Last year World RallyX championships were held in Cape Town for the first time. I came to see the likes of Kristoffersen, Loeb and Sjolberg race their 4×4 cars which accelerate from 0-100 in 2,5 seconds. It was a magical weekend, petrol-head heaven. I booked immediately to return this year, and planned a road trip around the event. What a disappointment. Last year’s fillers which were as enjoyable as the racing were gone, as were the displays around Killarney. A classic example of being promised a banquet and given peanuts. I believe the organisers will struggle selling tickets for 2019 – sadly I will not be returning.
Speaking at various venues is a fine reminder of the Cape’s Winelands, their extent and just how intensively this region is farmed. Starting in Klapmuts at Glen Carlou, staying at Laibach, visiting friends in Stellenbosch, we then moved into Cape Town for events at The Stack, STBB attorneys in Claremont and two evenings at Quentin’s in Hout Bay.
Then driving out through the Overberg region with its wheat fields, dairy farms, Blue Cranes and immense vistas encapsulating the joys of road tripping. We stayed, and spoke, at the Karoo Art Hotel in Barrydale, having driven up the beautiful Tradouw Pass. This colourful plattelands hotel under-promises and over-delivers. We enjoyed dinner under the stars with the charming owners – the lamb cutlets probably the finest we have ever eaten!
As we reflect upon the life of Mandela, I felt a picture with him on the anniversary of his death appropriate?
A puncture found us at Hi-Way Tyres in Swellendam, who fortunately had the tyre size we required, and stayed open two hours beyond their closing time to ensure that we were properly attended to. Going well beyond the call of duty, fitting and balancing two tyres, checking the alignment TWICE; we are hugely appreciative of Vincent and his team. Sadly it would appear that Simon Blackburn’s regular comments regarding speed chewing up tyres are correct…I prefer blaming heat and the endless N1.
Catching our breaths now in Riebeek Kasteel, staying at the beautiful Blaauw cottage exceeding all our expectations. Looking forward to visiting Riebeek Wes (Jan Smuts birthplace in 1870), Tulbach, Malmesbury and Darling. Residents here generally recycling grey water, capturing rain water and careful of water usage. Thankfully the country is looking better than it was in 2016/17 on account of decent winter rains.
I am loving being home at this time of year – my first Christmas at home in 7 years, and so enjoying time with Karen, family and friends.
Please be safe this Festive Season.