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Paarl Rock Day Outing – 12 February 2011
Created by Craig Parsons in 3/2/2011 6:45:07 AM

Paarl Rock Day Outing – 12 February 2011


Trip Report – Paarl Rock Day Outing – 12 February 2011

 

Seeing as this was a social outing, I reckon the trip report can be an informal one…

As agreed, we all met at Engen Winelands, some in time for  breakfast, and others, like myself, arrived just in time for the head count and radio check.


We then followed in convoy behind Croc on the N1, direction Paarl, turning off at the Stellenbosch/Klipheuwel intersection to make our way to the “Ou Paarl Pad”, running parallel to the N1.  Bravely we bounced our way past wine farm after wine farm, and then managed to get through the Klapmuts CBD without toooo much traffic…  At Paarl Main Road we had to join the N1 briefly before turning right again in the direction of Franschhoek and then left onto the picturesque Klein Drakenstein road. 

This is truly a hidden gem of an area, and well worth further investigation.  Alas, we just ambled along to our first stop – Nederburg.  Our trip leader’s timing was so good and members were so punctual, that we were actually 10 minutes early, and had to resist starting to taste wine out of our cars….  But it was worth the wait, because the moment the doors to the wine tasting room opened, we were welcomed with glasses of ice cold Cuvee Brut.  Even the children got sparkling grape juice served in champagne flutes and they felt very important!!

 

 

In the boardroom we had a formal tasting session of 6 special range wines, paired with different goat’s milk cheeses.  What a breakfast!!!


In order for the first course to settle, and our palates to recover, we wandered around the beautiful gardens, visited the original manor house and the wine museum, and after thus being sufficiently culturally enriched, we headed back for the brandy tasting.  Sadly they didn’t serve coke or ginger ale, but we did get coffee, so those who wanted to, could make a broffie!!  The snack paired here, was Biscotti, and interesting enough, we learnt that it’s been made for centuries, in the old days, for sailors, who didn’t have access to flower, fresh bread, etc.  The word actually means ‘bis’ – twice and ‘cotto’ – baked, i.e., it is baked first, then sliced, and toasted again.  I wonder why I never made the connection with our own Boere-version, ‘beskuit’?  It was baked for the trekkers and farmers who didn’t have access to flower, fresh bread, etc…  Just shows how an Italian label on a product can increase the price, even though the product’s much smaller!


Wine and brandy breakfast completed, we headed up Jan Philips drive to the Paarl Rock Mountain Reserve.  Man!!  I never even knew it existed, and I’ve been visiting my Granny in Paarl since FOREVER!!  It was absolutely beautiful!!!  At this time there was consensus that we needed to make a pit stop to refuel – nudge nudge wink wink - since it was after all – a social outing, and therefore dry driving was not permitted…  We had our usual banter under the trees and had a bit of a photo session… siestog, some of us don’t get out much!!


After a leisurely drive enjoying the scenery, we joined up with a couple of late-entrants at Die Taalmonument.  Another place I’d regrettably not been to in many many full moons… 

 

The picnic site has a breathtaking view and has built in picnic tables and seats.  There is also a big lawn to spread out on and a safe play area for kids.  The coffee shop serves a variety of light meals, and various prepared picnic baskets.  There is a curio shop with interesting Africana and souvenirs.  I’m definitely doing the next full moon picnic there!


On the way back we traveled past Tygerberg Zoo (incidentally another spot well worth a visit), to Joostenberg Vlakte for a tour of the Ranch, agh, I mean the Winelands Car Museum.  We saw all the old wrecks that are visible from the N1 highway next to Cape Garden Centre.  Some of them still have a looooot of character and oomph, some are movie stars in their own right, having played in movies along with some famous actors such as Starsky & Hutch, Tom Cruise and our own Mo, the Vodacom Mascot.

 

We departed there, each with their own agenda, and I didn’t happen to notice who were driving the Landrovers that turned into the Ranch…  Just kidding!!

 


Liezl Diesel, over and out!

 

 

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