Posted: 6/20/2010
Title: SUNDAY IN THE WESTERN CAPE

Blog:                                                                                                                         

      My friends arrive last night from California and New York and they join me for lunch on a sunny day in Kalk Bay. Ryan his fiancee Soroya, another Ryan and their host in Cape Town, Vaugn. There are long lines on the harbour for the cafes and where the seals are entertaining us in the harbour and one is enticed up the steps by a local boy with some octopus scraps.

     So we cross the train tracks to The Outspan Restaurant and they choose the platters with various fish steaks, prawns and chips.I am still full from breakfast. In Main Street there are a couple of colourfully dressed musicians, lots of antique stores and an enterprising young man selling his animals and other decorative items made of old Coca-Cola cans and tops and some paintings. Off we go past the naval base at Simons Town to Boulders Beach. I had been there in December, but the crowds are huge today with lots of Portuguese fans in advance of their match with DPR Korea at Greenpoint on Monday afternoon,

    There are over 3,000 African penguins, which are very small and very cute, Many live under shady bushes and in lcoming in and out of their large horizontal clay pots have buried in the ground.  We go to an open, boulder strewn area where couples are sun bathing or going in and out of thir little holes. You can get up close, a few inches away for photos and they don't run away. In the car park is a sign asking motorists to look under their cars before driving off so as not to squash any of the birds.One is preening itself so I nickname it Ronaldo!    

      In 1980 2 breeding pairs of Jackass penguins were introduced. (Jackass because they brayed like donkeys). They are only about 70cm or 27 inches tall, have  a black stripe on their chest and pink glands under their eyes. The couples stay together for life. They are the only penguins breeding in Africa. Disaster struck in June 2003 when MV Treasure sunk near Robben Island and spilled oil. Over 19,000 were rescued, cleaned, driven by road to Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape and released. In the 3 days or so it took them to swim back 'home' the beaches had been cleaned.The warm Aguilas current has lots of food for them

       On the return to my hotel we stop and greet Francisco Marcos and son Julian who have just arrived at their hotel in Fish Hoek from the airport. They were at my hotel in Pretoria and had a horrible trip a few day ago to Port Elizabeth for the Portugal v Cote D'Ivoire match. All the flights were full so they went overnight by bus, scheduled to arrive 8 hours before kickoff at the stadium. Due to snow drifts they spent 7 hours stuck in the mountains before the snow plows cleared the roads. They pursuaded the bus driver to go directly to the stadium before the P.E. bus station, dashed out of the bus into the stadium and caught 22 minutes of the 0-0 draw.

      Anyway, we go to my St James Manor-very exclusive, and my suite overlooking the Indian Ocean. I have a compimentary bar and we chose a Cape white wine.  Pecan Stream 2009, Chenin Blanc from Waterford Wines in Stellenbosch. It is an exclusive small hotel on 'Millionaires Row' owned by Rovos Rail www.rovos.com with only 6 suites. I have a manager/butler called Ian all to myself.

 

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