Even though Monday was not great due to stomach dramas, Tuesday was possibly my favourite day of our road trip. I was feeling slightly better which helped but the reason it was amazing was due to the scenery and landscapes we saw on our travels. We headed out of Swellendam down to Cape Agulhas (going through Bredasdorp and then Struisbaai). When we started talking about our road trip and the fact that I wanted to plan it, all Ross asked for was if he could please go to Cape Agulhas. Half way through the trip he asked if we were going and I sheepishly admitted that I had “forgotten” and I was sorry but there was not going to be time to go;-) I told a fib.
Cape Agulhas is at the end of the main road of Struisbaai marked with an impressive red and white striped lighthouse. I was under the impression that you had to pay entrance into the Agulhas National Park but you just drive straight in (bonus). You can park at the entrance and walk along a wooden clad walkway along the coast with information boards along the way until you arrive at the board that states you are at the most Southern Point of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is pretty cool to think that you are the closest to Antartica you can get on African soil.
We were blessed with very calm weather, the reason I say blessed is that Cape Agulhas looks like it could be a movie set for a serious pirate movie with all the jagged rocks and crashing waves and I can only imagine that the wind can HOWL and the rain pour down. What also gave me a clue were the houses – there is no such thing as any form of garden is Struisbaai, only grass and glass enclosed patios. Think the day we went was one of their good days!
More wheat fields 🙂
On our way back inland we went from Bredasdorp through Caledon to Elgin. This route was so magical – the wheat fields kept flowing over the hills filling up any space the farmers could find. There were also fields of Canola fields. We were also fortunate that our timing (unplanned but thankful that we accidentally got it right) allowed us to see canola fields in flower. The pictures you see are hardly edited – the fields were really that yellow! You always see things like this on a postcard and think that there is no way it can be real but it is! The flowers are small little flowers that fill up the fields and create a blanket of bright yellow. It was incredible to see.
We had lunch with family in Elgin who are apple farmers. They live in a beautiful farm house (red face brick with white trim), bright green oak trees and erums growing in the gulleys and the golden retrievers to top off the picture. We had a wonderful lunch and then I was taken around the farm to see the orchards. It was amazing to see a working farm (the only farm I have seen in operation is my uncles wonderful little farm in Scotland).
The pear orchards were blooming. The pear blossoms are white while the apple blossoms have a bit of a pink tinge to the white blossoms. The pear blossoms appear in September while the apple orchards bloom in October. Rows and rows of blooming fruit trees that is not easily explained – I hope my pictures give a slight idea to how beautiful it was.
Each row of tree had an apiary. I thought this was to make blossom flavored honey (silly me) it was to ensure pollination of all the blossoms thus ensuring fruit. On closer inspection of the fruit trees I saw lots of snails on the trunk of the tree. These snails are a huge burden to fruit growers – apparently they are the same type of snail that the French farm for escargot. In order to eat them you need to “purge” them on a diet of bran and water – who knew!
We had heard that there were riots on the N2 and that it was closed into Somerset West, so in order for us to get to Stellenbosch we had to go via Franshoek – which was not a bad thing as the pass had gorgeous views of the valley.
We are staying at a wonderful BnB called Rozendal until Friday.
The picture below is an apple orchard which has not blossomed yet – they will blossom in Mid October – oh how I wish I could come down to see it (if you see in the distance those orchards all apple trees which means the valley will be covered in white blossoms – magical)