Paarl and Franshoek

We woke in Tulbagh to find that it had rained a lot in the night.  A pity because there are a few nice hiking routes in the area.  Still like most people in Cape Town I am not going to complain about rain.  We had seen a place in town advertising wine tasting so we decided to head there.  Sticking with the theme from the day before it was closed.

So we decided to head on our way.  Tulbagh is in a valley with a small pass to cross back over the mountain range we had crossed the day before.  Then it was a long straight road with the mountains on the left as we headed through Wellington and into Paarl.  And no, we didn’t feel the need to go to Paarl Mall again.

Instead we decided to head for the Spice Route which has a lot of craft places.  The things to do include wine tasting, spirit tasting, craft beer tasting and chocolate tasting.  We headed for the Barley and Biltong Emporium which I hadn’t been to before.  A great choice for a winters day because there was a fire burning and a spectacular view from the window (I never thought to take any photos.  I will blame the gin from the day before).  IT Guy ordered a platter of biltong and cheese, and some beer.  Biltong is a South African form of dried meat a bit like beef jerky but I believe much tastier.  We also visited the craft chocolate place.

Then we drove to Franshoek which can be translated as a French corner because this is where the French Huguenots settled after escaping persecution for their Protestant beliefs.  These days there is even a Bastille Day festival.  Franshoek is a very pretty town with lots of restaurants and wineries however large parts are very posh and pretentious.

We parked on the main street and went looking for some cake and coffee.  I picked a place based on the fact they claimed to have a chocolate mouse cake only they had sold out.  I had the baked cheesecake but it was a bit dry and heavy so I was rather disappointed.

After cake we continued walking down the high street and then decided to return on the back roads.  Part of the way back IT Guy noticed water running down one of the gutters.  We were curious because it had not rained so we decided to follow the water.  A little further up we noticed a lot of algae growing in the gutter suggesting a constant stream of water.  We followed the water back to the main road at which point the water disappeared underground and we could not follow it any further,  Perhaps someone reading this knows more about the origin of the water.

Then we headed for our guest house for the night.  It had a really nice balcony so we were able to sit outside with a glass of wine enjoying the view.  Then when it got dark we headed inside to watch a movie.  Afterwards we headed back into town for a quick, light meal although we didn’t pick the best restaurant for that.  Still we had a very nice day.


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