Tag Archives: hermanus

Following the Cliff Path of the Hermanus Biodiversity Walk (2017-08-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 09 MAY 2018

Hermanus is probably the best place for land based whale watching in the Western Cape (which is why we find ourselves visiting at least once a year), and its beautifully maintained Cliff Path makes this relaxing activity all that more better.

Although originally constructed by the Hermanus Botanical Society, these days the path is cared for by the volunteer Cliff Path Management Group (CPMG), who have done a fantastic job in improving, making accessible, and enhancing the walkway such that it remains one of the more popular Hermanus tourist attractions.

Wedged between the Kleinriviersberg mountain range in the north and the broad expanse of Walker Bay to the south, the official walkway meanders for almost eleven kilometres along Hermanus’ rugged and beautiful coastline, stretching from the New Harbour in the west and snaking all the way through to the estuary at the mouth of the Klein River in the east.

In addition to being great for whale watching, the path is super interesting for nature lovers as well, winding through a diversity of vegetation types (complemented by some informative signage along the Biodiversity Walk stretch). It takes you past a number of fascinating points of interest, including both the historic Old and New harbours, as well as the village market square. Follow it for long enough and near the wooden footbridge at the mouth of the Mossel River, you’ll even find signs depicting the graves of two southern right whales that beached at that point!

Beyond the river mouth, the path continues around the Langbaai bathing beach, on to the Kammabaai and Voëlklip beaches and right up to the magnificent main Grotto beach – which itself sweeps for nineteen kilometers around Walker Bay to De Kelders and Gansbaai!

Last year August saw us in town for a spot of whale watching (and of course lunch), and naturally we took the time to stroll a small section of this brilliant walkway on the day. It will still be a few years until we can walk the whole thing in one go (the girls moan far too much at the prospect of walking any real sort of distance at the moment), but once everyone is ready (i.e. a little more grown up) it is definitely something I’m going to make us do!

Anyway, Hermanus always makes for a good day trip, and seeing as whale season is soon upon us once again, I guess we’ll be back in the area sooner than later…

Related Link: Hermanus Cliff Path | Hermanus

From Whale Watching to Fick’s Pool in Hermanus (2017-08-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 08 APR 2018

There is a reason why Hermanus is so popular come whale season time in Walker Bay – its elevated seaside cliffs give the absolute best vantage point to watch the whales cavort in the waters down below.

Now while I’m not a massive whale watching fan, Chantelle is, and thus she absolutely loves our infrequent trips to the whale watching capital of the Western Cape – but only if there are whales to be spotted of course! ;)

Last year August saw us take an impromptu drive through to Hermanus for a spot of Southern Right Whale watching, which turned out to be a fortuitous day to pick thanks to the fact that there was in the end plenty of activity down in the water to be seen.

We started our exhibition up on top of the cliffs (across from the Cliff Tops Piazza), which gave us a particularly good view over the bay for a minimal amount of effort.

Amazingly, neither of the girls were scared or overly cautious about being up so high, leading to a rather nice and relaxed bit of time spent staring out over the ocean.

The spot where we had climbed up turned out to be right alongside Fick’s Pool, one of the older tidal pools in Hermanus and one that back in the day used to very much be the place to be seen if you were looking for some local fun as a teenager.

These days this quite well protected, small tidal pool is particularly popular for families with kids who want to splash about but who don’t feel like getting sea sand shoved up every nook and cranny.

Only one problem though – this wasn’t summer and we weren’t here to get wet!

From Fick’s Pool we then made our way over the nearby Cliff Tops biodiversity path before ending up, ice cream in hand, watching whales from the piazza.

Perfect way to spend a whale watching day in Hermanus then.

Related Link: Fick’s Pool | Hermanus

Whale Watching from the Cliff Tops Piazza in Hermanus (2017-08-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 30 MAR 2018

October 2005 saw the official opening of the Cliff Tops Piazza in Hermanus, a bustling central node for the town and one of the most perfect spots to sit, ice cream or coffee in hand, and watch whales come whale watching season in Walker Bay.

In fact, the Cliff Tops site has historically always been a traditional centre of Hermanus, a town that may have started out as a simple fishing village back in the early 1900’s, but which these days is very much the tourism giant of the Overstrand region.

Now while the piazza area is indeed great as a node for the all shops, restaurants and bars inhabiting it, I’m far more smitten with the lush green amphitheatre sprawled out in front of it, and thanks to the bribery of ice cream cones in their hands, I suspect my two small girls now rather agree with me.

Perfect spot to stretch out, take things slow, people watch, and of course admire the beautiful landscape all around you.

Mind you, our traditional walk to the Cliff Tops site is pretty nice as well. Always love all the public art installations (though admittedly this current batch on display isn’t exactly my favourite).

In terms of Southern Right Whale spotting for this particular day that we visited back in August last year, plenty of whales were out to put on a show in the bay – much to the delight of Chantelle who never quite seems to tire of watching whales wallow in water.

As for the girls, as always they were far more enthralled with the jungle gym and the furry dassies that run around everywhere than with boring old art, people on the sea in bright yellow kayaks, or the occassional flip of a whale tail out in the distance.

Interestingly enough, I have never actually strolled down to the Old Harbour, nor paid a visit to the Whale Museum. I suspect both of these will happen when I one day lose my tail…

(Or I bribe it with something bright and shiny, or sweet and melty.)

Related Link: Cliff Tops Piazza | Hermanus

Fish and Sushi at Harbour Rock in the New Harbour of Hermanus (2017-08-09) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 24 FEB 2018

As is almost always the case, we were in Hermanus to watch whales. We watched whales from the piazza, we watched whales from Fick’s Pool, we watched whales from the cliff path, we… well you get the picture.

Anyway, the point is that after all that whale watching/ambling about, a spot of lunch was required – and so we randomly picked out a new spot for us to try: Harbour Rock.

Designed and built in 1997, the stone, steel and timber Harbour Rock building sits perched atop a cliff overlooking Hermanus’ New Harbour, a premium restaurant known for its wine and more importantly, ever-evolving menu of seafood and grills.

A magnificent view over the harbour and across the bay, competent chefs, an authentic Chinese sushi team, and access to pretty fresh catches, it is no wonder that Harbour Rock is as popular as what it is.

While the girls weren’t particularly enthralled at having to eat at a seafood restaurant (and to be honest, seafood isn’t really my thing either), Chantelle on the other hand was ecstatic, immediately diving deep into a delicious sushi platter

I on the other hand opted for the less exotic fish and chips option, and in terms of drinks, we turned to a delectable bottle of Wolftrap Syrah for the table.

Following our lovely lunch, we next decided to take in some of the sea air with a leisurely stroll out along the harbour wall – a perfect way to stretch one’s legs and give the food a proper chance to settle in my opinion.

This, the girls were a little more pleased with.

In summary: Harbour Rock was a pleasant surprise and definitely worth keeping in mind if you are ever looking for a nice date night venue when in the Hermanus area.

(In other words, I’m rather glad that Chantelle came up with this particular suggestion!)

Bonus: If you would rather just have a drink, then Harbour Rock’s adjoining Gecko Bar is the perfect solution, enjoying the exact same stunning view that comes with the main restaurant experience.

Just follow the motorbikes to find it!

Related Link: Harbour Rock | New Harbour | Hermanus

Sunday Drive to Hermanus (2015-08-02) Photo Gallery 10 AUG 2015

Two weeks later and we’re back in Hermanus once more! Faced with the possibility of staying at home and doing nothing, I suggested that we head out for a nice scenic Sunday afternoon drive to Hermanus, for the kids to play and for Chantelle to spot whales (and for me to get out of the house!).

Happily, Chantelle agreed that this was a great idea!

IMG_20150802_131912 chantelle lotter with the girls on the scenic hermanus cliff path

This time around we took the proper tourist route to Hermanus, taking the coastal road all the way until we hit this popular whale watching seaside town.

The weather was great, the drive perfect, and quite frankly, it was a brilliant start to our Sunday out and about as a family.

IMG_20150802_133218 looking for whales in hermanus bay

We enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the excellently maintained and signposted Cliff Path, tried our luck at spotting whales in the bay (no such luck), and let the kids run amok in the public playground area while we cheerfully bobbed our heads to the marimba players’ merry tunes.

IMG_20150802_134702 craig lotter with his girls in front of the hermanus war memorial

For lunch we once again found ourselves at the Europa Coffee Shop, where the girls had a particular ball thanks to our waitress continually dropping things off for them to play with at the table!

As you can see from the pictures, in the end it was a Sunday rather well spent (apart from the not seeing whales part of course!).

(P.S. Chantelle was actually quite disappointed that we didn’t get to spot any whales in the bay on the day – as she puts it, what’s the point of coming to Hermanus if you’re not going to spot any whales! :P)

Coffee in Hermanus at Europa Cafe (2015-07-15) Photo Gallery 09 AUG 2015

So following our exciting and thoroughly enjoyable whale watching adventure in Gansbaai, Chantelle and I decided to stop for some coffee and cake in Hermanus on the long drive back home. (On such a beautiful day, who could really blame us?)

IMG_20150715_130404 art sculpture in hermanus

As always, Hermanus’ famed Cliff Walk is a treat, particularly with all the interesting art pieces they’ve dotted along the tourist part of the walk. Chantelle and I were treated to some frolicking whales in the bay, following which, we located a nice spot at the Europa coffee shop.

IMG_20150715_131345 chantelle lotter at europa cafe in hermanus

Pleasingly, the coffee and cake were rather good! :)

A Valentine’s Christening My Life 15 FEB 2010

Yay, Chantelle was off for a change, it was Valentine’s Day weekend, We were going away to Hermanus and most important of all little Zandea was being christened – how could one not start the weekend on such a high note? :)

Like I said, it was Zandea’s christening on Sunday and to make it all that more special, Dean and Zania decided to hold the christening at the same church where they got married two years ago, all the way out in Hermanus, Zania’s old hood. Of course, not ones to pass up a great opportunity for turning the event into a weekend away just for the fun of it, we unleashed Chantelle on the Internet and soon she had turned up a great looking place to stay – which then got converted into an even sweeter deal when she organised a guesthouse networking swap which meant that she and I got to stay the weekend in Hermanus for free while in return, the owner of that guesthouse gets to spend a weekend in the future at Gordon’s Beach Lodge at no charge. Great networking and strengthening of referral ties for the two managers and for me, the added bonus of some much needed pressure release off my poor little wallet, still feeling the stinging of the bashing it took with last week’s car saga!

Anyway, we only managed to get away from Gordon’s Bay pretty late on Friday evening after work, and eventually come 21:00 or so we landed in Hermanus, finding the Pebble Beach guesthouse, situated right next to the Hermanus golf club, easily enough thanks to Mr. TomTom’s unerring sense of direction.

Greeted on arrival by the friendly Francis, we stowed our bags in what can only be described as one of the most luxurious rooms I’ve been in and then darted out to grab a quick bite to eat at the local Spur – which surprisingly enough actually had other people still dining away by the time we got there! (Food wasn’t great though in case you are wondering)

After a fantastic night’s sleep (well for me in any event), the morning got underway with a fantastic breakfast served up by the great Pebble Beach team and with our tummies full and hunger sated, we headed out to Hermanus proper to do some stall browsing and hook up with Dean and Zania (and Zandea!) who were meeting up with us at Mugg & Bean for a drink. One successful visit later, and Chantelle and I were on our next mission, walking Hermanus flat in search of the elusive soft serve which simply put… couldn’t be found. (And no, we’re not talking about KFC or Steer imposter soft serves here – I’m talking about proper two tone, sugar cone stuff man!) Any how, with our walk not turning up anything we jumped into the car and headed down towards Onrus side but as you might have guessed, our search was just as fruitless, so with our heads hung low we turned around and returned to town – which made it all the more funnier when on entering the town and right across the road from where we were previously parked, Chantelle spotted the magical soft serve sign just sitting there minding its own business!

Overjoyed we parked and rushed down to the Princess Cafe, placed our order and then watched in horror as the poor soft serve machine sputtered into life, squirted out a couple of chocolate poo’s worth of ice cream and then promptly died, leaving us with little more than a brown twirly mess in a styrofoam cup. Shame, the girl serving us was very apologetic and as a result we didn’t pay anything for the ice cream we did manage to get out, but still I guess the little that we got was better than nothing in the end! :)

Back at the guesthouse, Chantelle was soon down and out for the count enjoying a rather lengthy afternoon nap while I set about enjoying the marvelous, black interior pool before stretching out and catching some rays on the soft grass. Next it was time for some R&R with a couple of the Ultimate Fantastic Four graphic novel, followed by the Stormers versus Lions game on Supersport, though I must admit to missing out rather large chunks of the latter thanks to my darn eyes that kept on falling closed!

The evening was spent for the most part in Panarottis, where we dined on some delicious pizza offerings (though it didn’t quite make up for the missed Cattle Baron, which would have been Chantelle’s supper treat had they not gone and closed down a couple of weeks prior to our visit!). Back home, I enjoyed a late night dip in the pool (Chantelle refused to join me for some reason – something about not having a bather with or something like that! :P) and while she enjoyed a lazy bath I got some solid reading time in again.

Oh, and we swapped Valentine’s gifts just before midnight – it seems like she just couldn’t wait to unleash the monstrous love bug stuffed animal she found upon me!

Sunday kicked off with a special Valentine’s Breakfast which basically was the same as the previous day’s breakfast but just with all the colour replaced with tones of red, white and pink – which was actually quite a cool little touch. Then a quick pack and settling of our little extras bill, we dashed off to the St. Peter’s stone church and grabbed our seats (actually, we accidentally stole the Church Warden’s reserved seats) and enjoyed the spectacle that saw little Zandea, who was VERY well behaved by the way, join the Christian family.

What was great was that Evan and Natasha, and Michelle and Damen had also made the drive through from Bellville on Sunday morning to attend the church service and following on from that, all of us met up at Zania’s mom’s house where we sat for the next couple of hours indulging in some awesome finger snacks and talking the day away. Chantelle and I eventually bid our farewell though (sorry for starting the mass exodus Dean!) and headed back to GB, where Chantelle naturally gave her new Coricraft friends a good testing out and I busied myself with setting up a whole lot of blog posts for the coming week.

The evening however saw us once again out of the door and out to the mall, where we enjoyed a great little Subway snack and then plonked ourselves down in our seats for the rather unentertaining (though it does have its moments) and long Valentine’s Day movie starring a host of A-list faces.

And that was pretty much that. A great weekend filled with friends, some driving and tons of R&R, meaning that I start this week in our newly renovated little shoebox feeling rather refreshed…

Related Link: http://www.pebblebeachguesthouse.com/