Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 7 - Stellenbosch & Koelbaai

Today was a chill day. I met up with a fellow Couch Surfer, Erica, who is Italian but studying in Ireland. She is in Stellenbosch for 10 weeks for a sports therapy practical.

We walked around town, visiting the student commons of the university, the church and the Village Museum. Since I was intrigued at how a student center at an SA university was like, we lunched at the food court there. Almost every vendor sold the same items-- sandwiches, pizzas and burgers. There was one vendor that sold some Asian fare--mainly Chinese and Japanese.

Being the sociologist at heart that I am, I observed that there were limited cases of racial mixing visible at the food court. I guess the situation is similar in the U.S., with our form of "cafeteria self-segregation" present at all university campuses.

After lunch, Richard took us to the winery that his girlfriend Liezl works at. She took us on a cellar tour. One notable fact that I learned is that an oak barrel costs R9,000 (U.S.$900) and is only used a few times. Geez, it does cost a fortune to establish a winery! We also tasted this sweet viral-infected wine.

One observation that I have to comment on is that South Africans like to walk barefoot in public. It is the "African way". I cannot comprehend why they would want to put their feet at risk from getting blisters, tape worms, cuts and gashes. I guess one's feet can adjust to hot concrete after a few exposures.

After bidding farewell to Richard and Liezl, I went off camping with another CSer, Kobus and his friends. The campsite was at a beach called Koelbaai, on the opposite side of Cape Town on False Bay. The drive there was stunning, as the road hugs along the coast. We were able to witness the spectacular sunset with the Cape Peninsula in the background. As usual, the sky turned pinkish after sunset. The beach was picturesque and unspoilt, surrounded by mountains and littered with rocks.

Dinner was a delicious pasta with tomatoes, olives and feta, cooked over a camp fire. I also got a taste of boerwoors, the South African spiral-shaped sausage cooked on braais.

We all slept without tents and directly under the numerous stars on the beach. This was my first time doing this and it felt great! Not only did I admire the stars, but also enjoyed hearing the waves crashing.

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