This weekend Hailey and I decided to head to Margate. Margate is a quaint beach town in the South Coast. We rented our trusty automatic, the Nissan Tilda. We made reservations at the Ingwe Manor Guesthouse that looked pretty nice and had a spa that we were considering checking out. The drive was pretty scenic and picturesque. It was right along the water most of the time with women selling fresh fruit along the highway. We got there in an hour and pulled into this place that was surrounded by an electric fence. Thankfully, we’ve come to appreciate the electric fence for what it’s worth. Although an eyesore, it was reassuring knowing that no mob was going to hop the fence and take over this European infested place. We were met by Tanya who showed us to our room and we were amazed! It was this incredible room with a sea view to match it. Elated, we changed into our bathing suits and headed straight to the beach. After stopping at Mr. Fish for some fish and chips, we found ourselves at a beach. What was interesting was that it was half beach and half jungle. On one side, you had the Indian Ocean with fine white sand. The other side was filled with limestone cliffs, an estuary, and lush vegetation. We stopped by this little store to check what was inside. We found this tanning oil (which we don’t have) that was simply labeled “Coconut Island Dark Tanning Oil” and that’s it. With the exception of a pretty palm tree printed on it, there were no safety seals, no ingredients, no location where it was made, no smell, no SPF, and it was bright red. Feeling adventurous, we bought it. Perhaps we bought a bottle of cancer, but T.I.A.. We threw off our clothes and immediately started lathering up and were apprehensive to put this stuff on. Eventually we said screw it and put it on. When we tried to wash our hands in the water, it looked like an oil spill had occurred. This stuff was 100% waterproof and was now probably clogging every pore in our bodies. Since it was too late now, we just relaxed and soaked up some much needed sun. The crowd was generally European, with 85% seeming to be German. We saw a couple negatives (nifty term for white people who have probably lived under constant sunlight for 45+ days. Now, they are dark as hell with a leathery texture and have bright white teeth, and bright blonde/grey hair, kind of like a photo negative.) After being broiled under the sun, we tried the ocean. I have never felt such a stronger side current in my life. After being swept out at Zuma a couple times I thought I could handle this. At first impression, I was doing fine. Hailey was getting tossed around like a rag doll but I got some sort of enjoyment out of it. The entire day at the beach was so relaxing and Hailey and I were able to reflect on our experience thus far. We are on week 4 of being in South Africa, and we have definitely seen our fair share of highs and lows. Additionally, we have already realized some of the things we take for granted back home.
The sun was starting to disappear over this cliff around 4 so we decided to pack up and leave. As we were driving back to our room, we parked and decided to get some ice cream. This jolly Italian man flagged us over to his shop and started elaborating on how great his ice cream was. We became slightly apprehensive and were eyeballing the Milky Lane across the street (Baskin Robbins of SA). However, we felt somewhat bad so we bough some ice cream. Let me say it was the best decision of my life. This ice cream was amaaaazing. It was truly homemade gelato with some great flavors. I got this almond ice cream with chocolate chunks + crème caramel with a homemade cone dunked on top. I inhaled it leaving ice cream all over my face as usual. We came back to the guesthouse and saw a 90 minute massage for a pretty good deal. We made an appointment for the following morning after breakfast. Hailey went on a slight spa binge and booked an additional manicure, pedicure, and hair treatment.
For dinner we went to this Italian restaurant and ordered a pizza and a sandwich. The waitress asked if we wanted any wine and I jumped on it. She offered some free samples of the wines, all South African. We ordered a sample of a white wine, a rose, and sangria. Their sample consisted of a regular wine glass filled almost ¾ to the top! “Stuck” with 3 glasses of wine, we enjoyed them tastefully. Lightning began to appear in the sky but with no thunder. We didn’t think much of it until it started drizzling 30 minutes later. Without any notice, it turned into this torrential downpour. We rushed underneath the overhang and switched tables. The rain was coming down so hard and the lightning was so bright that it made it quite the entertaining nightshow. Then, the power went out in the restaurant and we were left in the dark. Luckily, our food had just finished cooking so we didn’t have to wait any longer (and trust me, when you go out to eat in SA, you’re going to be out for a loooong time). It seems like they’re just slaughtering the cow when your order a burger. It wouldn’t surprise me, but I’ve just learned to wait patiently.
After a spending a marathon of time in the sun, I knocked out pretty early. Jayson woke me up with multiple phone calls midway through my sleep. Since I’m such a great person, I trecked over to the lobby and skyped with him for a little bit.