Meeting Ellie's friends and fam... and a dodgy ride home

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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Durban » Morningside
October 23rd 2010
Published: October 27th 2010
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We got up early in the hope we could fit in a trip up Table Mountain in the cable car before we had to get to the airport for our 12pm flight to Durban. Turns out that although it was raining and the mountain was in cloud, they were able to run it today… yesterday had been bright sunshine and but they’d had to close it!
We paid our entrance fee then queued for the pod to collect us. It was much faster than I expected and could fit in 65 people in. The floor rotated so each person in the pod could get a view of the mountains and city below us. When we reached the top, we were completely covered in cloud. The rocks and vegetation were like something out of Lord of the Rings, and the white mist added to the eerie atmosphere. Although it was unfortunate the visibility was so bad today (usually you would be able to see off the sides), I’d never chilled in a cloud before and found it quite magical. We were also lucky that we’d driven to the entrance yesterday (before being told it was closed) and had managed to capture some fantastic photos of the landscape below.

It was so cold up there that we had to warm up with a skinny latte (any excuse) then we headed back down about 9.15. In our pod this time was a group of Japanese tourists. As the floor rotated, a little Japanese man was quickly wiping the condensation off the windows so we cud get a view of outside. He was adorable! Just as I was starting to wonder how to say “you’re so cute I want to put you in my pocket and keep you” in Japanese, he looked up and grinned at me and I knew he understood what I’d been thinking.

We headed off in the car to the airport bang on time. As we drove away we passed some seriously hunky boys in shorts and vests running in the rain… Ellie nearly steered the car off the road as we stared at them agog.
We dropped off the hire car by 10am so we wouldn’t get charged for an extra days hire, then checked in with plenty of time to spare. Because we were the first to check in for our 12pm flight we were able to choose exit seats with the extra legroom. We had breakfast in Mugg and Bean coffee shop and boarded the flight shortly after. Because we had exit seats the cabin crew had to check we were willing and able to open the emergency doors should we need to. Her instructions went like this: “aksjnbfisjkfvkljsdfvij-SAFE-aksjbskjdvfci-PULL-akjcbkjsdvcljksb-EXIT-askdcjnsdkjcnv… OK?” Well it better bloody had be since she was incapable of speaking any slower. She’s in the wrong sodding job - she’d be great as a commentator.
It was the first time I’ve felt brave enough to listen to the Playlist that Dutton had made of all the songs that the lads have played at our parties. At first I was dancing away to Coma Cat and Swoon, then I had a little cry. I’m missing them a lot.

Ellie's sister Laura and two of her little girls were at the airport to collect us. Laura drove us to their house in Durban - it’s a big three bedroomed Bungalow with a huge open plan kitchen and lounge area.
Laura’s husband Ross was playing with their youngest daughter Lily in the garden when we arrived. They had a friend and his son over for the afternoon too so we had a lovely few hours piled round the garden table catching up on their news and playing with the children. Their garden has a swimming pool and they have two German Shepards who run around chasing Dragon Flies all day. They also have a rabbit named Scratches, and a bird who whistles the dogs when we’re eating (so they think we want to give them titbits) and can sing the ring tone for Ross’s phone.

Ellie had arranged dinner with two of her friends so we got ready and booked a taxi for 7pm. We met Jo and Bron in a restaurant called Havana Grill inside Suncoast Casino. We were more interested in having a few glasses of wine and a girly gossip so didn’t end up ordering lots of food. We shared some snacks then headed to Jo’s house for some champagne. Bron’s crazy and great fun so just finding the car in the carpark was an adventure. She had me trampling through shrubberies in my high heels while she bleeped the car and looked out for its flashing lights indicating it had been unlocked.

Jo’s house was another beautiful mansion. She’d decorated in soft neutral colours and had lots of flowers, girly pictures and mirrors decorating each room. We turned up the music and danced away to chart music while her three fluffy cats scrambled out of the way.
Jo owns the restaurant where Ellie works (called Mo’s) and they’d invited the rest of the staff out to meet us when they finished work. We met them in a bar called Taco Zulu where we were sitting outside sipping vodka redbulls and doing Suitcase shots. Ellie introduced me to all her friends and we sat around chatting about our travels and what they love about South Africa. When this place closed, we headed to Booty Bar, run by one of their friends to carry on the party.

There was a cuffufle when some strange man mentioned something about Ellie that no one in SA would really know about her. It frieked El out a bit but we managed to get rid of him and say he’d got the wrong person. Ellie and I didn’t want to stick around her stalker for much longer so went off to find a different bar to drink in. It was here that we met a girl called Fatima and her husband, and they gave us a lift to the Casino which is always open for a late night drink. We danced with Fatima and her husband, then met two Asian guys and helped them win lots of money on the Blackjack tables. Our new friends took us for a celebratory drink and we hit the dancefloor briefly before getting a lift home from some of the security staff.
Looking back it probably wasn’t the wisest idea to get in a car with guys we’d just met that night, but stupidly we were drawn in to a false sense of security just because we knew where they worked. One of them even surprised me with a yukky snog at the end of the journey but I think he detected my disgust and I managed to get out of the car and in to our house without too much fuss. Better to get a taxi next time I recon!!

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