Blogs from Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, Africa - page 2


Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch November 7th 2013

Today is all about wine. Our first stop was supposed to be Table Mountain but high winds have closed the cable car so we head to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. As we arrive at around 8:30 the skies opened up. Of course I had left the rain gear in the hotel and the umbrella on the bus. We were able to see a small part of the gardens and I especially enjoyed the beautiful Mandela Bird of Paradise hybrid but the rain came down harder and we sought shelter. We lurked outside the conservatory until it opened at 9:00. The exhibit was mainly desert plants, many looked like stone or dead trees and had developed amazing ways of coping with the lack of water. What I enjoyed most was the wonderful sculptures and the ancient bonsai. ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch May 17th 2013

Well, Good Evening! I'm here in the sitting room of the Bonne Esperance where books crowd the shelves, there is a chess table and piano to my left, a furnace on the wall in front of me, and complimentary vino atop the piano. Need I say I feel classy and extremely relaxed at the moment? I think Josh is still enjoying his late afternoon nap in the room, so I know he is at least feeling relaxed :) What got us to these points? Now now, don't get antsy. Allow me to begin from yesterday morning as that's where I believe Josh ended your update thus far. After our breakfast yesterday, we set out the vineyard, Boekenhoutskloof. Josh had purchased a bottle of wine in the states previously from this vineyard so he thought it would ... read more
Postcard cafe lawn and view
Wine tasting

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch March 16th 2013

March 16, 2013 (Stellenbosch, RSA) After the OSSA meeting, we took some time to tour the country side around Cape Town and visit the town of Stellenbosch. It is an old Dutch town (founded in 1679) where the University of Stellenbosch is located in the foothills of the very beautiful mountain foothills with vineyards and olive groves lining the highways. We stopped for a meal at one of the larger wineries and had a lovely time. We were joined by Tim and Viv - a very entertaining couple from Sunderland, UK. Tim is a retinal specialist that has spent some time with Dr. Pons in Swaziland and is actively helping him improve medical retina services there. He and his wife are hilariously funny and a real blast to have on a day trip. Off to Johannesburg ... read more
Highway to Stellenbosch
The Motley Crüe
Dinner Served

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch August 23rd 2012

When I woke up on my first morning in South Africa, I stretched and took a closer look around my surroundings. My first reaction the night before was very positive. Both Keenan, the man who picked me up from the airport, and the other residents of the AVIVA house were very, very nice and friendly. The house seemed clean and spacious. However, I was very sleepy, and so my first priority was getting some rest. Plus, my room can be shared with as many as 13 other women, as there are 7 bunkbeds. Although only 6 others were staying there (Thank goodness! Otherwise, I may have had to have the top bunk!), some of them were already sleeping when I arrived. There is an understanding that the lights stay off when someone is sleeping. So, I ... read more
Vineyards in winter
Toasting to our luck

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch January 17th 2012

Day two in Cape Town! Woke early for our first Ambassadors meeting and laid the ground work for the rest of the week. I am on the Corporate Social Responsibility project and am tasked with defining the social outreach side of our new company. Super excited! Enough about work! Awesome day outside of the Waterfront area and out into the country itself. Started with a bus trip up to Signal Mountain for a look at the town from 3000ft. The weather continues to be unseasonably warm for this time of year, but compared to back home it’s great. Signal Mountain was incredible and had views all around of the Western Peninsula and Cape. The drive up was scary as it was a very narrow, winding road with a lot of blind corners and no guard rails. ... read more
Robben Island

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch October 4th 2011

‘You see, lady, I don’t have much money, and sometimes I don’t even know, how to pay my bills. But I get up every morning and I decide I am going to be happy. Because, lady, I believe that happiness doesn’t just happen - we choose to be happy.’ These wise words concluded the conversation I had with the taxi driver who took me from Cape Town Airport to Stellenbosch. It had been interesting to listen to him. He is coloured (which is an expression that refers to South Africans of mixed race and does not have the connotations it has in the UK) and as a member of this “in-between” ethnic group not much has changed for him. Being neither black nor white, the coloureds are and always have been at the bottom of South ... read more
under a bridge
Xhosa and I

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch August 9th 2011

M – The last few days have been real hard – NOT. Our friends truck that we are using for our overland trip through Namibia and Botswana has been delayed in the garage so we had a few days to kill. We decided to hit some of South Africa’s wineries. The main wine region is only about an hour from the center of Cape Town although there seem to be wineries scattered all over the Western Cape. We stayed in probably the largest wine town, Stellenbosch, but also visited probably the next largest towns Paarl and Franschhoek. Each about 30kms away from Stellenbosch. Franschhoek is the prettiest as it is surrounded on three sides by mountains. Paarl is know for being the birth place of the Afrikanas language and holds the jail that Nelson Mandela was ... read more
Jordan Vineyards - not a bad way to start the day
So where did it all go wrong
Steenberg Winery - did I mention their tasting is free

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch April 5th 2011

Woof! I was so glad to see my humans on Sunday night instead of Monday morning as promised. They staggered in at about 20h00; still in their cycling gear, with medals around their necks, bikes absolutely filthy. I can't believe Gogo allowed her precious Juliet to get so dirty in the first place. Judging by the excited telephone calls; this won't be the first they will be rolling in the hay (read: rolling down the mountain). Gogo is nursing a prizewinning bruise on her hip; has a bloody knee and keeps sucking her left forefinger. Uwi has rinsed off his bike and packed it back into the car. He's off to Gauteng again and while he's away the derailleur needs attention. Again. Wounds were incurred and medals collected on the Vigne a' Vigne; the annual mountain ... read more
Medals and numbers
La Romantica
Oude Libertas

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch December 26th 2010

A verrrry merry Christmas from Stellenbosch!!! We packed up our tent ‘motel 6’ for the last time as we left bush camping behind and began our journey back to civilisation in South Africa. After three nights in Swakopmund I think we realised that we actually enjoy bush camping a lot more than the more westernised parts of Africa. When we are all in the wilderness sleeping in tents, cooking off the back of the truck and huddled around the camp fire - all completely in the middle of nowhere there is a sense of being in the ‘real Africa’. However there are of course upsides to heading back to some sort of normality – an actual toilet (rather than a hole in the ground) and a hot shower, bliss! The day we crossed the border from ... read more
Champagne anyone?!
Christmas Eve on the vineyards.
Wine and cheeeeeese!

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch July 12th 2010

Wine wine wine Wednesday (1/7/10) We rolled out of bed for our very early airport transfer, checked in and boarded our super cheap Mango flight to Capetown. At Capetown we got another transfer straight to Stellenborsh. It was a glorious sunny day and we didn’t want to waste it. We checked in to the Traveller’s lodge, showered and signed up for the Vine Hopper Wine Shuttle Bus. Today the Vine Hopper was taking the Southern Loop, and first stop was Vredenheim Winery. A quaint winery, with a front yard filled with game, a celler like tasting room, and a gorgeous back garden. We sampled a self picked selection of five wines, took a brief stroll around the garden before it was time to board the shuttle again. Next stop was Spier Winery, a huge complex including ... read more
The backyard of Vredenheim Winery
Eagle 1
 Eagle 2

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