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Report 2042: Early Summer in the Western Cape, South Africa

By Panda from UK, Summer 2012

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Page 12 of 12: Unexpected Revisit to Franschhoek and Return Home. Tips and Resources

Our last morning, and a total transformation in the weather back to sun and warmth. We made a diversion on our way to the airport and headed back to Franschhoek to collect a forgotten item from the Auberge Chanteclair. Linda and Bruce were out on an errand, but we were welcomed like old friends by the lovely housekeeping staff and by Jack the resident Labrador. As we had an evening flight, we were happy to take our time and have a leisurely lunch on the terrace of a restaurant in the village, then drove north out of Franschhoek for a different routing towards the airport. We had fast, friendly and efficient return service for our rental car (kudos to Avis), then into the terminal. The facilities in the landside portion of the airport are modern but not extensive, with insufficient seating areas; airside (after a very long and cramped queue for passport control) is much better, with a variety of shops and cafes. I bought some last minute gifts and then we boarded for a smooth flight home to a chilly London.

Tips: Amex is not widely accepted MasterCard and Visa is accepted, with chip and pin entry. Servers make a point of looking well away from the PIN entry.

Driving: Cash is the norm when paying for petrol, which is not self serve (a small gratuity for the server) Parking guards there is an accepted informal/formal system of parking guards in urban areas and at many tourist sites. Formal on some roads, there will be a sign (sometimes with an outline figure with machine) with an assigned guard usually wearing an identifying vest and carrying a small receipt machine. For these you pay in advance and should ensure you get a receipt we stayed longer than the time we paid for and simply had to pay the extra. (Some busy places are time limited) Informal: In attraction car parks, or on some busy city streets, a guard (who may be wearing a less official looking vest) will acknowledge your arrival (or point out a good place to park) and will be pleased with a gratuity of about 5R when you return. Speed cameras are everywhere on major routes.

Recommended guidebooks: Cape Town City Guide (Insight Guides) and Cape Town Winelands & the Garden Route (Time Out good for historical/political background).

Resources

Auberge Chanteclair

Discuss this trip

Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden

Le Bon Vivant

Lemon Butta Restaurant, Hermanus

Mosselberg on Grotto Beach

Slowtrav Review Auberge Chanteclair

Slowtrav Review Hilton Cape Town

Slowtrav Review Le Bon Vivant

Slowtrav Review Mosselberg on Grotto Beach

Slowtrav Review The Franschhoek KItchen

Stellenbosch Village Museum

Table Mountain Cable Car

The Franschhoek Kitchen

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