I can just hear all the sympathy with that title!
So we left Franschhoek Sunday morning as we had approximately a 260 mile drive to our next stay in Wilderness. Going round the mountains and over the Franschhoek pass gave us a glorious view of the town and the valley. Our drive to the coastal town of Wilderness was leisurely, with stunning scenery but we soon found ourself looking at mountains with no tops, and driving through those cloudy coverings. The smell of the trees, and vegetation filled the car through the air conditioning – was lovely. Even though its the end of summer here, you can still see why they call it the garden route.
See a video from the Franschhoek Pass here
The town of Wilderness has some spectacular views as you drive down from the main road to the pass. If the cloud goes, I’ll get out and take some photos!
Our hotel is perched on the cliff tops, hence the views and the name. This time there are photos of the inside, not a video, sorry. However there is a video here of the views of the beach.
If I thought service was good at the last one, this one is even better, if possible. Everyone calls me “my lady”, I could get used to that! We get champagne and chocolates in our room. Beach towels, and if we decide to stay in and watch a movie on their Netflix, we get a courtesy tub of popcorn. In the evening we get a sweet treat on the pillow, and a mat on the floor next to the bed for when our delicate feet get up in the morning. We get hot drinks bought to the room half an hour before we want to breakfast, despite the fact that there are drink making facilities within the room. Nice touch is the tea light for those romantic moments that we share, well maybe 39 years ago!
South Africa is a big meat and seafood country, but we have found plenty to eat. However when we checked in, they knew we were vegetarian and asked the chef to meet us so that he could prepare special meals for us. I can tell you that after two nights, we have eaten like kings, and unlike me I’ve posted piccies of these as they are masterpieces on the eye as well as the palate.
So Sunday night and early Monday morning it rained and rained so when we woke it was cloudy, damp and the ground was very very wet. The hike in Plettenberg Bay was re-arranged for Wednesday. Thanks to Anne Gordon for the tip of the C P Nel Museum in Oudsthoorn. What a fascinating museum and highly recommended. We learnt not only about the local area, but about the growth and importance of the ostrich industry to the area. I also found the items in the school fascinating, particularly the change of school logo over the years – although they all retained the ostrich feathers.
They had a tribute to the Oudtshoorn Jewish community, and had rebuilt the original synagogue in the museum to preserve it. Allegedly they still use it for some weddings, even though there is a synagogue further down the street (we didn’t manage to get to that). There is a video of the synagogue in the museum here.
As we were in Oudtshoorn, a visit to an Ostrich farm is a must. Steven was right when he said this was so much better after the museum had taught us about the industry and the area. Ostriches are curious creatures, and although we learnt a lot about them, I’m still not sure I understand them🤣. The males are black as they sit on the eggs at night, and the females the lighter colour as they guard them during the day. Steven demonstrated the strength of the eggs by standing on them. Their shells are so thick that the unfertilised eggs are carved and painted into ornaments. They have named the ostriches and yes, that fancy white one really is called Maradona – I’m assuming the singer, not the footballer. For a video of some of the ostriches click here. I got lucky with some of the photo sequences of the ostriches. They appear in random order down below, so to be seen in sequence – click on the first photo so it enlarges, and then navigate using the arrows underneath.
Another bonus, the weather was glorious further in land so we had a beautiful day of sunshine, even though we went back to the mist in Wilderness. However we did manage to see the bright red of the mountains around Oudtshoorn – the colour reminded us of the valley of fire outside Las Vegas. This time however the red was interspersed with green vegetation – stunning.