August dawned and Friday the 19th was a day to look forward to! Four friends had booked – (Their enquiry came in in March!) Delma instigated, followed by Pat, Rose (JHB) and Veronica (JHB). Then Elaine (Knysna) joined in late April. She was followed by another Pat from Kleinmond in June and we had a tour. Then along came Irene from Langebaan and we had a happy bunch of ladies all eager to see the blommies!
First day 7 of us headed up to the West Coast National Park and we instantly gelled. It’s amazing how quickly ladies can become friends. Common interest was, of course, our hunt for the flowers. The West Coast National Park has had a bumper year for flowers and the ooh’s and aah’s made our first day so very exciting.
After lunch at Geelbek Restaurant we checked into our lovely accommodation – the Glenfinnan Guesthouse in Langebaan with Kay and Jim as our extremely efficient hosts. They run a wonderful guest house, catering to everyone’s needs – their breakfast is legendary!
Our first dinner together was at the Farmhouse Hotel where we all met Irene who enjoyed dinner with us and joined the group the next morning for breakfast @ Glenfinnan.
Our onward travel via Elands Bay was excellent and we arrived at another favourite in Clanwilliam – Nancy’s Tea Garden for lunch. A bit of shopping was enjoyed beforehand! A stop at the Rooibos tea shop and very shortly after this we headed up to Nieuwoudtville. Just before the Van Rhyns Pass we stopped at Baghdad Café – a worthwhile, quirky stop at the side of the road. Ice creams and pancakes were purchased!
We headed into Nieuwoudtville and then out to the De Lande Farm (our home for the following 3 nights) where we were warmly welcomed by Mariette, Amanda and staff! By 6.30pm every evening the fire is lit and pre-drinks consumed before you are called ‘to table’ and served a wholesome evening meal (accompanied by the most amazing roast potatoes you can ever imagine) – every evening there is soup / lamb of sorts with another delicious dish either chicken/bobotie etc and of course a decadent dessert. Wow these farm people are so hospitable.
Talking of ‘hospitable’ no one can ever forget our lunch on the Papkuilsfontein Farm where Alrie, her mom and Amanda from De Lande work wonders in their kitchen. Their lunch is legendary! Willem, Mariette’s husband took us out on his open type game vehicle to view the flowers after lunch. His knowledge of the flowers is awesome and you can feel the ‘love’ he has for his farm.
It was also fantastic to see grandad (Willem) and his grandson of 13 years, talking over lunch. A loving family for sure. Unfortunately our flower tour had to be stopped short because of pending rain, but everyone quickly forgot about this when Alrie’s staff presented a slice of their decadent cake and coffee!
Thinking of De Lande Farm who can ever forget our last evening when Pat V had promised us a ‘Riel’ dance. This dance has been made famous by the young people from the Wupperthal area. Pat V was joined by Amanda, our chef – what an evening!
Some of the highlights of the daily touring were
Our flower viewing was great on the Matjiesfontein Farmas well as the daily tea stops which became something to look forward to.
Our time spent in the Quiver tree forestwas exciting – the walk to the waterfall was a good time to stretch those legs!
The Nederduitse Kerk marketand the simple lunch we all enjoyed supporting the ladies who work so hard during the flower season
Our visit to Willemsrivier where Erika has opened a museum on the family farm. Erika is so very friendly and deserves to do well with her upcoming functions including a wedding in an old church on the property.
Who can forget our lunch in St Helena Bay at Alegriawhere we had communal seafood platters to share?
All too soon our 5 day tour was at an end and ‘good-byes’ had to be exchanged. First drop off was Irene in Langebaan ; Sir David Guesthouse where Pat V, once again, slept before going home to Kleinmond; and the Hylton Ross combi took the other 5 ladies back to the southern suburbs.
“One’s Destination is Never a Place but a New Way of Seeing Things” Henry Miller – Inspirational Travel Quotes