Chronicals of the Cape Splendour Traveling Suitcase for 2012

It has been a bit of a roller coaster year with lots of very busy days followed by days and weeks of no action at all!

I would like to share some of the highlights with you:

Firstly my Encounters with Wild Life and Nature!

Back in Feb, I was enjoying a meal with the Butin’s from the States on the Deck at The Two Oceans Restaurant when we were rudely interrupted by a group of very cheeky Baboons.  I kept them at bay with a spray bottle and a broom until the Alpha male pitched up and was not overly phased by my brave attempts with said weapons.  Just as I thought I was going to lose my stand off with Big Daddy, he decided to jump on to another table and proceeded to eat all the patrons food and roar at them with his mouth full of their food, how rude was that?! Needless to say while John and I were busy taking pictures of this spectacle, Mary was inside arranging a nice safe table in the restaurant!  It was a bit scary but I think it was probably the highlight of their Cape Peninsular Tour, if not their entire trip to Cape Town!

Shark Cage Diving

White Shark Adventures very kindly offered me an opportunity to do a Shark Cage dive, which I fairly hesitantly took them up on! It really turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life! I kept  on wondering to myself why I was not terrified out of my wits, it was a truly surreal experience. It was so good I went back for another dive, which I think lowered my body temperature a bit too much which rendered me a bit useless, but once I managed to get into some warm dry clothes with the help of a friend I was fine.  I tucked into the snacks on board and then enjoyed a lovely wholesome meal back at base.  They showed us a video of our experience and I was a bit horrified to see a shark chewing at the corner of the cage while I was in it!  A word of advice, take sea sick tabs and take warm gear to get into when you are finished with the dive.   I really recommend Shark Cage Diving, particularly with White Shark Adventures, they are very professional and know what they are about.

Whale Watching

The Whales were out in full force and I enjoyed a couple of very good sightings off the Cliffs at Hermanus and from the various beaches around The Cape Coast like Blouberg and Boulders.  I took a group of crew from Eidelwise Airlines on a Boat Based Whale Watching tour from Simon’s Town and they all had a great time watching a huge female and her calf frolic in the water, it was a highlight of their Cape Peninsular Tour

Another fantastic viewing of the Whales was with the Wolf girls.  While their mom and dad were working I took Sam and her sister horse riding and for a ride on a boat to see the Seals on Duiker Island.  Well we got much, much more than we bargained for, the Seals were upstaged completely by breaching whales and a school of Dolphins, what an amazing experience that was, and such good value, all for the cost of a Seal Boat trip!

Flower Tours

The flowers were beautiful this year, the day I spent frolicking in the  flowers  with the Heller’s at the West Coast National Park really stands out for me.  It was a glorious day and the flowers really put on a tremendous show for us!

Memorable Private Tours

Peter and rosemary Stutchbury brought their daughter Jessica  and son in law Adonis and their little grand daughter Sophia out for a few private tours around Cape Town, very much aimed at letting Sophia have a great time and then we enjoyed a Garden Route Tour and focused on child friendly destinations. Plettenberg bay Beach was a hit as was the Fairy Sanctury at Swellendam, the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve was a good place for child friendly Game drives.The  accommodation at Air Del Mar on the Beach in Mossel Bay was really great as always.  The other accommodation which they really enjoyed was Schoone Oordt in Swellendam and the Sir David Guest House in Bloubergstrandt which is always a hit with everyone!

My Turkish Delights

I put together a very customized series of private tours for a group of six young Ballet Dancers and their four minders. Tthe girls were out here to partake in a Ballet Competition in Montagu and I believe they walked away with all the prizes.  They had a very busy 4 days in Cape town and saw just about all there was to see including a San (Bushmen) experience at !Kwa ttu, a Safari at  Buffelsfontein Game and Nature Reserve and a Township Tour.  They also enjoyed their City  Highlights Tour complete with a Horse and Carriage ride and their Cape Peninsular Tour.  Have a look at these pics!

Wonderful Winelands Tour

I discovered some lovely new spots in the Stellenbosch area recently, the one is Babylonstoren which is the most beautiful wine with one of the most incredible gardens, full of vegies, fruit,cacti, herbs, you name it, it is a total mind blast, you could spend a whole day there.  I discovered it with Jerry Evans and friends who really loved it. Tea and muffins in the conservatory was a huge hit too! Another spot is Amazink Live, an amazing display of singing and dancing in a Township in Stellenbosch, it really is worth going to!

Things to Celebrate

Table Mountain is now officially one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature!  Cape Town has been declared as one of British Airlines top long haul destinations!  You see, it is not just me who thinks that Cape Town is such an incredible place!

That is it for me for one day.  Please feel free to write a review of your tour with me on Trip Advisor  if you have not already done so.  Please also follow me on Face Book, you will get an almost blow by blow account of my travels with the Cape Splendour traveling Suitcase.  I wish you all the very best for the festive season and new year and really hope to Share The Splendours with you in 2013!

Julie Clarke

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