South Africa for about 30 dayser

Oct 17th, 2019, 07:29 AM
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South Africa for about 30 dayser

This is our 2nd trip to SA. We are both 75 yo and traveling with two younger friends from HI.

We began our trip in Boston on Oct 9 and met up with P/L in Atlanta for our Delta non-stop flight to Johannesburg. 14.5 hours latEver we arrived. Luckily we both had an empty seat between us— ours by request, theirs by a broken seat.

We stayed the first night near JNB at a Protea Marriott business hotel. Adequate. Free shuttle.

Next day we flew Mango Airlines to Capetown— 2+ hours. We were met by a rep from the Capetown Taj Hotel where we stayed 4 nights. We had exec club rooms which incl the one way airport transfer. Our rooms were on floor 2 in heritage rooms, only steps from the lounge. Large hi ceiling rooms with modernized bath rooms and walk in showers. Bed was king and comfortable.
Nicely appointed rooms, excellent central location— free shuttle within central district and to table met and waterfront, hourly. Taxis/Ubers very cheap— we used taxis.

Drinks in the lounge nite one followed by an excellent Indian dinner in the hotel in the opulent Bombay Brassiere. Yum.

Good sleep.
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 17th, 2019, 01:05 PM
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Ttt
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 17th, 2019, 02:58 PM
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Well, don't stop there, we want to hear more! I am thinking about going to SA within the next year or so. I can't wait to go on another safari, and with SA, we could combine wine tasting and some city life. Looking forward to the rest of the trip report. Have fun and tell your long suffering wife and P & L hi! Oh, and post some pics if you can.
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Oct 18th, 2019, 01:28 AM
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So much to do in and around Cape Town. Can't wait to hear what you guys got up to.
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Oct 18th, 2019, 09:51 AM
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Oct 18th, 2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rhkkmk View Post
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laurieco is offline  
Oct 18th, 2019, 12:38 PM
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Leisure day tomorrow, hope to type
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Oct 18th, 2019, 03:31 PM
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Enjoy your day. I look forward to your report but don't spend the day writing. Go out, drink some wine, relax and have fun.
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Oct 19th, 2019, 06:40 AM
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So the Indian food was delicious and the room beautiful.

Great sleep.

FRIDAY

Breakfast in the club, excellent eggs Benedict with the freshest hollandaise.
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Oct 19th, 2019, 07:02 AM
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The day was spent mostly on the hop on hop off buses. We did both routes, starting and finishing on Long street, where we also stopped for lunch at Tiger Milk Bar...Yummy sandwiches— reasonable. We stayed on the bus the whole time.

Capetown is a beautiful city— mountains, sea, mostly low rise buildings, clean, and safe if you pay attention— pick pockets are everywhere, because of the minority poverty.

We returned to the Taj to rest a bit and enjoy wine, drinks and “canapees”. P ordered vodka. Response, “we have none”... WHAT.. 5* hotel is out of vodka??? This was our first problem with the Taj with several more to come...
My response???? You got it....GM please. The duty manager appeared— I knew her... She found some for P.

Dinner that nite was a reservation at Reverie Social Table in the Observatory section of the city. Area is “up and coming”. We took a taxi there. Storefront location. Large oval table with 18 chairs.
Immediately we were offered a glass of a light white wine and shown through to an open aire back room. Introductions were made as newcomers arrived, free flow wine.
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Oct 19th, 2019, 07:26 AM
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We were invited to take a seat at the large table, and told that we were welcome to change seats at any time— only one couple did. Our fellow dinners hailed from: USA, Italy, Brazil, Scotland (Ireland), India, Thailand (5). Conversations like the wine, was bountiful.

THE MEAL WAS 5 courses, each with a free flow wine pairing (red and whites), all from the same SA vineyard— changes frequently.

Courses:

fish cakes with kale chips
yellow-tale with bacalao chips on top, orange flavored, accompanied with raw and sautéed broccoli and cauliflower salad, topped with roasted nuts
quail two ways— southern fried leg and rolled and stuffed breast roasted
cheese coarse with pineapple strata, home made chips and blue cheese mousse
chocolate bomb with raspberry sorbet

Interesting courses, some fab, some OK. Tons of very good wine, free flow— only one person abused this.

cost: 1840 ZAR, plus optional tip (400 in my case)= $124. plus $27 per couple
time: 7:30-11:30

Same taxi came for us.

Great day and evening
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Oct 19th, 2019, 08:00 AM
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SATURDAY

Breakfast in main dining room, dirty tablecloths (5*?) and threadbare.

Quiet AM, then taxi to V&A waterfront.

Delicious lunch quay side at Life Grand Cafe under a large umbrella overlooking the working harbor.

Girls walked the largest of the malls. K had her glasses fixed.

Picked up our Toyota Forerunner SUV at Hertz on Loop St. $900 for 10 days. Perfect for the 4 of us with tons of luggage. Diesel.

Left car with doorman (free parking).

Club for a beverage, then downtime in our beautiful large heritage rooms.

Drinks in club— no shortage of vodka.

Taxi to Osteria Tarantino. Tiny restaurant in a neighborhood— a bit hard to find, but was it worth it.!!!!!
Reservations essential...serves lunch and dinner, same menu. Family run. Limited menu on chalk boards.

Our foods:

antipasto
veal capaccio
veal saltimbocca
veal and mushroom
4 P’s. : pasta, pomodoro, parmeasan, prochutto
tiramisu
panacotta
chocolate salami cigar
2 bottles of white


Simply excellent and great service

1025 ZAR per couple. $ 69.

Taxi back to hotel.

Next problem: I only had a 100zar, driver had no change (5*) may I remind you. After 10 minutes 2. 50’s were found. Gave driver a 50. For my list for GM...

Beddie-bye
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 19th, 2019, 08:02 AM
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Sounds - and I’m sure, tastes, wonderful.
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Oct 19th, 2019, 11:53 AM
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Sounds like you are having a great time despite the problems at the hotel. Waiting for more...
laurieco is offline  
Oct 19th, 2019, 01:40 PM
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Personal update: There are frequent brown outs here. This AM I fell in our garage. A knee cut and an elbow cut. The nurse, K, patched me up. My medium rare steak tonight helped for sure—- iron.
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Oct 19th, 2019, 11:53 PM
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Is anyone reading along? Otherwise I will stop
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Oct 19th, 2019, 11:56 PM
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Meal at Bombay Brassiere
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Oct 20th, 2019, 01:39 AM
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Time to hit the road— a long drive along the coast to the seaside town of Knysna. 5-6 hour drive. SUV was perfect— just fit our luggage, but comfy for us.

Before leaving I met with the GM to express our views about the Taj, and the lack of 4* service.

Stopped along the way in the town of Swellendam for lunch.

Arrived in the late afternoon at our hotel— a converted power plant, called The Turbine Hotel. It is located on an island, called Thessan Island in the Knysna Estuary. Lux hotel. Tons of pumps, huge valves and machinery decorate the hotel.

Ate in the hotel the first night. Good, but not fab. Fab service in hotel.

Great sleep.
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Oct 20th, 2019, 01:56 AM
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Excellent breakfast, included.

Drove the far side of the Estuary, through hillside waterfront suburb to the end of the road at the fab East Head Cafe overlooking the craggy rocks and pounding surf. Fantastic lunch— no mussels or oysters available that day sadly.
Returned to the hotel—- girls checked out some of the nice shops on the island.

Dinner at a very busy Italian cafe— Mario’s. Very good.


Breakfast at hotel. Lazed around. In the PM drove further down the coast to Pletenburg Bay. Had a res at the fab Emily Moon Restaurant overlooking a river meandering thru a reedy area. Candlelit dining room, fab food. Fillet for me, fish for girls, lamb shank for P. Delicious wines of course and decadent desserts.

Dark drive back to Turbine.
Good roads everywhere, btw.
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Oct 20th, 2019, 07:12 AM
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Bob, enjoying your report, but reading it makes me hungry!
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