My journey in Cape Town was brief but lovely. I have great memories of those few days, especially the day trip to the Stellenbosch Wine Route. What an amazingly beautiful place! It was the first time I had even had South African wine -exports were no happening due to the economic sanctions placed against the apartheid regime. The landscape is awe-inspiring, especially in the fall when the vineyards were changing colors to a mosaic of gold, ocher, orange and red. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Napa Valley has nothing on it. I’ve been to both, believe me.
One of the wineries I remember the most is Fairview, with its concrete tower rising in front of the Cape Dutch building, where their goat heard hangs out. You may have tasted, or at least seen, a wine line called Goats do Roam. These are the goats! These folks also make outstanding goat cheeses, unfortunately not available here. But we tasted them along with the wines and loved them all. 16 years later, I am so happy that at least one of the wineries I visited has products available in Texas. We’ll be drinking these and some of my other favorites during the games. More on that on future post.
Before I left the cape, I cooked Mexican dinner for my host family and friends, I saw the bottom of the world (well, kinda), jumped in and out of the frigid Atlantic coast near the Cape of Good Hope (like an idiot), and sang La Bamba in Spanish with some friendly folks at a funky pub in Fish Hoek, if I remember correctly.
I then headed out on a bus to Durban, on the Eastern coast. There, I rendezvoused with other friends for an unforgettable trip to the Transkei, native land of Nelson Mandela. Words cannot describe the experience. I was awed and humbled by the people of the tiny village of Mboyti, in the middle of nowhere, along the most amazing stretch of coastline.
Really, the only reason I came back at all was because I had tickets to the World Cup games in Dallas. After watching arguably the best game of the cup, with Brazil beating Netherlands in the quarterfinal 3-2, I was glad I did. Today, though, I sure wish I was back in South Africa. Of course, today’s South Africa is no longer the same place I fell in love with. Change came bringing good and bad things to the Rainbow Nation, and I hope I can return soon to fall in love all over again. I raise a proud glass of Goats do Roam in your honor, my third motherland. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica!