Table Mountain & Wine District
Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
10Trip End Aug 16, 2010
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The views from where the cable car leaves from were already fantastic & it was hard to believe how much better they would get. Tickets cost 160 Rand each ( $25 Aus). It is only a couple of minutes ride & has been running for 80 years. It can carry 65 people & is round with a rotating floor to give you views from every angle. It was wow at every turn & just got better.
Up the top are walking paths to get views over both sides. It is seriously stunning scenery!!! There are these cute badger like animals called Dassie which are somehow related to elephants!!!! Weird... I know
Mark & leigh picked us up & we headed out of town past so many poor townships, where there must be thousands of corrugated iron huts, where people live in appalling conditions.
We drove through the beautiful winelands district to Stellenbosch & then on to Franschoek. It was in a lovely valley between the Drakenstein mountains - more high jagged mountains. Franschoek was a pretty historical village built by French immigrants in the 1680's who established the vineyards.
After wandering the main street we went to a winery for lunch. The estate was stunning & built in 1694 & called Grand Provence Estate. It had white buildings & the most massive tree in the courtyard. The restaurant was very fancy & looked on to a courtyard with an outside fireplace & small inside one as well.
Lunch was 3 courses for 300 rand ( $45 Aus). The food was gourmet & absolutely amazing.
I started with Duck & Lobster ( the best!!), then springbok & a lemon brulee.
Next, on to Spier Wine Estate to view the cheetahs & pat one if you dare!!! I dared as they looked like VERY big cuddly pussy cats until I watched one get all antsy & they had to shoo the people out!!! You went in as a group of 4 & all got to pat it, but could not walk in front of him or have anything dangling as like all cats they like to play. Cheetahs can run from 0 - 80km an hour in 3 seconds!!!!
I waited awhile while the other groups went through & this 1 year old male just kept getting restless & jumping up. They would get it to play & run around chasing a toy until it was ready to lie down again.
Just as we were about to go in they made the call to leave him alone for a while & send us to pat an 8 year old male. He was just gorgeous & had his head on the trainers knee & with his eyes closed & purring soooo loud!!! We had to pat on his back not his tummy ( hates that like all cats!!) with a flat hand & no tickling type movements, only down on 1 knee in case we had to jump back quickly.
All went very smoothly with no sudden moves on his behalf so was pretty cool!!!
Back home & into a nice hot bath.. no dinner required as we had such a big lunch. Another perfect day!