South Africa

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    • Day 51

      Wine tasting

      June 26, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      The tasting room and bar area was lovely - decorative bunting, a log fire, sofas, a pool, long wooden tables, and spectacular views of the vineyards and the mountains behind.

      Eleven of us from the group were doing the optional tasting, which was scheduled for 5pm. Nine of us were on time. Two didn’t turn up. Roly, who was conducting the tasting, wouldn't start without them as he had already cut the cheese. We had been told to be on time and to let him know if we changed our minds! I was dispatched to locate the missing two. It transpired that it was the same couple who were late for last night's meeting and for the truck this morning! A pattern is developing! Nobody knew where they were. I returned to the tasting room. By now, a GAdventures group had arrived on site, and Roly had to leave to do their introductory meeting. We were left waiting for him to return.

      Fortunately, Sparky, the owner, stepped in to do the tasting with us. We got started at about 5.40pm. We had 6 wines 🍷 to taste - a chenin blanc, a pinotage, a shiraz, a sweet rose, a sparkling rose, and a fortified wine, along with some brie, a blue cheese, some camembert, and a cheddar with sweet chilli 🌶. We enjoyed the chenin and the two reds, but the rest were too sweet for our taste! We bought a bottle of the pinotage and impressed our fellow travellers by drinking it out of the proper glasses we were given at Constantia! No plastic cups for us on this leg - at least, not until we break the glasses! 😂

      It was a really enjoyable tasting, especially talking to Sparky. We didn’t finish until ten past seven, by which time most of the rest of the group were sitting on the truck (there had been a brief rain shower) waiting for us so that we could all have dinner 🍽! It wasn't our fault we didn't start on time 😀.

      For our first dinner of the trip, Henry had made us pumpkin 🎃 and potato soup 🍲 followed by beef stew with rice 🍚 and vegetables. It was all very good!

      After dinner, some of the group went back to the bar, some went straight to their tents ⛺️, and we stayed with the rest sitting around the camp fire swapping stories. We turned it in at about 10.30pm.
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    • Day 51

      Cape Town to Zanzibar day one

      June 26, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      We weren't leaving until 10am today, but we were up at 7.30am to walk up the road to Arnold's restaurant where we were having breakfast. It was a very good cooked breakfast with toast and coffee ☕️, the perfect start to the day. We sat with Mona from the US, Natasha from Russia 🇷🇺 who lives in Canada 🇨🇦, and Sarah from the UK 🇬🇧. It was nice to start to get to know everyone. Some of the group are on the truck as far as Victoria Falls. Others, like us, are on until Zanzibar. So far, I think John and Trisha are the only ones going all the way to Nairobi.

      Back at Never@Home, we packed our bag, collected our other luggage from the store, and waited for the truck to be open. When it was, we realised how limited we are for space, especially on a full truck! We managed to get one of our big bags in a locker and arranged with Laban to store our other one, which we don't need until Zanzibar, under the truck. We then put our other packs in our other locker and chose a seat. We will be moving seats every day to make it fair for everyone. It is rather full, but I'm sure we will all settle in. There were a few moans from first-time overlanders who expected a bit more luxury!

      We were late getting going as a couple of people were late to the truck, and one girl didn't turn up at all! However, we were on the road by 10.30am, and heading out of Cape Town. We have had an amazing time in the city, but we were glad to be back on our journey!

      Two and a half hours in, we stopped for lunch at a service station that had a range of restaurants. We didn’t want a full meal, so opted for a toastie and a coffee ☕️. In a way, we will be glad to leave westernised South Africa 🇿🇦 and get a more authentic African food experience!

      After lunch, we drove through stunning scenery for another couple of hours to reach the Highlanders camp site on a vineyard. Once there, we had a briefing from a staff member about the camp site and a lesson from Laban about how to put up and dismantle a tent ⛺️. We are lucky on this trip because we have brand new tents and poles - not rusty old ones like we had on the last leg!

      When we had put our tents up and sorted out our stuff (a real mission as 20 people tried to access their lockers at the same time!), we went up to the bar area for a wine tasting. It's really beautiful here. The setting is amazing!
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