Friday, October 16, 2020

2020 Holiday Day 2 (Tuesday)

We awoke to some early morning showers, but they didn't last long and cleared up by 10h00. 

Contrary to the extremely flat seas we experienced on our first day, they were a fair bit rougher, with the promise of some strong seas later in the day. 

Looking at this photo of a fellow photographer doing his thing at one of the tranquil rock pools immediately below our balcony, one just can't imagine what was to follow later in the day.

For some time now, I have been wanting to pay a visit to the Dalebrook tidal pool to see the various stone statues that someone must have spent hours putting together. I must confess to having being somewhat disappointed, as there were only a few of them left when we got there. Not sure what happened to them all, possibly broken down by the wind and seas? Anyway, it was still worth the visit, with quite a few people making use of the swimming pool while we were walking around. Here is just one of the remaining statues, followed by a shot of the waves breaking against the rocks. The second photo shows the promise of the larger swells that followed later in the day. The last photo shows just how beautiful the colours are in the tidal pool itself, plus the clarity of the water there.

After our time spent at the pool, we decided to take short walk around St James to have a look at the various sets of steps that lead all the way from the Main Road right up to Boyes Drive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We started off at Jacob's Ladder. Unfortunately I have not been able to find out how many steps there are, and I wasn't going to count them myself! Jacqui passed up the opportunity as well! Suffice to say that when originally built, it consisted of 120 steps, but these were added to as and when extra residences were built up the mountain, until it finally reached Boyes Drive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From there we went to Ley Road, two streets away from Jacob's Ladder. Right at the top of the steps, on Boyes Drive, is where Jacqui rented a room when she was much younger (before we met). So it was a bit of a nostalgic visit.
After that it was a trip to the iconic changing huts on the beach. Unfortunately, as you can see, many of them (if not all) are in serious need of repair or refurbishment. There were two huts that were destroyed by a fire recently, and some fire damage can be seen on the first hut. I was standing on the area previously occupied by the huts before the fire when I took the photo.

And then our explorations took us to Kalk Bay harbour. We could see the waves outside were building up, but it was still a little while off high tide, and it was quite calm inside the harbour walls. Here are a few images taken while walking around.

At this stage we were quite hungry and thirsty. The restaurants in the harbour itself, apart from the Lucky fish and chips restaurant, which we didn't fancy that day, were closed. So we forced ourselves to once again try the Brass Bell restaurant on Kalk Bay station. The last time we visited, we were seriously unimpressed with the poor service and over-rated food, but were hoping that things had improved since then. 

And it turned out to be a great choice in the end. We both thoroughly enjoyed their grilled calamari, prepared with a hint of chilli. Jacqui chose to have salad with hers and I had the chips. All washed down with a chilled bottle of Protea Sauvignon Blanc. Gorgeous! In addition to the great meal, we were treated to a floor show as well! At this stage of the afternoon, high tide was just minutes away, and the crashing waves started to make their presence felt inside the restaurant! We fortunately were unaffected, as the window at the table we chose was closed. But the windows at the table in front of us did not close properly (one of the problems of living at the sea) and the couple sitting there received a good helping of sea water! The cushions they were sitting on got drenched, but they themselves escaped largely untouched! Needless to say, they moved tables after that.

We stayed for a few minutes while finishing the wine, then paid and went to the deck outside the restaurant, from where the following photo was taken. Part of the restaurant can be seen on the left.

Finally back to On the rocks, where we spent a relaxed late afternoon and evening.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 Holiday - Day 1 (Monday)

We normally go for our annual holiday earlier during the year, during the cooler months - April or May, but with the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, it was just not possible this year. We had originally planned to spend some time up the West Coast.

When we eventually were allowed to travel again, we decided to keep it really simple this year - both in time spent away from home and distance from home. I have often talked of making  a trip down to the Fish Hoek area for a day visit, and Jacqui suggested that maybe that should be our destination for the holiday.

We aren't the easiest people to cater for, with one of our main considerations being whether the place we stayed at had a king-sized bed. Neither of us are small people and we simply enjoy the extra space it allows to get a good night's rest. Next on the requirements list is a wi-fi connection, and finally the ability to have the option of watching the news on TV in the evenings. On-site parking is an added benefit.

So automatically a large number of accommodation options gets eliminated, and sometimes we get what we want with the rest of the offering slightly inferior to what we would like. My favourite accommodation search engine is - their presentation of what's on offer is for me the most comprehensive and normally answers most of the questions one might have.

And this time we narrowed our search down to one major possibility - "On the rocks" in Sunny Cove, Fish Hoek. What a gem! Not only does it have everything we need and want, there is a view and a lock-up garage thrown in! And on top of it all - a friendly and accommodating hostess! There is a large bedroom, tiny bathroom, and small living area - all beautifully equipped. And then two balconies - one small one leading out from the living area, and an under-cover one leading from the bedroom. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and can recommend the place unreservedly!

After we left home, we took a nice leisurely drive through to Fish Hoek, this time opting for the route along the Main Road from Muizenberg rather than taking Boyes Drive. We had a relaxed lunch in Fish Hoek itself and contacted our hostess as we left for the venue. She was waiting for us when we arrived, after opening the garage door, situated on Simonstown Road.

We spent the rest of the day just unpacking and relaxing, planning our routes for the rest of the trip, had a drink or two and a light supper, and took some photographs of the accommodation and the view from the small balcony.

Here are a few photos.

This is the view of the under-cover patio as one walks out of the garage. The door to the bedroom is on the right.

The view of the same patio, but this time from the sea end.

The bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

Living area leading to the second patio. Not seen is a cupboard/shelf unit with kettle, cups and saucers, etc. and tea, coffee and sugar.

Part of the view from the second patio.

Close-up of the opposite side of the bay, with the Kalk Bay lighthouse just in view.

The 4 o'clock Metrorail passenger train on its way from Fish Hoek.

Paddlers on their way out of the bay for an evening training run.
Beautiful early evening to end the day

Unusually for this time of year, the evening was actually extremely cold. Both Jacqui and I froze our butts off that night, but there were plenty of warm extra blankets available, and we made use of them for the remaining part of our stay.

To be continued.....

2020 Holiday - Last days

Day 3 - Wednesday We woke to a very pleasant, though cold, morning. We again had breakfast outside on the patio, and were treated to the (we...