Sometimes you connect with a place so well you actually hear the click. It doesn’t happen often with me but it did with Hermanus, South Africa.
I think it was because it had such accessible nature in abundance while in a village large enough to have all you need, especially since it is a tourist town so the culture bar is elevated. It was slow and easy and comfortable. There was a farmers market on Saturday, wineries sprinkled around, good restaurants and great hiking trails through the mountains across the street.
But the very best thing they had to be the beach and the cliff walk 3 blocks from where I was staying. It was absolutely glorious. At night as I was shutting up the place I would stop and listening to the ocean talking to me. Going straight down would hook us up to the Cliff Walk that ran from the New Harbour to Grotto Beach, around 12 kilometers of natural bliss. There are cliffs and many paths down to a patchwork of small beaches which are mostly linked at low tide.
Turning right takes you to the village of Hermanus. I did it once, just about killed me. Google maps said it was maybe 45 minutes – HA! I think it took me an hour and a half. But I am so glad I did it, so beautiful.
If you turn left it goes to Grotto Beach,a glorious wide, flat sandy beach that goes all the way to De Kelders, about 18 kilometers. It was pretty much perfect, there was even Dutchies restaurant to have a great cappuccino and a meal if I was feeling peckish. (Hi Franko!)
Across the street coming in at a close 2nd best thing was the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and the Kleinrivier Mountains.
I was there pet-sitting 2 dogs and a cat and the dogs thought the place was pretty perfect too! Many hours were spent running up and down the rocks and beach and into the water and ‘killing’ the beached kelp. Sometimes all I could do was stand there with tears in my eyes at the beauty that surrounded me.
I was there in August, which is whale season, good yet not a lot of tourists. The downside was it was cold and the house was unheated. My hosts didn’t seem to have a problem with that but I had just come from Sri Lanka where it was 30 and Hermanus hovered around 14 during the day. I didn’t have a lot of fall cloths so picked up a sweater and crocheted some swanky slippers and the 4 of us huddled around the wood burner in the living room in the evenings.
One of the challenges were the baboons. The situation reminded me of the issue Greater Vancouver has with her bears… except baboons are worse cause they are so darn smart! They know there’s easy meals to be had in those metal and plastic containers! Unfortunately they launch Hutch into red zone. Thankfully we avoided that but it was hilarious when one day, while crocheting in the backyard, a baboons decided to hop up on our fence. So I panic, not because I was scared of him but scared for Hutch cause there is no controlling him in that state. Of course I had all the doors of the house open cause it was a sunny day so I am flying around trying to close all the doors, hoping Hutch wouldn’t notice – HA! So there I was, dogs barking and trying to get out and I grab my noise maker and pull the plug so it’s screaming, dogs get out and we tear up and down the yard making sure we scare them away. Well they were long gone but the dogs thought it was great fun! Not sure if the neighbors did.
I probably wouldn’t like it so much at Xmas and Easter when the town explodes with hoards of people but I gotta tell you I love this place and hope to go back one day. I really miss Hutch, Fergus and Miss Ottis <3.
I gotta say, this one was hard to leave.
I have my complete photo album up at my google page if you want to drop by and check it out.