We had heard a lot about a little holiday village on False Bay which is frequented by Capetowners who are looking for a retreat from the city. In addition, Paul was hoping for a place where he could finally swim.This has proven difficult due to water temperature, but the locals swim in and around Hermanus, or so we had been told. We packed up the car and went off for an overnight stay and a bit of exploring.
We took the coastal route which gave us beautiful views of the Bay and of the Cape of Good Hope which was but a smudge on the distant horizon. We stopped along the way to see a few sights...once again seeing penguins in Betty's Bay, a whaling station in the past. We discovered that today this area is well known for its whale watching, although this was not the season for it. The whales apparently come to this area as the water is warmer for them and they come to calve and to raise their young. Our hopes of swimming seemed to be destined for success!
We stopped at one winnery along the way. There have been many wineries in thee various area we have visites, the climate being perfect for grape production, but we had resisted until this point....because this winnery also offered handcrafted gin! I went in for a taste and came out with a bottle of gin...and some Shiraz. After sipping gin, and then trying wine, thoughts of how to get these purchases into our overstuffed luggage, and then making the declaration at the border did not cross ones mind!
We arrived in Hermanus and had a bit of an exploration of the village and discovered tgat we had sprung a leak in one of our tires. we went to "Supaquick" where they fixed the tire in situ for $7.00.
Then it was off to find a beautiful beach where Paul could finally swim. He donned his suit and approached the water. His usual way to enter the water is a headlong rush...so I was surprised to see him step in with trepidation. After 10 minutes he finally submerged and then beat a hasty retreat! He claimed it was the coldest flipping swim he had ever had. Well...at least it was beautiful!
During our time here we have seen and learned a lot about the fynbos biosphere. We had learned that fynbos is a broad class of plants that are found in few places on earth, the tip of Africa being the largest area, hence being called a biosphere. From a distance it appears to be green scrub, low to the ground and unremarkable, but up close it is lush and houses many animals, insects and birds. When in bloom it is very beautiful, but we were not to see this as it is not the right season. Hermanus is covered in this vegetation, and a sea cliff walk leads through parts of thenlush green proteas, sugar bush and other species. There are more than 4,000 species in this area alone. We took a walk on the seacliff path and enjoyed these plants.