11 October 2010 by Robyn Campbell

Camino del cuisine del cabo

France, Spain, and Italy are renowned destinations of culinary pilgrimage.

Asked to reveal their bucket-list, often someone will say ‘I want to learn to cook in Tuscany’, or ‘I’d like to cycle through Burgundy’, the main idea being to experience another culture through its cuisine, and have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

South Africa deserves to be among those iconic culinary nations. If you’re a doubting Thomas read on, for here’s a gourmet culinary cycle tour that will surely convert you.

If the word pilgrimage conjured up any thoughts of penance, fasting, and abstinence - banish them immediately!

Think (and salivate) instead of long lunches in award-winning restaurants and fresh seafood barbeques, of wine tastings and chef’s tables, of tasting regional delicacies, just-picked seasonal produce, and hands-on cooking classes.

On your 10-day Cape culinary pilgrimage, from Cape Town via the West Coast to Paarl, there’ll be no stubborn donkeys to ride (your steed is a state of the art mountain bike), and no sleeping in humble inns (it’s 5-star all the way).

Think (and salivate) instead of long lunches in award-winning restaurants and fresh seafood barbeques, of wine tastings and chef’s tables, of tasting regional delicacies, just-picked seasonal produce, and hands-on cooking classes.

Cycling for 4-5 hours at a time, usually in the morning, you’ll curb the calories whilst ensuring your appetite is fit for your next gourmet meal.

In between, there’ll be days for relaxation, and at any stage, should the road to gastronomic salvation prove too exhausting, a support vehicle can collect you and your bike, or you can cycle a shorter route.

Cycling, being driven, and occasionally hiking, through pristine landscapes, spectacular mountain passes, and quaint villages, on your odyssey, you’ll meet chefs, winemakers, artisan producers, and a host of unforgettable foodie personalities who’ll ply you with food, wine, and friendship.

All you active gourmands who love to experience the best that life, and the larder, has to offer, off you go,  and start packing.

I’ve whet your appetite…now it’s time to hit the saddle.

Category: Food & Wine

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