So yesterday, we had to drive from Leoni's beach house on the western shore, all the way to the town of Hermanus which is on the southern shore. The most direct route would have been to go back through Cape Town.
But we wanted to take the scenic route!
We said goodbye to Leoni and her friend Nettie at around 9:30am.
Kevin, Nettie, Ruth, Leoni, and Angie.
This picture was actually taken on Saturday the 11th. Angie was another couchsurfer from Germany who left that day.
Thanks for having us Leoni. Enjoy your trip to Toronto, and hopefully we'll see Nettie again in February!
So, as we're driving out the road from the nature reserve, we spot something wriggling it's way across the road...
Yikes. He was about three feet (one meter) long.
I tried looking up what kind of snake he was, but there are over 130 varieties of snakes in South Africa. Very few are poisonous, but the ones that are, are very poisonous!
Lots of farmland along the way, but also lots of grapes and vineyards.
We continued on through the towns of Darling and Malmesbury. Didn't stop there, but continued on to Paarl. This is a bigger city than we thought it would have been, with 190,000 people. It's in a valley in the wine region, and it's quite pretty. From the valley, we saw a monument on a hill and found our way up there to see what it was.
Turns out that it was the monument to the Afrikaans language. We paid the R20 ($2.15) each entry fee and drove to the almost empty parking lot near the top.
Nice view from all directions.
The monument itself, with Kevin on the steps.
There is a visitor center with information about the Afrikaans language. It started back in the 1600's as a version of Dutch, mixed with some of the local languages. It's still very similar to Dutch, and they share approximately 85% of the same words.
Looking back at the city of Paarl from the Afrikaans language monument.
We had a little picnic at the top of the monument and then continued on our way through the valley. It's a beautiful area, and our next stop was the town of Franschhoek. This town was settled by the Huguenot French back in the 1700's. It's a gorgeous area, however we found it too be a little too "posh" for us. Lots of little cafes and restaurants. But still, worth a walk around.
There's a monument to the Huguenot French, built in 1945.
The church, is so pretty.
And the interior, with the wooden roof beams is beautiful!
From Franschhoek, you have to drive through a mountain pass. Given the beauty of the area, we were really looking forward to this and we weren't disappointed! We found ourselves pulling over every few hundred meters to take another picture or two!
The road ahead!
At the top of the pass, looking back at the town of Franschhoek.
Arrived at Hermanus, South Africa late afternoon. We called our couchsurfing host Celeste (we can, because we have a cell phone now!) but there was no answer so we stopped and picked up some groceries. After that, we found the house and called again. This time, Celeste answered and had her husband Greg open the gate for us. We spent the evening getting acquainted, but we went to bed fairly early because we had to get up at 5:30am to go....cage diving with the Great White Sharks!!!
Yesterday's drive, 236 kms (147 miles).