09 November 2017
Mags and I have just had a very nice couple of days in Durban.
Having hired a car on Tuesday, we returned to DC to collect the liferaft. Not that we expected particularly bad weather......but it's 3 year service is overdue.
Once we had dropped that off, we made our way to the overnight B&B we had booked.
Wow! It was costing us about £51 a night (total - not each - B AND B!). It was an old 'colonial' style house complex amounting to 20 let rooms, with a breakfast room plus an 'honesty' bar and a splash pool. Our en-suite room was delightful, with everything you would expect plus cookies, choccies and a small decanter with the local liqueur and a couple of shot glasses.
At their suggestion, they having booked us a table,........ and after a couple of beers with the owner and several of the other guests in the bar, .........we walked down the hill to the local Indian restaurant for dinner.
It was brilliant. As good a curry dinner as you could want, with a couple of beers and wine....£30.
On our return, we called into the bar for a nightcap with a few of the other guests and ended up spending a little more time, and imbibing a little more hooch, than originally planned.
Fortunately, breakfast continued until 10 am, so our forced cheerful 'Good mornings' around 0950 still qualified.
Wow! Breakfast was brilliant, with juice, cereal, lots of lovely fruit options and yogurt. The toast, and excellent 'full English' followed. Yum.
We next drove to, and along, the waterfront. Our goal was to visit the marina to see how repairs were progressing following the storm of about 4 weeks ago. We also hoped to find the little Swede (Jonas on Alma)
Durban's waterfront is very attractive, and on a lovely sunny, but windy, day it was a good place to drive along slowly. The wardens located every 100m or so, was a reassuring - but sombre - sight. The level of crime here is ridiculous and seemingly random.
On the way, we passed an area where yachts were anchored and thought we saw Alma.
Finally, we parked outside the Natal Yacht Club and went inside 'for a nose'. As we wandered the corridors, we came across a room with a group of people watching a presentation. I went inside to find a Club official giving his occasional talk to Yotties needing to negotiate the Aghulas current and the weather systems between Durban and Cape Town. Jonas was on the front row.
Wow! It was brilliant.....and we listened while Roy Cook explained to about 20 Yotties......including Jonas plus the Nauti Buoys that we first met in Shelter Bay, Panama how and when to attempt the various passages. Priceless!
The guest house having found us a room for another night, we returned via the waterfront and an ice cream. Breakfast had been so magnificent, we didn't need lunch!
On our way back, we called into the World Cup stadium, but it was closed to visitors - too windy. Instead, we visited the Apartheid exhibition. What an appalling period of modern history - post Nazism. Amazing.
Sadly, Zuma and the present ANC seem bent on squandering the unbelievable legacy that Mandela left them. Mankind is such a sorry animal.
Back at our guest house, they booked us a table at a renowned steakhouse and ordered a taxi.
Wow. Superb steaks and all the trimmings. Mags had 'the biggest chocolate mousse I've ever had', and with coffee etc and beers/wine........£50. They booked us a taxi for the return journey, and this time, we slipped quietly to our room.
Our choices for breakfast this morning weren't quite as gross as yesterday .....but we still didn't need any lunch!
We just took our time to return home to DC; avoiding the toll road, and taking the local roads through some 'real S A villages/towns. It was great.
We were very happy to return to DC, but our 'appiness was interrupted when a couple of Customs goons arrived to serve a fine on us for clearing in with them over 24 hours from arrival time!
Wow! We didn't know of this 'rule'. Not only do we suffer a R1500 fine, but we can only pay it through an agent who charges R280!
Wow! What a scam! £100!
Welcome to South Africa!!