The Cape of Good Hope – Day 9 (Sunday)

(c) E.C. Lunnon 2011

Tuesday 1 November 2011: 5 years 2 months on … Advantage CBD 

 
The holiday agenda for the week was penciled in as follows:    
 

Sunday morning                              Return to Port Elizabeth

 (Plus a list of people to see and things to do – if time allowed!)

I have now, at last, inked in the gaps… the holiday diary is completed!

Day 9 – Sunday 9 October 2011

It was the time …

… For the holiday to end

… to pack up for oulaas (the last time)

to return to Port Elizabeth

… to return to work and school and home

… for the Springboks to play Australia in the quarter-final of the World Cup

There was no TV set in our cottage, and hence we would not see the big game for which South Africa had been preparing for weeks now, and which would be watched by almost everyone in the country.

It was even scheduled on our itinerary … watch rugby over breakfast and then head home!

Such is the nature and hospitality of the people of the Koo, that when I asked the lady who had prepared our lunch on Saturday where we could watch the game, she immediately invited us (total strangers) to come and watch the  game at their home on the farm next door.

However, Pera felt that we would be intruding, and would not go. I lost it again – both the opportunity to watch the game and my volatile temper.

But, it was not to be. And so we packed the car, left the Cottage at 07h30 and headed east: the R62 to Barrydale, then the Tradouw Pass through the Langeberg to Heidelberg where we joined the N2 and then straight on to Port Elizabeth. We would be back by about 14h00.

We listened to the game on Radio 2000 in the car. I enjoyed the passion and enthusiasm of the commentators who, unlike their TV counterparts, have to place the dots, join the dots, colour it in and paint the whole picture in order for the listener to know just what is happening on the field.

But this is mountainous terrain and I did not enjoy losing the signal every so often … and it always seemed to happen just at the wrong time!

So we went into the Tradouw Pass in the excited winning situation of 9 – 8! It’s a beautiful pass and one that meanders along the course of the river through the towering mountains on either side. I’m not sure we really noticed much.

And then we were

…  out of our skins

…   out of the Pass

…  out of the signal-less Radio 2000 area

…  and out of the World Cup!

Australia had scored a penalty whilst we had no signal.

It was 9 – 11 all over again – and, this time, not in New York, but in Wellington.

Who was to blame for this atrocity? –  we could only earmark the referee!

The car became quiet. The world had ended and our holiday had ended.

(But not before we stopped for lunch in Plettenberg Bay. Why there? Because it was lunch time, as usual we were all hungry, and it’s a Lunnon tradition to stop for whatever meal at the Rod and Reel.)

However, tomorrow, the world would revert to normal and all would be the same again. Including the speeding fine:

Go to Jail. Go directly to JAIL. Do not pass GO. Do not collect R200. And just when you needed it most because, in fact, you’d spent it all on the holiday!

 oooOOOooo

With grateful thanks for a wonderful holiday to:

Sebastian, our tour guide

Michelle, for allowing him to accompany us

Hannah, for not waking me up at night

 

PS This is the e-mail that started it all:

From: Sebastian

To: Ed

Subject: Montagu

 Hi

 Plan of action for 7/8/9 October.

 7 October 2011: Leave Strand early Friday morning so that we can do the Robertson wine route, will have lunch in between wine tasting, after lunch we will wine taste some more, After wine tasting we will make our way to the cottages just outside Montague,(www.oakguestcottages.co.za) where we will settle for the night. We can braai the evening.

 8 October 2011: We can have a light breakfast, then make our way to the Protea farm for the Tractor ride at 10:00 after the ride we make our way to the potjie area which is on the farm for lunch.(http://www.proteafarm.co.za).  Rest of the day we can relax, maybe do some sightseeing of Montagu.

 9 October 2011: We can have breakfast in Montagu and say our Good bye’s……..

 The amount you can transfer for the Two days including accommodation, Tractor and Potjie is into Michelle’s account.

 M Ridgway

 ABSA Strand

 Hope this is  fine.

 Nearer the time we can chat about the weeks arrangements.

 Sebastian

 Home is Where the Heart Is

 

 

The Cape of Good Hope – Day 8 (Saturday)

Tuesday 1 November 2011: 5 years 2 months on … Advantage CBD 

The holiday agenda for the week was penciled in as follows:
   
Saturday                                         Mountain trip (Langeberg) and Potjiekos Lunch (Protea Farm)
 

Sunday morning                                Return to Port Elizabeth

 (Plus a list of people to see and things to do – if time allowed!)

I am busy inking in the gaps… in the meantime, look at some of the pics on the earlier blog!

Day 8 – Saturday 8 October 2011

Planning to do “The Mountain Trip” this morning, we were scheduled to arrive at Protea Farm at 09h00.

We could not get accommodation there as they were full. So we were booked in right next door at Oak Tree Cottages for the weekend.

It was a short trip to Protea Farm. Upon arrival, we checked in and took our places on the back of the trailer. Some 40 other people took up the remaining seats on our trailer and tractor, and another combination of tractor and trailer was filled with another forty plus people.

All of us were headed for the top of the Langeberg Mountain. At a height of some 1500m above sea-level, we would eventually be at an elevation one and a half times that of Cape Town’s world-famous Table Mountain.

And we would get there towed up on a man-made road (in parts double concrete tracks) by a tractor.

We had been warned by sms on Friday that we should bring warm clothing. However, it was a picture-perfect day and the temperature was warm, even at the top.

As we slowly ascended, and stopped every now and then to take in the views and eat the apples, the Koo Valley slowly receded into the distance way down below us. And, as we went up, the vista became wider and wider.

We could see more and more of the Overberg around us, the blue mountains that surrounded us, the green valleys way below us, the myriad of farm dams – some with brown muddy water and others with crystal-clear clear blue water – and the green fynbos and bright orange and red proteas carpeting the entire area.

It was yet another picture from God’s collection of postcards of Planet Earth.

Eventually, from the very top, we could see from Worcester in the west through McGregor in the south to Montagu in the east, and Robertson right at our feet 1500m way down below us.

Fresh mountain water on tap right at the summit quenched our thirst. And we went on to the stone hiking hut, where we were given a glass of Montagu muscadel and some dried fruit.

Then the trip down – at about one o’clock we arrived at the bottom at the beautiful lunch area in the woods.

Juice and wine with stokbrood, roosterbrood, fresh bread, farm butter, home-made jams, lamb, potjiekos, curry, baked vegetables, rice, ice-cream, baked pudding, fruit salad, and seconds and more seconds, and thirds … whatever gaps their may have been in our tummies were quickly filled with the most delicious of South African home cuisine – lekker boerekos! (nice farm food).

We headed for home at the Cottage filled with food and the wonders of Nature in all her glory.

But we were on a roll, and the holiday was fast coming to an end – we couldn’t sit still; so off we headed back to Montagu’s thermal springs and the warm water baths. (The waters spew out of the earth at a temperature of 44 degrees C.)

I don’t think any of us were prepared for the masses of people that we encountered there. Barely a square centimetre was available for us to squeeze in to lie on the lawn or to get into the warm water of the pools.

But once in the water, it was difficult to get out. I must say that even on a balmy spring day, I really enjoyed being in that warm water (with being being the correct verb. There was no doing word, because it was almost impossible to do anything more, or even move). There was definitely no room to swim in this Inn.

Our holiday had ended on a warm note.

We returned to the Cottage and prepared packing so as to get off to an early start on Sunday morning. It was a case of “Early to bed, early to rise … “

Port Elizabeth beckoned.