African shoestrings – South Africa Day Thirty-eight – Stellenbosch
It was time to leave Cape Town, not as we thought at the time forever, but for a few days. We were off to the winelands!
Stellenbosch has two dominant influences, the wine industry and the local student population that studies at the Afrikaans-language University of Stellenbosch. Fortunately these two influences compliment each other and the result is a trendy, lively place that seems to have avoided the social problems that dogs the rest of South Africa. It’s also the second oldest town in South Africa and hence has many well preserved architectural gems. Gleaming white Dutch Gable buildings interspersed with the odd flat or thatched roof were everywhere.
We attempted to follow a walk trail that passes the most notable buildings and landmarks. But gave up following it exactly. There were just too many to look at!
We ended up at the Die Bergkelder a big cooperative winery that owns many labels and small vineyards in the area. They have an interesting but fairly pedestrian tour of the winery and we got to taste some wines from their biggest label Fleur Du Cap. Silly thing was that to taste some other wines, you were directed to the main tasting area, which by the time the tour finished at 4.30 pm, had closed. Obviously they don’t need the business that badly!
The Stumble Inn is a name that conjures up visions of a quaint little guesthouse with period piece architecture and furniture. Not quite. It’s a converted house of no specific beauty that now serves as a Backpackers, our third! …….We were determined to get the hang of these places.
Neil, the owner (we think) took one look at us and must have decided that at our age we needed to be in a quiet room away from the living areas. It was pretty much the same, soft beds, hand me down furniture, décor that varied in style, standard and colour. A big back yard was dotted with small tents whose occupants were all in a state of undress and trying hard to be the first to get a melanoma.
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