Lions Head and Winelands
And just like that, I found myself at the top of Lions head …. but more about that later!
Ray was in the Kruger park on a Safari and was told by fellow travellers that he needed to go to Cape Town.
The agent Ray had booked his safari through gave him my details in case he decided to make a stop in the Mother City. I mention this detail, because ….. well I admire travelers who find themselves in a foreign land and shoot from the hip – he never planned a Cape Town visit but here he was leaving it up to me to arrange his pickup , accommodation , tours and drop off all at the last minute! I love that type of care free attitude.
I picked Ray up at his accommodation around 8 AM – ahead of us was a winelands tour with a sunset hike to end the day.
Our first stop was ” ” – for some breakfast and a surprise – I never tell my guests about this as its a welcome whammy and really puts a smile on their faces, as it did on Ray’s.
Over breakfast I got to know my guest and learnt about him as did he learn a little about me and my beautiful home Cape Town. Ray has a unique background of study and has honed them in along with other skillsets to pretty much put himself in the ir-replaceable position of professional freelancer culminating Electrical engineering , patent law, graphic design and photography while getting to travel the world documenting events for his clients.
But the best was yet to come for me when I saw all his photography gear and how he would use it.
Off to our first winelands tasting was at the ever reliable Tokara wine estsate on HellsHoogte pass. Needless to say – Ray was impressed with the Reds on offer – not to say the whites were of inferiour quality. I learnt a thing or two about Japanese wine making from Ray while he sipped on Tokara’s finest.
Before stopping at the next winelands farm, I took Ray to the top of Franshoek pass for an aerial view of the valley. Some crisp winds greeted us at the top and off we went again for some more tasting.
Haute Cabriere wine farm awaited us ( Beautiful Pinot Noir and dessert wine to be found here).
Ray devoured the wines on offer , I sat with him on his last sip of a Red and caught a whiff of the beautiful aroma and said to Ray “This is the hardest part of the job, watching my guests sip and savour tasty wine ! ” he laughed and we sat in wonder at our beautiful surrounds that the valley of Franshoek provided us.
Off to the French Hugenot monument for a little bit of History and then lunch.
Local is lekker – as we say in South Africa and I recommended Baboetie – which Ray gladly ordered – and once again good ol South African traditional food, does the trick!
Off to our last winelands stop – Wonderful Waterford as I call it, I was asked why I choose the combination of farms that I do – The answer – 3 things – Quality / Location and Service – Well Wonderful Waterford checks all 3 of those boxes for me and thats why I always take my guests there.
Some wine and choclate pairing in store – with an Impromptu tour of the wine cellar …… and we were now chasing the sun!
We arrived at the base of Lions head at around 5:15 pm. Along the hike up I got to know more about Rays life in Tokyo along with his experiences of living through earthquakes! It takes a seasoned climber about 45 minutes to summit the peak – We did it in just over an hour. Once ontop of the head we spent about 20 minutes there with other hikers enjoying the sunset and the eventual dusk setting over the city with all her lights on show for us. Afterward we made our decsent – in the dark with only our phones for light! Very challenging and scary at times – I certianly know now that I will never underestimate the speed at which the light dissapears in Autumn! Ray and I negociated it and on the way down I was confirming pick up times for Ray with my colleague for his Cape Peninsula tour the next day.
Ray what a treat it was for me to spend the day with you and get to know you – it was my pleasure to get to show you your first taste of Cape Town. I know you will be back – until then my friend , take care and all the best.