Whales for breakfast

As mentioned previously, our Hermanus hotel is right on the coast. We had a lovely sea view from our room and breakfast was served in the restaurant which, provided you got a good table, also had an uninterrupted view over the ocean. Thus it was on Wednesday that we went down for breakfast and, as the first pot of tea arrived (one pot is never enough), so did the whales. We delayed our breakfast for ten minutes as we popped across the road on to the cliffs to watch two whales in the same cove where we had seen them on our first day. There were a couple of early start whale-watching boats beyond the whales but they were viewing them from further away than our own shoreline vantage point. Eventually the whales disappeared and we returned to enjoy breakfast with smiles on our faces.

After breakfast, we took a walk into town and wandered into a couple of the art galleries that are a staple of tourist towns around the world. Equally universal are the outrageous price tags you find on the works there. Perhaps they think that tourists who like art will be bad at arithmetic and won’t realise that the sterling equivalent of that price is close to £3,000. We smiled sagely, feigned interest and then, as tabloid reporters used to say, we made our excuses and left.

Ishbel decided that the small hotel pool had lost its charm and set about researching an opportunity for an oceanic swim. She found that there was a Blue Flag beach just along the road, so we headed over there. Grotto Beach is at the start of an extensive range of white sand beaches along Walker Bay. With a water temperature of 16C I wimped out, but Ishbel went for it, striding off into the breakers for an invigorating swim. There was a stiff breeze blowing and the sand was so fine that it got everywhere.

After Ishbel got out of the water, dried off and changed, we headed back towards Hermanus but took a detour into Fernkloof Nature Reserve. We did one of the shorter hiking trails there. Not much by way of animals, but we did encounter a red locust.


We then relaxed for the rest of the day and played our instruments, as we have been doing most days. In the evening, we walked into town to have dinner overlooking the water but first took a walk along the cliff path to Roman Rock. We had seen signs to it and it had piqued our curiosity, Ishbel even going so far as to investigate how far south the Romans had made it. Not this far south was the answer. Intrigued as to how it got its name, we thought we’d take a look in case it looked like a centurion’s helmet, or a laurel wreath. It looked like a rock, so we’re none the wiser.

We had dinner in a place called Coco’s. A number of restaurants were vying for our business, but Coco’s had the advantage of upstairs windows looking straight out to sea. I had fish and chips and Ishbel had a burger, both of which were good. After that, a stroll back to Hermanus for our last night in the hotel before heading off to Franschhoek.