It was time to bid bon appetit to Cape Town, and my plan was to grab a rental car and cruise over to Mossel Bay to explore the world famous Garden Route. But after spending three hours desperately trying to organise wheels, and eventually ending up with something you’d expet a sex offender to cruise around in, the 380km journey was out of the question. That left just one place to spend the day and night – Stellenbosch!
This wonderfully-named town is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and is known for its extensive vinyards and jaw-dropping scenery. I decided to make the most of both, and grabbed the cheapest cask of goon I could find at the local bottle-o and headed into the mountains for a cross country strut. My destination was the Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, which is just a few kilometres out of town. Of course, that took around five hours in my paedo-mobile, but the scenery made the time fly by.
I was immediately grateful for the fact I was forced to spend the night in Stella (as the locals probably don’t call it), because the place really is something special. The mountains are highly unusual and look like they belong on another planet with bizarre, chattering aliens crawling all over them. The scenery truly is as beautiful as a supermodel handing out free beer, and I was lucky to be able to explore it on such a lovely day.
Of course, such a wonderful afternoon wouldn’t be complete without some drama, and that came when I returned to my newly-acquired car. The unlocked gate I’d driven through to park in was no longer unlocked and, on closer inspection, what I’d thought was a car park was in fact the front yard of a house. That house now had a massive dog out the front, and a number of very large black men hanging around outside, looking from the car to me and back at the car. I could tell they weren’t admiring my choice in wheels.
Now, parking your car well inside someone’s heavily-gated property would be a bad move at the best of times, but you can multiply it tenfold in a country like South Africa, where tresspassing is the ultimate sin. I was getting ready to dump the car and walk back into town when one of the men stood up and called out to me. He was only slightly smaller than the mountains surrounding him, and I almost wet myself.
“Hey, white man,” he boomed. “Is that your car on my property?” I meakly told him it was, and a huge smile spread across his face.
“Come in and have some supper, then you’d better take the car and leave. If the neighbours see it outside my house they’ll think I’ve become one of the gays.” A free meal andnot being shot for tresspassing? I’ll take it!