A Collection of Vineyards

Being in the wine capital of South Africa, it was only necessary to fully immerse myself in this culture and vineyard hop as much as possible. Below are a few of the many vineyards I was able to visit. As usual, the pictures don't do any justice to how unbelievable they were. They were all gorgeous with unique and beautiful buildings and land. And of course, the wine was superb.

Beyerskloof Wine Farm:




For the break five of us ventured all the way up to Mozambique! We flew out of Cape Town Sunday afternoon, and arrived to Johannesburg in the evening. From there we took an Intercape bus (which is comparable to a Greyhound bus) overnight for 9 hours. 

We got to the boarder of Mozambique at 7 am Monday morning, and had to go through customs etc. in order to get across. Besides the long line it was much easier than we had anticipated however I’m sure the fact that we had gotten our travel visas ahead of time was a huge help. It was a very surreal sight walking across the boarder and seeing all the cops strolling around carrying fully loaded AK-47s. After crossing the boarder we hopped back on the bus and drove further north several more hours until reaching Maputo. 

We had little time to explore a lot of Maputo, but sadly it is very rundown and dirty and the economic stress in the city is very apparent. It was hard to get over my first impression of the city as well... Right as we were driving into the city we came to a major roundabout, where we saw, in the water around the center part, a naked woman (to say it politely) going number two. 

Once we got into the bus station, we then took a taxi to the mini-bus station, which was yet another adventure. Large amounts of Africa has no sort of public transportation, so the closet thing they have is thousands of mini-bus taxis, or what they call them ‘chapas’. Although the chapas are very inexpensive, the drivers are paid through commission so they strive for quantity far before quality. To give you an example, for the 8-hour ride to Inhambane there were 27 of us in a van that should normally seat 15. It was by far the hottest, and most uncomfortable ride I have had a in a long time (and I even got the honor of sitting next to a small fleet of cockroaches that lived on the van wall next to my seat.)

As always, make sure you click on the pictures to see them in full quality!

Hard to tell, but we were so crammed! There is also no commercial post in Mozambique, so all packages and massive bags of food that people transport to sell were spread and stacked across the little floor space.

Needless to say, by the time we got to Tofo, we were exhausted but so happy to be in such a beautiful place. Tofo was absolutely stunning. The hostel we stayed at was literally right on the beach, so we occupied our days with swimming, lounging, reading, relaxing, etc. It was off-season for tourists as well, so we had the luxury of being nearly the only ones on the beach. We ate lots of good food, tried the local rum called Tinto Tinto, and got lots of fresh mango and fruits from the little market within walking distance.

The beach at sunset

Overlooking the ocean- where we spent many hours reading and relaxing!

Road to Fatima's Nest (the hostel we stayed at).

Our beds and mosquito nets (thanks to being a Malaria zone..) 
Looking out of a little internet cafe we found.

The restaurant and bar at Fatima's.

The beach! The water was so warm and the sand squeaked under your feet it was so clean.

We found this guy who does day trips for snorkeling and deep sea fishing. Although we didn't get to see any whale sharks, we did see dolphins, lots of fish and starfish, and sea snakes!

Caught a monster.

The fish we helped (aka watched and tried not to get in the way) catch! The guy that took us has some connection with a small island resort called Linga Linga, where we took the fish and had it for lunch. Not only was it delicious, but it was by far the freshest thing I have ever eaten!

We did a sunset snorkel and got back as the sun was fully set.

Our room/hut

Clothes line outside bathroom

Carnival - Cape Town

Looking down Long Street- Notice the MASSIVE disco ball!

The day before flying to Johannesburg for break, we stopped in Cape Town for the mock Carnival they had. In imitation of Brazil’s Carnival (although I’m sure isn’t even comparable), Cape Town got a little hectic! All of Long St. was completely blocked off and they had a massive night parade. It was easily one of the longest parades I have ever seen, but there were over 2,500 dancers and tons of floats. It was way cool to watch!

Samantha and I from the balcony!

These people were unbelievable at making the animals walk realistically!

Odds and Ends

I’ve been so focused on all the little trips here and there we’ve been taking, I haven’t really said a whole lot about Stellenbosch yet! The campus of SU is absolutely beautiful. All of the streets and buildings are lined with a wide assortment of trees and flowers, and . The architecture is old fashioned and lovely, but very well maintained. Being mostly focused on the university, the town of Stellenbosch isn’t terribly big, and has the nice sense of a college town. There are lots of restaurants and a few places to shop here and there. There are several bars and pubs spread out, and some places with live music too. It’s no Cape Town, but we haven’t had a hard time finding ways to stay occupied. 

Overlooking the library and a few classrooms

Flowers on Bosman Street

Academia at night- Stellenbosch Mountain in the background

And all the cars are tiny!

It’s a really interesting dynamic, the accents sound like a mixture of Australian and English, and the style is very European. Everyone dresses very fashionable and always looks far too put together for an 8 am class. Also, Stellenbosch has a ‘shoes are optional’ attitude and everywhere you go there are always numerous people totally barefoot (including the grocery store, class, out to dinner, etc.) And the number one hairstyle? I kid you not, the mullet. Apparently once South Africans move away from home it is seen as a rebellious gesture to keep it short in the front but grow the back out. Many guys seem to think that a moustache compliments a mullet too, so interestingly enough that look is everywhere.  Nice. 

Due to my marketing exam tomorrow this blog will be cut short, (apparently even in the most beautiful of places we are still expected to do work...) so there will be more to follow very soon!

Spier Vineyard

Being that Stellenbosch is the wine capital of South Africa, it will be very necessary that we take a few tours of the local vineyards (just for educational purposes Dad). The vineyard was absolutely gorgeous, and the wine was even better. We first got to check out the cheetahs and eagles that they have, then a little lunch outside, before taste testing some delicious local wine. 

All the light fixtures were made out of strips of recycled milk cartons

And the ceiling consisted of the bottoms of milk cartons flipped inside out!