This morning we headed off to Hermanus, a 90 minute drive south east of Cape Town and known as the world’s foremost land based whale watching destination. We drove via Somerset West, up over the mountains and into Hermanus via a very scenic route passing many orchards and wineries along the way. On arrival we started walking along the cliff path which meanders for 12 kms along the coastline and is one of the town’s most beautiful features and we realised we did not need to go out to sea to watch whales. The bay was teeming with Southern Right Whales very close to shore and we happily sat for some time watching different groups and individuals as they breached and rolled in the water. The Southern Right Whale returns to Hermanus each year between June and October to calve and mate and they are very easy to spot as they like to float near to the surface and stay close to the shore especially if they have calved. The Southern Right Whale is so called as it was considered the “right” whale to hunt due to it’s habit of staying close to the surface making it easy to harpoon and when dead they floated and could be easily dragged to shore.
Hermanus has a large number of eateries and after whale watching and a bit of retail therapy it was time to find one such place and we settled down at a relatedly new establishment named the Wine Glass. No prices for guessing what was on offer here, We had a great tapas lunch of Ostrich meat balls, Springbok carpaccio and Venison spring rolls all washed down with a glass of local wine from the Hemel en Aarde valley. Hemel en Aarde is Afrikaans for heaven and earth and once you have driven down this valley you understand why it was so named, it is stunningly beautiful and the wines from this area could be described as made in heaven.
Our drive back to Cape Town followed the ocean road along the South Atlantic coast and then half way around False Bay before heading back inland to the city. As the evening closed in and the sun was setting this was a perfect end to a perfect day.