After a long night of flying and lay-overs through various airports in Africa…we finally arrived in Cape Town where we rented a car and drove about an hour to South Africa’s wine country, Stellenbosch. Wow…the natural beauty in this country had Giff and I gazing out at the countryside as we found ourselves surrounded by lush green grapevines, rolling hills and animals grazing.
The roads were in good condition with normal signs and we felt very comfortable driving there even though it was on the opposite side of the road. There were gates up everywhere…big iron gates in front of every house/stores etc, it was a reminder that we were after all in Africa. We found our place and buzzed the gate to let us in…it was small family vineyard with a few B&B rooms. Our room was nice, and the views of course looked over the vines…by the time we got checked in and settled, it was dinner time.
The owner of the B&B pointed to a small local restaurant just down the road that he thought we would enjoy. He also informed us the water was completely safe to drink from the faucet…no need to worry about contamination etc. Giff and I were excited to hear about that because in India over the past two weeks…we couldn’t eat any raw foods due to the contamination issues of the water, it will be nice to have a big fresh salad and brush our teeth without bottled water.
As we drove right down the street, the sun was setting and cast a pink glow in the sky. It was one of the most beautiful wine countries because it had the rows of vines but also the hills…kind of like Sonoma. As we drove into the driveway of the restaurant…we saw many farm animals on both sides of us…first ostriches and then zebras! We had never seen a zebra outside of the zoo and these zebras were just hanging out eating grass, we of course stopped to take pictures.
The restaurant was very wine country-style, it had a warm ambiance feel with dim lighting and farm-fresh ingredients on the menu. We ordered a nice bottle of wine and took our time enjoying our very first meal in South Africa. I had a nice big fresh salad and Giff ordered a local Kudu dish with a berry sauce…and we couldn’t resist the cheesecake for dessert.
After dinner, we went back to our place and looked through some of the maps and pamphlets so we could come up with a game plan for tomorrow…we need to find out if these gorgeous vines produce amazing wine!