Saturday, September 15, 2012

More Free Day Fun

Our day continued as much of the rest of our trip would: on a quest for food.  We drove through wonderful, quaint little areas while Michael and the Ardy App (so named because he had both the guide book and the amazing memory to retain and share details about places we'd visit) worked with Gladman to find the best possible place to eat lunch.

The Deciders were navigating us to where we'd eat lunch but of course this restaurant had my vote!

Our van got stuck multiple times in the traffic surrounding the countless road construction sites we encountered - I kept expecting to see the South African equivalent of those orange ARRA signs: "your government at work." As we waited for our turn to progress inch by inch, numerous entrepreneurs peddled their wares by walking between lanes, tapping on car windows and offering a variety of all things both useful and ridiculous.  My favorite: ostrich feather dusters, which were large enough to dust a whole room just by spinning around.
Our lunch became a two-step delight when we were added to a 45-minute wait list at the restaurant.  We went next door to get appetizers (our first South African oysters!) and countless amazing interior decorating ideas (lanterns, colors and textures galore!).

More seals entertained us with their antics, though of course they ducked underwater every time my camera came out.

Our food in Africa was always a highlight of every day (more on that later...with photos!) and this was no exception - with full stomachs and sleepy eyes we piled back into the bus for the drive back to the hotel before 5:00, when our driver turned into a pumpkin...or something like that.  We did manage to squeeze in a too-short visit to one of the many renowned vineyards.
As you know if you've listened me talk about my great goals for life, I've always wanted to stomp grapes into red wine so I always have big hopes for vineyards.  No luck here (though I was within two hours of a vineyard that still does that, according to the documentary that played on the flight over) but we did have an enjoyable time exploring the cavernous tasting room, with paintings so good they looked like photographs:
And some of the vineyards, with leafless branches standing firm against the cold weather and rain driven by the wind.

We enjoyed the sleepy drive through the grey weather back to our hotel, then delved into the wonderfully walkable sidewalks of the Virginia and Albert waterfront.  I played xylophones, grew hypnotized by the accented descriptions of food by our waiter Joseph, and sleepily strolled back to the hotel to prepare for the full day the morning would bring.

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