Saturday, November 8, 2008

1 September 2008

[This is a continuation of my journal entries from my recent trip to South Africa].

Large wave hitting a rock at the New Harbour the day after the big storm.

[I] was trying to read an article on mitochondrial DNA in National Geographic that Anne had recommended last night, so no diary entry. [I now think the sentence would have been better as: "Last night, I did not write a diary entry because I was reading an article in National Geographic that Anne had recommended.  The article was about mitochondrial DNA and one interesting thing I learned from it was...(insert interesting thing here)." Just the other day, my advisor teased me about my attention to grammar etc. I do love editing, even if it is my own work].

Yesterday was another stormy day, with hail, rain, and wind. And the night before that was ridiculous! Thunder and lightning and a helluva wind. In the morning, we went to pick up our rental car--a VW Polo "Playa." Can't even fit both of our suitcases in the boot (trunk) [we had this problem in all the South African cars we were in... Americans just work on a larger scale, apparently. And we really had packed light.]! We also did a bit of shopping at Fruit & Veg and Spar for our west coast trip. Then, lunch with Anne and Ouma. 

While Ouma was napping, we (Jesse and I) drove to Onrus to see whales, but instead we saw a very stormy high tide--sea foam on the roads and benches, part of a road closed off with water over it , and water up to the bathrooms at Davie's Pool [a beach I've swum at, and bathrooms I've changed in before]! Quite a sight. When we got back, we had tea with Ouma, which I skipped most of to visit [my great aunt] Elise in frail care. I only cried when I said goodbye [that is significant, because Elise and I have been known to just sit and cry with each other the whole time we're in a room together. Elise lived in the same neighborhood as my family did when I was very young, and I said my first two words to Elise... I said "hello Elise" when she came over to see me and my mom one day, or so I'm told. Elise is very sentimental, as am I, so bring out the tissues when we're together]. She talked about the Alaska trip she did with my mom that she loved and said she "only regrets that she won't see your [my] parents again." I told her that my dad would be there in two months! [In 2001, when I went to say goodbye to Elise at the end of my visit, she told me that it was the last time I was ever going to see her, meaning that she would die before I saw her again. I cried for days about that idea. Well, I saw her in 2004 (and cried the whole visit with her) and now 2008, and she is still doing well-ish.]

Then, Anne drove me, Jesse and Ouma's neighbors, Arthur and Emsie, to the New Harbour and to Onrus to see the stormy sea--crazy! In was no longer high tide, so the sea wasn't quite as crazy as it had been earlier, but there were some massive waves at the harbour and we got to see why the road was closed in Onrus--rocks and bricks strewn all over the road and into people's lawns and into their garages, with door bashed in! I took some photos of the mess [I hadn't taken my camera with me earlier in the day.]

Dented-in garage door and debris from the storm that was carried over the road and into this yard in Onrus.

Anne made us lovely cheesy omlettes for dinner. I spoke to mom--hurricane Gustav was still bearing down on New Orleans, but Roger, Betty and Gabriel the dog were all safe in Baton Rouge (?).

Today, we set off on our "big adventure" trip at ~10 am. Anne provided very well for us--2 large jars of fruit salad, full of guavas and kiwi fruit and bananas and pineapple with orange juice, 2 plastic containers and spoons to eat the fruit salad with [and boy did those plastic containers come in handy--we rented camping equipment later in the trip, but they only had plates, no bowls! We used those plastic containers over and over and over. One had been the cover for a hamburger someone had bought at the grocery store sandwich case... still had the label on], a large pawpaw (papaya) [that Anne had been lovingly trying to ripen for us the whole time we were in Hermanus], an avocado, a box of firewood, which we used tonight, an extra sweater for me, a cold bag [I meant insulated bag], and much more, I'm sure! 

We left Anne and headed north--over the Franschoek Pass on Anne's suggestion (breath-taking!), down through Franschoek and Paarl, then up the N7 [highway] to Clanwilliam. At this point, we thought we might have ~30 minutes to an hour to go... we arrived at Enjolife [the farm we were booked to stay at] 2 hours later, having been almost entirely on muddy, potholed dirt roads, and having forded a few small streams [the rains we had experienced at the coast also affected the interior of the country].

Franschoek valley from the pass.

Unfortunately, the sun set right as we got to our chalet, and it got quite chilly again (we'd been positively warm for the first time in days not long before that!). So, I started a successful fire in the fireplace and put on a pot of water to boil for our supper of pasta and sun-dried tomato mix. Jesse and I had dinner around the fire, then admired the stars for a while before climbing into bed, where I am now. Oh, and Andrea, the Enjolife proprietor, told us we missed flower season by 2-3 weeks--it was a particularly short and early season. Oh dear!

Jesse at our Enjolife chalet.

1 comment:

Goof said...

The trip begins! Nice entry Foof.