Today we did some shopping, looking at trees along the way…
After that we had another braai and – in anticipation of my birthday tomorrow – some of my cousin’s famous No Fail Chocolate Cake, which turns out perfectly Every Single Time. I can post the recipe if anyone is interested.
After that we drove the 126km from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown (now to be renamed Makhanda). I drove. I did the drive to and from the Cango Caves the other day but mostly it has been my boyfriend who has done the driving, despite the fact that he is used to driving on the other side of the road. I am an experienced driver and used to drive every single day but have not driven in seven years and the car is an automatic, which I am not used to. It was very easy to get the knack of though, except for the fact that when I was not thinking and was reversing I put my foot on the brake, years of ingrained experience telling me it was the clutch pedal. We hired a little Hyundai which is comfortable, though it does not have much power up giant hills.
We got to Grahamstown at about 5pm and spent the evening with my aunt (who has been like my mother for most of my life) and my cousins. It was nice.
My aunt lives in a huge old house from 1840. Many small towns have these enormous old houses. They are generally cold and draughty with many leaks and require much maintenance.
One thing we have found a bit of an issue in South Africa is the lack of WiFi. Very few stores and coffee shops offer free WiFi. If they do, it is often not very good. My aunt for example has no WiFi which is problematic for us because we have used Facebook and email for most of our bookings and arrangements. People in South Africa generally use WhatsApp so this is not a problem for them, but for us it has been inconvenient at times. Happily though, you do get used to it (like you do the lack of water), and you do learn to make the most of it when you have it. It is rather nice not to be connected all the time, once you get over the anxiety of not being contactable at all times.
You work hard, Janet, so I’m very pleased that you are having a wonderful holiday. I had an accountancy pupil from South Africa before I retired. He was a nice lad, and used to share his food parcels from his mom. I loved the dried meat, biltong, also the birthday cake he got from home. He showed me pictures of the national park flowering after rain, I have always wanted to visit ever since. Thanks for keeping us up to date while away. I have really enjoyed you posts, and appreciate you spending precious time to do it.
I have written about the Namaqualand flowers Clare – they are indeed beautiful. It’s a very brief time but nature is so very very ha