Next morning I went to the serene town of Stellenbosch. The place has some fine vineyards and I had registered for a wine tour with Wine Flies. Ian was our guide-cum-driver. And our group was really interesting, with fun-loving people from different parts of the world. Stories were shared over wine, chocolate, cheese and food. My host for the night was Eugene, who has a beautiful house there. He told about some secret trips and trails on the Garden Route over dinner.
Richard, my host at Swellendam told me about the Cango Caves and Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn. I made my way through the majestic Tradouw Pass on R324 and passed through the towns of Ladismith and Calitzdorp before reaching Oudtshoorn. For Port Wine lovers, Calitzdorp offers some of the best Port Wine there is. I reached Cango Wildlife Ranch around 3 pm in the afternoon and got to live my childhood dream of petting a Cheetah in there. I reached Mossel Bay by dinner time and checked into a Backpackers hostel.
The next day would turn out to be the most intense day of my trip. I went hiking on St Blaize Trail early in the morning. The trail takes you onto the cliffs overlooking the ocean and is a good 13 km long. The weather was cloudy. So, with crepuscular sun rays piercing the clouds to hit the surface of the ocean, waves lashing onto the sedimentary rock formations and a cave which is known to have housed a core population which showed first signs of modern human behavior, this trail was a surreal brush with the past.
About Cape Winelands
Apart from lucrative businesses for their owners, the estates oﬀer a wide choice of cellars lined with top-class wines, and even a variety of locally produced cheeses, olives, export-quality fruit, and organic produce to sample and buy. The sheer beauty of the Winelands also lures photographers and artists to capture its magnificence, and make for ideal settings to host special occasions. The two must-visit wineries of note, also with their own excellent restaurants, guided tastings and gourmet shops, are Delaire Graﬀ (delaire.co.za) and Fairview (fairview. co.za) which also makes world class cheese. Many estates oﬀer behind-the-scenes tours to showcase the wine-making process, at the end of which you can enjoy some wine tasting and possibly food pairing as well, depending on your choice of tour. There are some, however, that conduct a tour of the wine estate in a safari type game viewing Landrover. At the Waterford Wine Estate (waterfordestate.co.za) guests are driven around the 120-hectare property that is situated on the slopes of the beautiful Helderberg Mountain. This is a particularly scenic drive since the Waterford has chosen to use only half of the total land for the planting of vines, in order to preserve and maintain the natural flora and fauna of the beautiful Blaauwklippen (blue stone) valley. We stop at a picturesque machan-like setting, with the gorgeous mountain backdrop and lush vines till as far as the eyes can see to enjoy some of the signature wines of the estate.
Best Time To Visit Cape Winelands