Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuck's visit part 2

The following day, we thought to head to the wine region, which is east of capetown. It being easter weekend, it seemed all the cars were rented out. So we left our backpackers not sure what we were doing the next couple days. If we couldn't get transport out of the city, we planned to attend the big jazz festival, with regina carter playing sunday. As it turns out, the lodge we were in contact with about doing an eco wine tour let us ride in the back of one of the employee's land rover's who was running errands in town at the same time we were waiting. The guy turned out to be the co-owner of the lodge and our tour guide the next day, and he comes into this internet cafe where we were waiting and booms, "is there a jenneffer in here?" that set the tone for our laid back, off-the-beaten-path weekend in elgin valley. We stayed in tented cabins, which are like wood cabins but with a canvas roof and in a sort of rustic setting. The staff were local kids and immigrants from zimbabwe, and were really invested and excited about their hospitality jobs. They treated us like royalty, and fed us even better. We toured local wine makers farms, tasted at more established wineries, saw the commercial flower industry up close, and got an ecological education in conservation and restoration of local flora. Plus had a lovely picnic in an apple orchard. Three nights there, and we returned to capetown on tuck's birthday, this time staying in green point, closer to the beach. And beach we did. We explored two days, finding the best one and our best meal on that second day. It took us over an hour, maybe almost two, to get to clifton beaches, but it was totally worth it. Walking uphill, rounding bends and getting to see the ocean the whole time was the experience there. Finally, we arrived and descended to the white sands and green blue waters of clifton. Once at the shore, you could turn your back on the ocean and see lion's head mountain like it was almost in your face. The water was ice ice cold, and my friend shirley is training in it to do this epic swim sans wet suit! I dipped in one toe and decided to make a sand bicycle, which tuck then proceeded to ride. Then i did some yoga while tuck electrified his persona with atlantic ocean. On our way back, we did a pint hop and eventually made it for dinner at doppio zero on main road, right across from the new stadium. I highly recommend it! Wonderful service, outside seating, great menu selection, and nice wine. We had mussels in white wine, chilies and garlic, gnocci with a roasted lamb sauce, brick oven pizza (which is all over south africa and actually really good) with gorgonzola, carmelized onions, pine nuts and honey. I had amarula creme brulee for dessert, and when i say i had dessert, that always means tuck says he doesn't want anything, but helps me eat mine. Which is a good thing. Next day, a little babbalas, we enjoyed a late breakfast at this place called miss k, which was like a fairy tale come true for a baker. In the center of the bistro were giant bowls of meringues, plates of little cakes and platters of muffins, which almost looked too good to eat. I enjoyed (immensely) scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and rocket, while tuck liked his poached eggs with spicy chili sauce with toasted ciabatta slices and rocket. I tried a lime pistachio mini cake, which reminded me too much of those sliced cakes they sell at wal mart, but they did have wonderful espresso, so i don't worry too much about the cake. Then we stocked up for another epic journey on the intercape bus.

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