A Decent Proposal
Trip Start Aug 26, 2010
82Trip End Apr 16, 2011
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Since we still had the best part of the day left when we arrived, Fraser and I had time to prepare macaroni cheese for the masses which seemed to go down well
The next day was glorious so we took the chance to get up Table Mountain. The views were spectacular, looking north over the City, Robin Island and around Atlantic Beach where we had stayed a very short week previously. Gazing south we could see the craggy coast line of Cape of Good Hope, eventually ending at Cape Point, though this was too far away to be seen. We followed this with a drive down said road, which was breathtakingly dramatic, as the adults returned to Camps Bay for another nice lunch. We thought the winding route along the cliff faces would make for a spectacular Grand Prix track. The road took us to Simon’s Town where we went to Boulders Beach, famous for its Jackass Penguins which were adorable. Our lunches seemed to get later and later, but eventually eating at 6pm took the biscuit! We stopped of at the 'Lord Nelson’ pub in Simon’s town for a munch, where some of us enjoyed a meaty burger, though those who had ordered the chicken salad were disappointed to be served with a dry chicken leg and potato salad on the side. The drive home wasn’t much fun, as driving in the dark in South Africa is best avoided. The windy road was unlit and, having made it thus far without a map, we took a slight detour through the city adding on half an hour or so to our already long day
We had a deserved slow Sunday morning the next day where most of us had a dip in the chilly pool, and were treated to a fry up. As we were relaxing, an unattended dog made friends with us. Her collar was coincidentally engraved with none other than ‘Sam’, so with a third to refer to it was getting a bit confusing, but we like to think it was Samantha’s way of staying with us! She liked relaxing by the pool with us, and was happy to chill out watching telly on the sofa too! Eventually we tried to coax her out of the back garden, but she got back in under the gate so we gave in and let her stay. When it was eventually time to venture out, we had to block the gate with a garden chair, as we didn’t want her depositing the five remaining eggs from breakfast that Hugh had given her in the back garden. Bad Hugh.
That lunchtime we were spoilt with another picturesque drive to Franschoek. We left Somerset West through Sir Lowry’s pass; a steep winding highway taking you to the top of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range with more dramatic scenes back towards Cape Town. Having stopped to take it in, we had a nosey through a roadside market where some of us bartered for beautiful wooden giraffes. Rachael came away happy with a set of maracas and no less than 7 pairs of traditionally crafted salad tongs
As the boys were up early for their last round of golf, Susan and I enjoyed a morning at the shops with the mums while the others trundled into Cape Town to do a little research into shark diving! Once everyone had accomplished what they set out to do, we congregated at Delheim vineyard for my favourite lunch of the trip. Set in a peaceful, secluded part of the countryside, we enjoyed a rare lunch all together and played the typical tourist by taking plentiful group photos!
We set off to Gansbaai the next morning, for Fraser and me to send our friends off to the sharks! We were disappointed that our budget was slightly tighter than these other holiday makers, and had to make do with fish and chips at a restaurant overlooking a delightful factory for lunch! The others returned with grand tales of their encounters with these ‘beautiful’ beasts and had taken many an envious photo. Having worked up an appetite, they were ready for Jimmy’s Killer Prawns that night!
There was still one big tick for us Scots to strike before returning home which was a drive to Cape Point. It was yet another beautiful day and we were all impressed with the misty clouds which developed as the seas met the coast, making the nearby mountains look like volcanoes ready to erupt
Terry was showered with gifts, sweets and birthday horns, and her husband and daughter’s offerings of birthday cakes were slightly overshadowed by Iain’s imaginative attempt at a table mountain cake! The term ‘Umba Gumba’ was coined that night, which supposedly meant happy birthday in Afrikaans, though my card for Terry didn’t seem to correspond with this.
Some of us had had just enough of sitting in a car at this late stage of the holiday, so we had a lazy day at the pool while others had some last minute shopping to do, whether it be at the local mall or at another roadside stall. Rachael and Iain weren’t keen on wasting their last day in this beautiful country so sought out another vineyard for a spot of wine tasting. That evening saw emotional farewells and offerings of thanks for a spectacular, seamless holiday that was mostly thanks to the organisation of our South African residing Boyces. So thank you once again for the holiday of a lifetime
And then there were 10. We were to check out of our accommodation at 9am on our final day and had the day to kill time, but this was by no means the end of the holiday! We opted to return to the glorious Victoria and Alfred Waterfront for breakfast and split off to have a wander until lunchtime when a slightly agitated Fraser suggested we go for a glass of wine. I refused this offer at 11am, and instead we found a bench which sat overlooking a small harbour with the mighty Table Mountain behind it. We sat together, appreciating the journey we had taken, and the fact that we still liked each other regardless! Any nerves of Fraser’s were soon explained when he produced box containing a beautiful diamond ring which sparkled in the South African sun and he asked me to marry him!!!
He would be excused for any concerns of doubt on my part as I was in a state of shock! I managed to utter ‘of course I will’ but was rather quiet other than that. It was the most surreal moment ever! I was completely oblivious to anything around me, and hadn’t noticed a boat mooring right in front of us, from which a voice called out in the local accent ‘congratulations madam’! With that, a wee granny on the bench to our left also offered us her congratulations – she apparently hadn’t been sitting there when we first arrived and Fraser hadn’t counted on her doing so either