Adventures in South Africa – Beyond Cape Town

on Travel  

We visited a few areas outside of Cape Town – more beautiful beaches and dramatic cliffs, amazing food and the wedding we travelled all that way for. Here’s a short photo diary of the places we visited.

Cape Point

Sometimes mistakenly called the southernmost tip of South Africa, Cape Point and neighbouring Cape of Good Hope are at the tip of the rocky peninsula. There were beautiful views out to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
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Langebaan Lagoon

Driving further westwards from Cape Town, we visited Langebaan and its lagoon. Despite beaches around Cape Town being very beautiful, I found the Atlantic Ocean far too cold to stand in for long. This huge lagoon in Langebaan, sheltered from the cold ocean, was beautifully mild, clear and shallow enough to walk through quite far from the shore. The area is popular for kitesurfing and sailing, but that day was very quiet and peaceful.

We drove around the rest of the national park, stopping for bird watching in shelters reached by boardwalks in the marshes. We spotted wild flamingos in the distance via binoculars, and ostriches hanging out near the road (they are a little scary!).

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Yzerfontein

Our main reason for visiting South Africa was to attend our friends’ wedding, held on the famous Sixteen Mile Beach in Yzerfontein. We stayed at the same BnB that hosted the wedding, for a quick stumble to bed after the festivities were over. The ceremony was held right on the beach, with the reception just a few steps away in a marquee decorated with shells and succulents. We ate freshly baked bread and seafood cooked on the braai, and performed a surprise dance that everyone but the couple were in on (it was like a scene out of a movie where everyone knows the moves!). I love weddings that so perfectly reflect the couple, and this was one of the best.

Yzerfontein is a very small fishing town, but the beach (whilst cold!) is beautiful as it stretches right into the horizon on both sides.
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Stellenbosch & Franschhoek

I was told that the main wine regions near Cape Town topped even Margaret River for their picturesque scenery and wines. We joined a day wine tasting tour, and along with another couple (coincidentally also Australian) drove from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Mountains, rolling hills and Cape Dutch architecture greeted us as we visited wineries, sampling wine, biltong and game.

Overall the wines were fantastic, and far more affordable than in Australia. In fact, the wine I had all over South Africa was excellent, with wine lists showing almost entirely local wines. The area is also known for its food, with Franschhoek fast transforming from a sleepy town to a gourmet destination. If we ever return to South Africa I’d like to spend more than a day in the area!
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And that’s (finally) it for The Boy and I in South Africa, which was several months ago now! Here’s the rest of the posts if you missed any:

Adventures on safari

Driving the Garden Route

Hiking and chilling in Cape Town

Making Peanut Butter

on Food  

I had an inkling that peanut butter was easy to make, but I didn’t realise just how easy.

As it tends to be the toast condiment of choice in our household, we go through it fairly quickly and throwing out the plastic jar each time was beginning to irk me. Add to that the unease of preservatives, sugars and salt required to make a commercial product popular and long-lasting – homemade peanut butter looked like a healthier, fresher and less wasteful option.

I roughly followed these instructions from the Kitchn – roughly as in I tend to not actually measure quantities for things like this. It really is as simple as you would expect: lightly roast some peanuts, blend them up, add in some honey/salt/oil to taste, blend some more then pop into a jar for consumption. I spent longer cleaning the blender than I did actually making peanut butter.

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Roast up some peanuts
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Blend or process peanuts whilst still slightly warm
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At this point I added some honey, salt and oil before blending some more

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Done!

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Now of course the end result isn’t as silky smooth as store-bought peanut butter, but as I’m a crunchy fan anyway that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Give it a go!

Adventures in South Africa – Cape Town

on Travel  

Let’s take a break from the slightly belated posts and return to the extremely belated posts – from my trip to South Africa back in January! In the last posts from this series I described our safari experience at Kruger Park and our drive along the Garden Route, at the end of which The Boy and I arrived in Cape Town.

My introduction to Cape Town was a memorable one – we drove in just in time for me to attend the hens party for a friend, which included a (slightly choppy) ferry ride giving amazing sunset views of this beautiful port city. We spent our time in Cape Town relaxing as well as exploring, meeting up with friends and enjoying the excellent local food. The highlight for me was a visit to Boulders Beach, known for its colony of African penguins which will waddle right up to you, completely unafraid.

We set our sights early on hiking up the towering Table Mountain, but with heavy clouds hanging around the top we were advised to leave it for another day. Instead we took our chances with neighbouring (but sunny) Lion’s Head, a longer but less steep climb winding around the peak, giving views of the city from all sides.

Eventually we did make it up Table Mountain – but having strained ourselves enough climbing Lion’s Head we took the easy route and rode the cable car. Being the first ones up that morning we had the flat top of the mountain mostly to ourselves, and the quiet view of the city was fitting for our final day.

We did roam beyond Cape Town for an epic beach wedding, wine tasting and more hiking – more on that next time!

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Cape Town from the ferry – crazy clouds around Lion’s Head!

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Cape Town wineries rival Margaret River for quality, and at a far smaller price.
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Wine tasting at Steenberg Vineyard
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Penguins at Boulders Beach

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
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View from Lion’s Head

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Clouds over Table Mountain (and not anywhere else)

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View from Table Mountain

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