South Africa 2016

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January 14th 2016
Published: February 15th 2016
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After saying farewell to Namibia, we settled into our Winter home in Gordon's Bay. Upon arrival, as typical, our hosts Jane and Jim greeted us warmly and provided a few provisions to help get set up.

Shopping the next day, we discovered a new "Checkers" grocery store that would be as good as most Loblaws in Canada. So we loaded up with lots of fruit and vegetables (Debra is now determined to get back to basics after a couple of weeks of eating out and not exercising) I did manage to slip a couple of small bags of chips and a few cookies into the cart!!!

We joined the golf driving range for our 10 week stay, have arranged golf lessons at the Helderberg Golf Academy, signed up at the gym, which is within walking distance of Highcliffe House (our guest house) and joined the Golf Association which gives us resident rates at most courses in the area.

Our first social outing (other than a couple of drinks at Highcliffe House Bar with Jim and Jane) was with our friends from France, Susan and Harry. They have an uncanny way of finding enjoyable locations for lunches. This time they invited us along for a very civilized meal at the Pool Room, which is in a small village called Elgin, just outside of Gordon's Bay. As the name suggests, the setting was around a pool and of course, it was excellent. I had braised beef shins which was new to me and very tasty.

The weather this week has been in the 30's most days although it has been fairly windy. (Sorry to mention this for those suffering through the Canadian Winter). We are benefiting from low exchange rates as the South African Rand has been depreciating more than the CDN $. Two years ago, the Rand was trading at 9.5 to the CDN $, this year it's 11. South African is a resource based economy so low commodity prices are really hurting their currency as well! There is also a drought in parts of the country which is anticipated to create some shortages of agricultural products etc. This will require the country to import food which pushes up prices.Even with that, the pricing seems reasonable to what we're accustom (although we reading about much higher food prices in Canada)

It was a stroke of good luck this trip that Avis upgraded our car at no extra charge. That means Debra won't have to get out and push the VW Polo (standard shift) up the hills this time around. The Dodge SUV automatic has been quite enjoyable!!!

Hope everyone is well!!


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