RHKKMK'S First trip to South Africa

Oct 20th, 2009, 04:15 AM
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Ok, where are the animals? The Big Game? The lions, and tigers and bears (well, maybe not bears). We want some info on the wildlife!
tengohambre is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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TWO HUGE MISTAKES... thanks for selwyn for pointing them out... I mis-spelled the name of one dish which Lily served to us in the township.... what I wrote means a bucket of s--t... what we had was chakalaka....

also cape of good hope is the most south western point in Africa...

wrongs righted...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 07:15 AM
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rob't the animals are next week...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 08:22 AM
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Sounds to me like you two are in HEAVEN - I think we all want to join you, good thing your room/quarters are so LARGE. Keep it coming!
taconictraveler is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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Hey Bob when you get to the Safari part of your trip will you be riding outside on the jeeps like Clark Gable did in the movies trying to snare a Rhino?
BillT is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Let's see. He spells potato like Dan Quayle. He has no idea what fauna is. Checks into a B&B named after a sleeping pill. Has a room named after Huey Long. Is apparently against rooms, i.e., anti-room? So I guess he would be anti-bellum, like the rest of us liberals? A nice work of fiction.
Gpanda is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Tuesday Oct 20

A wonderful nights sleep…. Extremely quiet.

Breakfast was set for 8:45. I was up about 7:30. Internet. Laze about..

Breakfast was set up on the patio next to the pool under a roof overhang. The large main table was laden with all kinds of goodies: cereals, yogurts, fruits, jams, toast. We started with cereal and yogurts, plus red grapefruit for me and strawberries for Karen. We each ordered an English breakfast (grilled tomato, small Portobello mushroom, also grilled; scrambled eggs for me and sunny side up for K; fresh croissant each…toast, lovely fresh juice in a champagne glass, fresh coffee and tea… another WOW…. BTW, our small round table was set like an English tea setting, with tons of silverware, lovely linens, flowers, etc. Charles cooked and waited on us with great efficiency.

We were introduced to the charming domestic, Grace. She has a smile from ear to ear and a very firm triple handshake. We love her immediately. She has been with the Bestors for years.

K is anxious to get moving…. More later..

We leave Grace a bag of laundry to do…$7, I think…

We decide to explore the neighborhood and find our way to the beach. This area is full of mostly newish big houses, some with thatched roofs. All are lovely. We have views of the ocean as we move along and finally a dramatic view of the whole beach as the road turns… very nice indeed….

We drive down the main street and look into the shops… nothing calls to us.
We decide to drive along the N-2 a bit more… I rebel and want to return to Plett..
We explore a few areas and end up at a seaside restaurant called Lemon Grass, attached to the Milkwood Mannor Hotel.

Karen checks it out. The place is fabulous, right at water’s edge where a river and the ocean meet. We decide to have lunch there. We spend about 2 hours there. The tide is coming in and the beach area changes as we watch… Next to us are 3 ladies (60ish) celebrating a birthday… They speak with loud voices with lovely British/SA accents…. They are trying to impress each other. They have brought their own champagne, the bottle had about 1/3 gone already… On the other side are 3 old ladies (80’s), two very hard of hearing. They are “terribly, terribly….my dear…”..

Karen orders seafood stew, which is a large bowl crammed with fish pieces, calamari, a whole shrimp, mussels… She love it, along with some white wine. I have the daily quiche—feta and spinach and a salad. We decide on dessert too: K finally gets lemon meringue pie (this is her 4th attempt since arrival in SA) and I have the German cheesecake… 199 R…

A truly lovely lunch served by a lovely south African lady who spent quite a bit of time talking with us---NO SHE WAS NOT ASKING ABOUT GPANDA OR ANY OF HIS DRIBBLE… She gives us some shopping hints. We check out one on the N-2—Old Nicks… it’s a series of small shops hitched together on what looks like an old farm

We rode around town a bit more, checked out one of the 2 relais and chauteaux hotels in Plett, and looked at different areas including another sea side restaurant…
We returned to the hotel to relax…

Time for cocktails downstairs… The new people have arrived also, so we shall meet them I suspect.

Selwyn ‘skyped’ me and we had a nice conversation.
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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i usually have french fries to avoid the spelling issues...

Please note---no italian food yet!!!

bill, we will be in those open jeeps, with a tracker and a shotgun watching out for us...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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ok, i broke down and we had italian tonight...

but note we have been here 7 days
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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Panda, the only thing more frightening than you in a speedo would be you in an antebellum gown! I'm about to faint in a fit of the vapors right now, I do declare.

Bob, eat whatever you want, it's your vacation.

bookchick is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 10:12 PM
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selwyn wanted us to go to another restaurant, but in the end after the cocktail hour we were just too tired and lazy, so we just went up the hill almost into town---a 4 minute ride
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 01:45 AM
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When the moon hits your eye
Like a big pizza pie...
Gpanda is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 07:58 AM
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rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 09:08 AM
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We were so tired and a bit buzzed so we decided to stay real local, like 2 miles up the hill. Sad to say, we did Italian, but it was not our first nite here… The restaurant is called Cornuti… It is a real simple place, but the food was excellent: ground chicken breast and mushroom raviolis with vodka like pink sauce for me, and pesce al forno for K (fish and fries with a lemon wine sauce).. both were excellent. We are getting to dinner about 8:45 which is late for us…

Back to the room… Tonight on our tray are waters and a bottle of port.

Internet, some tv and crash.

Wednesday Oct 21

Up at a decent hour… internet.. breakfast at 8:45. A couple from Houston and their 2 grown children had checked in for the nite. The daughter is a pediatrician in Tanzania at a facility run by Baylor Medical School. The son worked on a large sailboat which takes 5 day cruises from Boston (rowes wharf) with 8th graders as a training team building exercise last summer. The husband is an hospital pharmacist and the wife a retired elementary school principal.

Breakfast was similar, but the special today was eggs benedict with salmon on top—K had that. We spent a long time talking politics, both American and SA, as well as learning about the HIV care here from the Dr. Judy and Charles joined in giving a unique perspective.

We left for a drive further east, our days activity. The terrain was quite hilly and there were lots of tree farms along the way (tall trees for lumber). The shore was never very far.

After a few detours on side roads, where we eventually came down to small sea side/vacation home areas, we came to an area where there are several animal reserves/zoos—a bird one, an elephant one, a monkey one…. On the same road we visited a series of small shops -- the main building had been a mohair manufacturer and they still maintain the largest shop there. They also make socks. We bought quite a few things there as the quality was superior and the prices modest.
There were also wild baboons in this area as we have seen elsewhere.. We even saw one huge group of about 30. They roam and create havoc.

We continued along and took a long detour into the area called the Krags… It was here that we had our lunch as we had not seen the place Selwyn had suggested to us-- the Bramon Wine shop. We did see it on our return trip… It seems we left the main road before we passed it… In any case we ate at a place called The Trading Post… it’s rustic—a hangout for hippies, surfers and climbers. We had our first Ostrich burgers—dry meat but ok…
The area is full of steep hills and valleys and sweeps down to the sea… There are many holiday homes here. Its very green along with flowering shrubs..

Continuing along, we came to the Bloukrans Bridge, which has the highest bungee jump in the world--- 216 meters or about 650 feet.
I was so excited… I have always wanted to take a jump like this, and the cost is only $80… One dives headfirst. WOW… Something to brag about to the grandchildren and Gpanda too.

I suited up, paid my $$ and walked out to the middle of the bridge. Suddenly the winds came up and jumps were cancelled… I was so disappointed… I even cried… NAUGHT—do you think I am crazy.. jump off a bridge with only an elastic band holding on to 300+ pounds of me… I’m not a European board poster…

We spent quite a while there, talked to 2 people who had just jumped… saw 2 jumps.. amazing…

From there we continued along to the Storm River area… We waited in line to get into the park as there were maybe 30 motorcycles ahead of us… The fee was 44 R each and I asked what there was to see and the answer was nothing that we had interest in so we left.. K did not seem to care.

We turned around and headed back to Plett. Along the way we stopped at Emily Moon’s, an hotel and restaurant on a bluff overlooking a river bead and lush reeds. We had a drink on the deck and made reservations to return at 8:45 for dinner tonight.

We asked for a tour to see some family rooms as this might be a place Tengombre might be interested in . I took tons of pics….the rest. and the property are decorated with tons of sculptures, pictures, artifacts, etc… It’s a fantastic find—thanks Selwyn for suggesting it. The restaurant is moderate in price…The setting and interior cannot be beat..

Down to cocktails shortly..

Tomorrow we head back west to Hermanus for two days.
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 09:13 AM
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That's amore.......
Smeagol is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 09:29 AM
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loving this report! thank you

aknards is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 10:51 AM
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Hi Bob and Karen!
Looking forward to hearing about the game parks!
Kristina is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Smeagol, thanks. Like the ols expression... pearls before RhkKmk.

Bob bungee jumping. Now that would make the cover of Fodors South Africa guide. I do admit that he had me going. Do you think the game preserve animals have been properly warned?
Gpanda is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 01:02 PM
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meow... they are now warned... when we saw the huge group of baboons this afternoon, the one with the big exposed red bottom came up to the car and asked where Gpanda was... I told him he was chasing ambulances as usual...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Down to cocktails shortly..

Tomorrow we head back west to Hermanus for two days.

We had a very nice cocktail hour+. A couple from Munich checked in today and they are very pleasant….Also joining us were two young women from Belgium.. They also were very talkative. One of them is doing the bungee jump tomorrow.

At 8:40 we left, late, for our 8:45 res. The parking lot was quite full when we arrived. The usual “car guards” were there and assisted me in parking. Our table was ready.

The room was dimly lit with hi intensity bulbs, but flickered from the glow of many candles, including at least 6 multi armed tall candelabra. The scene was delightful.

Karen had a glass of shiraz, Fat Bastard, and I had water as I was a bit over served already—gin.. We decided to share a plate of smoked springbok carpaccio.. It came with oil and ground olives on top, plus very fine parmesan flakes and a tart oak leaf green--- simply delicious.

I ordered the Emily’s thai chicken and prawn curry with fragrant rice, plus a veggie side (tiny zucchini, roasted red peppers and a few olives). Karen ordered the pesto grilled cob (a deep water firm white fish, rarely available commercially) with roasted new pots and herbs. She says it is one of the best fish she has ever had.

I ordered a glass of rose, which was full bodied—new to me.

We could not resist dessert: K had a huge pavolva with berries and whipped cream and I had a warm pecan and carrot (sorry 510) pudding served in a large plate of freshly made rich crème anglaise--- the pudding was small but very rich also.

Our waiter was a young south African man who was a bit serious, but very good. Needless to say he did not understand my “jokes and ribbing”… He was very well rewarded for excellent service… The bill was just under 400 R…. The restaurant is Emily’s Moon Restaurant, which is at the end of the road next to the penny pincher lumber yard…. This is just after the town of Plettenberg Bay on the N-2. It is a small lux hotel as well..


Muffin, where will you rate?

Back to the hotel, internet and crash..

I neglected to mention that our room comes with an under house garage with an electric door.

Gas today (unleaded) was 7.51 R per litre… about $1.10… or $4.40 per US gallon.

I’m not sure of internet from now on until we reach England next week.
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