Posts Tagged ‘Durban’

I think our grandson should be really impressed with this picture of the Great White sharks ancestor. This is a replica of a mastodon in the uShaka water park and aquarium in Durban. They also have the jaw of the real thing which was caught off Durban many years ago. A photograph taken at the time shows a few men standing in and next to it and the jaw is taller than they are – and you thought it was only the stuff of movies!



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Our final evening in Durban was spent with the family at a restaurant in Umhloti. It didn’t quite turn out as planned with a quick pizza because unbeknown to us there had been a fire in the restaurant the previous evening and the pizza oven was out of commission – and ALL the ladies toilets as well. We were directed to the men’s (is there a theme developing here?) but the only thing was that the lights were not working as the wiring had been fried as well! In true South African resilient fashion they simply handed me a torch – only in Africa – anywhere else they would probably have closed the whole place down!

Another memorable moment to add to our trip.

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Remember we went shopping in Durban for fabric? When we got outside into the car we heard a huge ruckus and crowds pointing up the street as a man ran past. As he went the crowds moved forward into the road with him, shouting and pointing at him – definitely a criminal on the run and they were definitely not letting him escape. Soon he was overtaken by a crowd of dozens, collared and dragged back to the scene of the crime.
I believe this is what is called local justice by the people – others will think twice before stealing – in this part of town, crime definitely does not pay!

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….hubby has finished work at the conference and is now ON HOLIDAY!!! Yippeee, Durban beach and uShaka  here we come 🙂


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Help! I went out fabric shopping with Beryl this morning and I had to be reigned in because otherwise I would have had no way of getting it all into my luggage on the return flight.

I wanted to get some locally produced African print fabric from my birthplace and the lovely Maggie who works for Beryl pointed us towards the fabric quarter in Durban Central. Oh my goodness! it was like sending a sweet junkie (which I am as well by the way) into the Cadbury’s factory unsupervised with instructions not to come out until they have had their fill – could be disasterous! We were confronted with row upon row of the most wonderful vibrant textiles and tons of SweSwe which is the local African print – seriously, I was in danger of getting whiplash with my head flicking this way then that, trying to take it all in.
We were served by a wonderful lady who proceeded to move mountains of fabric rolls onto the counter for my inspection. I asked for the prices and thought she said 80 Rand per meter which is a little cheaper than we can get in the UK – imagine my surprise when she corrected me and said it was 18 (yes 18) Rand per meter – I went into a minor tailspin with all the conflicting emotions of how to take tons back home – could I simply empty all my luggage out and leave it here, wear everything I brought with me onto the plane, send it by courier – oh! what a dilemma.
Anyway, after much debate I got back to reality and managed to settle on a dozen or so designs which we would hopefully not make us too overweight.
I now have all the fabric I need for an African quilt, placemats, tablecloths, aprons and more – and all without even denting the bank – what a lovely dilemma to have.


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My brother and sister-in-law have been so incredible with their care and attention during my stay in Durban. While hubby has been working they have fetched, carried and fed me – perhaps too much of the last! I got the opportunity to have a brother and sister lunch which was really special because living continents apart we don’t have much of. He took me to a lovely casual restaurant on the hills overlooking Durban North – Splashes. The food was wonderful – I had a flatbread made in the woodburning oven with avocado, chicken, some greens and a mild sweet chilli sauce – yum yum.
More important than the food or amazing views was time spent with family – priceless!


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In my experience there is nothing like a coffee made in Italy. I don’t know what they do differently but the love and attention given to its creation definitely makes them unbeatable.
However, we can’t spend all our time in Italy unfortunately, so we have to hunt high and low for an alternative – and I take great pride in my efforts at tracking down the perfect brew!
This morning the hotel made an excellent latte – I have observed that when served in a tall glass cup it should have a layer of milk at the bottom, a layer of espresso in the middle and a layer of foam on the top. The foam is perfect when you drop a spoon of sugar on it and it sits there for ages before dropping into the glass and mixing up the layers with swirls of coffee colours – a thing of beauty.
Now simply stir, sit back and enjoy.


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After a morning out shopping with my sister-in-law followed by a coffee in the most wonderful antique shop/coffee lounge, I got dropped off at La Lucia mall to see if I could pick up any shirts for hubby. All this tea and coffee has only one obvious drawback , and that is the size of my bladder (indelicate I know). I was assured that the toilets were very nice, given directions and headed for the lifts to the roof level. Toilets are one of those things that have become a bit of an obsession for me in a wheelchair; I get super excited if they are lovely and spacious and clean and really infuriated when they are untidy, smelly and IN USE BY SOMEBODY THAT THINKS IT IS OKAY TO USE THE ONLY TOILET I CAN GET INTO!!!! Sorry about the rant but you can tell this happens a lot?

Anyway, these toilets were not in use but there was one small design flaw – someone had built a supporting pillar behind the door and it did not open fully against the wall and no wheelchair could have passed through the gap – mmm, I wonder which clever clogs designed these. Necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to go try the men’s disabled toilet instead – the only problem? they are inside the men’s toilets! I simply knocked, invited myself in when only the attendant was around, explained to him the problem and asked him to inform any blokes that arrived to please keep it in their pants and not use the urinals while I was inside.

Much to my relief he obliged and when I came out of my cubicle I was not faced with a row of blokes peeing – it would have been pretty funny to see their faces if a woman had suddenly appeared in their inner sanctum.

The result – La Lucia mall gets NO POINTS for their ladies disabled toilets.

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The owner was very helpful and arranged an easy entrance for us through the patio area because of the four steps into the restaurant and even though the place was jam packed he immediately found us a table.
The menu has some really good choices – except if you are a vegetarian and I would assume this type of place would not be on the top of your list unless you had a carnivore for a partner.
I settled for the sirloin and ribs with a Roquefort salad and hubby chose the sirloin with prawns and biltong and feta salad.
They all turned out to be incredible – beautifully prepared with wonderful flavour and exactly how we ordered them. I must say that in a lot of places the salad is generally an afterthought – like the poor relation to the main course, but this was definitely not the case here. It was fresh and very tasty and added to what would otherwise have been a purely protein meal.

So our first dinner out was a resounding success and we look forward to a few more over the next three weeks.

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In this case they are absolutely correct and I definitely trust this butcher after eating an amazing steak and rib dinner. This steak house was recommended by my brother and we are very pleased we followed his lead. So when in Durban or locale why not give them a try yourself – The Butcher Boys on Florida Road, Durban.

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Ahhhh! There is nothing like a cold glass of pure mango juice to make a Durban girl happy.  These are the things that you don’t realise you missed until you have them again and it grabs you and whips you back in time.

This is one happy lady on the terrace enjoying great weather and relaxing – maybe I should go out and sit by the sea; or maybe that is just too much effort when I can just about lift my glass for another drink!

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I definitely did not start my day thinking that for the first time in my tea totalling life I would take a drink – and definitely not in church!!!!
The story unfolds at the 8.30am service at St. Martins Anglican church in Durban North where we joined my brother and his family for church. Sounds really innocent, until they started on communion and a nice lady asked me if I wanted to join in. I mentioned that because of the narrow aisle I would prefer to stay in my wheelchair and they were happy to bring communion to me. Not being Anglican is where things went horribly wrong and after everyone else had finished they brought over the cups, handed me a wafer? – no problem here and then gave me a sip from the cup – wow was I surprised when it hit my lips and before I could say NO, I had swallowed a mouthful of sherry! It hit the back of my throat and nearly bored a hole out the back of my head. I was too surprised to spit it out and my usual prayer of thankfulness turned into something else entirely. Hubby sat there in stunned silence unable to prevent what he only then realised had happened – but boy did we have a laugh about it – after I stopped spluttering and I had eaten a half box of mints!
So for any tea-total folks out there who usually have cranberry or grape juice at communion – watch out for those Anglicans, they use the real deal!
That memory is a definite keeper.


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I am amazed at the increase in the cost of fuel in South Africa as well as the UK. It has always been cheaper here than in the UK, but it is now not as much of a difference as it was before. We re-fueled for the first time this morning and it was around 97 pence per litre – not great when you have only done 700km of a 4500km trip!
Oh well, that will just mean less biltong for the road – heck NO – I’d rather push the car.


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They do say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and whilst we have such wonderful breakfast facilities available to us we might as well make the most of it. The Hilton hotel breakfast terrace is a real joy with its fountains, plants and birds. In the city it is a little haven and definitely worth it because it sets you up just right for the rest of the day.
So here we are at 7am fuelled up and about to set off to meet the family for church – food for the soul too.
As a matter of interest to our friends and family in England – we will have finished church before you open up the gates and begin preparation for the Party (church www.tcclife.comToday’s Community Church style). Here in Africa the days start early so we can get out and about to the beach.




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Nothing to do with cricket I’m afraid. We arrived safely in Durban and this morning woke to a glorious day of blue skies and a view from our hotel room of the conference facility where hubby will be spending the first week of our trip – I will be holiday-ing while he works to pay the bills – someone has to do it and he drew the short straw.


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