Dan & I recently took a road trip to Stanford! What a great adventurous & unforgettable weekend it was for me. I managed to tick off a lot of ‘firsts’ on my adventure list! With our kayaks packed in my ‘bakkie’ we headed to Stanford, with a deal that we needed to stop in at all the farm stalls en route. Not missing one! We managed to conquer that, although I must admit whilst I loved stopping in at each & every farm stall once you have done one you have done them all. However there were a few farm stalls that definitely stood out from the rest, either by offering interesting items for sale or general decor & design. First stop was the infamous Peregrine Farm Stall on the N2 near Grabouw (http://peregrinefarmstall.co.za/) beautifully designed and a wonderful atmosphere. We decided that this would make the perfect stop for lunch. Home made pies it was!! Delicious! Fantastic home baked goods for sale, which had my mouth watering with every step I took. However we managed to resist the temptation & continued our journey.
Another great farm stall with huge character & interest was Dassiefontein along the N2 Caldeon.Crammed full of antiques, odds & ends one really does need to put aside a good hour or even two to browse around in order to find something that takes your interest. There certainly is so much to see & experience in this farm stall. (http://www.dassies.co.za/main.php)
After plenty of exploring back roads en route, we arrived in Stanford. Absolutely peaceful, it was then I knew I was on holiday & was finally relaxing with the manic rush of the city washing away. We browsed the shops in & around Stanford, before stopping in at Birkenhead Brewery to quench our thirst with some of their beers they had on offer (http://www.walkerbayestate.com/) All the beers are very drinkable indeed & made for a relaxing summers evening whilst sitting on our ‘stoep’ in Stanford.
After resting our tired bodies & sleeping like the dead, we woke up to a still & quiet morning which was a perfect day for our river cruise which we went on later in the afternoon, after wondering around the local fresh produce market.
The main aim of our river cruise was to see the layout of the river for our paddle on Sunday, which we had planned. It was lovely & can highly recommend it for a relaxing afternoon & well worth the R150 for a 2-3 hour trip! You are able to bring your own picnic, meat, drinks etc to have a ‘braai’ on board while enjoying the tranquility of the surrounding river & landscapes. The boat ‘African Queen’ (http://www.africanqueenstanford.co.za/) took us up the river till he was no longer able to go due to it being too shallow for the boat, turning around, stopping for 30 minutes to allow people to swim & braai before docking back at the starting point. Truly relaxing afternoon & well worth it.
Sunday’s forecast said 0.8mm of rain. Of course Dan & I smiled with happiness as we couldn’t have asked for better weather for kayaking, cool skies meant less chance of us getting burnt to a fine crisp. However a little bit of sunshine that morning would have been great! We set out early in the morning with our picnic bag packed full of great home made salami’s, local cheeses from Klein Cheese Farm & a home grown oxheart tomato etc all from Stanford & surrounds. Definitely a feast worth paddling for! We set off down the Klein River in the direction of Hermanus. There was a fine mist rolling down the mountains bringing a refreshing breeze across the river, making the cooler conditions much easier to paddle in, instead of being scorched by the midday sun. Minutes later that all changed & we soon found ourselves paddling in the pouring rain. Once we reached the estuary, the rain had subsided so we figured that now was our best chance to stop, find a place & have lunch. We tucked our kayaks in among the reeds for protection against the chilly breeze. Dan quickly hooked out our picnic and placed everything on our kayaks & what was planned & supposed to be a very ‘romantic’ picnic turned out be a very fun, entertaining & certainly unforgettable memory, as the clouds decided to open their doors again on us. Gobbling in a few pieces of cheese & salami continuing to laugh all the while we made the decision to pack up this wet picnic feast & save it for when we get back so that we can enjoy & savor all the flavours we had so carefully chosen & put together for our picnic. Despite the rain it was a great +/- 30km paddle which I thoroughly enjoyed & didn’t think I would manage to complete & spotting 2 fish eagles later paddling home. I am really keen to go back and try another section of the river as it was my first time kayaking on a river. I had always been kayaking in the ocean prior to this experience. After a hot shower we enjoyed our picnic on the ‘stoep’ when the rain had abated.
On Sunday afternoon we took a relaxing & easy drive down to Gaans Bay via Die Kelders & Danger Point lighthouse, doing a bit of a 4×4 trail along the coast which not only took us off the tar roads, it allowed us to see places & scenery we would have otherwise missed. We treated ourselves (thanks to my persuasion) to a chocolate brownie (shared I should add) & coffees at The Great White House in Gaans Bay a really relaxing venue.
Monday brought about a very exciting day for me & something I have been wanting to do for ages, was horse riding. So we set off early & headed to Farm 215 where our horse riding was going to take place, through African Horse Company (http://www.africanhorseco.com/). We walked down to meet our horses & guide, very nervously I got onto my horse with no issues or hassles I think I even surprised myself with how effortlessly I got on. And we were off! As simple as that. We left the farm dirt roads & slowly made our way onto the mountains, so lovely, free & wild. Very strange at first to get used to the feeling of bumping up & down on a horse but I slowly got into the swing of things. When we were comfortable we trotted for a bit and eventually by the end of the 2 hour trail we were able to gallop, much easier on the body than trotting that’s for sure! I must have been out of rhythm as usual ( if you know me well you will know I don’t have much rhythm ability when it comes to music, dancing or even horse riding it seems!) As when we were trotting all I could hear was Dan laughing behind me in absolute hysterics. His horse quickly over took me & soon I was able to laugh behind him watching him trotting on his horse. Funny site to see both of us on horses, I am sure!! I am definitely motivated to try the beach trail next time we in the area, as I loved my horse riding experience & so happy I am finally after many years able to tick that one off my bucket list! Great way to end off our wonderful weekend away.
We never sat still not knowing what to do next on this holiday. We made every minute count. Whether it was walking around the town in the evenings eating ice-cream, running from stop street to stop street for a good laugh & exercise, or to simply taking a drive to Die Kelders, Danger Point & Gaans Bay. It was a great first road trip for 2016 and certainly lots more in the pipeline. I am looking forward to exploring our country and the beautiful surrounds it has to offer.
Till our next road trip cheers for now