I am a PGA qualified golf professional living in Cape Town South Africa. I am a freelance writer too and some of my articles can be found at www.pgasa.com. I also wrote weekly articles for the Sunday Tribune while still living in Durban Kwazulunatal
Published November 13th 2011
Hermanus is no more than a short day trip from Cape Town and this makes it a very accessible and thus a popular weekend 'getaway' for Capetonians. So it was then, that we decided to pay this 'harbour town' a visit this weekend.
The drive there is just so beautiful, especially the section that takes you through Gordons Bay, with the sea on your right and mountains on your left. Keen golfers can include a round at the picturesque Arabella Golf Estate just outside of Hermanus, but we had other plans on this occasion. Our intention was to ride a mountain bike trail that we had read about and also to see some whales.
The best months for whale watching in Hermanus are between September and December each year and the town even has it's own 'whale crier'. These majestic creatures gather in the bay and sometimes come really close to the shoreline, offering tourists some spectacular views and photo opportunities. After having taken advantage of this ourselves, we set off to find a B & B, followed by some lunch at one of the many restaurants that can be found at the New Harbour.
The line fish of the day was an obvious choice and necessitated a gentle afternoon bike ride in and around the town that afternoon in order to work off some of those calories. The next morning we located the starting point of the mountain bike ride, which is situated in a nature reserve on the outskirts of Hermanus. What a stunning ride!
The single track snakes through the fynbos (indigenous plants that are endemic to the Western Cape) on the lower slopes of the hills above the town. Every so often you 'pop out' onto a short stretch of tar road, only to get sucked back into the fynbos for more riding pleasure. We then crossed the main road and followed the trail around a large lake. At this point the trail is not as clearly marked and seemed to us to be less used and more overgrown. We did find our way along the shoreline from there however and ended up back at our accommodation without a hitch.
A well earned breakfast hit the spot, after which a last session of whale watching was in order. We then made our way home, with those wonderful views near Gordons Bay to look forward to.