SA Trip, July 19-23, 2014

Attitudes. We all have them. So many are acquired unconsciously and generalized without direct experience.  So one of the most valuable outcomes of traveling is the opportunity to discover my unexamined attitudes, those that perhaps were useful in one setting, but when generalized are troublesome.

I came to South Africa wanting the experience of safari, but just to photograph and had an attitude about hunting or killing of the animals here, especially about game reserves designed specifically for people to hunt big game.  And there are many of those here.  So when we went recently to just such a place to take a friend for her game ranger internship there, I had to leave my attitude at the gate.  And I’m glad I did.  While it may not be true for all such reserves, at least this one was very caring of its animals, has an anti-poaching team and limits and manages its ‘licenses to kill’ very carefully and judiciously.  The lodge contained trophy heads, which I have to admit were quite beautiful, especially the buffalo and the rhino. Come to find out, the rhino was very old, had almost no teeth left, and had gotten a foot infection. Even with a vet’s care, it died, and that was the stuffed head on the wall.  Not everything you see is as it might seem.  I do understand that large herds need to be managed, even our deer population in California have a hunting season and limits, to keep the ecosystem in balance, and now I understand that the same goes for large herds here. The World Wildlife Fund South Africa has recognized this reserve for its conservation efforts.  So while I myself could not shot one of these animals, I can relax a bit about others’ choices.IMG_1975

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We will return for a drive around the 21,000 hectares, and I’m looking forward to seeing herds of kuze, bushbok, impala, some rhino and maybe a baboon or two and hopefully, if we can stay over, waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the hills, out in the middle of nowhere.  Heavenly.

Slipped Sunday morning and badly sprained my left wrist, this after a 2 day flu bug.  Some down time.  But Tuesday we made it out to our favorite market, Lavender Blue for some farm fresh produce.

 

20140722_140731And then after missing our normal turn off to EL discovered how to get to the Hemingway Mall which we had wanted to see.  Very modern with wonderful stores, lots of employees but very few shoppers.  Perhaps on the weekends is busy; it certainly wasn’t on Tuesday.

We discovered a Tuesday restaurant special: 1/2 price sushi, and it was one of those fun places where the sushi goes around on a belt in front of you and you take what you want. The wonderful thing about this arrangement is that you can eat the moment you sit down! The downside is that you can eat more than your stomach can hold.  Thank goodness it was 1/2 price.  Our bill including 2 beers was $23. Delicious.20140722_123051

20140722_123634 We love these restaurant discoveries.  And sometimes I love to fix lunch and eat by the pool on the patio when the breeze is warm.   20140718_140404IMG_1567Life is good.

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SA Trip – July 17, 18, 2014

A orange and purple sunrise was a fitting beginning to what turned out to be a hot and wonderful day.IMG_1628

Remind me not to trust Google Maps when it comes to navigating rural areas. A 30 minute drive to Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve became a 1hr 15min adventure through potholes and a washboard road and didn’t get us anywhere close to our destination. A local who gave us corrective directions described our route as “elephantine,” as in ‘meandering through the bush.’ But we arrived and in time not to miss our departure on our game drive at 8:30am. We were so grateful to have picked what became a hot winter day of 83 degrees for our first visit to a game reserve. Even in the coolness of the morning, dipping down to the river beds, the temperature dropped 15 degrees.

So here we are at Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, 30 minutes east of East London, South Africa. 11,100 acres (4500 hectares)!IMG_1708 Animals here have been purchased and introduced, some hand reared, but most still very wild, in the cause of conservation.  The adventure was awesome, starting with the roads.  A remarkable tribute to my camera, all road pictures were taken from a bumpy, gyrating, moving vehicle as we drove the 4500 acres to view the animals!IMG_1634IMG_1723

The vastness was stunning as the vegetation changed from grassland to subtropical forest to scrub land again.IMG_1712IMG_1058And so the adventure begins. On safari in AfricaIMG_1641Michael was a happy camper.

This rather tame female ostrich was being very submissive as she greeted us. IMG_1668 IMG_1670 IMG_1678IMG_1664Ashlee let us feel her very warm body under her feathers.

Of the ‘Big Five,’ (elephants, rhinos, buffalo, giraffes and lions) buffalo were just being introduced, and until they settled down and got over their crazies from being in a new location, the females are held in one boma, with the male next door in another, each completely surrounded by blinder cloth.  Apparently they feel more secure if they can’t see outside.  We found one peep hole for viewing.IMG_1693

But as we passed to the other side, we were being watched by the big female on the right.IMG_3399

Luckily for me, several zebras were just at the roadside. The female is being watched closely by the male nearby, of course.IMG_3362IMG_3369 IMG_3388 IMG_3385 IMG_3378Our guide, Ashlee, told us that you can tell if a zebra is sick, because his mane will fall.  These are very healthy ones. Love the tan background and beautiful pattern. each as unique as our fingerprints to us.

These next ones are for Gavin. They make no sound; they are mute.IMG_3401IMG_3407 IMG_3410IMG_3418

Then we passed the Blesbok. If you look closely, you can see what looks like a gore wound just below the eye, but it’s not.  They all have it. It’s an exocrine gland for secreting pheromones and other chemicals used for communication – by rubbing against bushes.IMG_3455IMG_3445IMG_3484 IMG_3482 IMG_3464 IMG_3459

And now for the amazing encounter.Entering Lion enclosureWe were between two padlocked gates where Ashlee got out to retrieve a gun locked in a safe! Just as a precaution, and this is why.IMG_3510We were warned not to stand up or make sudden moves in the Rover, because the lions watch the wheels, the moving parts and barely notice us until we move.  The pride consists of 11 lions, one white male, Tau, four females (Nala, 50% white) and their offspring, ranging in age from about 2 years to 8 months. Basically we watched (I could have sat there forever; they are so magnificent to be with), and it was only after reviewing the photos sequentially that the story appeared.  This is how it went.
As we approached, the male and 4 adult females were on the left IMG_1701and the young ones were on the right.  We parked between them.  IMG_3486

One of the females was directly in front of us watching us the whole time.IMG_3617 After a few minutes, the little ones became a bit apprehensive, as one of the youngins walked over to big brother and said, “you go first.”IMG_3521After a good yawn,IMG_3522 IMG_3525he considered it, IMG_3528and finally got up and walked with blazey very close passed us to the other side where the adults were.  IMG_3533IMG_3540IMG_3555 IMG_3568So now it was the other’s turn, so he went for a cuddle and reassurance and headed out apprehensively.IMG_3529IMG_3569IMG_3573 IMG_3576 IMG_3575In fact, he made a big circle around us to end up safely on the other side, while all eyes were on him. IMG_3590IMG_3501Another adult female came in closer.IMG_3499It’s amazing what happens to one’s body when these powerful animals start to walk in your direction!  But all was well, and the little one made it and resumed his regal behavior.IMG_3601IMG_3607Then, it was the other’s turn,IMG_1703IMG_3624 IMG_3629under the ever watchful eyes. IMG_3637IMG_3675IMG_3669 IMG_3644 He seemed quite confident.  And then yet another appeared whom I hadn’t even seen before then. IMG_3648IMG_3650Once they were all sorted out, we moved around to the other side to say hello to Tau, the king of the pride.  IMG_3716IMG_3689And there’s junior safely behind the king and queen.    IMG_3696 IMG_3697He followed us with his nose and perceiving no danger, went back to his nap and we moved on.IMG_3703 IMG_3711

All that deserved a break on the other side of the locked gates. The other one with us is Berglind, from Iceland, who is volunteering with SAVE (South African Volunteer Experience) in Cape Town working with 3 and 4 year olds. Her group was staying near by.IMG_1707These barbs handled the space between the gate and the poles. IMG_1704Ashlee told us that if we needed to go to the toilet, there were plenty of bushes.

Then we were on to yet another gated enclosure some distance away.  In fact, we drove on the main road for a few kms to get to this next gate.IMG_1728 IMG_1729This next one’s for Gavin also.

IMG_1733 IMG_1737This big boy is 18 years old and part of the program to educate people about these incredible animals.  While I’d love to recount all that we learned, it would be too much.  In a nutshell, we learned about their amazing trunk used like an arm with a hand for picking up small things, what happens if they loose it; about their 4 sets of teeth and their tusks (elephants are left or right handed just like people. You’ll notice that one tusk is worn more than the other); about their ears and the secretion gland in back of their eye; and about the ability of their back feet to detect sound and specifically sound vibrations from other elephants from miles away. Extraordinary creatures.  We got to feed them and feel their thick, hairy, prickly, hide.IMG_1753 IMG_1763IMG_1764IMG_1769 IMG_1776   IMG_1787IMG_1803 IMG_1796 IMG_1792 IMG_1791

The ear opening is in front of the flap.IMG_1806   IMG_1809IMG_1798IMG_1786We gave him instructions and fed him if he obeyed. IMG_1848IMG_1849 IMG_1841Mine was to shake his head, which he did.

He laid down so we could touch him.IMG_1825  IMG_1818IMG_1820And the others looked on.IMG_1813IMG_1856They can live into their 80s and can have around 14 offspring.  They’re remarkable creatures.

A drongo, a hawk, male ostrich, the wildebeests (gnu) and the cheetahs would finish the game drive.IMG_3430IMG_3757 IMG_3736IMG_3792IMG_3761IMG_3775 IMG_3780 IMG_3779

These cheetahs were hand raised and are very used to humans. We petted them just like kitties. Amazing. I was glad to learn from Wikipedia that they are one of the few felids with semi-retractable claws. That’s a good thing when they want to let go of me;>)IMG_1866IMG_1870She was actually purring, which sounded like a growl to me.  I asked Ashlee if she would swat me like some cats do when you stop scratching them the way they like. They don’t.IMG_1877IMG_1882 IMG_1890The boys playing like kittens.IMG_1883IMG_1913 IMG_1923 IMG_1918IMG_3820 IMG_3827Cheetahs are an endangered species, and this program which allows people to get close to these exquisite animals educates in a very visceral way.  These beloved animals will never be ‘the other’ to me.

After an extraordinary day at the reserve, we drove back to East London, the short route, and stopped at our favorite cafe, Sanook, for our favorite Burgers: the Hippy (vegetarian) for me and Peri-Peri Chicken for Michael with 3 beers, $16. 20140717_140306

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I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow.  What a day.

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SA Trip – July 12-16, 2014

We’ve met some very nice and generous people here who have included us in their social plans.  We often walk on the beach or have lunch/dinner out with Franzi; Jimmy and Theona included us in their concert going plans; and Rod has invited us several times for dinner and to watch soccer. Sunday, the 13th was happily one of them.  Lamb from the braai (BBQ), oven baked potatoes and assorted veggies.  We brought a roasted beet and butternut squash salad with honey mustard marinade/dressing. The South African wines are solid value and delightful.  All but one of the wineries (which is east of Lesotho) are in the western cape area.  We wont be heading that way this trip, but we can sure drink the wine.  Great game, great company; my head hit the pillow at 1am.  Wasted the next day.

Somewhere in these last couple of days we timed our walk on the beach just at low time – a very low tide coinciding with the full moon.  It was very windy and the 2-3 surfers were enjoying themselves.IMG_3272IMG_3240 IMG_3258 IMG_3268

I’m most amazed that even though tide pools are formed, there is very little sea life – that I could see – there. Discovering beautiful shells makes me feel like a kid again. IMG_3266 On the walk through the bush to the beach, I finally located the bird that was singing such a beautiful song.  The Somber Bulbul thinks he’s hiding from me. Sombre BulbulSombre Bulbul (1)These stairs always amuse me.IMG_3218 (1)

The view from the hill overlooking the Blue Lagoon Hotel is quite lovely.IMG_3278

Sunday we took a stroll along the Esplanade to check out the wares being sold by vendors.  We talked to all of them and found that they were from Congo (2), Malawi, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, oh, and South Africa.  One had been here for 5 years, another for 11 years. I’m constantly in awe of the resilience of humans and the extent to which they will go to take care of themselves and their families. IMG_3292IMG_3291 A little further at the end of the Esplanade was the harbor where the cranes were still working to load containers on a ship.  I was surprised they were working on Sunday. IMG_3290

Since Sunday is pretty quiet with not too many people around, we drove a few blocks further into the predominantly black area of town as I had been wanting to take a picture of some of the amazing hair designs that I see everyday. This is a good representation of current images of beautiful!

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On the way home, the kids were having a wonderful time practicing field hockey with the sprinklers on.IMG_3282

And on garbage day, the monkeys were out to find a few vittles but scattered to the trees when we came by.IMG_1035 IMG_1037

If you want to find out the latest events coming to town, just watch the light pools.  It’s all there. We will be gong to this one.IMG_1027

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SA Trip – July 10-11, 2014

East London exists commercially around the harbor, automotive plants and parts suppliers, agriculture and tourism.  It was actually the Mercedes plant that brought our friends Bernd and Eva to East London several years ago. Bernd was HR for plants in different parts of the world, including Beijing for many years. BMW and VW are the other two, so a lot of people are employed in these plants and the support businesses.  Traffic gets very heavy at peak hour going to and from these plants which are all on the outskirts of town and near the airport.

IMG_3143We found out on Wednesday that the National Arts Festival was in its final days in Grahamstown, just 180 km away. So leaving Friday morning, we took the R72 past the airport toward Port Alfred.  We passed “locations” with wonderful names like Umgwenyana, Ncherha, Ncera, ran into a speed trap near Chalumna, passed other locations called Mt. Pleasant and Kwasandile, and saw the turnoff for Mpongo, which has a Game Reserve. So many sites to see. IMG_2988This wonderful four-plex construction near Kiwane was fascinating.  My guess is that someone from the village became successful and came home a built a big house, but in honor of his villages traditions.  The rest of the village showed signs of an upgrade from tin houses to cinder block structures (we later saw a group of men making the blocks with a hand operated machine, something like this, but without the holes in the blocks; they were solid).

Brick makerIMG_2991Some like this white one catch water in a cistern, very smart. IMG_2992I love the color in these locations, some of which are build right up to the highway.

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IMG_2995This is what they used to look like before the block built houses came along.  We saw only one place that was incredibly poor with all tin or makeshift houses.  Most of the area had the more substantial ones.IMG_2990And every one we saw had a large elementary school (at the top) and some a high school. IMG_3009People walk everywhere, as was this man not far from his town.IMG_3011I liked this one particularly because of the communications tower at the upper right.  Cells phones were everywhere.

The terrain changed many times, from the grassy areas to the wide open hilly vistas.IMG_2997 IMG_3018I would not want to tangle with these thorns!IMG_3007 IMG_3035

IMG_3015 IMG_3022They were at their blooming peak and ablaze of color everywhere.IMG_3023 IMG_3031 IMG_3037We actually stopped to take a picture of the succulent tree above, and as soon as we did, we saw this women with her pineapple stand across the road.  She immediately ran over to coax us to buy one or more. After we bought two of them and got on our way, we counted at least ten more only 20 yards apart!IMG_3040Franzi had told us on a previous trip that where there is a game reserve, these fences are build to keep the animals in.  These high ones are especially for the various antelope (Nyala, Impala, etc).  The much heavier ones, which we haven’t seen yet, are for the elephants and rhinos.IMG_3038 IMG_3044 IMG_3046I am constantly amazed are how many of our succulents and cactus in San Diego are indigenous to South Africa.IMG_3048 IMG_3054 IMG_3055  IMG_3060

IMG_3056The ever present termite mound; this one is past its prime.

As we drove along, I noticed a sign for Coombs View, so since it looked like a viewpoint to the great scenery, we pulled over at what was a disappointing locked gate.  However, behind the fence, the scenery was fantastic.

IMG_1590 IMG_1603 IMG_1605The one in the back with the white down his face is a Blesbok. Not a clue what the white one is.  At this point in my adventure, trying to identify anything beyond an Impala, Nyala or a Springbok is beyond me.IMG_1606 IMG_1607 IMG_1615

IMG_3061Here’s an example of one of the hunting game reserves.

Once we turned off the R72 onto the R395 – definitely not a main road – we encountered several very deep potholes (we had wanted to photograph them on our way back, but they were miraculously all filled in – Michael was pissed that he didn’t get a picture of them). We passed two men flailing their hands wildly. They were warning us that their cattle were about the cross the road.  Saw a Black-headed Heron perched on an electrical pool, a White-necked Raven eating the entrails to some large animal alongside the road, cattle grazing amongst the scrub bushes, and goats feeding on the grassy slopes or trying to cross the road.  The landscape was dotted with small ponds or reservoirs as watering holes for the animals.

The R395 ended at Peddie, a substantial town of about 5000 where we connected with the N2.  Because of a detour due to the road construction, we drove a block into town past a street market. One vendor had a stack of cabbage that were each at least 12 inches across. Amazing.  The construction work to widen the road was extensive, extending at least 2 miles beyond the turn off to Peddie, a major infrastructure project far from any significant town/city.

As we approached Grahamstown, we saw a new mode of transportation for the first time :

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Once in town, we saw many of these donkey carts hauling both goods and people.  Grahamstown is a bustling metropolis of about 70,000, of whom 78.9% described themselves as “Black African”, 11.3% as “Coloured” and 8.4% as “White”. Since independence in 1994, there has been a considerable influx of Black people from the former Ciskei Xhosa homeland, which lies just to the east.  The Rhodes University, with 7000 students hosted many of the venues for the National Arts Festival, which was our motivation to make the trip the Grahamstown. In our 3 1/2 hours there, we saw only one performance, and it was wonderful.  Tribute ‘Birdi’ Mboweni was singing at The Vic (Victoria Hotel) and we’re oh so glad we went.  IMG_3072 IMG_3103

I will upload our recording of her as soon as I upgrade my blog to allow that format.

Cafe de Loco lured us with their “Tapas” subtitle, only to discover their electricity was out, and they were only serving “Funky Fajitas.”  We felt right at home.  They were delicious, especially with the South African brews.

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With little time before we had to get back on the road, we stopped at a street market to buy some longed-for souvenirs.  My bargaining skills from my Peace Corps days in Nigeria were right there for me, and I felt right at home. “I give you my best price.”

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Arriving back in East London before sunset, we were greeted by a wonderful MacDonalds Billboard.

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Passed a BP tanker truckIMG_3147

And were inspired by the pioneering spirit of a growing nation.IMG_3148

What a fantastic day!

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SA Trip – July 7-9, 2014

I know I’m a wuss, but this cold snap and wind have dampened my desire to explore. Thankfully, I have had my Ludlum book to read and have now finally finished it.  So glad to be finished. What a ride.  Now I can get back to being in SA instead of Washington, Istanbul and the Middle East.

Walking on the beach becomes very difficult against a 25mph wind, but makes for a good workout with sustained max heart rate for at least 20 minutes. Bending down to collect shells is a good excuse the take a rest.

Tuesday we took Franzi for lunch at Sanook, one of our favorite ‘eat out’ spots, which did not disappoint.  The flavors of such a variety of dishes are absolutely delicious. Gourmet Burgers (including vegetarian: “Grilled black mushrooms topped with goats cheese, egg plant, baby marrow(zucchini) and rocket topped with homemade tomato sauce, served with chips or house salad”) $4.50! The tab for 3 of us for lunch including beer was $22!

There are at least 2 more out of the 59 restaurants/cafes in this area we want to visit: Garzia (with great views of the harbor and continental cuisine), and Mirasol (Portugese Mozambique food). Michael has been to the later with Bernd and liked it.

When we don’t get to the beach either because of temperature, wind or tide, we walk in a nearby park-like area.  Clear crisp skies make for good photographs of the occasional new bird.IMG_2974Common Shrike

IMG_2938Village WeaverIMG_2892Scarlet-chested Sunbird, like those below

IMG_2889 IMG_2865Scarlet-chested Sunbird (male)

We had an invitation for Wed nite from Jimmy and Theona Cooras for a concert at Legends Showcase, a local auditorium that holds about 60 people seated cabaret style at long tables. Jimmy, a fine jewelry designer, and his brother Temmy are both into the music scene here and support this venue, which doubles as a music school during the day. Love the wise use of resources.
The evening was the anniversary of the same guest artist coming to perform, Natasha Meister.  Wow, was she great, as were her backup musicians, a drummer and base guitarist, playing a six string electric base guitar. She sounds a lot like Nora Jones in her blues pieces with hints of BB King in her playing, both electric and acoustic guitar. If I knew someone at the Belly Up or the House of Blues downtown, she and her band would be perfect to play there.  Apparently, there is a good music scene here in EL, which we will continue to explore.

We found about an art festival in Grahamstown that ends this weekend, so tomorrow, with the temperatures head into the mid 70s, we’ll make the 2 hr trip to enjoy the event.

http://natashameister.com/

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SA Trip – July 6, 2014

July 6, Sun: Called my sister Barbara to wish her Happy Birthday. Continued to read. After being so lethargic the last two days, we needed to get out. It was cold and fresh; the air and atmosphere were very clean. Great day for photos. On our morning walk with Rassie around the neighborhood, it was a perfect day to take a picture of the harbor from our perspective on Bunker Hill.

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Harbor view from Bunkers Hill

Harbor view from Bunkers Hill

A flit of color in the Flame Tree overhead turned out to be a small flock of Woodhoopoe.IMG_2836

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We decided to head to the beach in the afternoon around 2:30p when the tide was a hour from its lowest point. It was very crisp and the ocean a deep blue, but I hadn’t taken my camera.  Michael took us a different route today, stopping at the Blue Lagoon Hotel’s parking lot and walking through the bush down to the beach.  When we finished our walk, we stopped at the hotel’s restaurant lounge for a glass of wine, met and had a great conversation with a young Afrikaans couple with a 3 month old baby. (we’re magnets these days).  According to this young man, Afrikaans value God, family and work.  We expect to get a call from Eugene in the future to visit us in San Diego.

 

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South Africa Trip – July 4-5, 2014

July 5, Sat: Another quiet day mostly reading my Ludlum book, The Bourne Betrayal.  The tide is now high during the morning, so we haven’t walked the beach either today or yesterday. Besides, it’s very windy and not very enjoyable.

July 4, Fri:  Have I mentioned Macadamia Nut Butter?  Just one of the many little indulgences here.  Even though it’s 4th of July at home, we spent a very quiet day.  I actually spent the entire day creating this blog.  We’ve also been watching the significant World Cup games and enjoying them.

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South Africa Trip – July 3, 2014

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.
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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!
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With Franzi on board, we headed for Bathurst about 12 km off the main road for some lunch and artisan shopping. This woman sat here all day selling her avocados for $.50 and let me take her picture.
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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.

Pig and Whistle Inn

Pig and Whistle Inn

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.
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Momma Warthog and her three little piggies! IMG_2820

The river was impressive, but I was not about to sit on the edge of a 100 m drop like Franzi!
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South Africa Trip – July 2, 2014

July 2, Wed:

Spent the morning at Chiropractor’s getting treatment for vertigo, which I have had (again) since last Thurs.  He actually had never heard of the BPPV or Epley maneuver before.  After I had mentioned it last week, he did his research, watched some YouTube videos and learned the procedure, so I got to be his guinea pig.  It worked.  Great walk on the beach clears nausea quite well.

I had, on a recent occasion, told Lee about my Toasted Quinoa Salad which was always in demand at our Biergarten Parties.  Since tomorrow is her last day house-sitting for Mirijam, we took dinner to Lee – and some Cape Riesling.  Very nice evening.

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South Africa Trip – July 1, 2014

July 1, Tue: Woke to a warm breeze today. Eventually it got up to 90 degrees with 18% humidity and winds of 25-30 mph, just like our Santa Ana.  It’s actually very similar in that the wind and heat come from the interior to our north west, an off-shore phenomenon (upside down from that of the Northern Hemisphere).  Relaxing day with no schedule. Fixed a fabulous lunch using the leftover fish stew, drained, served in a heated flour tortilla (much like a crepe), covered in a sauce of the drained liquid thickened with ground cashew accompanied by a great salad with lots of tasty bits. It went well for me with a Tall Horse Shiraz and for Michael, the Chocoholic Cab.

The Chiropractor, Sinclair Warner, who lives just around the corner, picked us up in his golf cart and took us for a great ride around the golf course at the end of our street. Nyala, Impala and Guinea Fowl were out for the evening.  We’re told Red Duiker live in the bush there also.  We’re welcome to walk on the course anytime, which makes me very happy, because it is fenced and safe.

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