Hello Darling

Darling Travel Blog

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Owl's nest
After surveying the weather prospects for the coming days, we realised that the dream of hitting the open road on a motorbike was perhaps a little unrealistic. Especially when it came to luggage considerations - would a single malt be a better bet against the rain and cold than a jersey? Would we need a change of dry clothes, or could we rely on body heat to steam ourselves dry? It all seemed a bit iffy, and middle-aged self-preservation instincts set in and we reluctantly cancelled the bike, and went off to collect the hired car.

Setting off took us down the licorice tangle of M5 / N1 out onto the coast road, via a rather unfortunate detour through Paarden Eiland owing to navigational lapses of concentration, but finally we were whizzing past Woodbridge Island - if the sedate doddle of a Piccanta can be deemed "whizzing". The R27 felt familiar from last year's West Coast outing, with the traffic thinning once we'd passed the suburban sprawl of Blouberg.
Owlets
Ahead, the asphalt beckoned invitingly, and we stretched out languidly, filling our mouths with chocolate coffee beans and our hearts with song.

The Swartland, named after its characteristic dark renosterbos (rhinoceros bush), is the grain growing area of the Western Cape, and clothed in golden undulations interspersed with newer vineyards as wine growing becomes more popular. Well, as the Bible says, "man shall not live by bread alone".

We spotted birds along the roadside, guessed wildly at the identity of roadkill, and shrilled as we dodged kamikaze tortoises that appeared from nowhere like obstacles on early computer racing games. And then suddenly, unexpectedly, the turn-off appeared. Leaving the comfort of the tar, we hit the gravel of the Darling Hills Road, laughingly comparing its fine state to the rougher West Coast roads from last year.
Owlets peekaboo!
We came soon enough to the Guesthouse  and settled in.

John pointed out an owl's nest in the tree outside, and two cute owlets squinted grumpily at us as we cooed and clucked and photographed their deceptive cuddliness. At a watchful distance, a far more imposing parent kept a wary eye.

That evening we drove into town and dined at Bistro Seven, returning through a fine cloak of owls before snuggling up for the night to their soft calls and the whisper of the wind in the trees.
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Owls nest
Owl's nest
Owlets
Owlets
Owlets peekaboo!
Owlets peekaboo!
Parent owl keeping a watchful eye!
Parent owl keeping a watchful eye!
Darling Hostels review
Faced with a dilapidated schoolhouse, John and his father had two choices - an "accidental" fire and an insurance claim, or lots of hard work. They op… read entire review
Darling Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Not expecting a whole lot to be happening in Darling on a Thursday night, we arrived at the restaurant unannounced and enquired about a table for two.… read entire review
Darling
photo by: vicke