Real life questing

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:

  1. Assemble a party of fellow questers.  Your fellow party members may be found in Mowbray, Sunningdale and Gordon’s Bay.
  2. Journey to the Boschendal Wine Estate and acquire 1 Bottle of Fine Red Wine.  Completing this quest requires 50 gold.
  3. Journey to Fairview and acquire 2 Cheese Platters and 1 Loaf of Freshly-Baked Bread.  Completing this quest requires 100 gold.
  4. 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.

Stillness in the bay


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…

Registration plates of dodginess

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”…

Sandboarding: How not to do it

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…

The awesomeness that is the Western Cape

As I’ve alluded to somewhere else on this website, I have the habit of simply jumping into the car and just driving wherever the road takes me.  I’ve done several such trips, and my thoughts afterwards are always the same:

The Western Cape is a simply beautiful part of the world.

I had a close friend stay with me for the weekend (she’s both female and crazy, so whether that’s a blessing or a curse is highly debatable – but that’s a whole different subject, and is not the point that I’m trying to make here) – so, I decided to show her around the place.  This consisted of a small roadtrip to Hermanus (going there via Grabouw and Botrivier and returning via Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay), and then a visit to the Paarl winelands the next day.  Cameras were forgotten about in a moment of absent-mindedness, but we both realised how amazing this part of the world is.  Probably the defining moment was when I pulled off onto a view site on the road between Pringle Bay and Gordon’s Bay.  Behind us, mountains; in front of us, False Bay and the distant mountains around Muizenberg and Fish Hoek on the other side.  It was a moment just sitting there in silence, taking in the view, contemplating life, the universe and everything.

I feel so privileged to be living here, and even more so that I was able to share this with someone who hadn’t experienced it before.

The 10 commandments of Left 4 Dead

  1. Thou shalt not think thy is invincible when thy hast thou automatic shotgun, as thou knowest not when thy Tank shalt spoil thy plans of World Zombie Domination.
  2. Thou shalt have one player to watch thy rear, for thy Smoker is cunning and sneaky.
  3. Thou shalt not split up unless thou wantest to be ambushed by thy Hunter.
  4. Thou shalt shove thy Boomer away before shooting him.
  5. Thou shalt not rush thy enemy if thy hast a player with thy sniper rifle who hast clear lines of sight.
  6. Thou shalt not disturb thy Witch if thou health is low.
  7. Thou shalt not hoard thy health pack if thy teammate is near death, for four players killest thy Horde better than three.
  8. Thou must learnest that thy sniper rifle does not helpest thy team during thy final battle.
  9. Thou shalt not abandon thy teammates and quit thy game before thou hast escaped.
  10. Thou shalt not fight over who playest as Zoey.