Saturday Afternoon Drive My Life 16 SEP 2008

Soap GirlsSaturday afternoon, and on her return from Andrea’s Treasure Chest lingerie party at the guesthouse (to which I was not invited – not sure whether that was a good thing or a bad thing), Chantelle and I decided that such gorgeous summer’s weather was not to be wasted and therefore grabbed our shades and hopped into the Getz, striking the big road with Hout Bay our ultimate destination.

After a long sun-soaked, picturesque drive with ’30 Goue Sokkie Treffers’ blaring out over the speakers, we eventually ambled into Hout Bay harbour (after a few lucky guesses on which turns to take) and stopped in front of a fairly busy beach front which was currently enjoying loads of attention from all the kiddies brave enough to dare the still rather cold water.

Despite Chantelle’s protestations that our reason for coming to Hout Bay in the first place was to devour their delicious fish and chips at Mariners’ Wharf and thus that is what we should be doing first, I grabbed her hand and instead strode off along the pier, taking in all the sights and sounds that there were to see. There were quite a few fishing vessels out and about, and after striding along the length of the pier, I couldn’t help but wonder if all white fishermen grow great big bushy beards as some sort of insignia of their trade?

One of the sights on display was the quite impressive control of a gigantic Cape Fur seal by his considerably smaller handler (whose hand was suspiciously bandaged up), who was trying to make a quick buck by getting people to pose for photos atop this gentle sea giant. The seal seemed quite unperturbed by all the fuss and bustle around him, so I guess he’s a pretty old hand at this sort of thing already.

Another of the more interesting spectacles on display was of course the world famous Hout Bay soap girls, the two 14 and 16 year old sisters who always dress up in pink, always wear identical outfits and can almost always be found hanging around Mariners’ Wharf, selling their various soaps all in the name of charity. They sing, dance and entertain passersby and these two remarkable girls have been doing this for almost every single day since 2003 already! Talk about great ambassadors for South Africa :)

Anyway, Chantelle and I eventually made our way back to Mariners’ Wharf where we joined the queue for some of their legendary fish and chips, produced by an extremely efficient kitchen that manages to churn out food not only quickly, but produces food that is also pretty damn tasty to boot!

Sitting down to chow on the undercover benches, we proceeded to hungrily devour our boxed morsels while enjoying the view of sand, sea and visitors, though admittedly Chantelle did seem to get the short end of the stick when she realised the spot she had chosen to sit at gave her direct view of some young man’s rather unattractive crack and underpants, which was then followed up on by a rather large lady in a dress that she really shouldn’t be wearing, displaying to the world that in all likelihood, panties are an optional accessory.

Nevertheless, satisfied after a great tasting meal that came pretty close to the lofty Ooskus Fisheries standard, we then decided to make the delightful Camps Bay and more specifically the decadent Sinnful ice cream parlour our next destination and so we once again hit the road, this time taking the scenic route around Llandudno beach for the final leg of our lengthy Saturday Afternoon Drive.

Of course, Camps Bay was packed as always, but Chantelle’s sneaky secret parking spot meant that we immediately found a place to stop and unlike my normal parking spot of choice, this one was pretty damn close to the main beach, meaning I’m going to HAVE to note its location down somewhere lest I forget for future southern Cape expeditions! :)

By this stage our feet were rather sore thanks to all the walking around in our sloffies around Hout Bay, and so we were both pretty relieved when we finally reached the premises of Sinnful, but we were rather less that pleased when we laid eyes on the rather long and slow moving queue in front of their shop!

After a long, but entertaining queue, we eventually elbowed our way to the front and then immediately got down to the difficult job of selecting which flavours to actually try – truly they are heaven’s ice cream emporium! Our choices made, money exchanged, we then ambled down and across to the beach where we settled down and observed that as luck would have it, the weather was finally beginning to change and the wind starting to whip up, meaning we needed to snack as quickly as possible and of course, to no one’s surprise, I was soon covered from head to toe in chocolate ice cream.

Still, it was just as delicious as what we had imagined it to be and thoroughly satisfied, it was finally time to go and spend the rest of the evening lazing on the couch and watching Jackie Chan and Jet Li kick some butt in ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’

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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.