At last, a break…. a short getaway to indulge in some R & R, play in the waves and bury our toes in golden sand. Before sunrise on the 1st of May Sir and I were on a plane en route to our weeklong break at the South Coast.
A pleasant break…
Day 1 : Where the fuck did all these bikers come from? Every Harley and his mother converged on the South Coast for Africa Bike Week, and we found ourselves competing for parking and road space with almost 30,000 bikers, most of them Harley Davidson enthusiasts. Those particular bikes are offensively noisy and had me searching classified ads for silencers…. Didn’t matter which kind – either for the bike, or for the gun you could use as soon as a rider took his helmet off and gave you a clear shot.
For the first four days, we spent more time than we wanted to at San Lameer, which Sir quickly renamed San Lament. It was rather dismal for a 4-star hotel and resort, where hot water, water pressure and Wi-Fi were a foreign concept. We got wetter from sea spray when the wind blew than we did in the shower in our hotel room, although Sir did look pretty cool breakdancing in the shower to try and get wet. What they did to simple food at the hotel restaurant was horrifying. But then again, we learnt that fine dining does not exist anywhere along the South Coast.
Here are some locals enjoying a snack in the manicured gardens….
Here they are again enjoying a round of bowls….
It had been more than three years since our last visit, and sadly, nothing had changed. We got the impression that the South Coast seems caught in a time warp, with no progress, no change, no improvement, and a lot of the people are just plain scary. Even the waiters are very different from the usually friendly, upbeat waiters we encounter everywhere else. Here they were quite sour, one did not understand a single word of English, Afrikaans, German, Italian (we had to fucking try), or my dismal attempt at “I am hungry, please bring food” in Sotho. We eventually gave up and attempted some touristy method of ordering by pretending to be oriental, and grinning broadly whilst shouting “SUPLIZE!!!”. We thought better of it, and instead pointed to what we wanted on the menu and made sure he went back to the kitchen with the menu in hand, just in case.
Then came the music. Loud. It wasn’t music actually – I think they just played a recording of a woman giving birth to quadruplets – each weighing 6 kilos. No epidural, no drugs. We tried sign language with the linguistically impaired waiter, first pointing at the speakers, and I thought I did a good impression – indicating ear pain, then a woman screaming with arms flailing and finally smiling and moving my hand in a calm downward motion, like a choir master. I think what he interpreted was “Turn it off, or I’m bringing a sumo wrestler to fuck you in your ears until you scream and wave your arms, and then he’ll squeeze you into a small box whilst smiling because he’ll be enjoying the experience.” He ran away, and 4 seconds later everything in the restaurant was switched off. You could hear a pin drop. No sound. Fuck I must learn to say “Please could you change the Birthing CD to something musical?” in at least 19 languages.
At another restaurant, the universal signal for ‘Bill please’, indicated by imaginary scribbling in the air, was interpreted as ‘Okay we’re ready to order again please bring your order pad’. Understandable, because sometimes at the end of your after-meal coffee you want to start all over again. No?
The weather was fantastic for the first four days, so we got in some good beach time and the waves were fantastic, but then the winds started and the waves looked pretty angry, and we found ourselves doing a lot of driving around looking for things to do.
At the resort, they had dips in the paved roads, instead of speedbumps, for the gazillions of golf carts. The dips really jarred my tits, and Sir indicated that the warning signs actually meant “Beware – road causes diaphragm to fall out”.
Considering the water problems at the resort, we thought this sign was misplaced and probably belonged on the honeymoon suite’s door instead:
Talking about honeymoons……. On one of our morning strolls we came across a few locals, among them Humping Henry. So, no humps on the roads, but there was plenty humping happening at San Lameer nonetheless. Why do I always find the humping wildlife wherever we go?!
And still on honeymoons…….. does this plant look horny or what?
And here’s some wildlife spotted in a parking lot area, apparently suffering from the same water-shortage we were experiencing…… where the fuck is your pond??
Finally, a week later, we hit the road for the 2 hour drive to the airport. En route I received an SMS to advise that our flight would be delayed for several hours. Totally pissed off, Sir decided that we’d extend our holiday and explore the North Coast for future holidays in KZN. After changing flight tickets and car hire at the airport, we went to Ballito and had lunch at a place called Zara’s Café. Can’t wait to get back there! Best meal we had that entire week.
We’ll be going back to Ballito for a short break early in August when my uncle returns from Saudi for a short holiday, and to get married, before returning to Saudi again. I hope Zara’s is catering this wedding. Or that they’ll have some authentic Durban curry on the menu. Hey Uncle the Baron, good thing you read my blog – make this shit happen please.
This post is already rather lengthy, so a short and simple recipe today will have to do. I served this as part of a trio of starters for lunch a couple of weeks ago, and had it for dinner on Saturday night. Lipsmacking – anything with bread ends up on my favourites list!
ROASTED ROMA TOMATO CIABATTA TOASTIES
- 2 Small Ciabatta Loaves
- 6 – 8 Roma Tomatoes, Halved
- Fresh Garlic Clove
- Olive Oil
- Basil Leaves
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 200⁰C.
- Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, cut a few shallow crosses on the cut side. Drizzle with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes…. Whatever floats your boat – they should be soft and slightly browned around the edges.
- Cut the ciabatta into 2cm slices, diagonally. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in a Panini toaster.
- Rub the toast slices with the raw garlic, or, make a paste of garlic, salt and olive oil, and spread thinly on the toast.
If you want these with mozzarella, tear up a bocconcini ball and place on the bread, melt the cheese under a hot grill, top with a tomato half and basil, drizzle with more olive oil, and stuff your face while it’s hot and juicy!