Headache

A rather limiting sore head today. I don’t often get headaches, but this was a fugly one. And it means that there’s lots to do tomorrow on the kids’ last day of holiday.

It also means an early night tonight.

More tomorrow.

Quick list

It’s been a busy n hours since we were last in touch, dear reader.

A birthday, several pizzas, a walk in the park, some new (but actually rather old) brandy, a million bags of lawn dressing, a decent roast dinner,  two Star Wars films and absolutely no partridges in any pear trees.

It’s no wonder that I’m so knackered.

More tomorrow, once I have (hopefully) recovered.

Hermanus thoughts

Some further thoughts and recommendations following our Hermanus trip this weekend.

We stayed here. After a rather rocky start, it got better. Comfy, cosy and close to the beach, it’s a bit out of town, but nice enough.
So. Many. Windows. I imagine that in summer, it would be magnificent.

We went here. A decent Saturday morning market. There was wine, beer, food, crafty stuff. You know that other Saturday morning market you go to? Well, this is like that.

We ate here. It was really good. Really, really good. Great staff. Eclectic decor, coupled with a really interesting fusion of Asian and local cuisine with some completely unique dishes (the Bun Cha has to be top of your list here).

We walked here. So accessible, so well signposted and maintained, and some excellent views as well.

We did one of the shorter routes, but if you’re fit enough and have the time (and if you don’t have young children attached!) there are some exciting looking longer walks as well.

And then – as described yesterday – we dropped in here on our way back to Cape Town. And look, I know that Boulders has its plus points: proximity to Cape Town, nice sandy beach etc, but for me, the penguins and the other wildlife make Stony Point a much better all-round experience. Don’t @ me.

Hermanus gets too busy for me in the summer, but out of season, it’s a great local getaway and – especially if the weather is good – there’s plenty (or more) to do.

Note: This isn’t a paid review (unlike some blogs, I always tell you if I do paid reviews), we just had a good time and it would be great if you could too.

Return

We went to Hermanus with very few concrete plans. See a friend there, stay in a B&B there, and that was about it. I was skeptical that it was going to be a huge success, but obviously, as usual with these things, I was wrong. We had a great couple of days; busy, but fun. Some good family time. Beach visits, a market which had beer on sale, some flamingo stalking, a spot (or two) of fun with the Mavic, a walk in the nature reserve, some decent food (some not so decent food) and then an impromptu stop at Betty’s Bay on the way home.

… where the penguins and dassies and cormorants were all only too pleased to pose for the camera, and where the foreign tourists (German and Spanish) refused to spend R20 (£1.16, €1.31, $1.49) to see the all the chicks, because there were two just before the hut where you had to cough up your admission fee. The admission fee that goes towards looking after the penguins and preserving their future.

Sometimes foreign tourists can be tight bastards. All they seemed to want to do was stand around near their tour bus and smoke cigarettes (and guess where the fag butts went, fewer than 24 hours on from this?).
Most of the tourists we see in the Cape are having a great time and are amazed by what they see. These ones, not so much.

Anyway, photos here. Not of the foreign tourists, obviously. Ugh.

Day

It’s Father’s Day today, but my first experience of the day was waking up from a horrible dream of being taken before sunrise, to a wine farm, which was closed, and at which there were over 50 beagles.
It could have been the virus I’ve got, but there were cold sweats all round.

Then I realised that this wasn’t a dream at all. The wine farm really was closed and there really were more than 50 beagles in attendance. This was a Beagle Run, and we were in the midst of it. With a beagle.

The cold sweats returned. And they were very cold, because Paarl is very cold on June mornings before sunrise.

The Beagle Run is a fortnightly (or so) opportunity over winter for Beagle owners to get together and wonder why the hell they got a beagle allow their dogs to run as a pack while chasing a scent trail. Which is basically what beagles are meant for.

Some beagles are very good at this. Those beagles win prizes. Other beagles (and here I include our beagle) are less good at it, and cower pathetically on the start line as the pack heads off, before glancing up half apologetically, half questioningly at you as if to say “Well, that was quite an exciting moment, wasn’t it? So what do we do now, then?”
What we do now is walk, beagle in tow, to meet the beagles that have done things correctly, and then repeat the process four or five more times until – covered in mud and disappointment – we get back to the car.

It was good exercise, in fresh air, with wonderful views. And then we came home and I got showered with Father’s Day gifts. I’m still a bit (very) bleugh from my virus, but I’m lucky to have such an amazing family, and the beagle is very lucky to have us too. Other families would have left it at the closed wine farm in disgrace.

Most of the photos were taken by Mrs 6000 because I was trying to find the beagle most of the time and the light was terrible.