Oct 102008
 

Where I am

Tuesday AM I got off the British Airways 747 in Cape Town, South Africa, for Francois and Dorita’s wedding. I immediately ate Biltong, got some Rooibos tea, and drove out to Stellenbosch, where I dropped my bags and packed up for a paintball game.

Yes, it is exactly as cheesy and goofy as you might think, running around in the woods wearing army surplus fatigues and jumping over rocks, acting like the army kid in Stand By Me. It’s also just as fun as you secretly think it might be where you won’t admit it to the cool kids.

Wednesday we got up really early and went to do the shark cage diving. We saw six great whites, from 2m up to about 3. They are magnificent animals and it’s a privilege to see them. It’s fairly expensive but it is (yet another) once in a lifetime opportunity. I recommend it– but take your seasick tablets at least an hour or two beforehand, not 20 minutes. I got really seasick and couldn’t change into my wetsuit, which means that I couldn’t get into cage in the 12C/55F water, which probably would have cured my seasickness, ironically.

What it’s like

SA a lovely place. The Western Cape (where I am) has excellent outdoorsness, to rival California’s beauty, plus baboons, zebra, elephants, ostrich, and more. It’s cheap (but not that cheap), people are friendly, and the food is quite amazing.

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Food porn 1: Kloovenberg Rosé

I had a late lunch/early dinner in Franschhoek <sp?> one day at Le Bon Vivant which rivaled meals that I’ve had at La Toque or WD-50. Springbok (venison-like meat but better) and appetisers that were simply divine. The prawn app had grilled, tempura-d, souflee’d (in an eggshell) and carpaccio’d prawn. The main was springbok, which is a fantastic little SA staple meat, like venison, with no gaminess whatsoever. I even got a little 3 layer sillhouette of trees (parsley) between hand-cut potato crisps.


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Food porn 2: Rocket (Arugula) and strawberry w/ Feta salad at the roadside café.

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Food porn 3: Carpaccio

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Food porn 4: the dessert taster (good for 5 people. The mint sorbet on th eleft was they key to surviving this with tastebuds intact, though the pear was really the best bit.

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Food porn 5: assorted taster app. That’s red onion and lamb consommé in the glass. It’s pure liquid deliciousness.

The Plan

After the wedding, we’re going to head off on an overland trip– 20 days, crossing the Western Cape, Northwest Cape, then through Namibia, Botswana, and finally arriving at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. After that, who knows? Probably on up through Zambia to Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, and then climb Kilimanjaro.

Updates may appear suddenly on the road– the internet doesn’t reach the bush, mostly. In fact, given the troubles I’ve had so far, you may not see this for a while, so you’ve no warning.

Fortunately, I’m not too terribly prompt, so hopefully there will be few(er) worries.

 Posted by at 03:51

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