Trumpet Tree Garden

Gap Year Programs

We arrived at Somerset West late Sunday evening, after a long afternoon of driving.

The road was stunning with a constant  changing landscape; vast farmland to dramatic mountain cliffs. We came across Gordon’s Pass just as the sun started to set across the bay. The Stumble Inn shuttle collected us and took us to take us into Stellenbosch.

It was a lively place with a large group that had literally stumbled in for the night! We popped out for a late supper at Gino’s restaurant, just across the road recommended by a fellow traveller. We sat outside under the trees and fairy lights soaking in the atmosphere of rowdy college kids watching soccer on the surrounding tv screens.

The following morning we booked on the EasyRider Wine Tour and headed off to

Simonsig Wine Farm. There we had a tour around the beautiful estate, we learnt about the manufacture, history and had a tour around the cellars. Then to the tasting of 6 wines chosen by our guide. A few purchase made then on we moved.

Next we went to the Fairview Wine Estate where not only did they have wine for us to taste, but more importantly they had cheese. The cheese was amazing. We had as much cheese as they would allow us to have. We nearly left with packages of the delicious white rock and fig cheese but we decided against it and moved on for lunch. Food was served at Franschhoek cafe in the middle of town. It was an extremely hot day especially standing in the sun so we all took for shade every chance we had.

Next we headed to Dieu Donne’s where the vineyard looked over the valley with breathtaking views.  We sat outside enjoying more wine and talking with our group while looking out over the valley.

The next morning we awoke for a short walk to Melissa’s deli, a South African jem. It had the most amazing food, the most amazing bread to be more specific. Something I had personally been longing for. After breakfast we chilled at the hostel for the day, resting before the BAZ Bus picked us up to leave for Cape Town.

We arrived at our hostel, Cat & Moose late in the evening, The next morning we made our way down to the V&A Waterfront to catch the ferry to go to Robben Island. We spent the morning getting a tour around the island learning about the history of the prison and the people who were held there, one of whom being Nelson Mandela. Our tour of the prison was lead by a former prisoner which made it more interesting to hear it from someone who actually lived through it. We got the boat back, spotting a few right whales along the way. Once back in Cape Town we sat down for lunch at Mugg & Bean where we had all been wanting to go to for a while. It did not disappoint. After some shopping in the large V&A shopping mall we headed back to long street and had dinner at the backpackers.

Thursday Fran and I set out for The Cape Peninsula Tour. The tour took us all around the peninsula. We first made a stop at Seal Island where some of the tour members headed out to see the seals. Fran and I stayed back and did some shopping at the small market on the pier. We then headed out to have breakfast at a stop along Chapman’s Peak road where we sat and ate breakfast with a beautiful view back at Hout Bay. We continued on to Boulders beach where we watched the African penguins play and fight and swim, it was very entertaining. After Boulders we made our way into Table Mountain National Park where we got out of the bus and biked along the road, taking in the fresh air and the gorgeous scenery. We biked and met up with our tour leaders who had prepared a delicious lunch for us. We sat down at the visitors center and chatted with a few of our tour mates. We finished lunch and made our way to hike up to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. They had the most amazing views. Cape Point is where the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean meet, so parts of the water is warmer than others and the colors are also different. On our way back we relaxed in the bus watching the beautiful views pass by. We got back to the hostel and had dinner there the we went out for drinks on Long Street. We started at a place called The BeerHouse and then we moved on to an Irish pub called the Dubliner where a live band played amazingly and we all sang along to every song, making it one of the best nights we had on the trip.  

Friday the girls took on Table Mountain. 2.5 hours up the Platteklip Gorge route! The most direct route, although also the most challenging. Up up up and steep steep steeper! We reached the flat of Table Mountain and Then on to the highest point, Maclear’s Beacon (3,563 feet) which was just a flat walk across the top. You can see a 360 degree view all around Table Mountain and it is spectacular. We headed back towards the Cable Car where we had a well deserved lunch and then we took the Cable Car with spinning floors down to the bottom. We caught a ride back and after a shower and a nap. Chelle made us her pasta dinner and we headed to bed

Saturday & Sunday we relaxed by taking the City Sightseeing tours learning about each place we passed. On our last night we went up to Signal Hill ( the best place in the city to see the sunset) and with Laura from Bahamas Greenforce Expedition we sat and watched the sun set across the water. It was a great way to spend the last night. Our final morning we went on a harbour cruise and then last minute shopping at the V&A Waterfront. We then headed to the airport and had one last cup of tea before Fran and I said goodbye to Chelle and Warren.  We reminisced while on our flight to London and then Fran and I also said our goodbyes. I sat on my layover feeling very sad and very strange about being alone for the first time since the beginning of the trip.

Thank you for a wonderful Trip Chelle and Warren, Speaking for both Fran and I, It was an amazing experience, one we will never forget.

About the Author


Facebook Twitter

Gapforce run independently inspected and award winning expeditions, outdoor training courses, volunteer abroad programs, conservation and aid programs. From 2 weeks to 1 year, your adventure starts here!