Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Saturday, 25 July 2009

South Africa Chapter 3: Una Zebra a Pois

As you can expect in a five star accommodation, the few guests were all seasoned people. And it was colonial in many ways: the décor with grand candle holders and solid oak furnitures; the staff, mainly black, wearing kilts; and the paintings depicting hunting scenes and aristocratic portraits. I have contrasting feelings about colonialism: on one side I despise it and all its bad consequences it brought to this country which is still paying the consequences of apartheid despite the campaigns of a united country; on the other side I dwell in this atmosphere of decadent nostalgia and charm - watch Indochina to see what I mean.
Our four course meals were always accompanied by South African wines (I particularly enjoyed Klein Constantia Rhine Riesling, a dry white wine). After dinner one night we indulged in a romeo and juliet cuban cigar in front of the fireplace. Cats African Gizmo and Neil sitting on our laps.
Reading the guide James kindly presented. We renamed this cat Neil, as we thought he resembled our friend Neil. :)
In the morning, we had our first unescorted walking safari. After a generous breakfast, we set for a trekking to the mountain overlooking the estate. Half way through, I spotted a zebra with a big willy out. She was with friends: two bonteboks (i.e. antelope-type of animals). Unlike other animals, zebras happily mingle with other herbivores. From the top of the mountain the view was glorious. A large group of plains zebra and around 30 bonteboks were grazing the grass. Two of them were constantly on guard while the other ate. We tried to get as closer as we could following Steve's tactical plan of flanking them. The first time we failed due to my impatience of running straight to them. The second time we managed to get close enough to admire their stripes. After the trek, we took the car and drove to a nearby village which reminded me of Harlem. The contrast between poor people selling fruit on the road and posh mansions struck me. The landscape is reminiscent of some of the US states we crossed in 2007: straight roads, big spaces and red land... Some rock formations made me even think of the Moroccan scenery. Back to the estate we got a couples massage: a kahuna body massage lying next to each other in the same room. It was so relaxing and cheap (only £27) that I booked a facial for the following morning.

No comments: