On Saturday we had the opportunity to tour Spier Wine Estate on a Segway PT (Personal Transporter), a two-wheeled self balancing electric vehicle. What an incredible experience, although I must say I was skeptical and to be honest terrified of these vehicles with no brakes!
Our group had to meet at 09h45 at the Wine Tasting room. Once we had completed the indemnity form it did cross my mind to stay back, enjoy the views and perhaps even do some wine tasting.
Before each tour guests receive a comprehensive orientation by an experienced Segway trainer. Stanley was assigned to train our group. I needed more than group training and Eric quickly came to my rescue to offer a one on one training session! I’m glad he jumped in, as I was ready to back out. The training takes between 15 and 20 minutes and covers operational and safety procedures. You learn to go forward by leaning forward, reverse by leaning back, (I didn’t see a need for that!) and how to turn by using the ‘lean steer’ handlebar. To stop, there are no brakes you just need to stand upright, and find your balance! Quite a strange concept but it works!
Once we had completed the mini obstacle course, Eric gave me the green light to join the group. I was feeling less apprehensive and I was determined to enjoy this challenge!
We started the tour in tortoise mode with our guide Stanley ensuring that everyone was safe and looking a little more comfortable. Once we were more confident the Segways were taken off the slower mode to allow us to go a little faster. The top speed is 20kms.
The tour takes approximately an hour and what an amazing experience. You glide through the farm and learn interesting facts about the Protea Garden, the vineyards and the wastewater treatment plant which combines nature, art and technology.
Photographs courtesy of Segway Spier
The one-hour tour costs R300 per person and leaves at 09h00, 10h00, 12h00pm, 13h30 and 15h00 daily; the two-hour option which leaves at 09h00, 12h00 and 15h00 is R500 per person and includes a complimentary wine tasting. When the weather allows, there is also a later sunset tour that gives participants the chance to see the vineyards bathed in vibrant colours as the sun goes down.
Booking is essential and can be done by visiting the Spier website, or the Segway Tour website. Alternatively you can call +27 (0)21 809 1157 or email email@example.com. Guests must meet at the farm’s main visitor centre 30 minutes before the excursion is set to start. No children below the age of 10 are allowed on the one-hour tour and no children younger than 12 can participate in the two-hour trip. Remember to wear sunblock and comfortable shoes. Helmets are provided.
Highly recommended for a fun day out in Stellenbosch. Contact us for more information. We can collect you from your hotel and book your tickets in advance.
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