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Hermanus Activities, Tours and Adventures report - Update 22

UPDATE 22 - October 2009 to January 2011

Yes a whole year has swiftly flashed in-front of our eyes and what a stunning year it has been, with many incredible events, crowned by the utmost glory of South Africa hosting a very successful FIFA 2010 World Cup.

World Cup 2010

The whole country got totally behind every football match and for 4 weeks national pride shone thro’ on the streets, with multi-coloured flags hanging from every building and nearly every car and person wearing a flag, t-shirt or banner of some country or the other; the country was awash with every colour of the rainbow. It was a month long party with smiles on every face – euphoria in huge abundance…… Ayoba - as we say down here :-)

The Vuvuzela horn was trumpeted everywhere, much to the annoyance of some watchers, but as Sepp Blatter stated early on – this is HOW South Africa celebrates football - some countries prefer to sing songs, some prefer to do Mexican waves, here they blow on horns….

Games very well attended indeed; the crowds were very enthusiastic, including at the rammed free-to-attend Fan Parks in loads of locations across the country, where there were gigantic TV sound systems, loads of food and drink stalls and musical bands - and everywhere the whole country was trouble-free, demonstrated very clearly by the huge lack of activity at the 56 special Magistrate Courts that were set up across the country to deal with any naughty boys and girls. These court officials were bored senseless and equally the same has to be said for the 26 countries that bought over their special Football Police detectives – they must have thoroughly enjoyed sitting around for 4 weeks of donuts and coffee, while watching every game on tv and doing absolutely zero work whatsoever :-))

South Africans are traditionally much keener watchers of Rugby and Cricket, but suddenly they found a brand new sport to support and they totally absorbed it in their millions. How any work got done during the 4 weeks is still a mystery :-))

South Africa’s 1st goal has been widely considered as being the best goal of any World Cup opening match by many sports commentators.


Percy Tours were busy and lucky enough to escort 4 separate groups to matches in Cape Town, while we sat at the very buzzing and crowded V&A Waterfront, where literally 1000s of fans packed the bars and restaurants, with 100s of massive flat screen tvs in all directions showing the footy. It didn’t matter who you supported, it didn’t matter how old or young you were and it certainly didn’t matter what language you spoke cos all that mattered was to celebrate watching the emotions, glory and spectacle of football.

Then in week 4, Percy Tours got a big wake-up call – literally – at the brain-shattering time of 02.30am on the 6th July we were rudely awoken by a 5 star hotel in Hermanus – “Please could you collect 152 Uruguayan fans from Cape Town airport at 08.30am and bring them to the hotel?” – “You are kidding, ain’t you?” we say sleepily – “NO, please can you help us, PLEASE” - SO we jumped into action and arranged a convey of vehicles…..the next 3 days are a massive blur of high octane action, adventures and laughter – that we enormously enjoyed and will never forget……with the last day crowned by escorting 52 of the group down to Cape Point and back again. We slept for a week after that. With Spanish not being Percy Tours' best of languages and English not being theirs, communications for a starter were “interesting” to say the least. This short mention of events over these 3 days is only the very tip of the iceberg and I could quite easily write a small book about the entertaining events…..maybe I will some day :-))

For those pundits who were stupid enough to predict that South Africa could not pull-off this world class event, they must have been sick to the back-teeth with having to eat SO much humble-pie.

Anyway there are loads of stories that I could easily tell you, but there is much more to fit into this newsletter………


We also got into the soccer fever that spread the country and started to do our-bit by sponsoring a group of young Township lads to start their own football team - initiated by one large-hearted lad Trevor, who wished to keep his friends busy, active and involved in something - other than lowering themselves into the negative effects of booze, drugs and crime - so he started Rangers FC.......after only their 1st season they achieved 7th place out of 16 teams and were reward by the Hermanus Township amateur football association with a nice prize which they will invest in new gear for their players - with so many items required they don't yet know what they will buy - 14 pairs of shorts / 14 pairs of socks, shin pads and a pair of goaly gloves / 14 pairs of boots......
However Percy Tours did think that we should slightly spoil them and reward them for their hard work - so we decide a little christmas party would be a good idea and so we supplied afew chickens for their Braai and afew crates of beers to wash it all down with :-))
So here's a little video clip on Youtube of their party - sing along everyone -

Rangers FC Christmas party

Whales in Hermanus

Someone obviously phoned the mermaids this year, because the Whales started to arrive at Hermanus 2 weeks before the World Cup started and they also came in amazingly large numbers too. The whole Whale watching season was one of the best ever, with them staying around until well into late December. Rare sightings of 2 albino baby Southern Right Whales in the bay at the same time also hit the head-lines. 

 
Great White Sharks in Hermanus

Equally Great White Shark cage diving trips have been fantastic too – and on the day before the England vs. Algeria game at Cape Town, there were an unheard of before 7 helicopters parked up next to the shark boat harbour – that’s a lot of very rich people invading the sleepy port to get their fix of high-adrenaline-adventures, encountering big teethy fish.


After the World Cup.....

After all of this World Cup action Percy Tours decided it was our turn to go on holiday, so we packed our bags and headed north for a 2 week 4000 kms road-trip exploration to the enormous Kalahari Transfrontier Park – for some hot weather, empty enormous spaces and some intoxicating African safari game watching. To say that this place is huge is the under-statement of your life - 9000 sq kms is inside South Africa / and a further 28,000 sq kms is inside Botswana AND there is NOT a vehicle or human in sight for 100s and 100s of miles - just 1000s of African animals running around doing-their-thing in NATURE - and not a tarred road, telephone post or building for 100s of miles - it is utterly mind-blowing wilderness and nature, with the sun, the wind, the call of African animals - sure beats being stuck in a traffic jam in any part of the planet - the thought that springs to mind is magnificent open wildness.
Welcome to the wilderness of Africa - can you spot a car, building or anything human-made? NO, cos thats why it is SO amazing here - NATURE - it is truely awe-inspiring


We also stopping on the way, at Sutherland for some breath-taking star gazing at the southern hemispheres largest optical telescope. Check out how amazing the moon is at a magnification of just x75 -


Wines

In late 2010 a “secret” wine suddenly went on sale in Hermanus – Southern Right 2004 Sauvignon Blanc – nothing amazing there you might think but what set this aside was where it had been stored – 2 years ago 420 bottles were placed in big metal cages and lowered into the cool Atlantic ocean at the Hermanus New Harbour and left to “do its thing”; reappearing with all manner of sea creatures attached to each bottle. The optimum storage temperature had created a wine that was in fact extremely delicious and when the 420 bottles were released for sale, they were sold out in one day, not surprisingly. And here’s some of these rare and exclusive bottles in our possession – any offers? :-))


Along the very same lines (weirdly) – in Finland in late November 2010, afew very rare bottles of champagne were opened for the wine experts to sample. These bottles were found in 2007 under 45metres of sea water and all 168 bottles were from the wreckage of a schooner that had sunk between 1825 and 1830 – YES these bottles of wine and champagne had been submerged for nearly 200 years. Found were bottles of Veuve Clicquot and Maison Juglar. When opened, they were amazingly still very drinkable and hence will be worth an absolute fortune to the salvage team.

Before this event, the oldest bottle of drinkable champagne was thought to be a 1825 Perrier-Jouet / while also in Nov 2010 a world record was set for the selling price of one imperial sized bottle of Cheval Blanc 1947 which sold at auction in Geneva for a staggering $304,375.

Christie’s has reported that their wine auctions across the planet topped $71 million for 2010 and are thankfully back up to the same levels as 2007, before the recession. In early 2011 Sotheby’s will be auctioning off some of Andrew Lloyd-Webbers collection. While Chicago-based Hart Davies Wine reported annual sales of $40 million, an increase of 63% over 2009. New York Zachy’s reported sales of $56.5 million. There is quite obviously afew people on the planet with a huge amount of money who love to splash-out on high quality wines.

More down to earth – the new John Platter South Africa wine book arrived and proclaimed that South Africa had moved up to the 7th largest producer of wine in the world, with just over 1million litres produced.

Corporate clients, famous people and much more...

Percy Tours has over the last year entertained and arranged activities and tours for some pretty high calibre clients - we organised Kayaking with the Whales of Hermanus for a National Geographic film crew and their group of 8 international ambassadors - soon to be aired on National Georgraphic's TV channel - check it out; Wine Tours for a conference group from Unilever - who we next week saw on national South African TV; Whale watching boat trips for a conference group from Unitrans; did restaurant transfers for THE queen of South African estate agents Pam Golding herself; chartered Whale and Shark watching boats for a very rich Arab during the World Cup - for just him, his assistant and 5 body-guards; a Wine Tour and activities for a 110 persons here for a Fruit'n'Veg conference; and transported about over 25 wedding groups from church ceremonies, party receptions and back home safely at 02.00am in the morning.......plus many more we cant mention due to Confidentially Agreements hahahaha!! Yeah right, maybe next time :-))))

Hermanus Activities

Luckily for all who visit Hermanus there are always new and exciting activities to experience and one company has taken things to new levels, by offering – Quad Biking thro’ olive groves, vineyards and up onto the high mountain tops over-looking Hermanus; as well as introducing for the first time here a place to do – Archery; Wall-Climbing and Tree Top Canopy rope slides – with the last of 12 slides being promoted as the longest rope slide in the Western Cape at a length of 120 metres. Paint-balling army games and team building events are also available – so that’s one large dollop of fast and furious action in one spot.

To promote and market all that there is to do in Hermanus, Percy Tours has launched afew more informative and user friendly websites – so please check out –
Hermanus Activities, Tours and Adventures
Whales, Whale watching and boat trips of Hermanus
Tours, Transfers and Adventure in Hermanus and Cape Town
Great White Shark cage dive and Whale watching boat trips

and we will soon be launching 2 other websites that are dedicated to other singular Activities, more info when we have it :-))

High Praise indeed

While one past very happy client, with lady and 3 energetic youngsters in tow, SO utterly loved his holiday with Percy Tours that he just had to sing his high praises – being a free-lance Journalist and Writer, he decided to write on his local lifestyle magazine website – and without me even having to cross-his-hand-with-silver – so here is his and his family’s account of their 2 week holiday around Hermanus and Cape Town with Percy Tours
Fran and Suzanne's report of their 2 week family holiday with Percy Tours

Thank you Fran, Suzanne, Oscar, Ellie and Annabel – see you on holiday in SA again soon.

Christmas 2010

This festive season brought to our pretty little seaside town the usual invasion of over 200,000 holiday-making South Africans who just utterly love our delightful and relaxed atmosphere. With families enjoying our sandy beaches, doing all sorts of fun-packed Activities, while partying, consuming large amounts of booze and braai-ing (BBQ) being the order of the day.

So until next time -

As ever we are all over the internet with loads of jovial and informative natterings – so why not check us out at –
Percy Tours on Facebook
Percy Tours on Twitter
Percy Tours 100s of photos on Flickr
Percy Tours Youtube videos

Until next time, cheers and have an outstandingly excellent 2011 everyone

Ronel and Percy at Percy Tours, Hermanus, South Africa.

www.percytours.com

Designer Tours (& transfers) of Hermanus, Cape Town and the whole Western Cape region.


This post first appeared on Percy Tours Blog - Percy Tours Adventure Reports |, please read the originial post: here

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Hermanus Activities, Tours and Adventures report - Update 22

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