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Sj visit 2017   

Sunday July 23/4   
Away for the weekend:    Part 5: Franschhoek.

Up early in hopes of seeing more zebra tv before we had to leave. Only problem with the room the lack of a shower, only a bath. Js not impressed.


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Early morning zebra TV.

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m m m zebra 3 links

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err not a zebra

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2017.JPG dawn light

Breakfast up at the main house at a table so wide you could barely pass things across it. Discussion over the meal as to why we were bothering to run right back to the city. We were in a beautiful place, why not stay another night? Oh yes please!

Fortunately the hotel manager was also onboard with this plan so another night quickly arranged. We didn't have to leave the zebras!


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Breakfast up at the main house

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Breakfast at a table so wide you could barely pass things across it.

Decided that we'd try again for the wine tram so just like the day before we parked by the main gate and walked down into mFranschhoek. The ts had seen some m m artwork Two links the night before that they liked, African animals painted in bright colors and had decided to purchase a piece so headed there first. In addition to some large pieces that cj and ra liked they also had a selection of smaller animals done on watercolor paper, the ts decided to get a selection of those and even sj not immune, they had zebras!


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Art by m m Paddy KMuchwa Two links

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Bought our ticket for the wine tram and boarded a bus which took us to a train which took us us to a winery. The way the system worked, the train or bus would return once an hour to collect people and then drive to the next estate on the list so depending on the time you started you could visit from three to five wineries over the course of the day. We'd chosen the route that included mChamonix wine estate where we were staying so that rather than returning to town we could instead disembark there at the end of the day. the first train had departed at 10am (too early to drink even for us) so we could only stop at a maximum of three wineries.

As none of us actually knew anything about any of the wineries we did the sensible thing and made our selections based on the names and available amenities. So it was that our first stop of the day was at Rickety Bridge. Disembarked from the train and immediately boarded a passenger wagon being pulled behind an old tractor. Taken for a short drive through the wineyard before being deposited at the main house. Found a table in the garden and ordered a tasting for each of us (at 40 rand each, about $3) it seemed rude to split a tasting. Ordered a meat and cheese plate to go with it and had a lovely hour sitting in the sun and pretending to know something about wine.

At the end of the hour were escorted back to the wagon, then onto the train and back towards town. Decided to skip the next 2 stops and push on to mMaison where we could get lunch. Here we learned the ridiculousness of the wine tour. For Maison was the next estate on the road but in order to get there we'd had to take the train back into town and then take a bus back out again. We could have just walked.

Lunch turned out to be very good though some confusion as to how to order it. It also was long and as a result we missed the next pickup meaning we wouldn't be able to visit a 3rd estate. We were terrible wine tourists. Consulted the pick up schedule and realized that there was an estate right across the street [mLeopard's Leap] but since there were other estates with pick ups in between if we walked across the street we had a good 20 minutes before the last bus. Did just that, much to the confusion of the gate guard who had apparently never had anyone walk in before.

Arriving at the tasting room we explained that we were on a deadline and proceeded to do the fastest tasting ever. We'd bought one bottle from each of the other two estates we'd visited so purchased one here as well to go with dinner (our plan was to eat our leftovers from the night before).

Ready and waiting when the last bus arrived. "Did you walk here?" One of the employees asked in confusion, apparently they had gone in to look for us and been confused by our disappearance. Whoops.


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Boarded the tram.

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Boarded a passenger wagon being pulled behind a nice old fergie.

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Ordered a meat and cheese plate.

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A nice old Fergie. [but red, not Fergie grey.]

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Next on to mMaison for lunch.

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Walked across the street to mLeopard's Leap Winery

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Much to the confusion of the gate guard who had apparently never had anyone walk in before.

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Was he confused because we were so long and flat??

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Arrived at the tasting room we explained that we were on a deadline and proceeded to do the fastest tasting ever.

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Apparently, this suited cj.

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and th.

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Caught the last bus out even though we apparently didn't exist.

Disembarked when we got to mChamonix wine estate and headed back to our rooms. Still fairly early so ts started a ping pong tournament and s/j made themselves comfortable on the porch to watch the zebras.

Dinner in s/js room.


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The ts started a ping pong tournament

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Made ourselves comfortable on the porch to watch the zebra

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and the sunset

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some more comfortable than others

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The little old man put together a rare blend drawn from the bottom of the bottles.

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It seemed to work ok.

Monday July 24   Our last day.

Zebra tv was showing a special on springbok when we woke up. This time no choice, we had to check out. Breakfast at the main house, which turned out to have more stuffed animals than even our rooms. Another set of hopefully fake tusks in front of the fire and some zebra skin chairs that seemed like they'd be problematic to sit in. Tried out said chairs and then packed our bags and reluctantly said goodbye to the (living) zebra. S/j with the earlier flight so headed straight back to the ts to get packed while the rest ran a few errands.


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Zebra tv was showing a special on springbok when we woke up.

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2023.JPGEven more trophies in the main house and the means to kill them.

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Another set of hopefully fake tusks in front of the fire

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Very disconcerting umbrella stand.

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some zebra skin chairs that seemed like they'd be problematic to sit in.

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The 2017 'official' photograph

Whirlwind packing job with sj handing as much stuff as possible off to js to take home. Charged devices and transferred all of the pictures to js laptop, js phone, sis phone, sj slr, and then ra's phone, cj phone, ra camera, cj camera and two phone. Apparently we'd taken a lot of photos. Nearly 10 gigs, thanks to several hundred very high ra safari pictures on the slr.

We'd also managed to accomplish a significant number of the items in the list the ts had written for us.


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We'd also managed to accomplish a significant number if the items in the list the ts had written for us.

Loaded up thumb drives, had lunch in the garden and then it was time for s/j to head out. Said our goodbyes and jumped in the rental car. Ra and cj would be following in a few hours and the ts would have their house to themselves again.

Filled up the gas tank and then missed the exit for the rental car an error that cost us 15 minutes, getting tight in time by the time we made it to the terminal. Confused the woman at check in with our divergent travel plans but before we knew it we'd cleared security, exited immigration, and were boarding our plane.

No fancy seats with miles of legroom this time but a window and aisle seat to ourselves. Lots of empty room in premium economy though so js decided to upgrade so that he could have more leg room and sj could have two seats to herself.

No rest for the wicked though and sj watching movies and journaling the entire time.




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