(The Scenic Route)
Your Journey To B's Cottage
Whether you arrive at Cape Town International Airport or reside in Cape Town, this is the most beautiful city in the world. Table Mountain towering above the city either shrouded in cloud or starkly clear, boldly proclaims "this is Cape Town". Your journey to B's Cottage starts here.
Do not take the N2 up Sir Lowry's pass. Rather find your way to Gordon's Bay Village (R44) and take the coastal route. It may be slightly further to Stanford but it is definitely worth the trip.
The bay you see on your right as you pass through Gordon's Bay Village is False Bay (so named because some 300 years ago sailors on their way back from India, thought it was Table Bay as Cape Point and Cape Hangklip look similar).
To the left the mountain covered in fynbos vegetation seems to dwarf your car. If it is June to October you may see Southern Right and Humpback whales. The Southern Right whales send up a double plume of spray when they breathe. Dolphins can also be seen.
The road winds its way along the coast with the mountain towering to the left and the sea far below to your right.
You glimpse stretches of beach as you travel along. Sometimes the road almost passes through the spray of the sea as it crashes against the rocks.
After crossing the Dwars River you pass the small hamlet of Rooiels. (Rooiels is also the name of a local tree). You could turn right into the village and enjoy a cup of something at the restaurant just off the main road.
The R44 now turns away from the coast and traverses a rather bleak part of the landscape. You enter the spread out holiday resort of Betty's Bay. Betty's Bay is situated within the only Biosphere in Southern Africa the Kogelberg ("berg" being mountain) Biosphere Reserve.
Look out for the turnoff to the right which leads to the African Penguin Colony at Stony Point. This is the only penguin species that breeds around the African coast. The boardwalk leads you to the viewing site. The best time to see the penguins are between the months of April to June but there are usually some penguins the whole year round.
Back on the R44 you eventually arrive on your left at the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens. This is definitely worth a visit. Here you will see the main Fynbos families (proteas, ericas and restios) as well as irises, daisies and orchids. You can choose to walk a mere 100 meters to the restaurant or one of several kilometers of nature trails.
Continue along the R44 through Betty's Bay with glimpses of the sea to your right and the rising mountain peaks to your left. The road now turns inland towards the mountains, past Kogelberg Nature Reserve, across the Palmiet River and into the village of Kleinmond. To the right you could go to the Kleinmond harbor which offers a variety of restaurants and shops.
The R44 passes through Kleinmond. Some five kilometers down the road to your right, you should see the marshes of the Bot River Estuary. It is claimed that when HM Birkenhead floundered off Danger Point so many years ago, horses from the ship swam ashore and made the Bot River Estuary area their home. Descendants of these horses can still be seen here.
The R44 once again turns inland past the Arabella Golf Estate until you reach a "T" juncture. Turn right and proceed along the R43 to Hermanus and Stanford. After crossing the Bot River bridge look to your right and you may see some Blue Cranes (photo: Philippa Castle, Stanford Birding), SA national bird, or to the left in the lagoon, Pelicans and Flamingos.
The R43 is now busier as you approach the sprawling town of Hermanus. The bay to your right as you enter Hermanus is Walker Bay, one of the best land based whale viewing sites in the world. As time is running out leave the exploring of Hermanus for another day. It is only 25km from Stanford. Drive along the main road through Hermanus.
On leaving Hermanus behind you see the Klein River Estuary on your right and as you round the bend the Klein River Mountains are in front of you. The road runs all along the foot of the mountains, past the Hermanus Yacht Club and through a grove of trees.
Immediately on exiting the grove of trees, look to your left at the mountain to identify the "Pig's Snout". His nose is at the base of the mountain with his eyes near the top. If it has been raining, two waterfalls frame his snout as if he has a runny nose.
The mountain starts to recede and diminish and you are now reaching Stanford. Cross the Klein River bridge. The Klein River feeds the Estuary you just passed and once you are ensconced in B's Cottage you can hire a boat for a trip on the river. When you see Stanford to your right, turn in and proceed to B's cottage.
Welcome to B's Cottage. We hope you enjoyed your trip.