On The Trail of The Whales

After almost 8 months isolating Norm and I felt like it was safe to venture out for a weekend away. We needed some time for just us without the dogs and the cats being the primary centre of our attention. We decided to go to Hermanus for a weekend as it is close enough to be an easy trip and it is Whale season. I used Booking.Com and chose 138 Marine Beachfront Guesthouse.

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We finished work early on Friday and packed and once Michelle arrived to look after the animals we were off on our adventure.

It took us 2 hours to get there as there was an accident and we ended up stuck in traffic. When we got down to the road where the guesthouse was located I saw a little mongoose strolling along.

We arrived just as the sun was about to set so I quickly snapped a pic of the view from the front patio of the guesthouse. It was directly opposite the sea.

The charming hostess Desré showed us around the property. There was an upstairs lounge and a downstairs lounge, both of these had balconies with gorgeous sea views.

We then went to our room which was upstairs at the back of the property. We were in the Mussel Room and it was beautifully decorated and really clean and bright.

We had our own private courtyard just outside the door with 3 options for seating. Out of view on the right was a charming little metal table and chairs too.

We unpacked and went out to find somewhere for dinner as we were ravenous. We parked down at the harbour and decided on Burgundy Restaurant which had plenty of outside seating with social distancing being observed between the widely spaced tables and all of the staff were wearing masks. We were seated right by the sea and the sound of the waves was very relaxing. We immediately felt like we were on a proper holiday.

Norm ordered a glass of wine.

I ordered a vodka, passionfruit and soda. It was a muggy night and it was very refreshing. I wore one of the new dresses I had bought for the trip.

We ordered the Kleinrivier Gruberg Cheese Croquettes to share as a starter for R95. I am glad we did not order a plate each as they were quite large. They had a crispy coating and the cheese inside was very creamy and full of flavour. They were delicious.

I ordered the grilled wild LM Prawns with coconut infused jasmine rice,
lemon butter and a fresh green salad for R260. The term ‘LM Prawns’ stands for ‘Lourenço Marques Prawns’ which means they were caught off the coast of Mozambique. Lourenço Marques is the former name of the city now known as Maputo. The prawns were large but very difficult to peel and the portion was not quite enough to fill me up.

Norm decided on a steak and chose a 300gram beef fillet for R280. It came with a choice of one side and he chose the grilled vegetables. This was a beast of a steak, I suspect it might have been more than 300g! I had a taste and it was ever so tender.

We rounded off our meal with a coffee for Norm and a Kahlua dom pedro for me. A dom pedro is a milkshake for adults as it has a shot of booze in it. It was divine. I give our experience at Burgundy 4 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

After we finished dinner we strolled back to our car and headed to the guesthouse to relax. As we had worked, packed, driven and walked about we were both quite tired and wanted to be fresh for the next day. We both slept beautifully and only woke after 9am. To fall asleep with the sound of the waves crashing was just so special.

As we woke so late we had to rush off to the dining room as we had been given the 9:30am breakfast slot. The guesthouse was maintaining social distancing and serving 2 sittings with lots of space between the tables. We had a view of the sea from our table.

First we were given our choice of coffee or tea and a little pot of plain yogurt and a delicious fruit salad.

Next they offered toast but we both declined. Then they brought us a plate of their cooked breakfast for the day. It was an English muffin topped with cheese and a fried egg, bacon, fried mushrooms, roast tomatoes and caramelised onions. You could choose one or two muffins topped with eggs but one was enough for me.

The food was delicious and filling and a great start for a day of adventure. The weather was overcast and misty but neither of us love the heat so we were pleased with that. There was a bit of a breeze blowing as well.

We decided to go for a bit of a drive along Sandbaai where the guesthouse was located. There is a foot path that goes all along the beach.

We found a charming little hobbit hole where the path went through a large shrub.

We then drove to the Hermanus Country Market to have a wee wander around the stalls. There was a sign instructing you to wear masks to enter so we popped ours on and set off around the perimeter of the market keeping distant from other people there.

There were lots of stalls selling food to eat on site with tables set up in the centre of the market. There was fresh produce, various types of drinks, olives, artisan breads and other baked goods, various types of art, jewelry, plants and clothing. As we walked along the edge of the market a woman walked towards us without a mask and when she got to Norm she opened her arms wide and danced about in front of him trapping him from getting away from her drunken maskless face. Silly cow, I wanted to clop her one but that would mean touching her. Who behaves like that in a pandemic?

I spotted a booth with gorgeous hand made caftans which are perfect in our summer weather and I chose one with a lovely red pattern. They are hand made by a woman named Janet whose company is cleverly named Dammit Janet. She was very helpful and spent ages helping me choose a pattern I liked in the size I needed.

I also bought a sweet metal butterfly for my pot plants. I love it so much.

After we had examined all of the offerings we decided we had enough people for one day and headed back to the car. We then drove into the centre of Hermanus and found parking. We had a wander around the shops and bought a few bits and pieces. There are some very quirky little alleys where some of the shops are presented in such a cool style.

We then walked down to the harbour.

We strolled from one end of the walk way to the other examining all of the art on display.

I love how they have made the foot path a gallery of very unique and interesting pieces.

We had a giggle when Norm sat with the statues of baboons on the bench and people passing by warned me not to feed them.

We kept our eye out for any hint of whales but were disappointed that the sea appeared to be a bit rough for spotting them. We did see quite a few rock dassies (aka a rock hyrax). They were climbing along the rocks and even sprawled out near the benches.

By this time we were ready for a coffee and we walked off to find a suitable spot. We found a table outside at Café 1904.

They had really delicious coffee.

We then decided to go for a drive along the coast to check out some of the other whale watching spots. We found a bench with an amazing view and sat for ages, enjoying the bracing fresh sea air and the warm sunshine.

Norm started getting a bit too much sun so he popped on his hat. He is so cute in a hat.

By then we were getting a bit tired so we headed back for an hours rest before we got ready for dinner. I wore the other new dress I had bought to wear while away and I was very pleased with the pattern and how it fit.

We had passed The Walker Bay Grill on our drive and decided to book there as it looked nice, had outdoor seating and had good ratings on line. We were given a nice spacious table outside on their veranda.

We ordered drinks and chose our starters. We both chose the shrimp croquettes. There were 3 per portion and it came with salad and a sweet chili sauce.

Norm ordered the lamb rack for R245. It came with sautéed potatoes and vegetables.

I chose the 250g fillet steak for R230. It came with a choice of sauce and sautéed potatoes and I chose mushroom sauce and ordered a side of onion rings to go with it.

Both of our meals were really fabulous, the service was exceptional and I loved that the chef came to chat to us at the end of the meal. However, the evening ended on a bit of a sour note as people arrived and sat near us and started to smoke. It put us right off and spoiled the end of our evening. I give the Walker Bay Grill 4.5 Kitten Stars, the loss of half a star is due to the smoking on the premises where food was served which is not only off putting but illegal. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

We headed back to the guesthouse and changed into warm comfy clothes and went up to sit on the upstairs balcony and have a glass of wine and listen to the sea. It was so relaxing. Eventually we felt a bit chilly so we went down to our room to snuggle up and watch a bit of telly.

The next morning we were again given the yogurt and fruit salad and coffee. The cooked breakfast on the second day consisted of bruschetta: ciabatta topped with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, served with bacon, scrambled eggs and caramelized onions.

We went back to the room to shower and get dressed and pack. We loaded up the car and headed back into the town for one last whale spotting attempt. We managed to get parking right by the sea at the harbour. It was drizzling rain so we did not get out to walk, we sat in the car gazing at the sea. Norm walked off to get us both a coffee and came back. The sea was calmer than the previous day and I was sure I could see whales and then a tail popped up out of the sea and we both whooped with excitement. Norm had his binoculars and we sat for ages watching them break the surface of the water with their backs, occasionally blow out water or stick out a tail. We could tell there were loads of them out in the bay. Then we suddenly saw a fin break the water and realised the bay was absolutely packed with dolphins as well. They broke the surface often with their fins. It was so exciting. I thanked Mother Earth and the sea creatures for blessing us with their presence.

After an hour or so we decided to go and we opted to drive back the scenic route along the Whale Coast, via Kleinmond and through Strand. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and I stopped to take several pics.

I took a video at one of the stops.

When we getting close to Gordon’s Bay we spotted a troop of baboons. The large male was sitting munching on a yogurt container.

Another male was running along the highway on his own and then ahead of us we spotted a group of mothers, young adults and even babies playing on the rocks.

By the time we got to Strand we were getting hungry so we looked for somewhere to stop for a late lunch. We spotted De Brasserie and thought it looked enticing and found parking right outside.

We opted for a table outside and we ordered drinks. Shortly after a woman came and sat next to us to have a cigarette. What is it with places in these areas breaking the law on smoking? This no longer happens in Cape Town as too many places have been hit with heavy fines. We asked to move inside and were given a table by the window.

I ordered the tempura prawns and some salmon roses. The tempura prawns were a nice size and there were six of them. Their dipping sauce was homemade and had a nice zing to it.

The sushi was fresh and tasty. The pieces were quite large so Norm had a laugh at me trying to shove them in my gob.

Norm ordered the Asian Beef salad topped with slices of steak, mushrooms, onions and cashews with a sweet soy sauce. He loved this salad.

We both finished with a delicious cappuccino which came with a small chocolate heart, a little slice of cake and a crunchy biscuit. That was a nice touch!

Again I give the venue 4.5 Kitten Stars due to allowing smoking where people are dining. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

We then got back onto the road to come home. Shortly after we left Strand we hopped on the motorway and it was not long til we arrived home. Michelle had brushed the dogs, tidied the house and cleaned my kitchen so it was a pleasure. No matter how much you enjoying going away it is always nice to return home.

The dogs were so delighted to see us and stayed close to Norm all evening.

We had such a brilliant time away and it was so refreshing. It was good for our souls and good for our relationship. I feel so privileged to be able to afford to go away and to be able to stay at such a special place, not to mention that we were blessed with the sight of so many creatures on land and sea.

I hope you have enjoyed taking this little virtual journey with us.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x

2 thoughts on “On The Trail of The Whales

  1. Pingback: Halloween Blues – Kitten in the City

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