Stunning, luxurious, peaceful, exquisite and definitely charming are just a few words that come to mind while travelling in the Cape Winelands especially in the town of Franschhoek.
Offering that perfect mix of cultures, the Cape Winelands can easily be mistaken as a European vineyard due to the scenery, architecture and the influence from the European settlers which include the French and the Dutch.
Wine tasting at Fairview estate began early this particular morning and by 10:00am, you are sampling exquisite South African wines and delicious cheeses. Other stops to consider include the famous Stellenbosch wineries located in Stellenbosh which is the second oldest village in South Africa. One of my favourite places is Ken Forrester Vineyards in Stellenbosch as they make the stunning Chenin Blanc which is exclusive to South Africa and with a hint of vanilla and Chenin honey, this wine is truly one to enjoy.
Lunch at the award winning Bosman’s restaurant located at the Grande Roche Hotel is worth the experience as you sit on the front deck, in the sunshine overlooking the historical village while enjoying a fine dining experience along with the scent of roses in the air. Peaceful and charming, the restaurant offers a variety of cuisines using local produce and the best part is the price. For only R235, you can enjoy a two course meal including local wines.
For tour information, speak with Brian at Jorvan Tours www.jorvantours.co.za
The Garden Route is not only about the wineries, it is about the local community as they all get together and help support the poor. The Kusasa Project is an initiative that provides nutrition, schooling, education and recreation to over 1500 disadvantaged children. The success from this organisation is due to volunteers and from the local businesses. Travellers from around the world take time out with some staying over 3 months to help educate and care for these children.
Mrs Indaba (mentioned in previous hotel reviews) is a key individual who began a pre-school out of her little shack where she teaches young children and provides them with a place to learn. Properties such as Le Quartier Francais and La Residence, supply the children with food and the project with additional support. Doug Gurr who is the Founder, escorted the group to visit Mrs Indaba and to also meet the children.
Honestly this is one experience where you are overwhelmed with love, hugs and an abundance of smiles. The children are between the ages of 2 – 5 years and there is so many of them who run up to you with open arms just after affection. The smiles and laugher engulf your inner core and you cannot help embrace them while smiling and laughing back. The children are happy to show you their knowledge of the alphabet and counting skills with a few singing local songs.
It was time now to visit the school where these young children will be heading in later years. The school is run by volunteers and a small number of full time staff who help educate the many students that frequent the class rooms. Visiting a grade 6 class, the children sang a popular song in their native language which was moving to all. The entire class got out of their seats and what could have been a scene from a gospel church, they sang their hearts out. You could not help but clap your hands and dance with them.
The children did have some fun with the visitors at the beginning as we were all asked to say “egg” in the language of Xhosa. This is one of the hardest languages to learn and pronounce but we did a good job making the class laugh at our Aussie slang.
Listening to these children was inspiring as you can clearly see their passion for education and for the opportunity to make it in life. if you are interested in getting involved, contact Doug Gurr firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thekusasaproject.org. This is a life changing experience as you see this project creating a better, brighter future for the children of South Africa.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.V