Day 26 & 27 Plettenberg Bay to Hermanus. Hermanus to Franschoek
We are on the home stretch now and we have entered a part of South Africa that most tourists see when they visit the country.
The roads to Hermanus first brought us along the ocean on a stretch of the famous Garden Route. Then the road wound back into the mountainous back country. Beautiful green rolling country site, no vineyards yet but we were getting close. We drove the famous Swartberg Pass and the time trial for the day was cancelled as the (off) road conditions were found to be too bad for our competition.
So on we went gradually back to the Ocean and our stop for the night the Arabella Resort Hotel, just outside Hermanus. The total distance for the day was 560 km . In the afternoon the weather was very hot and humid again so when we arrived at the hotel there was very little energy left to go and visit Hermanus. It’s a shame as we hear Hermanus is a very nice town.
The evening dinner at the hotel was nice and the whole rally group is beginning to plan for the finish and the return home.
We had a fairly late start today and the distance to our next stop was only about 186 km. After first driving along one of the most stunning coastal roads we have driven we moved inland towards a small mountain pass where we would start our final time trial for this rally.
Six km included four stops and starts where we had to note down code boards.
Grace guided me throughs this off road track warning me for small bridges and sharp turns. We finished within the allotted time and we then headed back to the main road. From the mountains we drove into the green valley of Franschoek with its many vineyards and restaurants.
The final time control for the day was at the beautiful Franschoek Motor Museum located on the outskirts of Franschoek on the wine estate of the Rupert family, one of the wealthiest families in South Africa.
For petrol heads a very nice museum to visit with an interesting collection of cars from different era.
The afternoon was free and after we checked in the Le Franschhoek hotel we went to Franschoek itself to explore the village and have some lunch.
On the way to the hotel we drove through the main street of Franschoek (there only one main street) when a couple crossed the road in front of us.
Grace suddenly recognized them as one of our neighbours of the Herdersweg in Laren.
It took them a few minutes to realize that the red Mercedes that was blowing the horn at them was the same car they saw three month’s ago in Holland. It was a complete surprise to them and us and a nice meeting… A very small world!
Franschoek is a very special place and a mixture between St Tropez and the Hampton’s in the USA.
Nice restaurants and nice shops surrounded by vineyards and mountains in the background. Almost too nice to be true and certainly not representative of what we have seen of South Africa over the past few weeks.
Tomorrow our final run to the finish at Cape the Good Hope
and maybe some reflections on the past few weeks.
Mick & Grace (fast asleep)