Winter Solstice in Hangklip

Hangklip

Hangklip Photo Credit: Supplied

I love the term getaway, so descriptive. However it falls slightly short of explaining our latest family trip, it was a getFARaway. Though technically not far in time, the converted WWII radar station might as well be in another time-zone. Propped against the mountain with only a steep private road connecting us to the physical outside word (sadly the signal was excellent, but more about that later).

The facilities of the accommodation are basic, but the important stuff were there, like a fridge to chill the MCC and champagne glasses to serve it in. Everything one could possibly need to have a cosy weekend on the coast, gas heater and all. The kids got over the horror a TV-less weekend with board games, pool and running around screaming at each other, also known as exploring I am told.

The watchful eye of the lighthouse peeped in every once in a while though a crack in the bedroom curtains. Thanks to this and the sound of waves crashing in a distance I actually enjoy my regular 6am Saturday internal clock wakeup time. It was Winter Solstice after all, the shortest day of the year.

A weekend in Instagrams

A weekend in Instagrams

Saturday breakfast was my specialty waffles and bacon, mostly special because it tops the short list of dishes I can make. Premix is awesome. Only hard core carbs can get you through a day of antiquing. The Plus One found a few fabulous vintage signs while I got a wedding cape topper in nearby Romantiques in Hermanus.

Hangklip3

The view from Hangklip and the outside braai Photo Credit: Supplied

So is this Tim Noakes diet thingy is quite a big deal right, or do they just have excellent marketing? Either way the full page dedicated to the protein drenched in fat diet at Fusion got no love from us. We opted for their special, 2 plates of fish and chips and a bottle of house wine for R150, the kids had a non-alcoholic version. The portions are huge and were enough to share with the marimba band playing Adele and Shakira covers across the street.

As I mentioned the cell reception is really good, which means we were all still on our phones way more than we should be. It also meant that we could stay the full weekend while I did a rather painful Sunday morning shift in front of my laptop with a view that commanded attention while the boys were out gallivanting with penguins.

PenguinStonyPointBettysBay

Stony Point Penguin Colony in Betty’s Bay Photo Credit: Plus One

Whether it was pity for me or the cuteness of the penguins but the boys were very quick to suggest another trip to the Stony Point Penguin Colony in Betty’s Bay when I finally finished my shift. And are they cute? My goodness. The setup it really fantastic, R10 gets you through the gates with penguins as far as you can see while walking on a shipshape wooden walkway.

Leaving Hangklip was very hard especially with a lighthouse left unexplored, yes sometimes I also like running around screaming. The feeling of complete isolation while still being minutes away from a coke in a glass bottle and ghost pops seller is a feature I value highly in accommodation.

In the afterglow of our pervious family getFARaway the South African tour of my favourite band Billy Talent was confirmed. And as luck will have it my Monday Blues was once again blasted away with the announcement of the Foo Fighters’ first SA tour. Yes that band that everyone requests when asked on Facebook by the festivals pretending to get input is finally coming to South Africa! 10 December in Cape Town and the 13th in Jozi.

For Hangklip accommodation bookings contact:
Bertus van Niekerk
bertus.vanniekerk@mmiholdings.co.za
083 231 6473

Romantiques
14 Aberdeen Street, Hermanus
028 312 4226

Fusion Restaurant
Village Square, Marine Drive, Hermanus
028 312 4277

Kirstenbosch’s Boomslang: Another one for the Cape Town top 10 lists

The newly opened Boomslang Tree Canopy Walkway at Kirstenbosch is enchanting, however, like with most my posts, there’s the tiniest of buts…

10374925_685504781519959_5377572829401254474_n

You REALLY need a wide angle lens to capture the walkway at its best. Photo credit: Andrew Harrower/Kirstenbosch Facebook page

The Boomslang experience is a lot like the cable cars up Table Mountain, completely anticlimactic if you don’t experience it as a whole. You won’t just ride up Table Mountain and immediate go back down right? No, you need to explore a bit, laugh at the Norwegian tourist running around without a shirt or sunblock and breathe in the view.

Likewise you’ll be missing out if you don’t explore the rest of the garden, pack a picnic basket or grab a Vida e hot chocolate (to go of course, the Kirstenbosch parking lot is prettier than most but there’s much nicer things to look at).

We had some silly dress up fun in our AfrikaBurn gear with the kids.

From Boomslang’s viewpoint it looks like the greenery is sneaking up on the city, ready to engulf it, and you can’t help but root for Mother Nature. It is really commendable the way the structure blends in with the trees, from a distance one can only spot it if someone is wearing a particularly loud outfit.

Other than continuously walking in on other people’s photos, the downside of sharing the walkway with 100 or so people is the movement, a ‘gentle’ sway if you will. The information board at the entrance of the walkway warns: “…It is a curved steal bridge and is designed to flex and move back and forth but be assured that this in no way affects it’s stability or capacity to support loads…”

Of course this is not a problem at all if you are a normal human being. It’s only really problematic if you’re a lightweight like me who gets queasy at the mere thought of those spinning tea cups. I still felt mildly lightheaded 2 hours after, though the few minutes spent on the walkway was totally worth it. The kids and the Plus One and pretty much everyone else, however, were perfectly fine. KirstenboschBoomslang2

Ideally I’ll recommend planning your stroll/photo session down Boomslang until the weather is better and the crowds have died down. But who am I kidding, this is Cape Town in June, the weather is only going to get worse and the crowds are unlikely to be scared off by a few clouds when there’s a shiny new attraction.

So throw on that rain jacket and a scarf or 2 and leave the flimsy sea sick folks to roam the enchanted forest.

There is no addition costs for the Boomslang Tree Canopy Walkway. Gate fees: Adults: R45 SA Students (with card): R25 Children (6 – 17 years): R10 Under 6 years: Free

Address: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town