Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hermanus Wheels and Whales Festival

About an hour’s drive down the coast from Horizon holiday Cottages is Hermanus , arguably the whale watching capital of the Western Cape. For me; the coming of spring brings with it the Whales ‘n Wheels Festival, which is held in this charming coastal village, with the classic car display(named alongside the whales) to be held on Sunday 27 September. This gives me the incentive to clean and spruce up one of my classic British sports cars, and to join friends in this first motor show that follows the winter months. It is sheer pleasure to drive top down in a crisp Cape Town morning, through sleepy Fish Hoek, along the shores to Muizenberg , and then along the coast of False Bay, and over the mountain pass known as Sir Lowry’s pass to join the motoring throng, as well as the tourists, making their way to the festival at Hermanus. The classic car exhibition is held in the grounds of the primary school. Expect to see scores of classic yesteryear cars, even military vehicles and a spectacular display of model cars in the school hall. For a view of some of my classic cars, feel free to browse my facebook page
The Festival’s stars are, of course the Whales, themselves. I can assure you that, if you make your way down to the old harbour, you will find many easy vantage points on the rocks, where you will be able to see far into Walker Bay, and you are guaranteed to be treated to a wonderful aquatic ballet as the whales sound and flap their tails in the air to the enthusiastic clapping and cheering of the crowds.
The festival to be held from 25-27 September attracts thousands of visitors who flock from Cape Town to enjoy not only the whales and the scenic beauty, but to revel in the music and festival atmosphere of this 3 day event. Walk down to the Market square and you will be mesmerized by the array of African and other handicrafts, food and drink stalls, and vibrant African rhythms; you cannot help but being caught up in the excitement and good cheer given off by the crowds. Wander through tented stalls, stop at the beer tent to quench your thirst or sample traditional Cape cuisine. Explore the little town which has a wide variety of historic buildings, mostly now given over to Art galleries, antique and collectible shops. You cannot help but be caught up by the festival atmosphere.
If you do visit at this time don't hurry back on the highway; take the scenic coastal road through Betty’s bay, Rooi Els and Pringle Bay, and enjoy a slow drive on what must truly be one of the most beautiful coastal roads anywhere in the world. On a clear day you will be able to see right across the blue waters of False Bay to Fish Hoek and Simonstown. The winding coastal road will bring you out to the seaside village of Gordon's Bay from where you can pick up the highway again to Cape Town, but it will make a pleasant stop to enjoy a cup of tea or a refreshing drink. Be warned though, Gordon’s bay has an interesting and enormous second hand bookshop that can easily stall you for hours.
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