It’s an early start today as the road takes us to Cape Agulhas, Hermanus, Betty’s Bay and False Bay before returning to Cape Town. We go via the N2 onto Sir Lowry’s Pass which offers gorgeous views of False Bay below. The road takes us through The Elgin Valley that has been known for almost a century for its famous fresh produce – most notably apples and pears. The Elgin Valley produces 65% of South Africa's apple exports. One of the biggest factories in Grabouw is Appletiser which provides the popular Appletiser soft drinks. Altogether, this has earned it the reputation worldwide as the "valley of apples".
Caledon owes its origin to the hot water springs on the slopes of the Klein Swartberg. The hot mineral baths today form part of the Caledon Casino Hotel & Spa. Another asset of Caledon is the world-renowned wild flower garden and reserve famed for its splendid display of wildflowers (up to 135 different species of proteas). Beginning and ending at the garden is an enticing 10 km, 3–4 hour walk that traverses the wider area.
We pass through the towns of Stanford, Napier, Bredasdorp and our first stop is L’Agulhas, the southernmost town in Africa and the closest to the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans officially meet. We do the whole photo shoot at the cairn which marks the tip’s exact location and a stroll down the beach takes us the Meisho Maru 38 shipwreck. We visit the second oldest working lighthouse in southern Africa and climb the seventy-one steps to the top, once the door opens to step outside, I decide to climb back down, heights and I are not good friends.
After spending quite some time at L’Agulhas we leave for Hermanus, a town that offers an abundance of plant, animal and bird life. The greatest attraction being the Southern Right whales that migrate to their shores between June and December to mate and calve. This has earned Hermanus the title of best destination in the world for land based whale watching. The Whale Crier has a mission to alert hundreds of shore-based whale watchers to the whereabouts of whales. He does this by blowing his kelp horn and it’s amazing how everybody runs and follows him when the horn blows, something to see! We also decide to take a boat trip and get up close and personal with the whales on this day. However the sea conditions are not too good as the wind changes and many of the people on board are sick. We did get to see a number of whales and one even decided to entertain us with breaching, it was worth it, but only once we got back on shore as sometimes it got a little hair raising out there – worth the trip if you have a good stomach and sea legs (will definitely check the sea conditions next time). There are a number of restaurants that offer good food and wine and accommodation in Hermanus is plentiful.
Our next stop is Betty’s Bay where we visit the African penguins, close on 4000 of them. You can literally reach and touch them, but they do bite, so beware. They everywhere, basking and swimming, just busy busy busy!
Our drive home is a scenic one through Pringle Bay and Gordon’s Bay which again allows for stunning photos.