Thursday, August 17, 2006

... South Africa - Sundowners

If you've traveled abroad you know that alcohol carries much less social stigma than it does in the U.S.. For instance, I drank wine at every dinner the entire trip - save one - and a few times at lunch. This included flights where they serve wine with the meal at no charge. This includes restaurants where you carry in your own bottle of wine. So I grew accustomed to Constantia Uitsig's Chardonnay. I also grew accustomed to "sundowners".

Every day at 3:30 the entire family would pile into the landie (landrover) and trek to our favorite watering hole where stem wear and chilled bottles of wine would appear from no where. Just as quickly, a very full glass was shoved into my hands (Dr. Hugo doesn't mess around with half full glasses and he certainly doesn't like to see it reach half full either... he was always topping it off) and a tin of escargot was offered to me. Skipping rocks in the water with Emma, we'd watch the suns slow, multicolored descent. Since it was winter, the land was dry making the dust levels high helping to create the famous African sunset we were able to enjoy daily.

By 5:00 the sun would be nearly set and it would be getting chilly. We'd drive back to camp where Funyon, our gardener, had a bon fire roaring; Reina, our maid, would have the table set; and Andy, Cathy's step mom, would have already had dinner prepared.

By 8:00 we'd eaten our meal, drank a number of glasses of wine (more if Dr. Hugo had his way) and found ourselves very sleepy. It had been dark for hours and there wasn't much else to do. A cup of tea and off to bed.


Bethany said...

Those tree sunset pics are WONDERFUL!!!!! Love them. And the other pictures and your stories...sounds like the way life should be. Not rushed enjoying the sunset and beauty of nature. I am loving your posts lately I can journey with you through them. Thanks.

Ashleigh said...

I agree with Bethany, wonderful sunset pictures! I found myself feeling relaxed just reading about your days there.