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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 10 of 12: Whales Ahoy!

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View from our balcony

The next day, we enjoyed an invigorating (i.e., into the teeth of a gale) walk along the beach. We then drove into Hermanus and strolled around the small town centre. We were walking past the Old Harbour when there was a loud sound of a horn being blown and great excitement – the town Whale Crier had seen whales coming inshore and alerted everyone with his long horn made out of kelp. We rushed with the rest of the crowd and were thrilled to see three whales swimming and breaching really close to the harbour. After such an unexpected treat(we thought we were too late in the season to see whales ) we stopped for a quiet lunch in a harbour side café and then checked out a few recommendations for dinner, booking the Lemon Butta restaurant for later that evening.

I was pleased to find a couple of nice craft stalls, containing gifts other than the same prints, carvings and beads available everywhere else and bought a beaten metal necklace for myself, a pretty olive wood bowl for one daughter and carved salad servers for the other. Back at the Mosselberg, I enjoyed a swim in the small (salt) swimming pool – it was still windy, but the pool was within the courtyard of the property and very sheltered. After a desalinating shower, I joined my husband relaxing on the wide balcony to enjoy the panoramic ocean views. He suddenly noticed movement directly opposite us just beyond the surf, very close into shore, and we saw that our neighbours, occupying the appropriately named Whale Suite, had fixed their binoculars on the same spot. Whales, giving us our own ‘private’ show! For an hour, we watched two large whales and a smaller one frolic in the surf, with another large one visible about 200 metres further out, a whale watching experience for free, without needing to board a boat. The town seemed deserted when we returned in the evening, but the restaurant was bustling inside and we were fortunate enough to have a window table overlooking the harbour, even though the fine day had turned to rain. Seafood is the specialty, with a dedicated sushi bar, and we had tempura and dim sum to start followed by tuna and linefish.

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