Shots In The Dark

The Photog got a new camera and I really wanted to try light painting on our holiday in the Cederberg but it was full moon. Sad face.

But then he tried some long exposure photos one night and got some really cool pics.



Wolf Rules

It’s been quite a year for our little household.

Between packing up our lives and deciding to move across the country, starting a new job, trying to decide what I wanted to do, giving freelancing a try and driving for 18 hours with 2 cats the Photog and I were a touch strung out and frazzled.

We needed a holiday, yes even from Cape Town. Time for just the 2 of us, preferably with minimal human contact. I find living in a city, even one as amazing as this, leaves me feeling a bit touchy after a few months and something inside me craves dusty nature, starry skies and no cellphone reception.

Thanks to a brilliant site Budget Getaways (which I’ll definitely use for future Cape travel) I found exactly what we were looking for, without breaking our fragile bank accounts.

Gecko Creek Wilderness Lodge, in the Cederberg mountains, hooked me with a photo of a man in a hammock overlooking the bush. Too good to be true?

This is where I spent a large part of my time. Accompanied by G&T’s and my book.

The lodge is self catering, the rooms are wooden cabins with no electricity and there are communal bathrooms. So it’s not a luxury break, it’s a back to basics break. Oh and it has a wolf. And there is a long list of rules for staying with him.

But he’s super chilled. A real down to earth type.

The nearest town is Clanwilliam, which was voted South Africa’s best small town, and the region boasts large quantities of citrus and rooibos. There’s a cute tea house in the town that has over 100 flavours of rooibos tea and does a very interesting tea tasting that explains the process of making rooibos. Neither of us were huge rooibos fans before but the tasting definitely opened our eyes and we came home with a few boxes of delicious tea for my growing collection.

And thanks to the Photog’s ability to sniff out a wine farm in any vicinity we even came home with bottles of great wine, but that deserves a blog post all to its own.

Cederberg, I love you. And I didn’t even get to hike around and see the San paintings or waterfalls. Next time less gin and I’ll bring my takkies.

A Sausage In The Making

The Germans are not a people known for their sense of humour or dress sense, but there are lots of other things they’re very good at.

Like precision engineering.

And precision sausage making.

And good beer brewing.

Even though Cape Town is awash with German folk the Photog and I have not been able to find a good German restaurant until one night in Hout Bay on the lookout for a meal I did not have to cook we stumbled across Alpenstube. It’s a charming place, and looks exactly how one would imagine a German beer hall to look, complete with beer garden, lots of wood and steins.

The Photog claims he doesn’t get cravings but he was positively gleeful when he looked at the hearty sounding menu complete with Eisbein (his fav) and a lot of sausage. And beer of course.

We tried German brews we’d never heard of, and took a few bottles home for our collection. We tried and loved some delicious sausages, sauerkraut and German potato salad. It’s not exactly a diet friendly cuisine and with our new uber-healthy eating plan we’ll have to save our next visit for cheat day.

But it is worth the calories if you love hearty, delicious food, ice cold beers and really great service.

The beer garden will be delightful in summer, if it ever gets here.




Monday By The Seaside

I’m a Vaalie and I now live by the sea.

Of all the things I will achieve in my life, this will be the best. There is no topping this. I can now die happy and fulfilled without the taint of Vaal water on my lips.

And in Cape Town there’s a great variety of beaches to visit to get my sea fix. Despite my pigmentally challenged skin I love the beach and I’m enjoying driving around with the Photog discovering the Cape’s seaside.

This weekend we found what I know will become a firm favourite. Slangkop in Kommetijie. Complete with lighthouse, boardwalk in the fynbos that is covered in daisies, happy doggies being walked by chilled owners and an uninterrupted view from benches with just the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks.

Just beautiful.

And no ice cream sellers yelling in my ear either.


Some Good Marketing

Markets used to fill me with images of old ladies selling doilies they’ve made out of their cat’s fur and some terrible art comprising of running zebras and old men.

But now they’re all the rage. And the stalls have gotten a lot better. In fact there are many different types of markets all over the Cape, ones with fresh fruit and veg, ones for hipsters, ones for hippies. I have yet to visit them all but I did get to one this past weekend that I’ve been dying to see – the Palm’s Market.

Twitter’s been busy singing it’s praises and it was easy to see why on Saturday. The market is held in the Palms centre in Woodstock, so no fighting for parking which was a nice bonus to start the day (you know you’re Capetonian when you add parking as a plus).

Inside was even more of a treat with plenty of stalls all stretched out calling to me with their delicious wares and tempting goodies. I’d heard talk of good waffles so we made our way around with one goal in mind. But of course we got sidetracked. By a delightful stall with plenty of bottles of interesting looking wine, bubbly and cheese.

The Tulips Culinary experience was wonderful.  The stall promotes various wines, cheese and preserves that are unusual and from smaller farms and concerns. The wines were all new to our taste buds and even though the Photog has an ulcer and is technically not allowed alcohol, we couldn’t pass up tasting them. There was also something delightful called Guava Cream, which I did not get so it’s one more reason to go back.

Another thing I loved about the Palms was the space.  It gets busy but not so that you feel crushed and claustrophobic as you try to taste some sausage or get something to drink. You can stop and chat to the stall holders without having to shout and be stood on by hungry patrons.

With a glass of bubbly in hand we found the waffles.  They lived up to their promises with dollops of fresh cream and the biggest, juiciest strawberries. A breakfast of champers and waffles is one to be highly recommended.

With fuller tummies we explored the market happily, but it didn’t stop us from tasting more of the mushrooms, chocolate covered cherries, fudge, cheese, charcuterie, Turkish delight. Eventually I had to put a stop to it otherwise I would’ve had to run behind the car home but there were lots of things we didn’t get to try so another few visits are called for.

The market is every second Saturday so you’ve got over a week to prepare yourself for some serious culinary delights and to clear your schedule.