A Whale of a Time! My Life 19 AUG 2008

WhaleYay, weekend away time at last! We haven’t been on a weekend away in quite some time now, so we were understandably looking quite forward to this weekend where we would be joining Monty and Cheryl in their holiday flat out on the Point in Mossel Bay.

Honestly, I don’t understand women. We’re going away for a weekend, Chantelle has the day off before we leave and what does she do? She spends the whole day cleaning the flat! Apparently she can’t bear to leave with a dirty flat and when queried about it, she flatly responded ‘I have tits and this is what we do when we go away’, nipping that particular conversation short right there. Thankfully I at least managed to convince her not to wash her car right before we were scheduled to leave on the 3 and half, 4 hour drive!

The other thing I don’t get has to do with packing. I pack out all the things I want to take with and when I arrive there I find that my load had literally doubled, with Chantelle supplementing my packed goods with everything she thought I might need or might ‘come in handy’ or for ‘just in case’ as well!

Needlessly to say, when next we take a holiday trip overseas, I’m definitely doing the packing – her luggage load would cost us an extra ticket I tell you! :P

Considering the last time we hit the N2 road this far out, our 3 and a half hour trip was a pleasure compared to the 8 hour hell the last time we drove through to Oudtshoorn and I succumbed to a severe bout of gastro. I drove while the last vestiges of sunlight were still apparent, before handing over the reins of the little green Getz to Chantelle so that she could do the bulk of the driving thanks to the fact that my night vision is not all that great anymore.

The ride was pretty uneventful and we managed to find the Perna Perna flats without too much trouble, where we hooked up with an eagerly expectant Cheryl and Monty who were happily awaiting our arrival after bragging to us all about the whales that had been playing in the bay just before we had left Gordon’s Bay.

Now as Murphy’s Law would have it, every single time there is an event that we are looking forward to or a holiday trip we are about to embark on, one of us falls sick, and this time it was my turn as just a few days before our departure I came down with a nasty little cold that left me with a throbbing, raspy throat and lots of mucous everywhere, meaning that the little mentioned tissue box was now in fact my best friend in the whole wide world.

And as if Murphy still wasn’t having enough fun, he even arranged for the bad weather to follow us in, turning what had been a wonderfully warm and sunny week in Mossel Bay into a grey and overcast weekend instead. Luckily for us though, despite the lack of sun or warmth, at least the rain kept its distance, only falling late at night when everyone was in bed anyway!

Now the Montgomerys have a tradition in that every time they go to Mossel Bay they don’t take any food with them, instead opting to eat out every night and in so doing enjoy their holiday to the max – meaning that we too were included in this plan and so we made our way down the road to the Kingfisher restaurant, a cosy but smart little seafood restaurant that is stacked on top of the Delfinos pizza place that is right on the sea at Mossel Bay’s beautifully tourist-centric The Point area.

As always we enjoyed a wonderful meal with each other, with Monty happily annoying everyone by taking a gazillion photos and thereby blinding everyone in the restaurant in the process. Unfortunately for me though, while everyone got to quite enjoy their meals (they had been there previously in the week and swore by the delicious food), my hake and chips turned out not to be their best effort ever, which was made all the more disappointing by the rather poor pudding that followed it. Oh well, I guess you win some, you lose some!

Back to the flat, late night, and obviously its Olympics time :)

Saturday and while we had toyed with the idea of driving up to the Plettenberg Bay area and visiting Monkey Land and Birds of Eden, the grey weather and seemingly exorbitant entrance fees for these two marvels had seen to our change of plans and instead we drove through to George to go view the old houses that Chantelle had grown up in when she was a child as well as visit with one of their old friends on their plot just outside of Victoria Bay on the outskirts of George.

We enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining and long visit with the friends, sampling one of the tastiest chocolate cakes that I’ve eaten in a long, long time as well as a delicious ‘sout tert’ and even got a view of their two beautiful Siberian huskies (that join the three other dogs and a cat that are already living with them!).

Our time in George up, we then raced home to catch the second half of the particularly disappointing beating that the Sprinkboks received from the All Blacks down at Newlands (thank goodness we weren’t sitting there in the stadium!) before Chantelle and I ventured out for a wonderful stroll around The Point area.

First stop entertainment for the night was to be the Garden Route Casino, a favourite hangout of Cheryl, particularly since Monty and she had won so big (R1600 on the 10 cents machines is big if you ask me) earlier in the week. While Monty wasn’t particularly keen on spending time there again, the rest of us were all keen and so we dragged him off to the casino where he promptly lost R200 and went off looking for drinks. I managed to win R50 off the R50 that I played out on the slots (but then gave it to Chantelle to play in addition to her initial amount thanks to the fact that she was doing so nicely at the time), and Chantelle and Cheryl also both walked out with a little extra in their pockets, with this being the first time ever that Chantelle has actually managed to win something at a casino! :)

Next for the night was supper out at Cattle Baron at the Langenberg Mall, where we treated Cheryl and Monty to a great meal out as thanks for letting us join them there in Mossel Bay for what had been a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable weekend away so far. Again, a fun time was had by all, including the poor waitress who did a sterling job in dealing with all our maddening requests, questions and comments, and by the time it was home time, everyone was thoroughly satisfied (particularly me because my food was a major step up from the horrible stuff I had endured the previous night) and ready for bed.

After a bit of Olympics on the telly of course.

Sunday morning and Perna Perna was the busiest I had yet to see it, with everyone packing up and getting ready to go as the resort requests that you be out by 10:00 in the morning, making it impossible for the other to sleep in for as long as they had been doing all the other previous mornings.

Amazingly enough the Montgomery (+ one Lotter) clan was all packed and ready to go come 10:00 and we bid our fond farewells to one another as Monty and Cheryl hit the scenic road to extend their holiday by one more night at the warm baths along the R62 and Chantelle and I hit the scenic road home in an attempt to extend our weekend away out as long as possible.

First stop for the two of us was simply The Point where we were entertained by some frolicking whales, much to Chantelle’s pleasure as the weather had finally cleared up enough to leave us with some gorgeous sunshiny goodness and plenty of calm waters for the big fellas to play in. Satisfied in finally having had some good whale spottings, we then headed out along the N2 and drove through to Vleesbaai, my old holiday destination with the Engelbrechts and a picturesque seaside place that I really wanted to show Chantelle who had never been there before.

And, as the Gods of Chance would have it, Liz and the guys from Stellenbosch also happening to be staying out there for the weekend, making it the perfect opportunity for us to drop by for a visit and in so doing finally allow Chantelle to put a face to the name and meet my ex in person for the first time.

Obviously I was a bit nervous about the matter (less so than Chantelle I assure you), but in the end we had a great visit together, drinking loads of coffee and spending well over two hours there, catching up on all the old new and so forth.

However, time was pressing on, and eventually we had to take our leave, driving through to the next stop which was Gouritzmond, ironically Chantelle’s old camping spot and a place that I hadn’t been to before. By this stage the wind was picking up quite a bit, so we didn’t spend quite as much time in Gouritzmond as we might have liked to do, but it was a nice stop nevertheless.

Back on the road, it was my turn at the wheel, where I happily drove us along while Chantelle got to practice her snoozing skills in the passenger’s seat beside me. We stopped off for an impromptu lunch at Riversdale Wimpy, and after a delicious crack at their new ‘global burgers’, we were back on the road and making good time on the way home.

Unfortunately for Chantelle though, the hairy light and warmth in the car meant that I couldn’t do all the driving forever, and by the time we reached Riviersonderend, she had to reluctantly wake up and take over from me, bringing us safely home for the last stretch of our journey.

So there you have it. A perfect end to the perfect weekend away – exactly what we needed. Just to bad that Chantelle is now on her way to being as sick as a dog while my love affair with the tissue box is now almost at an end! ;)

Related link: http://www.pernapernamossel.co.za/

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.