Unplugged and unwinding

Every moment of our lives is precious and valuable. Let’s embrace the chaos and find inspiration in the rush of activity. It is just difficult when everywhere we go needs to be accessible.

I recently had a long conversation with my family and my boyfriend about how we can better explain accessibility to people. I wanted to know how they rate a place’s accessibility. How they feel about it, especially because different disabilities require different accommodations. It is understood that sometimes a small step may not be a big deal for someone in a manual wheelchair. To me, accessibility means that a venue is fully accommodating to all disabilities and has no stairs or barriers.

I also struggle with how to explain a place in terms of its accessibility when the range of disabilities is so varied. I have come to understand that a back entrance may not necessarily be a negative thing. However, it can still feel negative to the person who always has to use it. It is important to understand that emotion is largely connected to whether a disabled individual feels welcome in that environment.

The Flight

I’m not good at flying, especially when I feel like I’m not in control. However, I managed to feel a little less stressed this time by getting a letter from Safair’s management explaining my battery situation, to avoid previous experiences. The check-in process was seamless, but we were told a new rule required my sister to go in a wheelchair with me. In hindsight, this rule seemed unnecessary. The airline staff promised to assist me onto the plane, but when it came time to lift me, they didn’t want to help. This was all extremely frustrating and left us feeling helpless. This experience made me very emotional and anxious for the rest of the flight. Despite the difficulties, the flight attendants were kind and offered to help in any way they could.

Here are some of the places we visited on our trip, and yes, they are mostly wineries, but it is the Cape.


Ernie Els Wines, This venue was stunning! There venue was wonderfully accessible and who doesn’t love a complimentary glass of rose?

Villiera Wines was so lucky to have an incredibly entertaining and energetic sommelier for our wine tasting. The venue was accessible and quite enjoyable.

KWV, you do have to parallel park on the streets; however, the building is accessible for the tastings. Unfortunately, they do advertise the tour as being accessible, but it is not.

Simonsig Wine Estate is relatively accessible with a ramp on the outside but not on the inside. The parking lot is sand, which could be a little bit tricky, especially in the rain.

Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate, was one of the venues that did not have an accessible front entrance. However, after some off-roading (we don’t have the vehicle for that), we did manage to get through the back entrance.

Imbuko Wines, This venue had two entrances and the second entrance was accessible. They had an incredible wheelchair-accessible bathroom that was huge. The waitress who served us was incredibly kind and accommodating. We were treated to some delicious wine spritzers and pies.

Wineries and Restaurants

Redberry farm, This day was incredibly rainy day, but they made it a fantastic day. We had a beautiful wine tasting around a warm fireplace. There are two ramps to the restaurant for lunch and a perfect entrance into the farm store (where I bought everything). There was a fantastic wheelchair bathroom too. One of my favourite places that we visited on our holiday!

On the Rocks Restaurant, our first day in the Western Cape was spent attending our friends’ beautiful wedding at the. While the venue was easily accessible to get inside, it was quite difficult for us to get down to where the wedding was held. However, the staff were extremely accommodating, and they did their best to make us feel comfortable and at ease. The food at the wedding was incredible, too.

Babylonstoren, This was unfortunately extremely disappointing, as we had found multiple ways to ensure accessibility, and when we arrived, they were doing renovations on the area where wheelchairs could access the restaurant. I find it more frustrating that we ask multiple times because we’re not being unnecessary by just arriving, yet we shouldn’t have to ask so many times. There were no wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. The pathways were not entirely accessible because the ends had stairs, but you get on from the other side.


Spice Route Destination – La Grapperia Pizza & Bistro, they have great parking and the venue as a whole was relatively accessible However, we only attended the Bistro restaurant. It was very accessible, and the staff were very accommodating and kind.

Bamboo Garden Restaurant, is a gorgeous little place with different stores; unfortunately not all of the shops were accessible, but the restaurant was, and it was very nice.

Noble Hill – Cosecha Restaurant, this venue was another back entrance and a very long walk down a hill to get to a bathroom that unfortunately was not accessible. The food is Mexican-themed and absolutely delicious.

Fork and Train Restaurant, I was incredibly impressed with this place. A ramp into the restaurant is delicious
food with an incredible view. It was especially nice after going to so many places along the beachfront that were completely inaccessible.

Vikki’s at the Beach, I love the beach, I love lunch with a beach view, and this restaurant did not disappoint. It was accessible, casual, and delicious.

Desert Springs Spur Steak Ranch, I’m not sure what frustrated me more: the fact that this restaurant was inaccessible (a ramp so steep no one should use with a giant step at the top) or the fact that the staff just couldn’t care less.

Golf Clubs

No matter what holiday we go on, there has to be a golf course involved.

Pearl Valley on Val de Vie Estate, We had dinner at the restaurant; it was accessible, and there was an accessible bathroom. The restaurant is very nice and has a cool atmosphere

Boschenmeer Golf Estate, Again, we had dinner at the restaurant. The atmosphere was a lot more casual; however, the food was absolutely incredible. The golf club is accessible, and the ramp is made in a really clever way so that it is not too steep. There is an accessible bathroom as well.

Fancourt, We stayed in the Golf Resorts Club apartment. I don’t feel that we can always blame the hotels or accommodations that we stay in because we booked through a timeshare facility. However, there needs to be a clear standard of communication between the accommodation and the timeshare facilitator.

We have been informed on a number of occasions that the venues are wheelchair accessible to arrive at, and there is always at least one step at the entrance. We are extremely lucky that we have ramps that we can use. It is extremely frustrating to end up in the same situation on a regular basis. At Fancourt they use golf carts to transfer guests to and from their rooms with their luggage. Unfortunately, a wheelchair cannot go in a golf cart, and when it is pouring with rain, it does make it a little complicated.

I do appreciate the fact that the staff at Fancourt were extremely helpful and did their best to make us as comfortable as possible. Our room was extremely spacious. It’s just very frustrating that we still had a step into our entrance and had to try and transfer ramps back and forth in a golf cart to and from our car.

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