Published: September 17th 2008September 16th 2008
It's hard to believe I'm not an expert.
9/16/08 & 9/17/08
Another early morning, another tour bus-- this time headed to the winelands
with a German couple and a couple from New York traveling the world for a year (so jealous!) First stop: Nelson's Creek in Paarl. One of the winemakers, Lisha Nelson, led us on a cellar tour and tasting while her dog, Tyson, followed close behind. 5 half-glasses of wine and some cheese later and we piled back into the van for the 20 minute drive to Franschoek. In Franschoek, we visited La Corrone for another 5 wines and, thankfully, lunch. Courtney and I both had an upscale version of bobotie before crawling into the van again.
Before our last winery, we were let loose for a bit of browsing in downtown Stellenbosch. We found an amazing store that sells products made from spun cocoons of Mopani worms. For those of you keepin gtrack, I ate a crunchy, dried Mopani worm in one of my first South Africa posts, which might be why I feel a bit of a connection to the little critters. The store had amazing blankets and clothing for sale, and I'm headed home with a super soft had and
Our first winery stop.
scarf for myself (and a few gifts too).
At our final wine stop, Spier Winery, we not only had a few more tastes of wine, but also got the chance to encounter cheetahs in their conservatory. Court actually got to pet one while i was fine with taking pictures. Around 5pm, we loaded ourselves and our wine purchases into the van and enjoyed the ride back to Cape Town. We were tired from the long day (OK, and maybe from all the wine), so we hit up the corner store for a few groceries and had a picnic in our room. Sometimes you just need cheese, crackers, grapes, two kinds of chips, a meat pie (!), a new bottle of wine and some chocolate cupcakes for the perfect evening.
Nursing a junk-food hangover, we started our last full day in Cape Twon by sleeping in. Eventually we made our way down to another great 4 on Varneys breakfast, and then walked downtown for some last-minute bargains at Green Market Square. It was fun to walk around the city on a bright, sunny day with the mountains in the background, and soon we hatched a plan to spend our
A woman spins Mopani worm cocoons into yarn
last evening watchin gthe sun go down over Camps Bay.
We grabbed a cab to Camps Bay and enjoyed the beach with the Twelve Apostles peaks watching over us. We couldn't believe that some people (mostly kids and teenagers) were actually swimming and surfing in the freezing water. Later, we were sweet-talked into sundowner drinks at a restaurant over-looking the beach. Drinks became appetizers, appeizers led to dinner, and somehow my dinner consisted of a huge skewer of meats (warthog, wildebeest and kudu). Seriously-- other people were taking pictures of it. Another American came over to ask what it was, adn then ordered it himself. It was definitely a delicious dish, but I can think of better reasons to be stared at. As the sun went down on our time in Africa, we made friends with our waitier, George, and learned a Zimbabwe word for thank you-- tetane!
I leave before Courtney tomorrow for another 20 hours of flying, again through Amsterdam. My experience here has been like the bookends the market vendors craft and sell; povery and wealth, barrren land and lush landscapes, dry heat and rainy cold, Affrikaans and Zulu languages, crime and hospitality. Each on
More Mopani worms! They're named that because they're found on Mopani trees, which are named after the shape of their leaves. Mopani means butterfly.
opposite ends of the spectrum, but each holding a larger part of the picture together to form one amazing place.
I plan on adding a final post to the South Africa string when I arrive home, since I"m sure I'll have some adventures on the return flights. I'd also like to upload a few more of my favorite pictures for you to see. Be home on Friday! Can't wait to see my Seattle friends, and get geared up for the Student Leadership Retreat (geared up, caffienated... whatever.) Thanks for reading!
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