Striated Skies No. 44 – Butter Heart

44.Butter Heart

Bot River is a small hamlet approximately 100km outside of Cape Town, on the N2, between Grabouw and Caledon. It is home to approximately 4000 people and 14 wineries on the Bot River Wine Route.

Khoi herders called the area home, with the “Couga River” providing pastures that were lush.  Settlers came to the area to Barter for “Botter” (Butter) from the Khoi in the area and this is where the name Bot River comes from.  The hamlet formed in the 18th century as an outpost for the Dutch East India Company and after the battle of Blouberg Daniel de Kock was given ownership of Compagnes Drift the farm which he had rented. In 1912 the first train ran through the hamlet although the hamlet did not grow from its small size.

The picture for this striated sky is taken on the pass towards Villiersdorp. The dirt road winds from the main road of Bot River past farmlands including vineyards, canola and wheat. We had taken a drive out to do some wine tasting and saw this beautiful scene about 1km down the road. After some photography, we stopped at Luddite (5 stars – definitely recommend a trip) and then continued to Goedvertrouw Wine Estate.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 11.53.50 AMThe story of Luddite is one of a couple that love wine and making it in a way that has little intervention. The winery situated a rocky outcrop, on which Niels and Penny planted vines in 2001, is home to ±6Ha of vines.

The story of Goedvertrouw Wine Estate is a story that is both heart warming and sad. The winemaker Elrieda Pillmann continues to live out the dream she shared with her husband to create wine even though she does not drink it.

Bot River is part of the Cape country meander and falls within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The town itself does not have much going for it but it is definitely worth a visit to have some wine and take in the beauty of the surrounding area.

Trip to Cape Town Planning well under way

December is fast approaching and it is now only 19 days untill our holiday to Cape Town begins, the planning has been intense as Lauren and I want to do as much as possible in the Mother City and be as touristy as possible. So far the plan is to leave EL on the 15th and travel through to Uniondale where we will be staying at Seven at Grey, we wont be taking bicycles though, even though we could.

A luxury free standing cottage situated in a big garden in a quiet street off the main road.  The cottage is fully restored and tastefully decorated in a French provincial style. Cyclists are welcome.

From there we will be traveling to De Rust and through the Meiringspoort pass to Klaarstroom. From Klaarstroom the road should wind up to Prince Albert and then through the Swartberg Pass and down into Calitzdorp – All roads leading to Calitzdorp are downhill, hopefully it wont be an uphill battle to get out of this port wine capital of South Africa, I think we will definitely have to use the spittoon.

From Calitzdorp the road we will be following will take us through Ladismith, Barrydale, Swellendam, Riviersonderend, Caledon, Bot River, Grabouw, and Somerset West with us ending up in the Mother City where we will be staying with our Awesome Friends, James and Michelle and the jovial Adlard troop. As can be seen the travelling research has some way to go and so if anyone has any tips of places to see along the way please let me know so that we can add this onto the list.

So Far whilst in Cape Town we will be visiting the following places and doing the following things:

Red City Tour

Franschoek & Stellenbosch, JC Le `roux

Planatrium @8

Chapmans, houtbay, boulders beach, simonstown, fish-hoek, Kalkbay

Worchester

Kirstenbosch & Table Mountain, Sea Point,  Camps Bay

Rhodes Memorial,  Robben Island & Aquarium

Phantom of the  Oprah

Darling to Langebaan to stay over at crystal lagoon lodge

Cape Point Paarl,Wellington, tulbagh, Swatland

what can you recommend, we have a few lines open?