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December 12, 2012

Hello, Darling – photos of a West Coast love affair

Head north out of Cape Town on the R27, then take the R307 turn off and drive for around 70km, and you’ll arrive in quaint Darling – a picturesque village in the heart of the West Coast. A day trip to this idyllic community of vineyards and canola fields is a must for city slickers looking for a change of scenery.

 Image Courtesy Evita se Perron / Wikimedia Commons

First stop has to be Tannie Evita Bezhuidenhout’s restaurant-cum-playhouse-cum-art gallery, Evita se Perron. Open from 10h00 to 16h00 on Tuesday to Sunday, visit www.evita.co.za to see what’s showing.

Photo courtesy © Kate Rau

Photo courtesy © Kate Rau

Photo courtesy © Kate Rau

Photo courtesy © Kate Rau

Enjoy the wild flowers in bloom, and the curious nguni cattle, as you drive through the painteresque countryside. Fields of wild daisies, arum lilies and yellow canolas colour the route in white and yellow. Be sure to stop off and enjoy the smells.

Photo courtesy Winfied Bruenken / Wikimedia Commons

A pit stop at the Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve is a must, especially when the wild blooms are in flower. Get directions and more details here.

Photo courtesy © Kate Rau

Photo courtesy © Kate Rau

The Darling Wind Farm lies just out of town, past the wildflower reserve and towards Ysterfontein. The farm is operational, and although it’s not technically open to visitors, it’s certainly something worth stopping off to see.

Don’t forget to do a tad of wine (and olive) tasting. Cloof, Darling Cellars, Darling Olives, Ormonde, Tukulu and Groote Post farms are open for tastings daily, some accompanied with a gourmet cheese and olive platter. Click here for more information.

Things to remember

  • General shopping hours are 08h30 to 17h00 on weekdays and 09h00 to 13h00 on Saturday. If you need supplies on a Sunday, get them in Cape Town.
  • Expect lovely warm weather in summer (a perfect 24 degrees), but cooler and sometimes windy weather in winter
  • Watch out for tortoises! The West Coast road is littered with smashed shells, stay alert while driving and don’t contribute to the carnage.
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