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Old 07-06-2009, 08:50 AM   #1
abbyjt
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South Africa trip report day 4,5 and 6

Day 4
Today was my daughter's 11th birthday. Everyone made a big deal about her which she loved.
We took the coach to Stellenbosch today.
On the way we saw some Townships. These are like shanty towns. There are hundreds of shacks lined up in rows. They have electricity, but water is at shared taps every 50' or so. The government is in the process of building tiny houses for these people with water and electric and in some places you can see those beyond the shacks. There are fences to keep the livestock off the highway, and we actually saw a cow walking over a pedestrian overpass on the highway.

Stellenbosch is a Beautiful little town know for it's wineries and vineyards. We drove through the heart of the town to see the Dutch architecture then on to the Culinary Institute. We had a cooking lesson and my daughter got to be the helper (her birthday and all). Next we each got a cooking station and made our own Kruksusters: traditional braided deep fried pastry soaked in syrup, yummy. Tina threw flour on all the kids faces, and Craig posed the kids for funny pictures, like two of my kids beating the other with rolling pins. There was tea and iced tea to sip. This was really fun. Sunny when we arrived, rained while cooking, back to cloudy OH MY. Next on the schedule was a bike ride to Spier winery. Only about 7 of us braved the weather on bikes. My husband and 11 yo took the bus. The bike ride was fun, muddy as Tina predicted, but not too bad. Only one big hill that I got off the bike and ran up. Only took us about 15-20 min on the bikes. Had some time to walk around the grounds of the winery which was beautiful. I hit the gift shop and I hit it hard. I bought a bowl made of an ostrich egg shell that is painted. I think it's really great. Lunch at Moyo on the grounds of the winery. Another of my favorite meals. Moyo is a series of huge tents. You sit outside under the tents (remember it's cold). There are blankets on each chair to wrap yourself in. We washed our hands in the traditional way again, each of us got our face painted (my husband is bald and the lady put a huge sun on his head!). There was a huge bar b que buffet and according to Craig a bar b que with friends is the most traditional SA meal. There was entertainment. The entertainers came over and sang happy birthday to my daughter. Lots of fun.
The kids and my husband went to the eagle encounter and the rest of the adults went to a wine tasting. Pictures of the eagle encounter looked great. My husband said he loved it. The wine tasting was fun. We had the room to ourselves.
Back to the hotel for a free evening and dinner on your own. You guessed it, we went to the mall! Most of the museums had limited hours, so it is difficult to get to them in the few hours available here and there. We had dinner at Nobu. Great sushi place. The original is in NYC. Can never get in there. No problem getting in in Cape Town. Free Wi Fi in there. Beautiful restaurant. Pretty pricey, but would have been much more in NY. Gordon Ramsey also has a restaurant in the same hotel. Kidcoos3 Family ate there and they liked it.

Day 5
Today was the most time on the bus as we left Cape Town. We drove about 2 hours to Hermanus. This is the whale watching spot, unfortunately, the seas where too rough for the whales and didn't see any. We met the whale crier and took pictures. Walked around for a bit, got some ice cream (in the cold and damp)and back on the bus. 2 more hours to Stellendam for a lovely pizza lunch, by a crackling fire. The kids really gelled as a group by now and they all played apples to apples on the bus.
We saw baboons and the Indian Ocean. The drive didnt seem daunting as the scenery was gorgeous.
Arrived in George and were greeted at the hotel with welcome drinks and snacks. Tonight was the kids dinner and movie. Adults ate at the hotel. This was the only dinner in the hotel and I was glad about that. This was my least favorite meal in terms of food. It was nice anyway, since all the adults arrived at dinner about the same time and sat together even though we didn't have to. We sat for quite a while chatting. We caught the end of one of the soccer playoff games in the lounge. Brazil beat South Africa moving Brazil into the finals against the USA. Of course USA really didn't belong in finals, but they actually made it and came in 2nd to Brazil a few days later.

Day 6
Breakfast at the hotel in George. Also a lovely buffet breakfast. Of all the hotels, this was my least favorite breakfast, but there was nothing wrong with it. Lots to choose from, perhaps because the Breakfast in Capetown was sooo fab.
The coach ride through the mountains was beautiful to the Safari show ostrich farm. We had a tour around the farm. Ostriches are funny creatures. We learned all about them. They are raised for the feathers and meat and the enormous eggs. It didn't rain.
Lunch was at the farm. Mostly everyone tried the ostrich steak. I liked it a lot. Tastes like steak (not chicken). We played a little in the gift shop and had a little time to roam around. Went back to watch those silly birds.
Next onto Mossel Bay and The Dias museum. He was the first explorer to round the cape of Africa (Vasco de Gama went all the way around). Also went to a small aquarium here. Fun exhibits in both. Next onto the Outeniqua (I'm sure I'm spelling it wrong) railway museum. Trains, cars and all mode of transportation. Saw Queen Elizabeth's private white railway car. We climbed all over everything.
Dinner with the group at a lovely seafood restaurant. Our group sat on the porch with some heaters, but basically outside. Glad I had my fleece and sweater. I wore my nice slacks to dinner a few times, because I brought them, but totally not necessary. Dinners are casual.

Last edited by abbyjt; 07-06-2009 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
abbyjt
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Oh I forgot

At the hotel in George, a famous rugby team was staying there too. I know nothing about rugby, so I don't remember the name. They were practicing out on the lawn. Later we watched as one guy desperately tried to catch a koi (giant goldfish) out of the pond for no real reason. The stadium was near the hotel and they were playing that night. We found out the next morning that they had won the game and were already on the road to their next game.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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Great report -thanks for posting!!
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:02 PM   #4
Traveling Tinkerbell
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Hey Abbyjt, we have enjoyed your great trip report and the pictures. We arrived two days before the start of our Signature South Africa adventure. We stayed at the Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel for those two days before moving to the Cape Grace Hotel today (Monday). Yes, the breakfast at the Southern Sun was great.

We have all our electronic equipment (computer included) with us. We spent the two days going to sites that our ABD trip will not cover. The weather has been fantastic so far! Hopefully, that continues the rest of the way.

We met Tina today as we checked into the Cape Grace. We will be sure to say hello to Tina for you. The Internet access is free at Cape Grace (they have wireless access everywhere and a business center stock with 5 desktop computers as well). We will be posting a trip report.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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I love your report with the pictures! Sorry you got damp weather - sounds like what we've had here in Boston for a month. Thanks so much for posting.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:14 PM   #6
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I'm really enjoying your report! Glad you figured out how to add pictures! Looks nippy, but fun! Looking forward to more Report!

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