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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: -33.906, 19.1148
South African wines - though quite renowned, our experiences with them prior to arriving in South Africa have been less than stellar, even when sampling their pinotage, the country's signature grape. Thankfully, things have been different since arriving, when we started to find some truly excellent wines available here, perhaps because intelligent South Africans keep most of the good stuff here for themselves?
Over eight hours after bidding adieu to Mai and Prince Albert, we finally rolled into Franschhoek, in the heart of the Winelands near Cape Town, after a long and slow drive on gravel roads through the Karoo's famous Swartberg Pass, followed by hour after hour along Route 62, a drive known for being one of the most beautiful in all of South Africa.
It's a good thing we weren't late, as we had a reunion planned with the Warlords Yeow, who had made their microflight escape from Zambia to South Africa, via a detour to Botswana. You don't want to be late for a meeting with these ruthless people, who may punish insolence by cutting off our toes and stuffing them into our ears.
Franschhoek is considered to be the most beautiful town in these Winelands,
Driving the Swartberg Pass ...
... though the Meiringspoort Pass was pretty awesome, the Swartberg Pass is even more famous, and even more beautiful. Also a more thrilling drive, as it is nearly all on steep, winding gravel roads, with few guardrails and several sharp drop offs.
with an air of sophistication lent by its various art galleries and fine restaurants, purported to be some of the best in the country. Overall, Le Bon Vivant, tonight's choice for dinner, did not disappoint - for the most part, things were excellent, especially the wine, and the ridiculously large dessert platters we each had.
It ended up being a nice evening, though a bit chilly, sitting outside in the garden, over a leisurely meal, catching up on each other's African adventures. In addition to agreeing that it was supremely cool to have been able to meet up once more in Africa, we also reached consensus that Africa has been an amazing experience, worthy of a return visit in the not-so-distant future. In fact, the Warlords Yeow intend to break their own rule of not doubling back to a country, as they already have ideas of returning to the Chundukwa Lodge in Zambia.
While I understand their rule and agree with it for the most part, it's a good thing I don't subscribe completely to it, as that would have meant wiping out my subsequent nine visits to Spain! But if there is one rule of travel, it is that rules
are meant to be broken ... especially if you're Zimbabwean Warlords!
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