July 3, Thu: Today we had a great excuse to get out and see some countryside. Franzi, Mirijam’s daughter, was starting her winter break and needed a ride home, so we drove the 2 hours west to Port Alfred to pick her up. The countryside was vast and amazing, including some of the ‘locations’ or ‘townships’ on various hillsides. Franzi told us the story of the octagonal houses. The Xhosa who live in this area are afraid of a ghost named Tokoloshe who hides in corners, so they build their houses without real corners. No worries. The pink house in the photo is one.
Stenden University has a degree program in Hospitality Management and one in Disaster Management. They also have campuses in The Netherlands (original), Doha, Quatar, Bangkok, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia. Graduates are almost assured jobs at the numerous game reserve resorts all over the country, as well as locations throughout the world. What a great ticket to travel!
We had a great lunch at the 180 year old, family run Pig and Whistle Inn, the oldest in the town. In 1820, lower class Englishmen came to the Cape Colony to eke out a living in this new land. The Bathurst Inn was built by Thomas Hartley in this very strategic location in 1832 and was passed down to his son. In 1952, the Inn acquired its current name when soldiers from the Royal Air Force were stationed nearby. They decided to name their new pub after their local pub in England, at which time it became The Pig and Whistle.
On our way back to East London, we stopped at a roadside shop that specializes in pineapple everything (whole ones, juice, jams, chutneys, syrups, cards, you get the idea). The owner directed us down a road to their Guest House for a view of the river. Look who greeted us.