Tag Archives: durbanville

Blue-sky vineyards

Blue-sky vineyards
I think it's the order (how the vineyards are designed in geometrical shapes with perfectly-aligned rows of vines) that appeals to me. That, the array of green-yellow-orange colours, and the promise of wine. :)

Barren fields and wild game

Barren fields
This field lies diagonally opposite the field that I posted in my previous post. Quite a stark contrast, don't you think?

If I recall correctly, I spotted a number of buck (perhaps springbok), as well as two or three ostriches scouring the field for bits and pieces to nibble on. I'm not sure, but I think this field belongs to Clara Anna Fontein, a private game reserve just outside of Durbanville.

I've actually never visited the reserve, but if you're in Cape Town and don't have time to visit our country's larger reserves, then consider doing a game drive at Clara Anna Fontein. I don't believe they have any of the big game, well, unless you consider blue wildebeest big game - but they do have zebra, springbok, ostrich, bontebok, eland and a variety of other wildlife roaming their small part of the Renosterveld.

Golden-orange vineyards

Golden-orange vineyards
The Durbanville farmlands can be really pretty at this time of year. I don't really enjoy them during our hot and windy summer months - mostly because it gets really hot and really windy. :P

Seriously-speaking though, walking about on farmlands dirt roads in dry windy weather leaves one covered in an uncomfortable grimy-feeling layer of fine orange powder mixed with perspiration. Autumn's cool ~21°C weather is far, far, more desirable - and besides, the skies are bluer and filled with billowing clouds, and the farmlands are a beautiful mix of green and orange.

Isabella’s – good food that takes a while

Isabella's Restaurant
We recently discovered Isabella's in Durbanville's Heritage Square. Isn't the decor beautiful? Sure it is. In fact, the restaurant is almost as beautiful inside as it's cakes are on the outside. I've been on a low-carb diet for a while now, so I haven't yet indulged; but I'm biding my time, and soon we'll be devouring a cake or three.

Isabella's has an astonishingly-comprehensive menu filled with creative gourmet alternatives to regular burgers, wraps, salads and sandwiches. The portions are fairly substantial, and super-tasty.

Don't visit if you're in a hurry though. On both our recent visits it seemed like the restaurant's relaxed atmosphere intoxicated it's staff into a Sunday afternoon-like slumber. :)

But, the lack of speed and sparkyness is made up for by the surroundings and food. So, heed my advice if you're in a hurry, but do visit them if you have some time to spend.

Hillcrest to Table Mountain

Hillcrest to Table Mountain
The views from the dusty Hillcrest's (map) hiking trails are spectacular - much more so than what I've shown in this photo.

If you're keen to amble though the vineyards, along one of the trails, arrive by 8am, take an exploratory walk through the vineyards, and end off the outing by visiting the estate's restaurant for breakfast. Be sure to take plenty of sunscreen and water along - it's surprisingly easy for a quick walk to turn into a two-hour trek.

Hiking in Durbanville

Hiking in Durbanville
Kerry-Anne and I have taken to doing short hikes on weekends. This particular one was at Hillcrest in Durbanville - along a mountain bike trail that leads though the vineyards.

Only after the hike did we learn that this area is well known for the Cape Cobra - an extremely venomous snake. While we never actually saw snakes, the sign "Snake Alley" (posted along one of the routes we walked) made a whole lot more sense, and we felt really grateful for not encountering any of the slippery, slithery slinkies.

What power failures?

What power failures?
I can't recall the last time that we had a power failure. It's either been that long, or perhaps that my memory is failing. About a week back we noticed a brief flicker in the lights, almost like the last time Koeberg's one nuclear reactor shut itself down - but, the power remained, and we were happy.

Calm before the storm? I'm not sure. We had a bitterly cold winter, and we survived, so perhaps our supply of energy is under control.

Farmlands and hills

Farmlands and hills
These, dear friends, are the farmlands and hills outside of Durbanville, the little suburb in which we live. This specific photo was taken from the farmlands that (I believe) belong to Fair Cape dairies. Click on the photo to see the large version - isn't it pretty out there?

This map shows pretty much exactly where I was standing when taking this photo. :)

Freshwater fishing in Durbanville

Freshwater fishing in Durbanville
One of the few places in Durbanville to relax for an afternoon with a fishing pole is the Majik Forest. It's difficult to see the young boy's fishing pole - but if you look really closely you will see it. He seemed to have been sitting there for quite some time waiting for a fish to bite, which to me is extremely impressive. I'm bored after 5 minutes of watching the float bob on the water's surface!

A field of pylons

Electricity pylons
Even though most would complain that the electricity pylons obscure and even ruin the beauty of this field - yet still I find something beautiful about their form. I guess one would call it an industrial beauty.

Before taking up photography I probably wouldn't have considered the possibility that electricity pylons, a symbol of the destruction of nature, could in some way be beautiful.

Gimme some of that weed

A toothy horse

We stopped over at the Durbanville Wine Valley Season of Sauvignon 2009 festival on Saturday. Although Jimbo here wasn't part of the festival, he kept a keen eye on the proceedings while munching on ground-greens. I plucked this juicy, yummy-looking weed from my side of the fence and handed it over.

After only a few nibbles, Jimbo's connoisseur's tongue rejected my offering, and he instead demanded a couple of life's simple pleasures: nose-strokes and head-pats. Horses are so easy to please.

Chai-Yo – Spiro’s Corner, Durbanville

Restaurant Table

It seems as though we don't go out for dinner much these days unless it's to a function like GeekDinner, 27Dinner, or something similar. I arrived home this evening to a wife not up for cooking and myself not too much in the mood either.

A quick decision was made, which entailed rationalising the fact that we deserve eating out tonight - because we've been working so hard, you see. ;) Anyway, we've been meaning to try Chai-Yo, a Thai restaurant in Durbanville, for some time.

To be honest, we're never really impressed by restaurants in the northern suburbs, and most often find ourselves eating out in the city or in the southern suburbs. The thing that normally counts against restaurants in the north is the service - which is usually just not good, or pretty average at best (to be honest).

But this is what made our visit to Chai-Yo really awesome. The service was impeccable - polite, helpful, and attentive without being overly intrusive. The thinly-cut, seared, tuna starter that Kerry-Anne and I shared was delicious, as were the traditional Thai chicken dishes that we ate as our main course.

So to sum it up, there was great service, good food, and a pleasantly comfortable yet smart ambience. Well done Chai Yo, please do keep it up!