Thursday, June 08, 2006

Back to civilisation

We are back in civilisation so I can update you now on the last 3 weeks or so. I can't believe we have been here almost 4 weeks. It seems so much longer that I left my family on the train station at Lowestoft (I did not enjoy that part!)

As you know we hired a car. I have got quite attached to him. (Sad I know!) He has put up with a lot from me, crunching the gears, climbing up scary mountain passes in the wrong gear, shouting as people persist to drive right up my bum! The latter is my pet driving hate and I have come to a country where it appears to be the norm. Drivers over here seem to have a panic attack if there is anyone visible ahead or behind and they immediately move to the emergency lane to allow you to pass, even if you are a good distance away. If they wish to pass they drive practically bumper to bumper until you move over. That said, I have enjoyed driving over here. Mostly the roads are clear and the scenery is beautiful. We have to give him back on Sunday. We are back in he Cape Town area having spent the last 3 weeks driving round the western cape and a bit of the Eastern Cape. Total, about 4000km.

I am not going to write a sequential log of events so bear with me as I hop about.The last time I wrote, we were in Stellenbosch and were going on a Wine tour the following day. That was a great day and we met some great people, carrying it on and going for a meal that night. It was a bit different to the Wine tour on which we found ourselves at last Saturday. We had heard there was an event happening in Robertson which we were near, called Wacky Wine Weekend, which we thought sounded like fun. I don't think fun was the appropriate word. Maybe words like weird and bewildering are...but we found ourselves being put up at a house, which turned out the owner of had been persuaded to by the information centres lady. We were put up in a 16 year old girls room and assured that she wasn't home that night. Unsure, but grateful, we traipsed out to find wine. We looked for the shuttle bus which we were told would take us to the wineries in the region, but could only find a paper sign with shuttle bus written on it . After a bit, a double decker bus pulled up with "fun" people telling us to get on. We hopped on thinking it was the shuttle bus, but gradually we realised that this could not be the shuttle bus for several reasons. 1) It did not shuttle us about; we drove very slowly to 2 wineries, which we spent a total of 1/2 hour at. 2)Itsailed past all but 2 wineries 3) The bus was playing very very very loud Afrikaans party music which if anyone ever offers to play you, you must run away very very fast. I cannot explain the pain! 4) It was full of grinning Afrikaans people (descendents of boers) ALL dancing like that uncle you get at every wedding who can't dance. We arrived back where we started, the smiling Afrikaans people obviously very satisfied with the past 3 hours. I looked at Tim as we walked down the road to safety. He was not satisfied.

That night we ended up going out for food with our hosts. It was a really nice evening. Belinda talked of being colored in South Africa. (This is a politically correct term over here. There are whites, blacks and coloured. Coloured being anyone else! (Apartheid had some completely arbitrary measures of such things). It seemed to me that it is very complicated and emotional and I dont have the time to go into it here. Luckily we did not have to sleep in her 16 year olds room as some people who were due to stay as well did not arrive so we had the guest room. In the morning, we awoke to breakfast being made for us. Being vegetarian is seen as a bit weird in South Africa. There diet consists of meat meat and more meat. Therefore for my breakfast, I had muesli, toast and...salad! Don't get me wrong I love salad, like any good vegetarian should, but for breakfast? Just because I am veggie does not mean I have to have it for every meal! I sound ungrateful. It was lovely and they were lovely and it was great to stay with them!

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