This past Saturday, our friends invited us to spend the day with them, and at the end of the day they were going to braai. To braai is essentially to barbecue, and it is a big part of the South African heritage.
Our friends are Daniel and Alene, their kids, and their grandkids. The kids range in age, but we spent much of the day with Keziah, she is a bit younger than Syarra, and her brother, Samuel, who is a couple years younger than Keziah.
We had a wonderful time. They picked us up at our home and we went into the main part of Cape Town. We first went to Green Point Park, a large beautiful space. At one end of the park is the gigantic stadium that was built when South Africa hosted the World Cup for soccer. Now the stadium sits empty most of the time. But the park is lovely. There is a biodiversity walk with many different plants one can look at. And it borders a wetland. There are playground areas designed for kids the age of ours, and another for kids younger than ours.
We had a picnic where we enjoyed sandwiches, homemade biscuits (cookies), crunchies (which are like granola bars), and cooldrinks (which is soda or soft drinks). Alene even brought hot water to serve tea.
From there, we took a trip in the car down Beach Road, passing through areas between the mountains on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. We went through Sea Point which has a beautiful promenade that stretches for a couple of kilometres. It is a haven for kids, joggers, and beach goers. And on a warm spring Saturday (it is spring here as we are in the Southern Hemisphere), there were plenty of people on the promenade.
We reached Camps Bay which has a long beach that was crammed full of people. However, almost no one was in the water. The Atlantic Ocean is pretty cold.
We passed between two mountains and entered Hout Bay. It is a bay off of the Atlantic and the city here is actually named the Republic of Hout Bay. Wesley, father of Keziah and Samuel, explained that long ago Hout Bay wanted to be its own separate nation. Of course, it isn't and never was. But somehow the name stuck.
We stopped at the bay itself and ran into the water. Not all the way! I personally let it get up to about my ankles and I could feel the heat being sucked out of my body through my feet. Thank goodness the sand was so warm and soon, like a reptile, I was functional again.
Following the beach, we drove to a lookout along the side of Chapman's Peak. It gave us great views of Hout Bay. I am attaching two pictures. The first is the bay with the mountains on the other side (and a slight bit of my finger. Oops. Well, it adds character.) The second is the same view with my family (and don't worry, no one is choking Carver, he's just being Carver) and our friend Daniel. This Daniel is actually the son of the Daniel I mentioned earlier. I know, a plethora of Daniels.
From Hout Bay we returned to the elder Daniel's home where he cooked on the braai. He made chicken, borewors (pronounced bore-uh-vores, which is a uniquely South African sausage), and ostrich steaks. All three were incredible. Plus, Alene had beets, pasta salad, salad, corn on the cob (which I guess around here they call maize), and then cream puffs for dessert. It was all delicious, and we were definitely well fed.
While the braai was going, it was also the time that the South Africa Springboks were playing against the New Zealand All-Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semifinals. Much like cricket, I needed Wesley to give me some lessons in what was going on. But now I can talk about scrums, rucks, and mauls with the best of them! Except, most every time there was a penalty, I had no idea what happened.
Before the game began, the conventional wisdom was that the All-Blacks were going to crush the Springboks. Sadly, the Springboks did fall, but it was a close game. And we did all learn a lot about rugby and its rules. (By the way, did any of you know that the USA has a rugby team? Our team plays in the Rugby World Cup. Not well, but they exist. Until I came to South Africa, I had no idea.)
Saturday was a day of education, sightseeing, good food, and friendship. I hope there will be many more of those to come in our adventures.