A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4

South Africa

semi-overcast 65 °F
View Russ and Beth go on safari on Weimerrv's travel map.

Three observations from today...
1. Cars stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
2. People are friendly and are glad we are here .
3. African names have a meaning. We met someone today whose name means “make peace” and had a great conversation about Nelson Mandela. And our waiter’s name tonight was Unique and he had probably heard everything that could he said about his name. We have been intentional about connecting with people and have found few Americans here but lots of Europeans, especially Germans.

Today was a Free day so we got on the hop on off bus and headed to Kirstenbosch, the botanical gardens . Along the way we actually could see the top of Table mountain and observed the clouds falling over the summit like a waterfall. The foothills and slopes had some interesting looking trees called Stone pines. When we arrived at the botanical gardens we were struck by how large they were. All the land was donated by Cecil Rhodes of Rhodes scholarship fame ( he died at the age of 49), he was a visionary but staunch British Imperialist. Some of the highlights of the gardens were amazing birds of paradise, Egyptian geese, many birds and flowers and an owl that allowed us to get within 3 feet of him to take his picture. We took a snack break at a Tea Room and got back on the bus and headed to a winery, Groot Constantia - Groot means Great. This place has been a winery for over 300 years and produced wine for Louis the 16th and Napoleon. We did a tour of the wine operation and then headed to the tasting room to try some of the wine. The bar tender took a liking to us and just kept pouring wine. Good thing we weren’t driving home. The wine was fabulous and we enjoyed our time there. We got back on the bus and drove along the African coastline back to the hotel. One word...spectacular! It was so beautiful! The pictures I took don’t do it justice but a Beth’s pictures are much better. it was a really great day. Tomorrow our official tour with our group will start and we are interested to meet our fellow explorers.

PS the gardens have an even bigger mole problem than I do. Mole hills everywhere there was green grass!
PPS the winery and surrounding farms and homes are being invaded by baboons. In order to keep them from destroying the grapes the winery uses paintball guns to run off the baboons.
PPPS along the coast there were beautiful Million Rand homes and condos with Billion Rand views! Must use the local currency when pricing things in South Africa....


Posted by Weimerrv 10:29 Archived in South Africa

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