25 June 2011 by Chris Marais

Heavenly Hermanus

Once a year Jules and I slip out of the dusty Karoo and head south to Hermanus, home of the whales. We go for a week of spoiling, and here’s how one of our days would go:

Dawn shoot in Walker Bay. The morning sun on the Old Harbour and Hermanus Town is a wondrous sight. No matter how many times we visit, I always get different shots of this.

Breakfast at The Bistro at Just Pure. A friend calls it ‘Orbits’ for some reason and the name has stuck.

A walk along the cliffs. This is the most fun you can have in this area without paying a cent. You’ve always got the chance of breaching, tail-sailing and spyhopping Southern Rights out there in the middle distance. This is the Whale Capital of Africa - some say it’s the Whale Capital of the Whole Wide World. I dunno. I just know that those mama whales just love to come close to the cliffs and show their newly-minted babes off to the humans on shore.

Book hunting in the town. At places like Hemingways and the Book Cottage, you might not find the bargains you were looking for. But you will find good books.

Drive into the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. This, for us, is a lunchtime gig and an afternoon wine trip, coasting on a post-prandial daze through some of the most visually delicious winescapes in the country.

Suppertime? Well, perhaps you’d think I’m going to mention a really exclusive eatery here. I’m not. I come from the Karoo, where lamb chops rule and chicken is classed as a vegetable. When I’m in Hermanus, I want seafood. And it’s almost always one of those monster combo platters at the Ocean Basket.

And then back, over the mountains and into the Thirstlands…

Category: Culture & History

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