The Traveling Steve's

Last night in Cape Town

On our last day day at 21 Roux Street, we checked out of our luxurious guesthouse around 11am.  After one last breakfast, we said bye to our hosts and owners Peter and Bradley, while continuing on to our hotel in Cape Town with J.J.

 Here’s a selfie I took of all of us, with Peter, J.J. and Bradley in the center of the photo.

Prior to leaving, we also asked to see the pool suite and other two rooms available for rent, since we want to come by next year.  While I loved our large garden suite, I think I would prefer the smaller pool suite room as it has two balconies; one overlooking the pool, and the other overlooking the garden area, thus feeling a bit more open, and it also has a tub; great for soaking after a long day touring.

We also admired some of the artwork in the main building we hadn’t noticed during our busy five night stay there, as well as some of the furnishings.

J.J. then took Steve (DOS) and myself to our hotel in Cape Town, where we were staying one last night before our long trio of flights back to Orlando tomorrow night.  All of our luggage just barely fit in J.J.’s Mercedes!

On the way to Cape Town, J.J. made two last stops for us; one a new Cheetah rescue area, and the other one last winery stop at Plaisir De Merle Winery.

The Cheetah Outreach is a new and satellite location from it’s main site at Somerset West, and is located on a plot of farm land at the rear of the wine farm.  The facility has a mission to protect the endangered cheetahs, and they were very professional and safety conscious with the cheetahs.  As the site we visited was a new facility, there were only two cheetahs there, both brothers housed in the large multi-caged area.  We were given instructions by the handlers prior to entering the cage, (after first sanitizing our hands and shoes) and DOS and I joined a small group of five others to go inside the cages and pet the cheetahs (actually just one as the other one was sleeping.)  This was really exciting as we did not see a cheetah in the wild on our safari.  The handlers took our iPhones or cameras to take our photos once inside, as they wouldn’t let us have the cameras inside the cage; presumably not to startle the cheetahs.  As these are wild animals, I was a bit nervous at first petting the cheetahs, however the handlers held the animals while we petted them, with the backs of our hands only.  These cheetahs are such beautiful animals, and this was quite a unique opportunity to see them up close.

After the Cheetah Outreach encounter, we drove the short distance up to the main building of the Plaisir De Merle Winery.  The property has several large statues outside, and DOS and I took a couple photos, and made a silly video by one.  I think DOS was a bit embarrassed in the video, especially at the end when he notices the Franschhoek Tram pulled up full of tourists who were watching us!   We had heard about the Franschhoek Wine Tram, and after seeing the drunken people coming off the tram, we couldn’t imagine taking it after such a wonderful private Mercedes tour with J.J.

The tasting room was in an elegant living room like area, where we had our wine tasting and a huge cheese and charcuterie platter.  We really enjoyed the red wines they had here, but unfortunately they didn’t ship back to the US, and we only had room for two more bottles to take home.  Our server packaged the wines up for us, and I took a photo of her and DOS before heading out to Cape Town.  What a nice final winery stop that was!

As it was Saturday afternoon, the traffic was not bad going to Cape Town, and we arrived at our hotel in an hour or so.  We stayed one night at the luxurious Victoria and Alfred Hotel, right on the bustling harbor waterfront area of the same V & A name. 

  J.J. and another porter helped us with our luggage, and we then sadly bid farewell to J.J. after having spent the last five days touring with him.  Thanks J.J.!!!

Once at the check-in desk, we had a funny encounter with our check-in agent.  The lady that checked us in apologized that our room wasn’t quite ready, saying that a large group had just checked in, pointing over to an overflowing luggage cart in the lobby.  DOS then said “that’s our luggage cart!”, to which the lady’s jaw literally dropped and her eyes widened in disbelief – as we were only staying one night!   We had only a short wait for our room, but we told here we would venture out for a bit and have lunch, which we did at the wharf area restaurant we went to on our visit to Cape Town last year.  We both had burgers while listening to the band and people watching on this beautiful and busy Saturday afternoon.

We took a few photos and wandered around the wharf before heading back to get our room.  On our visit to Cape Town last year, we stayed at the nearby five-star Cape Grace Hotel which is shown here in the distance; a short walk away, but a bit further across the bridge. While the Cape Grace was wonderful and more private, it was a bit too formal, and we actually enjoyed the location and more casual service more at the Victoria and Albert as it was closer to the many restaurants and boardwalk.

After getting checked in, we went to our room, which had a great view of the waterfront.  

After settling in, we went back out and walked around the mall area.  As always, DOS wanted a couple last minute souvenirs, and while we really didn’t have any room left, we did get a few small animal-themed plaques and drawings to frame.

For dinner on our last night of a trip, we always like to have a special meal out, and this was no exception.  We went to Belthazar, which is a very nice steakhouse and seafood restaurant we  had been to on our visit last year, which among other things has a newspaper-sized wine list, including some 250 wines by the glass!

We had a most relaxing dinner, sitting outdoors under the covered roof, overlooking the ferris wheel and other activities of the wharf area. We had outstanding service both from our waiter Gulver,

and our sommelier Jan.  We had a nice white wine with our appetizers and salad, and a full-bodied red for our main course and desserts, which Jan decanted for us in a nice swan-shaped decanter. While we were just going to have glass of white with the appetizers, the pricing for three glasses was the same as a bottle, so we opted for a bottle instead; nice excuse to drink more, right?

We had a wonderful last night of dining at Belthazar, and as usual, we were among the last people to leave the restaurant!  We ended the night with a short walk ‘home’ and were already planning to return, but in a later month such as October which is their mid-Spring.  Good night from now from Cape Town!  Tomorrow is a long two day trip back to Florida!

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