The 45th Two Oceans Marathon will be held on Saturday 4 April, and is synonymous with the Easter weekend in Cape Town. It is estimated that the event will contribute R266 million or more to the economy of Cape Town and the Western Cape. The marathon is described as the most beautiful in the world, with its route running along the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
In 1970 the Two Oceans Marathon was held for the first time, with only 24 runners. Now the race attracts 27000 runners, about half of them coming from outside the Western Cape. City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing Continue reading →
On Kfm yesterday I heard a news broadcast, with its leading story being that SA Tourism has admitted that loadshedding is affecting tourists, making the announcement more than a month after loadshedding returned with a vengeance.
SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima said that loadshedding affects all sectors of the Tourism industry, including getting tourists to attractions on time, influenced by traffic lights not working. He added that we are not the only country with power outages.
For the accommodation sector, which he did not mention, loadshedding from 8h00 – 10h30, as we have experienced in our guest Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, and its concierge Masood Sadulla, for assisting our Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests Shadé Potgieter and Nick Brenner in getting from our guest house to the hotel to attend a wedding last weekend. They had not rented a car and had thought that they could get there on foot. There was no charge levied for the shuttle service, and the offer was made to call a taxi for the guests when they wanted to return to Camps Bay. Continue reading →
Despite having made wine for ten years at Haskell Vineyards, previously named Dombeya Wines, no more than four vintages of Haskell wines have been made to date. Yesterday we were invited to attend a tasting of the complete range of Haskell wines at the home of American London-based owner Preston Haskell in Fresnaye.
Even though it was the coldest day this winter, the inside of the large house was warm and a fireplace added to a cosy feeling. The Haskell house is right at the top of Fresnaye, with a beautiful view. Haskell said he fell in love with Cape Town and the winelands ten years ago, first buying his house and then investing in the Dombeya vineyard. Rianie Strydom is a highly respected winemaker, and Haskell and his business associate Grant Dodd are very proud of her.
Haskell is very well connected and used to host Cape Town’s most famous New Year’s Eve party in Fresnaye, until he realised one year that he didn’t know most of the guest attending, and that was the last such party he hosted! I remembered driving some guests from our Whale Cottage Camps Bay to his house for one such party about eight years ago, and our guests were very excited about Prince Albert attending with his new swimmer girlfriend none of us had heard of, now his wife Princess Charlène. Haskell saw the couple about a month ago, and heard the good news then already, to explain why Princess Charlène was avoiding the limelight, as she did not want to be seen to not be drinking wine, as this would confirm her pregnancy. Haskell provided a large quantity of Dombeya wine for the royal wedding three years ago, which he attended, and it has been used for other events too. Haskell flew in from London directly to the event yesterday morning, and heads for Namibia later this week. Grant is the Managing Partner of Haskell Vineyards, visiting regularly from the Hunter Valley in Australia, where he is based. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to The New Age, which generously delivers a pack of its newspapers every day on weekdays, to the benefit of our Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests, at no charge.
The Sour Service Award goes to the Taj Cape Town, for associating itself with The White Club owner Rene Dehn, in preparing seven months ago what appeared initially to be its exclusive Taj First Growths Wine List Exceptionelle. Dehn has just been outed as having been fraudulentin his The White Club tastings held around the world, in London, Hong Kong, and in Switzerland, as well as locally, in having served what he said were very rare wines with old vintages, but may have been younger wines thought to have been decanted into the older bottles. The exclusive Taj wine list was described as being the most sought-after in the world, many of the 36 wines having been sourced from Dehn (at high prices no doubt). It is hand-written with detailed tasting notes, and is bound in white leather. At the time Dehn was quoted Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Crystal Clearwater Pools in Sea Point, for its excellent service in identifying the cause for the pool cleaner not working at our Whale Cottage Camps Bay. They reset the timer and solved a blockage by cutting off a piece of pipe, to make the pool cleaner work again, at a call out fee of R380. We were horrified that we had almost been duped by another pool company, based in Gardens, as their prognosis was that the pump was broken, and should be replaced, at a cost of R2450! Continue reading →
Cape Town experienced one of its busiest Festive Seasons ever, so much so that the city can be said to have been out of control as far as access to its attractions, beaches, shopping malls, and roads was concerned. Perfect weather and a weak Rand attracted locals to the Mother City. Once again the Atlantic Seaboard was the most attractive location for tourists in terms of restaurants, beaches, and accommodation, with resultant chaos in this area in particular at all levels.
The Festive Season period was a very short ten day period, from 27 December – 5 January this year, and almost every accommodation establishment, especially those on the Atlantic Seaboard, was fully booked. Guests were predominantly from Johannesburg, or living overseas with South African family connections, meeting up in the city. At Whale Cottage Camps Bay our international visitors were Norwegian, British, and Dutch during this period.
While it felt fantastic that Cape Town was so popular, one felt that the city was doing itself a disservice in that tourists had to experience: Continue reading →
The MyCiTi Bus finally started operating on Saturday, about eighteen months behind schedule! Given that we want to inform our Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests about the service, my colleague and I went for a test drive of the Camps Bay – Civic Centre – V&A Waterfront Silo route yesterday.
The first step was to obtain our MyCiTi Bus cards, which one needs to load credit on to, for swiping when stepping on the bus. It was announced that one could obtain a free card (a saving of R25) from the Camps Bay Library, where an official from the City of Cape Town sold us R30-loaded cards, the only cards one can purchase at the library this week. These can only be bought for cash, and only one per person can be obtained, ID details being taken. The City representative was uncertain about the other places at which one can load more credit onto the card, saying that Kauai was to be a point to do so, but that its system was off-line yesterday. He thought Pick ‘n Pay Camps Bay would be another point, but he wasn’t sure. There does not appear to be any place to purchase cards once the City’s generous offer of free cards ends on Saturday. One would then have to go the Queen’s Beach station, or to the Civic Centre to buy cards there. Each card comes with a pin, which one can change at a station, and is required to load more credit. There was only one newspaper advertorial on the table, and no leaflets, saying he was waiting for more. When I asked for more information for the guest house, he gave me a pile of the newspaper copies from under the table!
We took the bus from the Whale Rock bus stop opposite Pick ‘n Pay Camps Bay just after 14h00, and we were delighted to see the name choice. The bus travelled alongside Victoria Road, up Argyle Road , into Geneva Drive, onto Camps Bay Drive, down Kloofnek Road (this seems to be a very dangerous stop, as we observed a tourist family getting on the bus, which had been to Table Mountain and must have crossed the very busy road without a pedestrian crossing to get the bus stop), connecting into Kloof Street (very long Continue reading →
Mother Nature hit the Mother City and Winelands with a vengeance on Friday evening, with torrents of rain causing flooding and massive damage to tourist areas, which are closed for repair. More than 100 mm of rain was measured in most affected towns.
Accompanied by thunderstorms, the heavy downpours went on for hours, and the accumulated waters caused flood damage to many homes and businesses. Somerset West was worst hit, as the Lourens River burst its banks, flooding nearby houses, and the town received 200 mm of rain. The 125 patients in the Vergelegen Mediclinic had to be evacuated when water reached knee-height, the patients being sent to its Stellenbosch and Panorama branches. The N2 highway in the Somerset West area was closed on Friday evening, but has since been re-opened. In Strand Beach Road was closed due to flooding, and many home and apartment owners were stuck in garages during power outages. The X-ray unit of Strand Hospital caught fire due to an electrical short. The scenic coastal road between Gordon’s Bay and Betty’s Bay has been closed due to rockfalls. In Hermanus the local supermarkets were all flooded due to the volumes of rain. Whale Cottage Hermanus had water come in under the door, the volume of water not able to run off quickly enough. The road between Hermanus and Stanford is closed, as is the road to Creation wine estate*. Our Whale Cottage Franschhoek has a river running through it, and thankfully it did not break its banks Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to TELKOM, who fixed an ADSL fault at our Whale Cottage Camps Bay at the exchange within three hours of reporting the fault via the internet fault report service, without having to come to the guest house. SMS and e-mail messages were sent to communicate the progress of the fault repair, making it an efficient process. The TELKOM sms process requested feedback as to one’s satisfaction with the repair. Continue reading →