This is the end

Trip Start Mar 05, 2005
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Trip End Mar 28, 2005


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Monday, March 28, 2005

Our final day in South Africa was spent with Will and Marilyn and their three year old son Arlyn in Pretoria. I used to work with Will as an Electronic Warfare Operator in the Airforce. Will has since gone onto bigger and brighter things. They live in a rather lovely home with a superb black pool in his back garden. The pool is surrounded by lush vegetation which invariably causes leaves to settle on the bottom of the pool if not maintained regularly. A week or so away visiting family in Cape Town is suffice to accumulate a little debris on the bottom of the pool. The morning was spent helping Will clean out the pool before making our way to his friend Zane for a potjie (poi-key) and snoek braai. A potjie is a traditional South African meal cooked in a cast iron pot on open coals. It's basically prepared by layering your food in the pot, starting with your meat and ending with your soft vegetables. The head generated in the cast iron pot ensures it cooks without ever stirring, allowing each food item to absorb its own unique taste. A POTJIE MUST NEVER EVER BE STIRRED.




It is a time consuming meal which results in meat so tender it literally falls off the bone and vegetables which have been steamed to perfection by the aromatic meat cooking directly beneath it. Snoek is a large fleshy fish found around the waters of Cape Town. Will had brought some up with him from his holiday. It is a popular and versatile fish to enjoy on a braai. Wrapped in foil it can be stuffed or smeared with whatever takes your fancy. Onion, garlic, mushrooms, lemon, apricot jam and a variety of herbs and spices just to name a few. This is truly a meal to be appreciated when given the opportunity. Unfortunately our flight that evening deemed that Chanelle and I had to leave without sampling the potjie, which was disappointing after witnessing the constant attention it was receiving from Zane's wife. We were fortunate however to tuck into some of the snoek and paella, so not a total loss. When it finally came time for us to bid our farewells to everyone, I was enveloped by yet another moment I was reluctant to release. I was far too quickly approaching the frothy end of my last ice cold Guinness in the hot African sun. The sight of the sun rapidly disappearing behind a blood red African night sky, the sounds of friends old and new laughing and joking, the smell of a hearty meal being prepared on the open coals, the feel of the cool evening breeze and the taste of my last sip of Guinness washing down my last mouthful of snoek ensured that my holiday was ending on a high.



All too soon we were being whisked away to the airport after exhausting our final ?five minutes more?. It was a journey which almost ended in tragedy. As we were running a tad late, Will was opening his car up a little. We were doing 140-160kph and will had to change into the left lane to overtake a vehicle whose owner thought it was his duty to make sure that nobody go over the speed limit by sticking to the 120kph speed limit in the fast lane. As will was changed lanes, a car came speeding past us on the left in the emergency lane. It was a heart stopping moment. We can only fathom a guess as to how fast this other car was going, but at that speed he would have done some serious damage. Needless to say we made it to the airport fine and thankfully it was another brief affair checking in. This was certainly a holiday we won't forget.
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