Sunday, 24 May 2015

Garden Route Road Trip - Route 62

I really wish we'd taken more pictures on the way. The  Route 62 has some of the most beautiful landscapes I've seen in South Africa. Lots of mountains, amazing vegetation, the desert like landscape in the Karoo and the gorgeous wine estates. I was the designated driver for the entire trip and there was no napping for me, which was a huge plus because I got to take in the amazing views. The downside, it isn't so easy to take pictures from behind the wheel. This was going to be our longest stretch for the entire trip with an estimated 6 and half hours on the road before reaching our destination, with a scheduled stop, about 3 hours in, in Oudtshoorn. There seemed to be some sort of festival going on when we got there, so we stopped to have a look. All the shows were in Afrikaans and neither of us speaks or understands it, so we had a quick browse and headed to the Cango Caves for a tour.

I'm not sure if we were just tired from the day before's hike or if it was the heat, But as beautiful and as interesting as the caves were, the hour long heritage tour really took it out of us. By the end of it my legs hurt so bad and I wasn't to only one, and I was getting flu like symptoms. I went into a panic because I worried that I may be over doing all of this and could possibly put my peanut in danger. I decided to wait in the car while the girls went to get some lunch and I totally KO'd. I guess that's all I needed cause I was all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take on the last 3 hrs on the road to the wine estate.

We made a quick stop at the famous Ronnies Sex Shop and made it to our destination just after sunset.

As you can see, other than the donated bras, and the liquor there isn't much else you could link to sex. But it's apparently a must to pop into Ronnies on route 62, have a drink and if you are feeling generous enough, donate some under

On arrival at the Welteverde Wine Estate, we were greeted by some good ol' load shedding. Such a bummer. Luckily the local Pub 'n Grill had a generator and could still make some of the dishes in their menu so we floated around there till the power got back and the minute we got back to our cottage, we were out cold.

We were up early to soak in our surroundings before going on a wine tour. Unfortunately the grape picking season had just ended, so it was going to be a much shorter tour.

Then off we went on our wine tour. Their wines were so yummy it was a pity I had to sip 'n spit. Such a waste of good wine. But I made sure to buy several bottles ready for celebrations once I'm not sharing my body with the pawpawkie.

After our wine tour we headed out to another wine farm, Van Lovren, whose wines I see often, for lunch. They even had free wine tasting and a small charge when paring the wines with different chocolates, cheeses, etc. unfortunately, with empty stomachs, and of course a sip 'n spitter over here, we had to take a pass. The entire place was just so beautiful. It was decided the next of us to get married has to get married on a wine estate on the R62 wine lands.

I will say, our time spent in the wine lands was nothing short of spectacular, and I will be sure to go back with Hubby for a much longer stay and visit a lot more wine farms in the area. 

We were just about 2 hrs drive away from  Cape Town and headed out after lunch. Little did we know we were in for a surprise that could have put a damper on things, but these girls know how to roll with the punches, and that's why I have such crazy mad love for them.

Garden Route Road Trip - Knysna

The last time I went on a holiday with my girls was in 2007. So we all figured it was about time we all did something big together. This was decided in December when we were all home for one of ours' wedding. 
I know my girls, we can plan holidays till we blue and most times they just don't happen. And so by the end of January I pushed and made sure all our accommodation had been booked and deposits paid, that way it was less likely that it was going to end up like other holidays that just didn't happen.

The road trip was scheduled for the beginning of April at which point I'd be 13 weeks along. So I was a little worried that the fatigue and nausea would put a damper on things, but thankfully by the 10th week I was feeling myself again.

The girls all flew in to Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg and off we went. 

Our first stop was Knysna. It's a cute and very fancy looking beach town surrounded by lagoons and lakes. We got there late afternoon so after unpacking and catching up a bit it was already time to have dinner. We found this nice looking place with amazing reviews, Siroccos, and sadly they were fully booked for that evening. We found another just down the road from there, Quay 4 and none of us were disappointed with our meal choices and we got probably the best service of our entire road trip.

We were up early the next day in the hopes of getting as many activities done cause this was our only full day. We went back to the same spot for breakfast and although it was much busier than the night before, we enjoyed our breaky and took a quick pic before we started our day.

Now lemme just say, we love to shop, so we did a "quick" stop at the local mall to get a "few" things and that just took up half our day. By the time we headed out to the Wilderness Nature Reserve it was already afternoon. We were hoping to go canoeing, but it was too windy and they weren't hiring out their canoes. 

To say we were bummed is an understatement. So we decided that on our drive back from Cape Town, we would leave super early so that we could make a short stop on the way back for our canoe ride. We opted for the hike since every other activity was either too "adventurous" for this preggo lady or way over our budgets. And I am so glad we did. It was a 7km hike and quite a bit of a work out, but well worth it.

We headed back in time for dinner and this time we'd been clever enough to book at Siroccos, and we totally get why they get fully booked. The food was so good, no one even remembered to take pictures. 

We were up early the next day to get an early start on the Route 62 wine route to the wine farm we were spending our next night at. Of course we had to have our breaky at Quay 4. 

To be continued...