Rekindle Bike Trip – The Naked Barista 20/01/2017
So…eventually we hit the tarmac around 12 on our “Rekindle” adventure.
Let’s just start from the beginning…
Well,…I found a small piece of wood carving this morning in my room with the word “Rekindle” written on it…and I believe in signs…
We have been together 22 years and let’s just say that we needed some alone time. We have so many awesome friends that we love to spend time with them…so…some “together alone” time was definitely needed, especially after the festive season.
I had purchased a ‘Daddy deal’ voucher last year for accommodation in Tulbagh, which was nearing expiry date. The timing was perfect especially after the recent traumatic passing of my Mother.
The day…weather wise…was stunning. I love being on the motorbike behind my husband as he is the best driver I know. I love the way he handles our magnificent BMW, 180kg iron horse.
Our first stop from our home in Sedgefield, was at the Bali Trading Centre near Riversdal.
We ate at La Bella Deli and we definitely had a very good deal sharing a lovely Lamb Shank for R90,00 followed by a delicious chocolate cheese cake.
We love good food and I am always happy to share so as not to be too heavy for the bike.
On we rode towards Barrydale through the gorgeous Tradouw Pass with magestic mountain crevices spewing out water falls in different directions.
We stopped off for a visit with our new friends, Craig and Heidi at their peaceful home amidst stunning mountains for a cup of tea.
After a delightful visit, we rode onwards to the Guano Caves, thinking to have a stay over, but they were fully booked.
Everything always happens for a reason as we found the best accommodation that evening at the Montaque Country Hotel. We could not have asked for more as we had a lovely candle light dinner accompanied by beautiful live piano music. Very romantic indeed and what an amazing start for our ‘Rekindle’ journey?
I believe that gratitude begets more gratitude…and so…
Next morning, we were blessed even more, by the fresh new day beginning in a stunning rose garden to feast our senses and where I could do a few yoga stretches in total privacy.
After this we feasted on an enormous breakfast in the garden court with so much gratitude amidst a variety of birds greeting the new day with excited and happy chirping sounds.
After our very busy season, it is truly a blessing to feel so at peace.
I have to mention that the friendly staff at the Montaque Country Hotel made us feel very welcome. We left the Hotel feeling real good.
On the road, sitting at the back of the bike, I usually find my meditation and reflection time and felt superblessed having eyes and ears to appreciate such splendor.
Beautiful red Kanna flowers jumped for joy amidst all the luscious green adorning the roadside and all my senses seemed to be caressed simultaneously.
Our next stop at Springfield Wine Cellar did not disappoint either. Seating can be found under huge trees next to a lovely dam with fish. Gratitude were absolutely the order of the day and we chillaxed in this stunning space for a bit.
Our journey to the historic town of Tulbagh continued and we arrived midday on a very hot Saturday. Our accommodation, The Cape Dutch Quarters is situated in the old historic Church Street boasting with the most museums in our country.
We were told to take our vouchers and go directly to Drostdy Hof as they were not open on a Sunday.
We proceeded to do so immediately with our free voucher in hand, (the actual entrance fee being only R25 and drink as much as you can.) Being on the bike, we made a wise decision not to drink much at all.
Drostdy Hof is owned by Distell. The building dictates from an age old architecture and the old historic museum has the most amazing furniture and eloquent descriptions of an age old heritage. We had a feeling of being telleported way back into time. We saw a romantic ‘sound system’ (pic below) from times forgotten and thought of our friend Nic, with his magnificent modern sound system.
After meandering through the romantic huge rooms complete with high ceilings and rich wooden floors adorned with stunning age old afghans and rich exquisite pieces of furniture, we went down a stairwell that leads into the cellar.
Here is the self help tasting set up of bottles awaiting consumption complete with candle light and historical nuances. This space were once used as a jail.
Then we went to Oakhurst Olive farm. What a beautiful greeting awaits the customer, with lavender and rosemary hedges, a glorious feast for the eyes.
The absolutely unique building were thankfully cool inside and offered refuge from the 34 degrees heat outside. (Press on the hyperlink above to see the marvelous building.)
The olive tasting was a first for both of us and with the expert guidance of Jolandie, we thoroughly enjoyed it. We were amazed at the distinctive differences in taste of the three variants.
We hurried back, the wheels of the bike spitting up dust from the dirt road in our haste for a swim in the lovely pool at Cape Dutch Quarters.
We are staying in the Wagon Shed and yes this is where the wagons were kept. The self catering unit has thick walls which were good for keeping cool inside. We did have an aircon in the room.
The most becoming feature were a romantic four poster bed complete with lace curtains which we found to be absolutely vital for keeping out the mosquitos descending on us at night.
So after I had my usual ‘OCD’ moment and turned the toilet paper in the toilet into its ‘correct’ (B laughs) position, we settled in.
We spend the afternoon relaxing in the perfect pool with “Miss Lucy”, the excellent white wine, we had purchased earlier the morning at Springfield wine estate.
Later that evening, after viewing a glorious sunset from the roof, we walked across the road and had a delicious dinner at Tulbagh Hotel.
The following morning we had breakfast in a room as big as a hall with a huge table complete with table settings for many guests. Blue porcelain and fancy silverware were everywhere to be seen. We felt like royalty as we were the only two people at the huge table.
Afterward we walked down the wide Church Street to the info centre and the ‘earthquake’ museum situated next to each other. Church Street is famous for being the street with the most historical buildings in our country. As it was Sunday, the info centre only opened at eleven and we decided to make a visit to Saronsberg first.
We went on the bike to the absolutely astounding Saronsberg Wine Estate.
We wandered around in the building and feasted our eyes on the exquisite art for a bit.
The pic below seems to be an art piece, but it is not, this is the exquisite view upon entering this beyond beautiful estate.
Inside, we were lured closer by a very informative and excited voice which we found out later, belonged to Renier, explaining all about Saronsberg fine wines in utmost detail to a couple and we decided to have a listen.
Renier welcomed us to join them and we listened with fascination to his extensive knowledge.
Suddenly the visitor, whose name was Johann, turned to us and told us that he recognized us from four years earlier in Wilderness where he met us at a party at Wild Farm. What a photographic memory he must have? His fiance, Nikita was with him and we decided to have a lunch date in town afterwards.
We were very surprised that we have never heard of Saronsberg before as it boasted with some of the most delicious wines, especially their desert wine.
Lunch was a Bobotie Javel at Cakes and Cream and afterwards we were spoiled with a chocolate tasting next door.
Johann and Nikita had to drive back to Cape Town and we went to the Earthquake Museum which made me really sad. There are so many sad stories depicted.
Afterwards, to feel uplifted, we went to ‘Jou Ma se Gallery’, but it was closed as it was Sunday afternoon. We did however have a glass of wine in the courtyard restaurant under magnificent big trees. We were very surprised when the owner showed us that we were being oogled by four wide eyed owls.
We felt superblessed to see this historic town of Tulbagh and it was absolutely worth it. Just goes to show that you have to follow your intuition…
That evening we dined at Readers Restaurant as we had yet another voucher from Daddy’s Deals for a free bottle of wine.
Readers Restaurant is also situated in Church Street and we were blessed to sit outside while the sun was setting amidst a lane of majestic trees. This restaurant definitely belongs to a cat lover. Do yourself a favor and visit to see why we came to this conclusion.
We cruised toward Citrusdal over the rugged Middelbergpass in the area which is called the ‘Koue Bokkeveld’
Some of the road was tarred, but for the most part we did some off roading…
We traveled via Dorp op die Berg…
Another place we never knew existed…
Such a weird little town within a backdrop of rocky mountains. We saw a Spar shop and an Agri.
We definitely traveled on roads less traveled on a very hot day, before arriving at ‘Kardoesie’ Restaurant on the side of the road where we stopped for a light lunch. We bought delicious figs, cream and other delicacies to take away.
We were absolutely delighted to find that one of the swimming pools were a cold water pool as it was a scorcher of a day (around 38 degrees) and we could not wait to have a cool down.
Afterwards we took a walk to the rock pools which is situated behind one of the big houses on the premises.
We took residence in our own private cabin overlooking healthy vineyards. It is newly build, so very modern and we had our very own stylish jacuzzi to boot.
Needless to say, we had an awesome time relaxing and just being.
Saronsberg were obviously invited…
…and it goes without saying that we braaied some tjoppies…
some more figs…and some golden oldies with LM Music…
While we were at The Baths, we did a back road trip to Clanwilliam and ate brunch at Nancy’s Tearoom. We were blessed with a good meal in a delightful garden setting.
So…on the 25th of January, we arrived in in the tiny fishing village of Lambertsbaai.
To get to Lambertsbaai, we decided to once again, travel roads less traveled over majestic mountains via treacherous, rocky and dusty back roads featuring, not only beautiful dungeons and gorges, but a magnitude of Rooibos plantations galore. Beautiful smells arrested our nostrils as we cruised on. I cannot emphasize enough this feeling of freedom traveling on a bike effectuate. We even lost our top box on the rocky roads when it went flying off…luckily B had his ever handy leatherman with him and some duck tape…
We were very excited to find foreign places we never knew existed…places like Paleisheuwel. (read more by pressing on the link)
What a big change, not only in climate, but scenery it was, from being inland and then at all the tiny towns by the sea.
Lambertsbaai boasts with Bird Island and we decided to pay a visit. Bird Island is home to the blue-eyed Cape Gannet and as it is easily accessible, we had a close up ‘birds eye’ view of them in a natural breeding site. Mating dances can be witnessed through a signposted bird hide. This island is also home to the Cormorant bird species and as always a multitude of seagulls.
Cape fur seals could be seen sunning themselves on the rocks in the distance. We walked around the island and it felt wonderful not to feel rushed to be anywhere.
We had our evening meal at Isabella’s and what a treat…the best seafood we have had in a long time.
Our home for the night is situated perfectly on the beach…
with everything we need…feeling superblessed indeed.
Malkop, equiped with everything that we needed. Maybe the name rubbed off as we decided to put our feet in the water…this is definitely not recommended as the water is icy cold.
Next morning, we found a space on the rocks perfectly created for having a cuppa and a rusk.
Enroute we had a fishy lunch and cold beer (Castle Milk Stout for me…) at a quaint restaurant harbour side of Veldrift.
Sea Shack proved to be the perfect ending to this, our “Rekindle” trip.
Sea Shack is situated within the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.
That evening we watched the sun set while sitting on the rocks…
I made us a light dinner in the very well equipped kitchen. Afterwards we played some board games by candle light…
….We felt superblessed by this impromptu get away…