Darling Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
November 8th, 2007 – by: vicke
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.
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.
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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