Goodbye Hermanus, Hello Cape Town

Sunday morning, our last day at the Lavender Manor hotel. Might as well have the “full” breakfast again today (scrambled eggs with sausages AND bacon!). After paying our account we loaded up the car (and I mean LOADED UP THE CAR!) and headed outta town. There were paragliders circling over the tops of the mountains — quite a few; probably ideal conditions for that today: a bit of cloud cover, not too hot, and not too much wind.

robert-with-car-at-shore-driveInstead of taking the direct route to the Cape Town airport, we followed the southern coastline; we did not need to hurry since Robert and Arlene’s flight is only tomorrow morning, and we had all day to kill — so why not enjoy some of the great South African scenery and do a coastal drive. And it was worth it! Good roads, a bit of up and down, lots of motorcycles, cyclists, and expensive cars taking advantage of the weekend. We were lucky to get only ‘GOs’ at all the ‘Stop and Gos’ (single-lane construction roadblocks) just outside of Hermanus.

south-shoreThe scenery along our route, especially for the first hour, was fantastic: the ocean, the sky, the fynbos growing on the side of the road. I was hoping to find a string of ‘beach cafes’ once we hit Gordon’s Bay and the Strand, but surprisingly, we drove right through those towns and couldn’t seem to find a decent restaurant. Finally, deep in a residential area, we stopped and asked another motorist for a recommendation. Without hesitation he suggested a winery-restaurant that he had worked at, the Waterkloof Estate. We put that into our Google Maps GPS and proceeded to drive the 20 minutes UP a hill to the winery.

waterkloof-winery-in-somersetAt the top of the hill was a very modern-looking building. We parked and went inside. Sorry, without reservations we would not eat there — they were all booked. Quite a fancy place it was, too. Okay, what next? Could the lady at the winery recommend something — perhaps even call for us just to make sure we’d get in? Pleasure! Yeah, except every place she called was booked. Finally she found a place on the beach front that did not take reservations but suggested that we’d get in. We paused for a picture outside the ‘restaurant in the sky’ before heading back down the hill and into Somerset West.

By now it seemed that we knew the layout of the town — we’d probably driven every main road at least once before! It was around 2 o’clock when we found the restaurant, De Brasserie, right on Beach Road. Nice too. The lunch was great, and then Robert and Arlene paid for us to boot!

And then it was time to head for the airport hotel. We dropped off our friends — they are flying to Munich tomorrow, then home the next day. We only felt a little sorry for them — they are only going to be at home for a short time before they head off on their next holiday! We said goodbye — it has been a very fun couple of weeks travelling together with Robert and Arlene and we’ll miss them.

A half hour drive from there back to our apartment in Green Point, Cape Town. Home Sweet Home, my dad would say. We parked in the garage and hauled our suitcase full of dirty laundry up to our room. Open a few windows, let some air in. Water the plants on the balcony. Make a grocery list. Watch a bit of TV. Listen to the action down on the street below.

At 6:30 we went out to “Wooly’s”, the grocery store down the street, and came back with two big bags of supplies. Then I went to the “Big Route” pizza place around the corner and brought back another of those great-tasting pizzas. Supper at our table. A clink of our glasses, “Pula!”, with a nod to Robert and Arlene who taught us that toast.

After supper I hooked up my computer to the TV and we (finally!) watched the first episode of the 5th season of Homeland. Pretty good, although, true to form, by the end of the hour (9:30, for goodness sake!) we were both nodding our heads and doing our best to keep our eyes open!. But we finished it! And then Sue poured us each a glass of Ratafia (thanks, Arlene!) that was in our box of bottles in the trunk of the car. (I think Arlene probably meant to keep that partial bottle for THEIR final night in South Africa, but again, the best we could do was offer another toast to Robert and Arlene (“Pula!”) and then drink their wine.

And that was Sunday. Time to go to bed — we have an early tee time at ‘our’ Metropolitan golf course tomorrow morning.