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  • Writer's pictureClare Travis

Stunning Stellenbosch

Updated: Jan 6

It's not often that we will stay somewhere closer than 2 hours from Cape Town, but on a race weekend it is a bit easier to stay in the area. I was doing the 53km Jonkershoek Ultra Mountain Challenge as a training race leading up to the George MUT. Sadly I got covid, so couldn't do the MUT, but still got the enjoy Jonkershoek run. Stellenbosch, being so close to Cape Town means it is quite a lot pricier than the places we normally travel to. But I managed to find a tiny, reasonably priced, spot in Die Boord called The Curious Giraffe. It is a bachelor's apartment attached to the main house, but with a separate entrance and small outside area. The room is open plan with a comfy bed, separate toilet and shower. The kitchenette is well equipped with a full size fridge, coffee machine, microwave and induction plate for cooking. There is also a table and couch in the room. Outside is a braai and small table and chairs. It is securely fenced, so you don't need to worry about your doggy wandering off into the traffic. The property is next to a stop street and the road is quite busy, but the fence and surrounding trees make it private. The area is a lovely leafy suburb, with a large park and field in walking distance for the dogs to run around and chase ball on. There are also shops and restaurants nearby.

The host is very helpful and told us about the popular Stellenbosch Trails, where dogs are allowed. While I was running in the amazing Jonkershoek mountains, which is Cape Nature so dogs aren't allowed, hubby took the boys to charge around the lovely trails above the town. There are quite a few well marked routes to choose from, which are perfect for running, walking or cycling and not too tough. If you want more tough hiking or running routes then Jonkershoek is the place to go, it is so beautiful with views for ages, but sadly you would have to leave you fur babies at home.

For our Saturday dinner we found the most lovely restaurant only 10 min drive away, called La Pineta. It is very dog friendly and our boys had a fun game with a young spaniel at a nearby table. Their menu is varied and they even have a large vegan selection. I definitely recommend stopping there for a meal.

There are load of other things to do in the area, including wine tastings and various craft markets which are dog friendly.

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