Monthly Archives: March 2010

Walking your dogs on Llandudno beach

Llandudno Beach
The number of beaches on which one is allowed to walk your dogs is fairly limited, so I was surprised to see this lady walking her three dogs on Llandudno beach (map).

I never paid attention to the sign that indicates the restrictions, but I presume that walking dogs is allowed because it seems to me that the beach is the only place where residents of the little suburb would be able to do so. Llandudno is built on the slopes of the mountain that lead down to the water's edge, so the chance of finding a nice open field on which your dogs could run is pretty much nil. :)

Mussels on a bed of grey rock

Mussles of the sea
One time after a very cold and very short snorkelling expedition in our very cold sea water we came to find ourselves sitting on a rock near the edge of the water. Kerry-Anne felt peckish, so she plucked a plump looking black mussel from a nearby rock, opened it up, and had a little seafood snack. Even though she only ate one of the slimy little creatures, I remember her really enjoying that little morsel - even though I thought the idea was absolutely distasteful.

Given that one actually needs a permit to remove even mussels from the ocean, I have to wonder if she was breaking any laws by gobbling that little one...

Fresh Ice Tea and a photo exhibition

Ice Tea
Neighbour Goods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill is a place to visit if you love mingling with people and buying wholesome fresh food, all in a relaxed atmosphere. Merrill, one of our readers, sent me this photo taken at the market at about the same time as another reader, Saul from PlayJumpEat, sent me some information about a photo exhibition that he'll be hosting at the Biscuit Mill (which, based on the name PlayJumpEat, is an apt location ;) ):

"We are having an exhibition of the Bedjump series with the opening on Saturday, 10 April. The exhibition will be at Exposure Gallery at the Biscuit Mill. We will have a bed there on Saturday for everyone to jump on and have their photographs taken."

Jumping on a bed while having your photo taken may sound like a strange concept... but if you're keen to either buy one of the photos, or have your photo taken (presumably for free), stop by the Biscuit Mill (map) on Saturday morning.

A busy Long Street at night

Long Street at Night
Long Street is an amazing place at night. It's lined with restaurants and bars and has loads of people streaming up and down all night long.

Long is a one-way, with it's parallel neighbour, Loop, running in the opposite direction. This particular section is near the top of the road - where it's pretty safe to walk around at night. The middle, or bottom is a lot quieter and not necessarily quite as safe, and I guess is a place that I'd only really walk around during the day.

Wine farms and wine dams

D'Aria Wine Farm
D'Aria, in Durbanville, is one of the lucky wine estates to have their own dam. Can you imagine how much water it takes to keep their grapes plump and juicy?

Incidentally, D'Aria is the home of the popular Poplars restaurant (map). I'm not huge fan of the restaurant, but many people love it, so I do think that it's worth a try at least - perhaps it's your kind of place. :)

Girl in the window

Girl in a window
Some people would say that Cape Town overflows with extraordinarily beautiful woman. While I acknowledge that taste does differ, I'd have to agree with the sentiment (and not only because the woman I know could feasibly gang up to inflict tremendous pain!). If you don't believe me, search the Western Cape province on ModelBase, arguably South Africa's leading model and photographer community. I think it's enough to sway even the greatest naysayer. :)

I found the beautiful young lady in this photo stuck in the window of a restaurant, and I'm willing to give 100 points to the first person able to tell me the name of the restaurant! :)

A horse, a field, and a dog

A not-so-big brown horse
We stumbled upon a herd of horses in a field - somewhere out the back of Durbanville. I unfortunately have no clue where, since at the time I wasn't quite sure of where I was! :)

I don't know much about horses, but what I learned is that they must be *really* shy animals, and certainly not too keen on having their photo taken. As soon as I approached with my camera they backed off - far away from the fence.

ps. Oh, about the dog... there was no dog, but "A horse and a field" seemed like a rather dull title for this photo. ;)

A graffiti hammock

A graffiti hammock
Did you spot the guy lying in the hammock, on the right side of the photo? Isn’t it awesome?

Some would say that this is “just graffiti”, or perhaps the defacement of the wall. But I think (and I trust that I’m not the only one) that there really is something awesome about it. Did you notice the text, and the care with which the dots and little lines have been drawn? Some people have such a talent for art. Me on the other hand… I’m really brilliant with stick-figures. :D

Mr Pickwicks – a “dodgy” restaurant on Long

Mr Pickwicks
Mr Pickwicks (map) is a small, and very popular, restaurant on Long Street. The only reason why I refer to it as "dodgy" in the title of this article is because it's not what one could call pretty, quaint, or upper-market - it's really fairly rustic. However, if you're looking for a great burger, with an awesome milkshake - this is definitely a place to try. They actually have an entire page in the menu dedicated to their assortment of awesome milkshakes! :)

Lourensford Wine Estate

Lourensford Wine Estate

Lourensford Wine Estate is a large estate in Somerset West that can trace its history back to the year 1700. We spent some time here watching Prime Circle rock the crowds at the estate's open-air venue. It's a beautiful spot to visit for lunch, so if you'd like lunch on a wine estate, consider heading to Lourensford (map).

Kfm and Mitsubishi

KFM's new Mitsubishi

Kfm is a local (as in "not national") radio station that plays mostly pop and commercial music, and seems to have wide appeal among Capetonians. In this photo you can see two of their new branded Mitsubishi "Ground Patrol" 4x4s, which roam the streets, handing out prizes to avid Kfm listeners. Click here to read more about them.

The Undefind – living the dream

Gareth James, The Undefind

The Undefind (that's right - it's spelt without an "e") is a Cape Town-based band that's on a mission to make it in the world of full-time music. It's often said that American musicians have it easy, but South Africa's music market is so small and the number of good bands so large that it makes surviving purely as a musician a huge challenge.

The Undefind are a reasonably young band of five, and according to their website they are all full-time musicians. Gareth (guitarist and lead vocalist, pictured in this photo) recently enlisted two of the band members, Chris (bassist) and Jeanré (drummer), to start up a three-piece acoustic version on of the band, which will be playing quieter sets at local restaurants and bars.

Check out their latest music video, Fragile Skin, below; and if you like it, take a moment to vote for them here on the KFM Homebrew Top 10 list.

Cape to Cuba

Cape to Cuba

Sticking to the Cuban theme of Che Latino Café, mentioned in a previous post, Cape to Cuba (pictured in this photo) is a chain of three restaurants heavily decorated in typical Cuban style, featuring exotic furniture and décor. The twist is that almost all the pieces of furniture and décor in the restaurant are for sale, so if you like something, you really can get to take it home!

Cape to Cuba restaurants are located in Kalk Bay, Long Street (in Cape Town) and Stellenbosch (map). This particular photo was taken at the Stellenbosh restaurant, but if I were to advise you on which to try, I'd suggest Kalk Bay (map). It's by far the best known of the three, and I've heard plenty of great things about that particular restaurant. :)

Bar on fire

Bar on fire

In a previous post I mentioned Che Latino Café in Brackenfell. While sitting outside trying desperately to even vaguely fit in with an entire crowd of friends that I didn't know, out of the corner of my eye I spotted an intense red glow coming from the bar area.

I jumped up to... take a photo and capture the moment. Naturally. :) But I found that the bar wasn't really on fire; the barman was squirting a flammable liquid along its length, creating this spectacular scene. What was surprising to me was that the patrons seemed to hardly even notice that the bar they were sitting at had flames leaping from it! (Leading me to believe that this was more of a regular thing than a special occasion.)

Another tough day in Cape Town

Camps Bay view
I'm sure we've mentioned this before, but I need to say it again: it's so HARD living in Cape Town. Really, you can't possibly understand unless you've spent at least a few weeks here. We've got this exquisite mountain, all these pristine beaches, gorgeous green forests, superb weather (if you don't count the wind), a picturesque harbour, breathtaking sunsets... *sigh*.

Being surrounded by all this beauty ALL THE TIME is such a burden. I do hope you feel sorry for us.

Che Latino Café

Che Guevara

Che Guevara, depicted in the photo above, is an icon that you're likely to have seen on t-shirts all over the world. His face is often used as a symbol of revolution or political awareness, but has become pretty fashionable over the years - thereby losing some of the meaning that it may have had in the past.

Che Latino Café (map), in the suburb of Brackenfell, is a hangout for locals in the surrounding areas. While you'll see a few "oldies" heading to the back to gamble, I'd guess the average age to be about 20 years old. The bar area rocks to the sound of local bands while the patrons relax on couches, bar chairs and even spill outside to socialise while sitting at tables, a little way away from the loud music inside.

Horse-and-cart rides

Horse and Cart

If you're looking for a place to enjoy breakfast or lunch while your kids play on a large open lawn and go on horse-and-cart rides right in front of you, think of visiting the Joostenberg Deli and Bistro on the Klein Joostenberg farm.

The farm is on the R302, the long road that leads from the N1 national highway to Stellenbosch, so it's pretty convenient if you're planning a day trip to Stellenbosch. Kerry-Anne and I had an early breakfast under the trees at the bistro. The food was tasty (albeit a little rich for our delicate digestive systems), and the service was great (although, I guess having a friend wait on us has its advantages ;) ).

The leisurely horse-and-cart rides on the lawn cost R10 per person, and I *think* adults can join in the fun. If we weren't in so much of a hurry to get to some business in Stellenbosch, I'm fairly sure that Kerry-Anne would have insisted on a ride. :)

County Fair’s chickens

A County Fair farm

I recently had the opportunity to visit a friend who lives on one of County Fair's farms. County Fair is one of the large broiler rearers in South Africa - to the left of this photo are the large structures that house the chickens.

I have to say that the visit to the farm made me somewhat sad. While I know that many will say "they're only chickens", I can't escape the fact that theirs must be a terrible existence. Kerry-Anne buys only free-range chicken and eggs, and while there's a chance that free-range chickens don't necessarily have a much better life than the non-free-range variety, at least they do get to potter around outside in the sunshine.

Take a moment to visit Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary's blog. The sanctuary rescues farm animals, and the blog tells their stories. (They also have some great farm animal photos :) ).

Shark Spotters’ flags

Diving Fins

While I know that sharks travel all waters, it's fairly common knowledge that they are more likely to frequent the waters of False Bay, visiting places like Muizenberg and Fish Hoek. Swimming on "the safe side" (i.e. in Table Bay) has its downside though, in that the water is a fair bit colder than the waters of False Bay.

If you do ever swim at False Bay's popular Fish Hoek beach, be sure to keep an eye out for the Shark Spotters' flags. The Spotters sit high up on the hills watching the ocean for the presence of sharks. They radio information to their colleagues on the beaches, who in turn raise one of four flags:

  • Green - A Shark Spotter is on duty, they have good visibility, and there are no sharks.
  • Red - A shark has been spotted in the area in the last two hours.
  • Black - A Shark Spotter is on duty but visibility is poor.
  • White with black shark - There is a shark in the area, stay out of the water.

When a shark is spotted, a siren is simultaneously sounded, indicating that swimmers should stay out of the water. The only time you should really enter the water is when you see a green flag. If it's any other colour, it would be best to keep out of the water.

In closing, remember that if it's a beautifully warm day, and you notice that you're the only one swimming... there's probably a good reason. ;)

Press the button

Press the button

What would *you* do if you saw this button on a wall? Isn't it just screaming out to be pressed? If you're anything like me, then you'd probably want to push it just to see what it does. Maybe it wouldn't be quite so irresistible if it were labeled something less tempting and more useful - like, perhaps... "BELL". :)

Cars and movies

Pontiac GTO

It's fairly well-known that many international movie producers shoot films in Cape Town, and to be honest, it's kinda weird seeing familiar sights in Cape Town represented as being in another country.

One of the tag-along industries that has developed alongside film-making is the rental of cars - specifically old cars like this Pontiac GTO. Who would believe that there's actually enough money to be made renting out old cars to support more than one such business? There's one business not far from where we live that does just this, and I just discovered Cape Cars who appear to have an assortment of cars specifically for film shoots! I wonder how many other businesses make their livelihood from Hollywood and Bollywood film shoots, and whether or not I should get in on some of the action... :)

Emergency taxi phone

Emergency taxi phone

In February I told you about Rikkis Cabs, and how you really should use them if you find that you or perhaps your designated driver has had a little bit too much alcohol to drink and you need a ride home.

So next time that you're out, keep your eyes open for phones like this one - they put you directly in touch with Rikkis who will dispatch a taxi to you in a dash. Alternatively, keep their number, 0861 745 547, on your cell phone (perhaps under "Taxi") just in case you need them some day.

Breakfast at Café Caprice

Breakfast at Caprice

In my previous post I spoke about the transformation that Café Caprice (map) undergoes as night time approaches. While it's one of the very popular beach cafés and night-time socialising spots, it's also well known for its breakfast vibe and menu.

We've only visited Caprice for breakfast twice, but on both occasions it was relaxed, not too busy, and the food was just great. My first breakfast at Caprice was the Madame Caprice, which is made up of two slices of French toast, buttered with mustard, filled with bacon and cheese, and topped with a fried egg. This time I decided to have the vanilla- and cinnamon-flavoured French toast, accompanied by strawberries, bacon, and a dash of syrup on the side. Awesome stuff I tell you!

If you're going to visit Caprice for breakfast then be sure to get there early (like as in 8am) as the relaxed atmosphere shouldn't be missed, and I think that it gets a fair bit busier later in the morning. :)

Café Caprice at night

Caprice at night

In the evening, Café Caprice (map), one of the restaurants that face onto the Camps Bay beachfront, transforms from its day-time beach-restaurant feel into a bar crowded with dozens of socialising people. While you'll find folk of all ages, most of the patrons seem to be in their mid 20s or early 30s, and are definitely ready to party.

Kerry-Anne was out with "the girls", so I spent a while here with two friends before we headed out for pizza at Col'cacchio. I'm not sure that night-time Caprice is quite my cup of tea, but I have to admit that (if you're single ;) ) there certainly is a huge amount of eye-candy all around.

Night time on Camps Bay beach

Camps Bay Beach

Even though I didn't have a tripod handy, the final colours of the setting sun were too beautiful a photo opportunity to pass up. In the distance a handful of people still walked along the water's edge, soaking up nature's tranquillity, while behind me the bars and restaurants teemed with the beautiful people of Cape Town.

You only have a few weeks left before the cold weather sets in, so if you haven't been out to Camps Bay for dinner and drinks yet, I strongly suggest that you do so soon. :)

A river swells from little streams

Movement for Change

The title of this post is the tagline for The Movement for Good, a group of companies and individuals that have joined together to help foster moral regeneration. The tagline speaks exactly to what I understand their core philosophy to be, and that is that if you and I start doing good things, stop breaking even the most inconsequential laws, and start being "good people", then that will have an effect on our country's general morality.

I'm sure that they don't mean that not picking wild flowers, not speeding, and not watering your garden during water restrictions will prevent violent crimes in the short term, but I rather imagine that the philosophy says that failure to abide by the small laws and sense of morality promotes slightly more significant crime and moral degradation (perhaps in others), which in turn snowballs into a lack of respect for other people's possessions or even lives.

Sure, it's quite a leap to get from contravening small laws and senses of morality to the big issues of theft and violence, but kids learn from their elders and if elders instil good values into children then I really do believe that it could stop the snowball and have a positive effect on crime and morality in general.

Add your stream to the river, visit their website, read up about their focus areas (Safety, Education, Environment, Health, and Youth), and join the movement!

Not the way to do sushi

A sushi platter

We visited Wasabi in Constantia for a sushi feast with a few friends, and at this occasion I learned one important lesson about eating sushi out:

Pay full price for your sushi and never order the sushi platter that's on special. :)

This particular platter cost about R100 and seemed to contain all the small offcuts of salmon and tuna, as well as many vegetarian pieces that, judging by how dry the carrots appeared, weren't very fresh at all.

I ended up eating just over half of the platter before realising that I really wasn't enjoying it enough to continue. From the way the other folk at the table devoured their meals, I assume that the other sushi must have been good; but this was presumably because they didn't order the platter that was on special. :-/

St Joseph’s Marist College, the reprise

Catholic Chapel

My last three photos, and now this one too, were taken at St Joseph's Marist College in Rondebosch. This photo is of the school chapel, the one attached to the bottom of the tower in yesterday's photo. I did some research and turned up a Facebook page called "I went to St. Joesph's [sic] College, Rondebosch".

Visit the page and read the Basic Info section, and then click through to the Wall - it's terribly entertaining and will give you some insight into what life must have been like at the college. I guess it may also cause you to realise that almost everywhere, students are the same. :)

In closing, let me share what I found to be the funniest line from the Basic Info section of the page:

" If you were one of the lucky students to attend St. Joesph's Marist College, you would remember a few of these little things, that make the school a legend:
The time a bunch of kids tried to perform and exorcism on the "HAUNTED STATUE" of the Saint!
" :D

I wonder if it's this statue to which the writer refers?

Christianity and perspective

Church tower

According to a 2001 census, 80% of South Africans view themselves as Christian. Of course, what is considered to make one a Christian differs from person to person.

Some South Africans would say that if you go to church every week you're a Christian, while others will attend church only on Christmas Day, and perhaps over Easter. Yet others would claim that going to church means nothing and that it's your belief that makes you a Christian. A large proportion of black South Africans declare themselves Christian even though their Christian beliefs are often a mixture of Western-style Christianity and traditional African culture, beliefs, and ancestral practices.

It seems to me as though this large Christian contingent is quite a mixed bag of variations on Christianity. If you were to dig your hand in to pull out a Christian, each time you did so you may end up with a Christian who believes something vastly different to the previous Christian you pulled out. :D

Books and encyclopaedias

World Book

I took this photo while wandering around one of our prestigious Catholic schools, St Joseph's College in Rondebosch (map). St Joseph's has both a junior and a senior school, housed in separate buildings, and clearly places a lot of emphasis on cricket - they have two large cricket ovals, which, according to one of the ex-pupils, is where kids spent most of their days after school and on weekends, batting, bowling, and running after cricket balls.

An interesting thing about this photo is the World Book encyclopaedia in the window. This particular encyclopaedia was first published in 1917, only one year before the school opened its doors. I think it's rather an interesting coincidence that these books and the building in which they lie both originated at around the same time.