Here is my contribution to this week’s photo a week challenge
This week’s word is Pedestrian
Here is my contribution to this week’s photo a week challenge
This week’s word is Pedestrian
The Earl and I needed to see our accountant in Stellenbosch last Friday. Not wanting to do an overnighter we set off bright and early on the two and half hour drive that would get us our appointment on time. As luck would have it the Rapport Holiday Show started in Stellenbosch that day too. We’re having a caravan built by Gecko in Haenertsburg and as they had a stand at the show we thought it might be a good idea to check it out and see if there was anything else we needed while there.
It was almost midday by the time we got to the show and all we’d consumed was a good cup of coffee offered to us by the accountant. We chatted to Keith and Alison, took some measurements, ordered an aircon and a storage bag and then headed off to look for food. Well foolishly we’d come without cash and the food vendors didn’t have card facilities so we decided to head back home with the intention of stopping in Franschoek for lunch.
Did I mention it was a beautiful day and the drive there and back over the mountain passes was stunning.
Franschhoek is an hour’s drive from Stellenbosch and we were listening to Pippa Hudson on Cape Talk as we drove. I was getting hungrier and hungrier and then she interviewed Pieter de Villiers – a local chocolate maker! Pippa – please – I was drooling! I had never heard of de Villiers chocolate and it is only available from certain Woolworths outlets or his own chocolate cafes. Living in Struisbaai I would not have easy access to this delicious sounding chocolate – Probably just as well as I am a Banter and only occasionally eat 70% dark chocolate – But ooh I was dying for some as I listened to this mouth watering interview.
Pieter only uses UTZ certified cocoa beans grown in Africa. UTZ certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet.
Everything is made from scratch – from sourcing and roasting their own cocoa and coffee beans, to making their own ice cream and a wide selection of confections. His wrappers are also very special and have an African look.
We were five minutes away from Franschhoek when the interview ended and we’d discovered that there just happened to be a De Villiers Chocolate cafe in town!
I said to Earl, “I’m having lunch at De Villiers Chocolate Café.”
“You can’t!” he said “You’re banting.”
“So what,” I said “This is serendipitous. I am meant to have chocolate today. I need chocolate today. Why else would I hear this interview just as I’m entering a place where that cafe is calling to me.”
Well of course I didn’t exactly have lunch at the café – we first dined at MC, googled the address of the café and then went there for coffee. My two favourite things in life – coffee and chocolate. Preferably together.
Lunch at MC for Earl was springbok pie and Eggs Benedict for me – the Banting version.
The coffee was excellent, the ice cream delicious and I walked away with a packet of drinking chocolate, three slabs of 70% chocolate – the cinnamon and chili is to die for – and two bars of chocolate nougat.
Yes I was certainly in exactly the right place at the right time.
Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World from Cee
What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?
This question does not ask what my favourite colour is but rather which colour I feel most comfortable in – The answer to that is – Denim Blue! I own a pair of denim jeans and a denim skirt and I wear them both often with many different colours. I love colour! I have a mix and match wardrobe of basic greys, whites, blacks and stone so that I can add splashes of colour to them. If I had a large walk in wardrobe and an unlimited clothing budget I would buy a variety of very colourful clothes.
I loved Thailand because it is a colourful country. Everything is prettied up with colour from Temples to simple abodes and everyone dresses colourfully too. I bought one or two colourful items of clothing at very low prices!
What is your favourite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)
I love dogs. My favourite is no longer with us. She was a black mixed breed about the size of a spaniel with the personality of labrador. The Earl called her “Black Dog” but her name was Tammy. What a faithful, affectionate and well-behaved dog she was. I used to jog every evening and she would tag along to protect me. I just had to say the word ‘takkies’ (sneakers) and she’d yip in excitement and the tail wouldn’t stop wagging until we were on the road. I still miss her.
List at least five favorite flowers or plants.
I am starting a brand new garden so flowers and plants are very much on my mind. My favourite flower is our national flower – The Protea – but I have not planted any in my new garden. They’re expensive and I don’t want to kill them – when I’m more experienced I might try to grow my own.
My next favourite is the vygie – I am trying to grow those in my garden.
Then there are clivias which I’ve just planted and I think they will do well.
I love succulents – they’re easy to grow and very rewarding.
And who doesn’t love roses and carnations? I’m not growing those as they’re not waterwise which is essential in our climate.
What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
My grandchildren, Shannon and Simon inspired me this week.
Shannon has just completed an arduous three week hike in the Drakensberg mountains with her St John’s College Grade 9 classmates – all girls. They endured cold, heat, snow, rain, steep and dangerous terrain, had only one change of clothing, carried their own back packs, cooked on camp fires and slept in tents except for when it snowed and they were allowed to stay in a cabin that had beds and bare floors and that was it! And she loved it. Her attitude is amazing and in spite of having torn ligaments in her calf she refused to give up and endured it to the end.
Simon is currently on a three week tour with is Grade 6 classmates from Kokstad Junior School. He’s never been away from his parents for so long and is coping amazingly well – he passed through our neck of the woods yesterday so I was able to see first hand how he was coping.
It’s great to see the youngsters coping with challenges and rising to the occasion. I am super proud of them.
Today it was our privilege to meet up with our grandson Simon when his school tour stopped to visit the Southern Tip of Africa. The teacher in charge alerted our daughter to the time they would be coming through Bredasdorp, she alerted us and then we timed it just right to meet them coming through Struisbaai.
After an initial big hello to Simon our grandson, Aiden our great nephew and Robyn, daughter of our kids’ best friends, we followed them to Cape Agulhas
The Kokstad Junior Grade Six classes were two weeks into a three week tour takes them from Kokstad to Cape Town and back. En route they stop at interesting places and it forms part of their Life Skills programme. It’s epic and hats off to the teachers and helpers who take these sixty-eight lively pre-teens on such an amazing, educational tour.
The kids are exceptionally well-behaved. On this trip they’re divided into groups and have chores and responsibilities that are character building. Many have never been away from their protective parents before and so this is a huge learning curve for them.
There were some other tourists at the view point but being a Monday the kids had the place virtually to themselves.
The kids were given relative freedom to explore after the compulsory photographs had been taken.
The kids have been to Robben Island, The Science Museum, Cape Point and other wonderful places. I asked Simon what his favourite part has been so far – first he said that he liked the movies at Somerset Mall! Then his friend, Liam, said The Science Museum and his eyes lit up and he said – Yes definitely that! One lad said he liked Robben Island but – Too much history! I think it was all too confusing for him.
What a great morning – the weather cooperated, the kids were delightful and we enjoyed our interaction with them all. Bon Voyage for the next week, Kokstad Junior – Grade 6 and Teachers! Thank you for letting us join you for the morning.
Earl insisted we get to the pier early on the morning we booked a snorkeling cruise as we were not sure where our boat would be docked. Well we needn’t have worried. It turned out that we needed to meet at the company’s office which the vendor failed to tell us. Luckily the guides at the pier were clued up and directed us to the correct meeting place
There were about 15 of us on this half day trip. We were the only South Africans. Most spoke other languages and Earl and I were the oldest. It was an inexpensive tour and when I saw the boat I realised why. The windows were cracked and there was a big need for maintenance! To make matters worse we hit high seas and the vessel rocked and rolled frighteningly. Fortunately we were only in open sea for a short time. In the bays it was relatively calm. Most of the passengers paid the extra 400 baht to visit “The Beach” of movie fame. We did not and this was a good thing as one had to canoe to shore and then climb up a steep cliff using a rope net ladder thingie.
Then there was a trek through bush to get to the beach. While they were gone I swam off the boat wearing a life jacket and hanging onto life ring attached to the boat so that the current didn’t take me out to sea. It was fun. Earl won’t swim because of his ears and the other remaining passenger was out of it with sea sickness.
After an hour everyone returned and we went on to the next bay where most of us did some snorkeling. As you can see from the photographs our travelling companions were young enough to be our grandchildren.
The Earl made sure I had my mask on properly and in I went. It was awesome. You can’t compare it to the barrier reef but it was fun nevertheless. The Earl was convinced I was in the wrong spot and yelled to me to get onto the reef. Well nobody else was there but I knew he wouldn’t let up till I humoured him. Nope – nothing there so back I went to where everybody else was enjoying the colorful fishes.
I was so grateful that the weather co-operated on the days we did tours. No disappointments and really lovely times.
When we got back to the pier we went straight to one of the restaurants for a fruit shake.
In the evening – our last on Phi Phi – we walked to a restaurant that braaied chicken on a skewer – Thai style. We were right on the beach and it was a perfect evening, what a delicious meal.
Afterwards we stopped at a stall where the vendor encouraged us with ‘yum yum very nice ice cream. You want some yes?” He had a yogurt version so we gave in. He took plain yogurt, poured it onto a frozen slab, chopped berries into it and then using a palate flattened it out till it was frozen enough to cut into strips and roll up. These frozen yogurt rolls he put into an ice cream cup and topped it with more berries and berry sauce. He made chocolate ice cream in the same way for Earl. Delicious 😋
Ten South Africans were on the tour. The route was scenic and we made several stops and were told how much time we had to wander each time. Our guide’s English was limited so there was no commentary. Each stop provided lovely photographic opportunities. The temple was absolutely beautiful. Our last stop was for an hour at the gem stone factory. We were not allowed to take any photographs. We were taken on an underground ride and shown realistic exhibits of how the mining of gemstones takes place. It was very interesting. At the end we were taken to their showroom. The jewellery was very expensive and we certainly couldn’t afford to buy anything but some of our party did.
James Bond Island Tour
We boarded at Pier Len Sai. Boarding was quick and efficient and we were given a quick orientation talk of where we would be going. The trip would be the whole day. I’d dressed in bathing costume, shorts and t-shirt but packed a change of clothes and towels.
It is the most picturesque trip I have ever taken. There are literally hundreds of small islands in the bay – sheer rock emerging from the sea. It’s fascinating to see how the trees and bushes grow on them.
The sea was calm, the skies overcast and we had a shower or two but nothing to fuss about.
Fruit and drinks were freely available on board and the staff were very attentive and friendly.
Our first stop was at Phang Ngu Bay. There was a group of Asian Americans young people with us. One boy and three girls. The girls were assigned a young Thai man to row them and boy did he have fun! He entertained them brilliantly. When we rowed through the tunnels and into the beautiful lagoon a pair of naughty monkeys were waiting to greet us from the trees tops.
They mischievous guide had brought some fruit with him and without an invitation these monkeys dropped down into the water. One grabbed a banana and zapped back up the tree but the other decided to visit for a while. The girls shrieked in horror and the guide laughed his head off.
Our canoe was right next to theirs and the monkey took a liking to me and hopped across to finish his meal.
I was tempted to stroke him but know it is wrong to approach the wild life. However, he brushed right against me and his fur was as soft as a kitten’s. I thought it would be more like a dog’s. He also rather liked my feet and kept his claws resting on them.
We rowed around the lagoon and when we heard more shrieks from the girls we knew something else had been spotted. Indeed it was a snake
Their guide and ours took them right underneath it. I think I would have died on the spot if it had fallen down on us. I know somebody who was bitten by a snake in Thailand!
Next we were shown a walking fish sitting on the branch of a tree.
The caves were and tunnels were great and we explored two areas of them.
From there we continued to the James Bond Island where The Man with the Golden Gun was made during the 1970s.
To get to it we had to get into a longboat which competed with docking space with a dozen others but it was done so efficiently and politely that it was not for one minute an issue.
Earl and I walked around and took the obligatory photographs but avoided the market where there were crowds of people. We sat in the cool of a cave when we were done and enjoyed the shady coolness.
Back on the boat were served a delicious Thai lunch including deep fried pineapple spring rolls, Thai Chicken and walnut stir fry, freshly grilled fish which was delicious, salads, rice and noodles. Dessert was pineapple on a stick. Tea and coffee was freely available.
Our next stop was Lana Island where we once again got into our canoes to get to the beach. We spent an hour swimming there which was the perfect way to end the trip. The sea is deliciously warm.