my shorts up in that photo above but what you can’t see is that there’s a sign next to me saying “Don’t feed the baboons”. Fair enough there were no baboons anywhere nearby but I didn’t wanna stick around to find out so I hurriedly took this ‘new facebook cover photo’ and jumped back into the car. Now I have a crinkly butt photo to celebrate that moment but hey – at least I didn’t get confronted by a wild baboon. Never used to be scared of baboons till that monkey chased us in Singapore, growling and baring its fangs (thanks to Lloyd and his insistence on trying to feed them). Now, my healthy curiosity has been replaced with a general sense of wariness! 🙂 Hehehe!
We raced through stunning vista after vista before, soon enough, we arrived at Hermanus and quickly realised why you didn’t need to go on a whale watching boat tour to see the whales.
The waves are crazy and the drop of the cliffs here were sheer which meant that the water was deep and the whales could swim right up close!
Eager and excited, we kept our eyes peeled for some whales! With any luck, we might even be able to see a humpback whale flipping…
…and we were not alone in our expectations.
In all the intense look out for whales (this was as good a chance as any after our experience in Iceland, I reckoned), we kinda overlooked the less elusive local wild-life – the rock badger or “Dassies” as they’re commonly referred to (thanks Tahlita for letting us know what they are).
Alas, we’d arrived out of season and most of the whales had migrated with their young so there was no humpback whale sighting to be had.
We did however manage to see a Southern right whale and her calf in the distance. That’s something I guess. 🙂
The best part here is that there’s an official whale watcher with a horn of sorts who would blow out loudly when one was spotted.
With this in mind, we decided to go on a little walk to see more of Hermanus…
….and decided to go for lunch in a cave restaurant with an amazing view (so we could keep an eye out for the whales).
The food here isn’t particularly exciting but the drinks are pretty good so I reckon, if you wanna head over here, get yourself a drink and perhaps grab food elsewhere (can’t remember the name of the place now but there’s only one restaurant here in the cave here so you won’t get lost if you go looking for it).
Lunch over, we decided it was wine o’clock (plus we were hoping to see more of the countryside) and so we decided to head to a local vineyard for a wine-tasting session.
That local vineyard in question is the Creation vineyard.
Seeming endless acres packed full with juicy grapes just waiting to be plucked and made into that delicious wine we love so much!
We arrived just before closing (phew) so we quickly grabbed a table, a resident wine expert and proceed to ask to taste ALL OF THE WINE.
You shoulda seen the look of disbelief on her face. We couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t wanna taste all the wine. Why just some! I’m no sommelier or connoisseur so I had no way of figuring out which wines to skip and which to try hence the decision to go for them all. 🙂
With wine-tasting, you’re typically meant to have a bucked to spit the wine out in. We however were a.) on holiday and b.) not driving, so we skipped the bucket and went all in one the wine.
Glass after glass of delicious South African red and whites were put away, accompanied with explanations about the wines and how they’re different from all the other ones we’d tasted or were about to taste.
Apparently, the wine must have convinced me that I can pull off a brooding look while staring into the sun… Reality, I very much doubt I can! 🙂
By the end of the wine tasting, we decided which ones were particular favourites and had to be taken back home to London.
We ordered several crates to go (we’d figure out how to get that back home later) and went off for another gander around the vineyard.
By the time we hit the road again, we were merry, still full from lunch and very pleased to see more of the South African countryside…
…which did not disappoint one bit! Perhaps now (if you didn’t already), you can see why it’s so easy to fall in love with South Africa (wine helps too!). 😉 🙂