Holiday home

Ah… Yzerfontein.
The jewel in the crown of SA’s West Coast. Although, Paternoster also has a reasonable argument for that title and plenty of hipsters will be shouting about Churchaven as well, so perhaps we’ll settle for “one of the jewels in the crown of SA’s West Coast” to prevent any fighting amongst the two of you reading this.
But Yzerfontein has a particular place in my heart, since Mrs 6000 stars on the town’s official homepage after photos of her were spotted following an infinity pool testing visit there a few years ago.

Anyway, if you were to be thinking about purchasing a hazy escape in the particular jewel that is Yzerfontein, then you could do a whole lot worse than this place.

Ignoring the error in the title – this is about an hour north of Cape Town – I rather like this place. Even if I hadn’t just invested in another seaside location, I still wouldn’t be able to even dream of affording it, but then again, just because I can’t afford Minki van der Westhuizen doesn’t mean that she’s not nice to look at.

The blurb tells us:

Leaning against the dunes covered in fynbos (“fine bush” in Afrikaans), the L shaped plan is spread over three levels; the home has been designed to intensely enjoy the view and the sea air. There are two bedrooms with a bathroom on the top floor, communicating with a cobbled terrace, living room and kitchen at the intermediate level, linked to the garden and infinity edge swimming pool, and a third room plus a photography studio.

Terrible.

The design is by Richard Townsend and Stefan Antoni, who has done some amazing buildings in the more affluent areas of Cape Town. All of which brings me to the one issue I have with this place: it sticks out like a sore thumb. There’s a time and a place for this modern design and while this may be the time, Yzerfontein certainly isn’t the place as far as I’m concerned.
Never mind. To their credit, they have at least sited this home some distance back from the beach and behind the protection of the dunes, no doubt mindful of the icebergs which are a feature of this part of the coastline (as anyone who has ever set foot in the sea there will surely testify).

There’s not a lot to do in Yzerfontein besides watching the world go by, enjoying the gentle pace of life and seeing those amazing sunsets, but then, if you owned this place, why would you ever want to leave the house anyway?

Pictures: Adriano Brusaferri

Heading South (again)

What to do with a few days off? Head South (again).

There’s actually not much further south than Cape Town, unless you’re into swimming and penguins, but if you hit the N2 through to Caledon and head down the R316, you can drive on winding roads through rolling countryside filled with blue cranes, storks, ostriches and the odd springbok.

This time, we’ll be taking our time to get to where we’re going, so instead of the farmland flying by at 120kph, I hope to stop and get a few photos en route. These are photos which I won’t be able to share immediately, due to the lack of internet at the cottage, but rest assured, you’ll be the first to see them upon our return.

Normal service (such as it is) will continue on this site, although comment moderation may be a little delayed.

Have a great weekend.

Parents on Tour

As those of you who follow me on twitter will probably know, my parents have been in New Zealand for the past few weeks. Fortunately, while they were in New Zealand at the time, they were some distance away from Christchurch when the earthquake struck. Even more fortunately, they were well gone from Japan – which they passed through en route – by the time that the tsunami struck there.
Here’s one of my Dad’s pictures of that country on a more peaceful day.

They are now in South Africa and while I can’t promise them snow-capped volcanoes, I can – with some degree of certainty – promise them that their visit here will be earthquake-free.

New Wine Tour

Now this looks like a good plan.

During the Christmas break, we took the kids (and ourselves) on the Cape  Town Sightseeing bus. We did the Waterfront, the CBD, Table Mountain and Camps Bay, before taking two exhausted, happy kids home. For some weird personal reasons, maybe you don’t believe me, so here are some photos and a blog post to prove it. See? Your issues, not mine. Get some help.

Anyway, incoming PR from Cape Town Sightseeing tells me that they have now added a couple of wine farms onto their Peninsular “Blue Tour”. Nice idea, peeps.

Claus Tworeck, the CEO of City Sightseeing, explains that the new Wine Tour has been launched as an added free value extension to the existing Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, and offers visitors and locals alike the chance to experience a true Cape outing.

“The Cape is synonymous with its wines and Groot Constantia, which has been in existence since 1685, not only offers visitors the chance to taste and purchase top quality wines but to also experience the grandeur and history of this beautiful estate and its surrounds!”

The list of things to do at Groot Constantia is impressive and, amongst other things, includes a fascinating tour of the historical Cape Dutch manor house, a cellar tour and wine tasting, the unique vineyard walk, the option to eat lunch at the restaurants or order a pre-packed picnic. Alternatively, bring your own.

“This is a wonderful day out for the entire family, and the estate is extremely child friendly. Kids can run around under the oak trees, visit the ducks in the pond and generally have a great time whilst their parents enjoy some wine tasting and a meal.”

And Claus is right. I think that the Constantia Wine Route is one of the most underrated attractions in Cape Town and if this helps it gain a little ground in the competition against its (admittedly also lovely) counterparts in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, then I’m all for it.

Add that to the other attractions on the blue tour: Kirstenbosch, Hout Bay and Camps Bay and you’ve got yourself a big day out. With wine. What’s not to like?

The “hop-on, hop-off” buses for the wine tour depart from the Waterfront stop (at the 2 Oceans Aquarium) every 35 minutes from 9am. Tickets are R120 for a day tour or and extraordinary R200 for two days consecutive tours – and if you book online, you will save R10 and R20 on the prices respectively.

Remember: Stuff found in the 6000 recommends category comes personally recommended. I don’t recommend stuff that I haven’t personally used and enjoyed, no matter how much cash people offer me to do so.

Stoned

Not in that way, of course. That would be very naughty.
No, my drug of choice is fresh air. That and brandy, obviously.

I took this on one of a few quick trips down to the beach from the cottage this weekend.
Rather hypnotic.

The remainder of the time there was spent sorting out the back garden (such as it is) and trying to salvage fynbos from the remnants of the building site. I’m unconvinced that we got a long way with that process, although my aching muscles are screaming otherwise.
My rationale for getting as much done as possible as soon as possible is that then I’ll actually be able to use the cottage for its original purpose, namely to chill out a little.

The place is alive with wildlife: peregrine falcons, African land snails, striped mice, scorpions (x2, in the house) and a tortoise in the bushes at the back. Then one of the neighbours came round to say hello and warned us about the the pofadders.

This sorted out a lot of a gardening worries, since I’m now going to raze the whole thing and concrete it over.

Got to love getting close (but not too close) to nature, hey?

More pics, should you wish.