28 september 2010

Pipps in South Africa - or How to vomit in style

Detta är min resedagbok från den första veckan av tre i Afrika. Veckan spenderades i Sydafrika tillsammans med Gavin och hans familj.

26 hours is a long time sometimes. And sometimes it's fine. Like when you spend them sleeping. The Statoil Party crew sent me off with a bang - meaning I got just about 45 minutes of sleep the night before I left. 26 hours and 10 phone calls back and forth with Gavin later, he finally found me wandering the airport in Cape Town. The Swedish FT had arrived. Unfortunately I arrived early in the morning, and was not allowed to sleep any more. Instead we went driving, catching some amazing views of the Cape Town area, and Cape Point where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. On my very first day in Africa I got to see a whale - and lots of baboons. I also learned about snoek samosas (very tasty) and that it's actually possible to have a fabulous blue surf 'n turf for 200 SEK.
On the second day in Africa I learned about the prison on Robben Island, that Levis jeans go for 500 SEK and that Gavin really REALLY loves strawberry ice cream. Along with a very nice couple from southern England I did a tour of the Robben Island prison, guided by a former inmate. This lead to the obvious political discussion, as well as comparing England to Sweden and the financial crisis. I love that type of encounter.
There was also time for the 4 minute cable car ride up to Table Mountain to watch the view, and I finally almost got an understanding of how the Cape Town area is all connected. Very confusing. After pasta dinner we had a very odd visit to Häagen Dasz, when Gav all of a sudden turned 5 and refused to say any word other than strawberry.

On Tuesday it was time for me to meet the Faulds family; Annie, Bev and Sheila. I felt right at home, not only because of their very welcoming way, but also because after they got over the shock of the Swedish girl not being a blond bomb shell, they turned out to be very much like my own family; loud and very fond of wine. Perfect!
By lunch time we did our first of many wine tastings, and what a great start to a four day wine trip! I found a weisser riesling right away (very embarrassing). Several vineyards later we ended up in Franschoek, at Dieu Donne and Gerrit and his mom. At dinner we had grilled sole (do NOT know the swedish name, but it's a fish) but before we came to dessert I had almost fainted. We all blamed the stuffed room and my reputation as the Swedish viking was intact. That was about to change though.

Wednseday took us to more vineyards, amongst which Graham Beck, where Alrenzo our very own favourite tasting guide served us much more than we asked for. Wine, that is. At Graham Beck I bought a pink bubbly that was later opened at transvestite night in the Okavanga Delta. But that is a different story. That evening we stayed in Gaansbai, at André and Naomi's place, getting ready for the shark dive the next morning. After dinner we found ourselves hanging out a local pub, happily watching Gaansbai's creme de la creme enjoy themselves getting hammered and dancing to the remixed version of Cranberrie's Zombie, trying not to fall over.

Come Thursday morning - the morning when we were gonna separate the wheat from the cheff (is that an expression in English??). I felt sick even walking in the office of Shark Diving Unlimited, but off we went. Only five of us in the boat meant that we could stay in the cage for about an hour, getting some amazing views of the great white sharks. In total we saw five, of which two were pretty scary big. I was the first one to get out of the cage and back onto the boat. And then started the barfing. Although Gavin did the loudest one (actually one of the loudest I've heard since Simon's legandary round in Sälen at new years 99/00), at least he only barfed once. The Swedish so called viking however chundered (if that is a word) no less than four times, including off the side of the boat when it was back on land. Cannot remember ever being that sick in my life.

And off we went, on to Tulbagh. On the way we made another couple of vomiting stops. On all occasions I managed to let Gavin know before so he sould stop the car, which lead to the nickname the elegant vomiter. Very proud.
Upon arrival in Tulbagh and a very cute B&B I went straight to bed and stayed there until the next morning. Not much sightseeing in Tulbagh for the FT, but when Friday arrived I was fit for fight again. What can I say, shark diving is tough.
We spent Friday among wine and the wild flowers of Darling, and although the sea of flowers didn't appear, it was still quite an experience. We also slowly made our way back to Cape Town, and the night was spent in Hout Bay.
We ended our fantastic wine-shark-trip with a fabulous seven course dinner at Brent and Karen's place in Constantia, drinking some really great wine! And something very weird from North Korea. And some time during the evening I earned back the viking nickname.

From this amazing week I not only found new friends for life. I also learned that dinoaurs are actually called gynosaurs in South Africa. Who knew?

And so the mandatory slide show:

To Gavin, Annie, Sheila and Bev with all my love!
/The elegant vomiter

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