Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chill-laxing Under African Skies

Not much to report from the past 2 days of chilling out around the lodge, except that we have all enjoyed not having to plan everything around attending a game, or driving to some distant stadium. On pour first day off, and after filling up the car with petrol, (my calculations were of course, correct), we just laid around our suites watching the odd game of football on the TV and making the most the facilities and the warm African sunshine.

Louis, one of the owners of Abloom, has a reputation as an accomplished chef, and the lodge offer meals in your suite that they advertise as being ‘Gourmet’, so we thought we would give it a try as we were actually going to be there for an evening. In all seriousness this was going to be the highlight of our lazy day as we were looking forward to not having to cook or even leave the lodge for a slap-up meal. We were not disappointed.... The first course was a rich tomato and vegetable soup with a dollop of sour cream, which was very warming and tasty. The second course was a fillet of ostrich on a bed of creamy mash potato with a medley of fresh vegetable, and a red wine sauce reduction, which was divine. And to finish off this exquisite meal we had some homemade orange and almond torte, still warm from the oven, with an orangey sweet sauce. Obviously we accompanied this excellent meal with a great bottle of Simonsig Pinotage, (very recommended), and then proceeded to demolish a whole bottle of KWV port between the 3 of us. Suffice to say that we really enjoyed the meal and went to our respective beds, full, happy and some of us, more than slightly drunk.

Next morning we had another slow start to the day before making our way into Pretoria for a spot of lunch at the Cafe Riche on Church Square, and then making a visit to the Voortreckers Monument. This is a huge stone built edifice that commemorates the Great Trek made by the Boers into the African interior from the south at the end of the 19th century, and the subsequent setting up of the various states and South African republics. It is a commanding monument set up on a hill with expansive views overlooking the city and the surrounding area, and like most good monuments you could climb, (actually we used the lift), to the top to enjoy the views. We bumbled around the various exhibits and the museum for a while before making our way back home, via the local shopping centre complex to pick up some supplies for dinner. This relaxing and laid back day was concluded with nice pasta meal and watching yet more football on the TV....

These past 2 days actually felt like we were on holiday for a while, instead of being on an endless route-march around various South African cities in search of the perfect World Cup experience. But the time for lazing around and enjoying ourselves is over for the next couple of days, and this starts tonight with a late game at Soccer City, Ghana v Germany, which is followed by the much anticipated final group match for New Zealand, against Paraguay in Polokwane tomorrow. Wish us luck....

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