This drive today to Cape Town was special – because somewhere along the road we turned off the main road to explore the foothills of the Hex River Mountains. We stopped at Rooiberg Cellar near Robertson, which is a favourite for us on our travels.

[divider]IMG_0381They bake unbelievable breads every day and whether it is breakfast, tea or lunch – there is always something delicious to eat. The tasting room also gets a visit, with the staff always friendly and helpful. When we now stop there, we are received as friends.

Today we picked up some gift packs of Rooiberg’s fine Merlot for the kids. On our way back next week we will pop in again – for some wine for ourselves.

There is another stop on this route from Stilbaai which is becoming a favourite to. The Wimpy at Heidelberg is the best one we have encountered on our travels, while the biltong shop next door is a must for those stopping at Heidelberg. A little bit further down the Main Street there is a pastry shop selling some magnificent pies. 

[divider]IMG_0399At Rooiberg I told Jane that I always wanted to see what the Vinkrivier Valley was all about. With the help of one of the Rooiberg staff, who provided directions, we turned left when we left Rooiberg, and headed straight towards the mountains. A beautiful valley with houses and fruit orchards and vineyards stretching next to the road, awaited us. Eventually the road ended and we turned around. We followed the sign to Nuy and over the first hill we saw a beautiful vista of natural veld and aloes in full flower.

The gravel road took us past the Shaggy Stone brewery and the beautifully restored farm yard of Pen Hill, until we passed through Nuy and the Nuy Wine Cellar. The Leipzig Farms came next – and before we know we reached Nonna. A colleague of Fredo in his journalist days, Alwyn Kloppers, grew up in Nonna and we found a homestead called ‘Kloppers Nonna’. Could this be where Alwyn grew up?

Thereafter we passed through the fruit orchards near De Wet – and we saw what Fredo hoped we would see – nectarine orchards in their marvellous pink blossom! It was something to see. From now till October the fruit trees of the Cape will be in full blossom and it it’s worthwhile heading out of Cape Town and into these regions to see them.

At De Wet we joined the N-1 and the madness of cars and trucks rushing to and from Cape Town. We soon longed for the quiet of the country roads.

Tonight we sleep on a fruit farm in Franschhoek. Tomorrow Fredo will show Janey the farmlands around the town and recount stories of the times he spent here with the fruit growers of the region – particularly people such as Simon Malherbe.