Rambling Around: Travel in 2014

Hello sweetie,

I can’t believe there’s only 3 days left to enjoy the year, and coupled with New Year celebrations, seeing friends, cleaning house and enjoying the warm sunshine, it’s time to take a break and share with you a round up post detailing my top travel moments from 2014! ^_^

MONTAGU

Overhex Wines (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

The hotspring hotspot of Montagu is where we celebrated our 3-year anniversary. On the way up, we stopped in at OverHex Winery just outside of Worcester for some breakfast indulgences, and ended up purchasing 3 of the divine Balance wines before continuing our journey.

Arrival at Ravanna (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Ravenna Pets (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Ravenna cottage amenities (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

Opting to stay out of town, we spent our anniversary at the 3-star rated Ravanna Mountain Retreat, complete with pets, two mountain-fed swimming pool springs, a little farmyard and veggie garden, and secluded cottages. After sigining in and gathering the keys for our cottage, we were accompanied to our weekend abode by the friendly dogs who often go hiking with visitors, and were greeted with the sight of our little wooden cabin, complete with a secluded porch and braai area, outdoor shower, and all you could need for a cosy weekend stay. I have to say, Ravenna is definitely on my ‘return-to’ list – it’s simply gorgeous! ^_^

Guano Caves (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Guano Caves and Montagu Hot Springs (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)The Wine Boutique (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

While in Montagu, we visited Guano Caves and their heated pools, popped into Montagu Springs to soak in the mineral-rich thermal heated waters, and went food tasting all around town – with notable mentions for Platform 62,  De Oude Kombuis (the old kitchen), and Viljoensdrift in Robertson.

 

TULBAGH

Tulbagh Collage1 (Copy)Tulbagh Ceres Snow2 (Copy)Butterfly world in Klapmuts (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

We visited Tulbagh in July – which is the middle of winter for the Western Cape. Despite expecting a weekend of rain, we got plenty of crisp sunny days, when the landscape varied between lush green fields, grey skies, and snow on the Ceres mountains.  Picture beautiful farmlands and cattle, country stalls and warm hospitality, and hearty farm fare served at every restaurant and hotel we supped at. We stayed at Saronsberg Vineyard Cottages, just outside of Tulbagh, and loved the on-site horses, easy drinking wines, and Sarah, the friendly manageress. After exploring the town, we set off further afield to go zip lining over rocky gorges that have snowy peaks beckoning in the distance, and a day trip to the snow-covered Ceres mountains. On our return trip to Cape Town, we stopped in at Butterfly World in Klapmuts, which is highly recommended for families. There are numerous bird species, several free roaming monkeys, and a host of extraordinary butterflies to see.

 

HERMANUS

Hermanus 1 (C) Rambling with RoseHermanus 2 (C) Rambling with Rose

The whale watching town of Hermanus is a coastal paradise, with numerous ocean walks and whale viewing points, a wine land valley aptly named “Hemel en Aarde” (heaven on earth) and country markets to visit around the town every Saturday. There are restaurants and bars to explore and with accommodations that range from cosy overnight self-catering spots to decadent hotel comforts there’s a range of options to suit every kind of traveller. We stayed at the beautiful 5-star Schulphoek Seafront Guesthouse, and spotted a whale breaching just off-shore from our cottage! The manageress Petro, and her kindly husband were our hosts, and we dined with them, enjoyed wine tastings and wandering around the beautiful property. ^_^

 

CAPE TOWN

Once in Cape Town (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Once in Cape Town food (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

If ever you need a stay in the heart of the Mother City, I can highly recommend Once in Cape Town – a backpackers come B&B with cosy rooms and fantastic food offered in their downstairs restaurant / pub. Though hubby and I only stayed here one night, it’s another place on my list of must ‘return-to’! ^_^

 

STELLENBOSCH

Stellenbosch 1 (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Stellenbosch 3 (C) Rambling with RoseStellenbosch 2.1 (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

The famed Cape Winelands are an impressive sight with rolling vineyards, unique tasting rooms, friendly locals, and enough food varieties to keep even the most puritanical foodie happy. We stayed at the gorgeous 4-star WedgeView Country House & Spa, visited J.C Le Roux, Delheim wine estate, and the Stellenbosch Slow market.

 

DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE

De Hoop Nature (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)De Hoop ocean (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

A must-see for nature lovers, De Hoop Nature Reserve is a good 3-hour drive away from Cape Town, and though the dirt road is incredibly bumpy, it’s doable in a small car if you keep your speed down to 20km (ensure you’ve got a good playlist going, as it really is a long, bouncy drive). The seclusion of the reserve adds to it’s charm, and once you’ve arrived and paid the CapeNature fee, you’ll drive in and see the snow-white sand dunes in the background, with the odd glint of the ocean behind them, while a lush paradise dips and snakes off to your right, disappearing into the horizon.

De Hoop Beauty (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)De Hoop amenities (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

Kudu, zebra, and baboon troops (with babies!) were spotted wandering the landscape after we drove in, while swallows and bats swooped high above us later that evening as we lit our braai fire (word to the wise: don’t leave interior lights on and a door open in the evenings as moths will invade the entire property).  The marine walk around snowy sea dunes and the sea shore is incredibly memorable, especially if you come in season to see over 20 whale pods and their babies frolicking in the surf. Then there’s the natural beauty in every direction you look, with blooming wild flowers amid fynbos bushes, and winding bicycle trails you can explore on to the amusement of wildlife who often lazily watch visitors take to two wheels (and it is here, that I finally mastered riding a bicycle myself!). A place to stay at for longer than just a weekend if you can.

 

LANGEBAAN

Langebaan Driftwood Cafe (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Breakfast in Langebaan (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

We’ve actually visited Langebaan several times this year to see friend’s who’ve moved there, and bit by bit I’ve fallen in love with it’s laid back atmosphere, ocean-scented air, and varied attractions.

Fossil Park 2 (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Exploring Langebaan (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Kraal Bay (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Langebaan shops (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

We’ve explored the greater Langebaan and West Coast area, including visits to the West Coast Fossil Park (recommended for all ages!), Sunny Park (which is a local entertainment area for families), Kraalbaai with it’s waist-high waters, and some local shops along Bree Street, which is right opposite Langebaan beach.

Club Mykanos scenery (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Club Mykanos sunset (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

During a work trip with friends, we stayed with friends at Club Mykanos, a raved about Greecian-styled resort that offers multi-coloured casas, ocean views, restaurants and a variety of entertainments that include a casino, children’s club, and several giant chess sets and swimming pools. After spending a weekend at the all-in-one paradise, I can say it’s fully deserving of it’s reputation for providing a touch of Greece in South Africa.

 

NOORDHOEK

Marina Break (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)  Noordhoek cottage (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

For hubby’s 31st birthday this November, we decided to visit the little seaside suburb of Noordhoek, to enjoy a weekend getaway in style and explore what the area had to offer.

Noordhoek flowers (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Breakfast (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

The scenery was stunning, and the home-cooked breakfasts from the owner were divine! With fruit juice, french-pressed coffee, fruit and yoghurt, bacn, eggs, and toast, and a variety of little jams, we were incredibly well fed and remained so until long after our usual lunch time.

Red Herring Drinks (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Decadent dinner at Red Herring (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

Red Herring is a stunning spot for sundowners and supper, and with such a wide menu variety, we decided to pick a couple of different dishes to try. As you can see above, they were well portioned! 🙂

A quick coffee (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy) Chinese (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)Imhoff farm (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

We visited several restaurants including the Red Herring and the Imperial Chinese Gardens, visited Imhoff Farm, did some early morning and late evening beach walks, and made use of our little 1-bedroom (and en-suite) cottage at Marina Break.

Noordhoek Scenery (C) Rambling with Rose (Copy)

My 2014 theatre, family, random moments of beauty and other adventures will be coming soon; and if you don’t hear from me before, here’s wishing you a 2015 filled with love, laughter, friends, family, and fun!
Xx

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One thought on “Rambling Around: Travel in 2014

  1. Pingback: My 2015 Goals | Rambling with Rose

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