This coming weekend happens to be the weekend of Little Sister’s day of birth — and, in celebration, she and her husband have organised a weekend away in the Cederberg for a whole group of us. Of course, with me being family and all, I was first on the invite list — and the majority of this blog’s readership should know that I don’t turn down such opportunities!
Advance warning: expect a massive photo post around this time next week. Won’t happen while I’m there though: there ain’t no mobile phone signal in those parts (which is actually part of the appeal in the first place).
Now for some reason, I have Tolkien looping around in my head:
Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away ere break of day To seek the pale enchanted gold.
The pines were roaring on the height, The winds were moaning in the night. The fire was red, it flaming spread; The trees like torches blazed with light.
Yes, I know, this is turning into a “things I find cool” blog. But, given that (1) Tim (my housemate) wants to get a GoPro and (2) Tim reads this blog, this is how he should really use his soon-to-be-acquired GoPro:
With a public holiday yesterday, and with an old friend from Durban finally coming down to visit, I decided to take some people on a tour through the Winelands. Also joining me were my two future housemates, and a new friend of mine: a visiting master’s student from Canada (being the only non-nerd in the group).
Of course, in true nerd style (much to our non-nerd’s bemusement), we did this in the style of a World of Warcraft quest chain:
Assemble a party of fellow questers. Your fellow party members may be found in Mowbray, Sunningdale and Gordon’s Bay.
Journey to the Boschendal Wine Estate and acquire 1 Bottle of Fine Red Wine. Completing this quest requires 50 gold.
Journey to Fairview and acquire 2 Cheese Platters and 1 Loaf of Freshly-Baked Bread. Completing this quest requires 100 gold.
Prepare a Banquet of the Winelands to feed your party. A Banquet of the Winelands may only be prepared at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument. Party members that spend at least 10 minutes eating and drinking will be Well Fed and will receive the buff “Scribble Big Bang Theory Quotes on Ron’s Car” for 6 hours. (My fault for not washing it!)
I also took everyone to Nederburg and through the Huguenot Tunnel afterwards before the group disbanded. Muchness of fun.
After spending a day here in Stilbaai, I can see how this place gets its name – all is still and peaceful. I liked this town the first time that I came here, and it’s definitely grown on me a lot now.
It’s just me and Chris (who plays the piano in our church band) out here, and all we’ve really done is watch sport on the telly (Chris, while watching a rather soggy cricket match between England and India: “Kind of ironic that all the sports that need good weather come from England…”) drink beer (Chris, while I was writing this: “All I’ve had to drink since I’ve gotten here is beer!”) and play pool on a full-sized snooker table (which is great fun). Right now, we’ve got some Rachmaninov playing, just watching the sunset. It’s awesome.
The only bummer is that we have to return to Cape Town and work, bills and so forth tomorrow…
A bit of background before we get started here. Gauteng Province (aka “Gangster’s Paradise”) has the following motor vehicle registration scheme: two consonants, two digits, two more consonants, then the text “GP” indicating the province. Until last year, they were three consonants followed by three digits before the “GP” (as with most of the rest of the other provinces, except for the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal who like to be different and use the old 1914 registration scheme where your registration number indicates in which far-flung location you registered the vehicle*) – until they ran out of combinations, so they switched over to their new scheme in December last year.
Now, you’d think that two consonants, two digits and two more constants would result in little chance of some unintended, computer-generated dodginess from showing up in the registration plate. Reduced, yes – but not entirely eliminated:
I was actually searching the interwebs for something else entirely when I stumbled across this on the CarScoop blog. Here’s the backstory:
The number plate is on a fiat 500 at a dealership in South Africa. Apparently, the car was sold, but when the new owner aw the number plate issued she refused to take possession of the car [wonder why…]. According to the salesperson the car has been “difficult to shift”. In South Africa, as with many countries, the number plates get issued to the car on its first registration and can’t be changed very easily…
The rest of us find this rather amusing though…
* If you’re driving in the Western Cape and spot a registration plate with CY on it, automatically assume that they can’t actually drive – when you see them, you’ll “see why”…
The drive back from Hermanus over the weekend (which I’ve mentioned in one of today’s earlier posts) reminds me of a little adventure that happened around a month ago. Tim (another good friend of mine) managed to procure a holiday house in Betty’s Bay for the weekend – so, eight friends headed off there for a weekend of fun.
I won’t draw attention to other parts of that weekend (such as, me driving there with a car boot full of alcohol, and me returning to Cape Town minus said alcohol) – no, the focus of this post is rather our attempt at sandboarding down the massive sand dune that they have there.
And at this point, I’m going to shut up and let the video that we made do the talking:
Oh, if anyone is thinking of doing it: you rent the sandboards for 24 hours from the local DVD store (named “The Couch Potato” if my memory serves me correctly); if you’re heading in the direction of Kleinmond, it’s just past the bridge over the Dawidskraal stream (there’s a permanent speed camera just there). The sandboarding dune itself is on the western edge of Betty’s Bay; access is via Delport Road. I suggest taking a 4×4 with you though – I managed to get my car stuck in soft beach sand, and it required an army of strong-armed chaps to extricate it…