Experiencing the Cape Overberg

To conclude our 2010 winter educational programme, Cape Town Tourism sent five frontline team members – Kelly Williams, Gretchen Neer, Lolly Mgolombane, Lois Johnson and Lee Adams – on a road trip to experience the beauty of the Cape Overberg region.

The three-day excursion started off with an electrifying visit to Eskom’s Palmiet Visitor Centre. Liesel Sherwood-Adcock enthusiastically guided us through a presentation and tour of the power station. After gaining a better understanding of how electricity is produced, our team felt more compelled than ever to help save electricity.

En route to Arumdale Estate wine farm, we stopped at the Orchard Farmstall in Grabouw to enjoy a wholesome meal before continuing up the N2 to Arumdale. Owner Mark Simpson accompanied us for a short walk through the vineyards and orchards, which was followed by a wine-tasting session in which we enjoyed his Elgin cool-climate wine.

At the end of this eventful day we settled in at the Windsor Hotel in Hermanus. Set on a cliff and with sea-facing hotel rooms, the Windsor offers a panoramic ocean view – prompting Kelly Williams, who is responsible for information and reservations at our Table Mountain Visitor Information Centre, to say: “Wow, what an amazing view!”

After breakfast we headed to the New Harbour for an exhilarating whale cruise, operated by Hermanus Whale Cruises.

“As the boat moved closer it seemed as if the whales were performing in a show,” said Gretchen Neer, from our head office. “It seems they love the attention.”

After a hot cup of coffee and some treats at Mitchell Street Village Guest Lodge, we headed to Mosaic Farm, where we received a warm welcome from Graeme Parker and Kathryn Johnson. We were treated to a full three-course meal, which included chicken wraps and cupcakes topped with fresh cream. With dusty hair and sand in our teeth after a quad bike tour of the estate, we headed back to Hermanus.

Before retiring to our suites at the Quarters Hotel, we made a quick stop at Milkwood Lodge, situated at the foot of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. It had just started raining when we arrived at the Quarters Hotel, and we were welcomed with much-needed hot chocolate.

The following day started out with much excitement, as we headed to Farm 215 – Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve, which is the base station of the African Horse Company. After enjoying warm beverages and homemade rusks, we were taken on a tour of the establishment. We then made our way down to the paddock, where the horses were waiting, saddled and ready to go! As we were about to mount these beautiful creatures there was a cloud burst. Although we felt a bit anxious, we were determined to give the trail a go, as it was a first for most of us. Luckily, Mother Nature played along – it only rained for 10 minutes.

Before heading home we visited De Kelders Private House. Just 200 steps from the ocean, the Gansbaai guest house is “a peaceful haven to escape the hustle and bustle of city life”, according to Lois Johnson, from the Muizenberg Visitor Information Centre.

We then visited Crayfish Lodge Sea & Country Guest House, which has the most amazing views of the ocean and is also a great spot to watch whales frolicking in the ocean, and Villa Chad Guest House, with its distinctly African spirit.

As we hit the road back to Cape Town via the scenic Clarence Drive, we discussed our experiences. We all agreed that we felt honoured to experience the Cape Overberg, and looked forward to returning at a later stage.

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