Spice Route Paarl - 26th Sept '13TO
Time Out & Traveltime offers friendship and fun                       Travelling down roads least travelled                                    Visiting places not normally seen by tourists                                Great company and excellent meals are to be expected                              It transfers you out of your everyday life!


TRAVELTIME - Previous Outings

10th - 16th November '13

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The slide show above shows select  photos taken over the 7 days on tour.
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We planned the tour to leave on a Sunday to miss the normal week day traffic. Little did we know that the annual Big Walk was scheduled to take place on Sunday 10th.
Having discovered this after our dates were set, we planned to leave earlier and avoid the hot spots.
On the day we actually didn't encounter any walkers and we arrived at Cape Town International airport well ahead of the departure time for our flight to Lanseria airport, Gauteng..
Check in had been done on line the day before, so all we had to do was hand in our luggage and have some breakfast.
The flight departed on time and we arrived at Lanseria in a flash, all ready to tackle the road to Clarens, a trip of 3-4 hours.
Our luggage was retrieved and we located our booked vehicle and driver. There was only one Hylton Ross vehicle outside arrivals, but it couldn't be ours because it didn't have a trailer, which we had pre-ordered. Wrong, it was our vehicle, but HR operations had forgotten to tell the driver Nelson to take a trailer before leaving the Pretoria depot! The vehicle rear seats were folded away and we managed to fit in all the luggage and were soon on our way to Germiston to pick up our final passenger Nico du Plessis.

With my trusty Samsung Tab Navigator in hand we headed to Klipportjie, Germiston, only to be led astray within 2km of our destination. Undeterred we eventually departed Germiston at 2pm on the main road to Durban from which we would branch off to Frankfort and Tweeling (pot holed), Bethlehem and ultimately Clarens, arriving at 5.30pm.
Our home for the next 6 nights was the Clarens Golf and Trout Estate within a stones throw from the centre of Clarens. We had hired two houses for our group, with the driver being accommodated in a B&B in town.
The Estate was quiet, having earlier today bid farewell to many Harley Davidson Club members who had spent a few days in Clarens. Thank goodness we didn't have to put up with the noise!

The housing estate covers a wide area of the golf course and many roads are relatively steep but not inaccessible to normal vehicles. The Quantum 11-seater vehicle we were assigned (without a trailer), battled to reach the top of a moderate hill and stalled. It was at this point that we queried what mileage the vehicle had done. 550,000km was the response! Wow, no wonder it didn't have power. (It was fine en route to Clarens). This was addressed with HR and a newer vehicle (and trailer) was delivered on Tuesday 12th.

Having settled into our respective accommodation we enjoyed dinner at  VITO’S RISTORANTE, in town.
Monday 11th found us having breakfast at ARTISTS CAFE, followed by a walk around town to become familiar with the surroundings (and shops). The Titanic rock outside of Clarens provided photographers with something to do!  Our group enjoyed breakfast and dinner at a different restaurant each night.  Highlights were CLEMENTINES; THE COURTYARD RESTAURANT (their chef excelled himself with a starter dish of fresh asparagus coupled with a deep fried lightly poached egg); PHATT CHEF; & ROTER HAHN. Of course for breakfast CAFE MOULIN on the road to the Golden Gate was announced `"TOPS"; VALLEY CATS  & 278 RESTAURANT were also interesting experiences for breakfast. .Our day at the Ben Nevis Cherry Farm proved to be a different day and our lunch at the ROSE HIP restaurant, despite their wedding preparations, proved to be delicious!

Meals aside, we spent a fabulous 2 hours at the Cultural Village within the Golden Gate National Park - a very enlightening time indeed!  Golden Gate mountains are certainly a sight to behold!

A quick visit to Fouriesburg allowed us to see the Queen Victoria rock formation.

After much gathering on the part of the ladies on tour, everyone was 'amazed' that their luggage was not overweight - can't say the same for the bodies.  Everyone complained they had eaten far too much - "Not what we ever eat @ home" - but the meals every night on tour are a time to come together and relax and chat about the day!  An important part on any tour.

Published 21st November'13