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Hermanus trip report

bristol
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Hermanus trip report

OK - here's the last few bits and pieces!

We said a sad goodbye to Cape Town fairly early, and started the drive to Hermanus. We stopped at Gordons Bay and Betty’s Bay along the way. I had a bit of an accident with the sea in Gordons Bay! We stopped for a stroll along the beach, as we had loads of time. It was a changeable day, so we took advantage of some warming sun, and went in hunt of some pretty shells. I’d found an amazing pink shell, and noticed a collection of large-ish rocks on the left of the beach, so we went over to see if there was anything hiding in the rock pools. The tide was going out, so only a few small waves were making it to the rocks by this time. I climbed onto the small first rock, and was crouched down, hoping to continue with my, (questionable), wildlife spotting luck. My friend noticed a larger wave making it’s way towards us, so skipped back a bit, while I just stepped up onto a higher rock and managed to stay dry. My thinking was, if I skipped out of the way then, my shoes would get wet. As it was, 30 seconds later, I was up to my hips in the sea!! I remember judging my options – stay on the rock as the freakishly big wave approached and risk getting knocked down, or step off the rock, and try to make my way out of the way but risk tripping over the smaller rocks I knew were between me and the dry sand! Either way, I was going to get wet! I opted to try to walk, but by this point I was laughing so hard I was struggling to walk at all! Obviously, there’s a warning here to always be aware of the sea, and recognise how unpredictable it can be, even on the relative safety of the shore, but it was one of the funniest things, and I still giggle to myself now when I recall it! The sea, by the way, was lovely and warm. Not sure what the local driving school students thought of me as I stripped my lower half in the car park as they practised their reverse parking thought of me though!

All dried off we continued our drive. The driving was fun, lots of easy roads, lots of twists and turns to keep it interesting. We did follow the coast road, which was awesome. Some really interesting landscapes, as you said, Somersetal. This drive is fantastic, and anyone unsure as to whether to do it or not most definitely should. I loved driving this route. We passed through Bettys Bay, stopping for a quick lunch, but, as I was travelling with the summertime version of Scrooge, it seemed there was no more time for fun, so we didn’t go and see the Penguins there, or appreciate the views as much as we could have. We soon arrived in Hermanus though, and quickly found our accommodation for the night. We had chosen to stay somewhere on a totally different scale this time, and ended up in the Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge. It’s kind of a mix between back packers accommodation, with a slightly more private guest house section. We stayed in the Guest House, which was nice, as you had your own room, then shared a lounge area with others. We met a couple soon after we arrived, and shared a few stories about trips we’d had so far, and shared some tips on places the other were hoping to visit. The accommodation was nice, and the hosts, Jan and Marilyn were also lovely.

Soon after we arrived, we were out again, making the 10 minute walk to the coast to find those Whales! I was really looking forward to this. We found a pretty little coast path that didn’t lead very far, but to a large flat area of rock. We climbed up, and watched in awe as the sea practically threw itself at us! The weather had turned, and it was getting pretty stormy. The spray from the waves hitting the rocks near us was reaching high into the sky, so I tried to get some arty photo’s of this, really only ending up getting fairly damp again! We found our way to the main footpath, and walked along a wooden bridge type thing, then onto the footpath that went directly into the town area. I loved seeing the Arum Lilies growing all around the area. I love these flowers, and it was a treat to see so many of them growing wild. We stopped to watch the sea battling it’s way to the shore for a little while longer, before noticing a crowd had gathered a short distance away. I made my way over, hoping it would be the Whales, but it was a pod of Dolphins, playing in the waves. I love dolphins, so this was a treat! It was lovely to watch them, but the sea was so rough, it was hard at times to keep track of them. They stayed for a short while, before heading off again. Spotting the Whale Crier, I walked over to hear that due to the weather conditions, the Whales were hiding further out to sea and staying under the water as far as possible. I saw a distant ‘blow’ once in a while, but no actual sightings. Another hour was spent mooching around the town, giving into temptation and buying a few more gifts from the stalls there, and, the now predictable coffee while the rain fell.

That evening we ate at a lovely little place, but I obviously enjoyed the wine too much, as I have forgotten the name! Sorry! I have no idea what the wine was, but the bar staff listened to what I liked, considered what I was eating, and found me the perfect bottle, which I polished off happily by myself! (It helped when it came to ignoring Scrooge’s relentless penny-watching!) The next day, a little fuzzy headed, we headed back into Town after checking out, in the hope a few Whales would put in an appearance, but it seemed the rain was putting everyone off! Onwards with the drive to Stellenbosch.

Leeds, United...
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for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
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1. Re: Hermanus trip report

Lynny

Loved reading your trip reports. I too saw no whales on my first visit to Hermanus, but was lucky at de Kelders last year. You seem to have enjoyed a wonderful trip and have caught that South African bug that draws you back! I have a similar beach story at Plettenburg Bay. It's just a shame you missed the penguins in Betty's Bay. Your writing has really brought your trip to life. You probably took hundreds of photos, but it is those special moments etched in your brain that wlll stay with you for ever....I have a few South African ones of these

Lisa

bristol
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2. Re: Hermanus trip report

Thank you Lisa, yep, hundreds! My friends are bored of me, too!

It's been unforgettable, and I'm sure there's more to come!

Avila Beach...
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3. Re: Hermanus trip report

Hi Lynny, I made a huge deal about getting to Hermanus on my trip last November and also saw no whales. But it was a lovely drive and I did at least see whales outside of Simonstown. One more reason I have to go back! And I agree, while I have thousands of pictures from my trips to South Africa, after losing pics on previous trips, you realize it is the memories entrenched in your cells that change your life, not the pictures!

Edited: 05 September 2011, 01:08
Avila Beach...
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4. Re: Hermanus trip report

Hi Lynny, I made a huge deal about getting to Hermanus on my trip last November and also saw no whales. But it was a lovely drive and I did at least see whales outside of Simonstown. One more reason I have to go back! And I agree, while I have thousands of pictures from my trip to South Africa, after losing pics on previous trips, you realize it is the memories entrenched in your cells that change your life, not the pictures!

5. Re: Hermanus trip report

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