Jul 10

Cape Town Day 6: Anniversary Extravaganza: District 6

Friday, July 2 Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Cape Town, RSA

We drove from Constantia to the District 6 Museum.  It reminded us a bit of what happened with the forced relocations here in Boston in the West End.  We learned a lot about how the forced removals of black South Africans were legalized and how the museum is a place to keep the memories of the people of District 6.  It was heady stuff.

Jul 10

Cape Town Day 6: Anniversary Extravaganza: Groot Constantia

Friday, July 2 Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Cape Town, RSA

We celebrated our 5 year anniversary with a big day!  After getting a bit lost on the way, we started at Groot Constantia, “the oldest and most historic of wine farms in South Africa”.  We had an a-may-zing breakfast in the charming courtyard seats of Groot Constantia’s Jonkerhuis Restaurant.  We walked around the grounds, admired the Cape Dutch architecture, stopped by the gift shop and picked up some gifts.

Jul 10

Road Trip Day 5: Driving back to Cape Town, Lasagna & Ben!

Thursday, July 1

Cape Agulhas, RSA to Cape Town, RSA (225km or 140mi)

After our great time at the southernmost tip of the continent, we spent a few minutes fiddling with the GPS (and with the analog maps) attempting to figure out if there was a connecting coastal route we could drive the whole way back to Cape Town.  Nothing seemed to work; the roads on the map didn’t appear to connect and they also weren’t named – just dashed lines.  So we decided not to chance it.  We gave Claire a call and her ma offered us a home-cooked meal for dinner!  That clinched it and our new goal was to find the quickest route home.  We took R316 through Napier (which was super cute) back up to the N2 and straight back to Cape Town.  The drive home took us less than 2 hours.  We had homemade lasagna with Claire, Richard and Carol.  It was delicious!  Thanks Carol!!  Somewhere along the route we had passed Ali going in the opposite direction, as he had driven to PE with friends for tomorrow’s game.  And other than the serious nature of Josh’s increasing soccer withdrawal, we were starting to recuperate from our colds.

The sunset almost caused many almost crashes:

Ben got tuckered out.  He was such a cuddlebug!

The drive back to Cape Town from Cape Agulhas:

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Jun 10

Road Trip Day 1: Route 62 to Oudtshoorn

Sunday, June 27

Cape Town, RSA to Oudtshoorn, RSA (420km or 260mi)

As depressed people do, we slept in a bit after the USA loss… USA loss, Celtics loss… It all seemed so much.  We decided to go on a sports-soul healing drive across the entire Western Cape and on across the Eastern Cape as well.  Richard encouraged us that our previous plans of just taking 1 day to drive to Addo (where we had reservations for Monday & Tuesday night) and 1 day back was not long enough to enjoy the drive.  After sleeping off the heavy losses, we hung out with our South African family and made some reservations for Oudtshoorn (official site) for the night – in a place where Richard and Carol knew someone who had stayed there before and they highly recommended it.  Additionally, Richard had a spare cell phone and SIM card so we didn’t have to go buy another one!  Even though we had barely used our previous cell, having one available as needed made us feel so much more connected and able adjust plans as needed.  It was so kind of them to let us borrow theirs and it made everything right with our world again (well, other than our USA loss – wink, wink).

We had heard of the Garden Route before we got to South Africa, and knew that we wanted to drive that one way of our trip to Addo – but when we arrived we learned of Route 62 (wiki).  Richard again highly recommended this scenic drive to Addo.  It was a gorgeous route along the mountains, and the striking landscapes seemed to change drastically by the hour.  We rattled off comparisons we were familiar with as drove.  Here is just a short sampling of some the wildly varied places we were reminded in the quickly changing landscape of the drive:  Grand Canyon, American Southwest, Petrified Forest, Australian Outback (although we’ve never been), the Badlands, Washington State, and West Virginia.

To get to Route 62, first we drove N1 through the Winelands and through a mountain range using the Huguenot Tunnel.  At Worcester we turned East on R60.  R60 follows the mountains to R62 and is a gorgeous drive.  We stopped in Robertson (official site) at the Rooiberg Winery (as Richard had suggested), but they were closed on Sundays so we ate at Bourbon Street and had Rooiberg wine there.  We drove through the super cute towns of Montague (official site) and Barrydale (official site) while listening to the game in both English and Afrikaans on the radio.  We thought we could understand the Afrikaans broadcast well enough to know when a goal had been scored and for which team, but it turns out when we get into range of an English broadcast several goals had been scored for both Germany and England that we had been unaware of!

We passed by Ronnie’s Sex Shop – which is supposed to be an awesome pub – but we had just gotten to a good radio station with the game in English and the sun was starting to set so we didn’t want to miss any of the landscape.  (The sunset was gorgeous!)

Despite our efforts, it was dark by the time we got to Oudtshoorn.  The Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, where we were staying, was  about 7km outside of town.  It was INCREDIBLY lux.  We tried to document the luxury details in the “tent” before we headed to dinner at the lodge restaurant.  We had an AMAZING dinner:  South African wine, ostrich wellington, venison loin medium rare, Afrikaans oven bread and malva pudding with custard.  Over the top ridiculously good.  We can’t say enough about the accommodations or the dinner – amazing.  Jeannette loved her HOT pedestal bath with salts and we loved falling asleep to a cacophony of loud birds. A great start to our road trip inside of a trip.

Our route for the day:

Our first start of the Mountain Route:

We saw baboons!

Huguenot Tunnel:

Cute church in Barrydale:

Canyons, just as the sun was going down:

Our tent at the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge:

Jun 10

Cape Town Day 5: USA out in Stage 2

Saturday, June 26

Cape Town, RSA

When we got back from the Cape of Good Hope, we made our way back downtown.  We had good seats in The Dubliner like the previous USA win, but it didn’t have the same “vibe” so we decided to try our luck at finding a new locale and more American comrades.  We walked up and down Long Street, gathering a greater nucleus of American fans each trip until we were in a group of about 25 or so.  As a group we decided to head to the Purple Turtle (which we had previously heard was a bit shady).  We paid a small cover.  Inside we watched a great game with lots of Americans.  By the end of the night, the USA had lost a game and we were down a South African cell phone.   Come to find out a pickpocket had worked the whole crowd and scored a few wallets and phones that evening.

We were pretty dejected as we had to walk the length of Long Street to get to our car through super happy and singing South Africans (they were cheering for any African team at this point).  One favorite though came from a European fan (can’t recall which country though) who yelled at us: “What do you say now, USA?”  I just replied, “Next World Cup”, with a wry smile.  This immediately made them smile and say, “Yeah, us too.”

In conclusion, The Dubliner > Purple Turtle.