South Africa – August 30th

Today we took it easy after our two day hike. We woke up and took a nice walk along the beach which was just out our front door.

Then we drove up to West Coast National Park where we heard they had beautiful wildflowers. However, it was raining and the ranger told us that the flowers needed “clean air and sunshine” for the best viewing. So we decided to skip the park (which also came with a $15 per person entrance fee) and just drove up the coast. 

We learned pretty quickly that South Africans have a unique way of passing on two lane roads. The slow moving cars pull over and drive along the shoulder to allow quickly approaching cars to pass in the lane. When the car passes, they give a quick “thank you” by blinking the hazard lights and the car that pulled over replies with a “you’re welcome” by flashing their brights. It worked out very well, but only because the shoulder was paved and plenty big without much debris. 

We eventually came to a spot with a boat put-in ramp called Alabama Slipway with a beach. We parked and walked along the beach for about an hour. We watched the seagulls and saw the carnage of crabs they left after eating them and leaving their shells along the shore. 

It had been raining off and on throughout the day, so we were hesitant to do too much outdoors. We did see some kayaks for rent, and thought it would be nice to take them across the bay. But, it was just too risky with the weather. 

So we hopped back in the car and started heading back to Stellenbosch where we got a room for the next two nights. As we drove, we saw the countryside turn from bushes and wildflowers to miles and miles of farmland. It was then that we knew we were getting into wine country. 

Stellenbosch is the second oldest city in South Africa and is know for its many vineyards. We decided to take a gamble and turned off the main road to see if we could find a winery and do a tasting. We were in luck and found Simonsig Vineyard. Interestingly, we had bought a Simonsig wine earlier in the trip that we really liked. So, we pulled in and asked for a tasting. After sampling quite a few wines, we decided on a couple and bought them. Then we had a quick PB&J lunch in the car and headed over to our Air B&B. 

We checked in and settled in with another bottle of wine for the night.

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