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Transcendent travels, day tripping from Cape Town

A meandering loop from Cape Town, along old roads and new, slowly traversing majestic mountain passes to take in miles and miles of misty hills and roaring waterfalls.

Our experience started early morning traveling through the old Du Toit’s Kloof pass route down towards Rawsonville, across the Breede River, through to Tulbagh and returning via Bainskloof pass, dropping into the Wellington valley. Mountains, mountains and more mountains.

Apart from excellent company and the awe-inspiring landscape, a highlight of a glorious day was soup from the gods at Bosjes wine estate.

The chapel at Bosjes, spiritual even for the agnostic

A visit to Bosjes, home of the gorgeously curvaceous chapel, was a surprise blessing after an attempt to book a table at the formal restaurant, Bosjes Kombuis, many weeks in advance was rejected because the venue was booked for a wedding. 

Die Spens at Bosjes, like a a beautifully designed nest carved into a majestic fynbos landscape

That rejection ended up working in our favour (and our accountants’) since we ended up having a very fine early lunch of pea and ham soup and a toasted cheese with slatherings of whole-grain Dijon mustard at Die Spens (the pantry), Kombuis’s much less formal little sister.

Less formal but surely not less impressive. The building is like a beautifully designed nest carved into a majestic fynbos landscape. 

Our lunch at Die Spens cost us a fraction of what we expected and delivered, dare I say it, a full portion of heavenly pleasure.

It would be worth driving directly from Cape Town to bow down before the church and have a light lunch at Die Spens. I am not saying don’t bother with making a booking months in advance and taking out a loan for lunch at Die Kombuis, but this is a wonderful alternative. 

Seeing the church is a spiritual experience, even for the agnostic. A beautiful other-worldly building that makes one want to bow down and give praise, it seems a perfect place of worship.    

We also stopped at Twee Jonge Zellen wine estate, beyond Tulbagh, to view the exhibition, Home Strange Home, at their beautiful contemporary space Krone What If The World Gallery (on till 24 September 2022).

A work that really caught my eye was We regret to inform you by Wezile Harmans. Deeply thought-provoking, it made me think of how many ‘We regret to inform you’ letters I have received … and how many more I have not (and how thankful I am for the latter).

Another work, this by the artist Kamyar Bineshtarigh, who was born in Iran but lives and works in South Africa, really captured my imagination after I was told that the first written words in Afrikaans were in Arabic script. It was as if the work spoke entirely to that idea even if it had nothing to do with it (I have no idea what he was thinking when he painted it). 

I regret to inform you that my own reality was quickly plastered over his layers of meaning, fragments of a disappeared reality preserved in paintings,

Kamyar Bineshtarigh is currently showing at Norval Foundation

Then it was back to the mountains and the waterfalls.


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