Gordon’s Bay, Day 1

Saturday, March 11

Of course the day was yours to plan as you chose, and everyone scatters to their various activities.  What did you do this day and what did you learn from the experience?

africaheron

Gordon Bay is great for fishing!

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11 Responses to “Gordon’s Bay, Day 1”

  1. Phil Says:

    Unfortunately this day was a wash for me after eating something bad the day before. I learned that South Africa’s version of Gatorade has WAY more sugar than one would expect. Also the hotel’s bed were extra comfy . Everything was such a stark difference than the prior day, which put things in prospective how fortunate I was despite the bodily issues.

  2. Samantha Frapart Says:

    Similar to Phil, this was a rough night and a slow day. Luckily, I started my antibiotics early enough in the night to make it to the Vergelegen winery with my classmates. Because I was under the weather, I skipped the wine-drinking and took a nice walk through the grounds. When I went through the grounds, the rose garden, the plantation home, the hydrangeas were beautiful but I was thrown off by the visit to the slave quarters. Not because there had been slave quarters (because, duh), but because when Samantha and I had got there, we discovered it had been knocked down. Essentially we were looking at a parking lot with a sign reading “slave lodge.” This seemed to me another illustration of the continued racial divide between Whites and Blacks in SA. Vergelegen was willing to acknowledge this dark piece of the winery’s history, but still could not manage to honor the memory of those slaves by allowing the lodge to remain.

  3. Eugene Shearer Says:

    I could not believe how beautiful the area surrounding Cape Town was. It was so clean, pristine and green. I learned that South Africans make some good wine. The winery was very nice and the surrounding gardens were very beautiful. I also learned the continuing theme of South Africa was race. Besides tourists, we didn’t see any non-white races visiting the winery. I know we have issues in the US, but I felt there was a much clearer distinction between the races in South Africa.

  4. Sam Says:

    It is amazing how a nice shower can feel so incredible in the right moment. That was my main feeling making the night-and-day switch from Doringbaai to Krystal Beach. Like others, my stomach was in knots, but I managed to make the trip to Vergelegen for some wine and amazing views of the Hottentots.

  5. John Says:

    Gordon’s Bay certainly made me feel privileged. We left the starkest of communities and landed at a beachside tourist town in luxury accommodation. A few of us went to play golf, which highlighted some of the ‘other side’ that fuels South African racial tensions. Our pro shop employee, while being incredibly friendly to our group of four white male tourists, also made some comments about Lutzville and its inhabitants that made me uncomfortable. I think in these South African bubbles of privilege, there can be a pronounced lack of empathy for those from other social circumstances. That’s a lesson that can undoubtedly be applied in America as well.

  6. Caley Says:

    We spent the day exploring the area and ended up at the Vergelegen Estate which has been standing since the 1700’s. Here we sampled some wine and explored the grounds where we walked through a lovely rose garden and saw some peacocks. Overall, it was a very relaxing day and it was great to learn a bit more about Cape Town’s surrounding area.

  7. Tyler Says:

    In addition to the shock of going from the Doringbaai home stay to a ritzy resort hotel, I was struggling with my first bout of upset stomach on this day. I did manage to venture out to the Vergelegen Estate winery for a tasting. The campus was exceptionally beautiful and had a great view of some Stellenbosch mountains. I learned that the oldest oak tree in South Africa existed on these lands and got a chance to see it up close.

  8. Linda Says:

    I took this day to relax. My only activity outside the hotel was going to the Vergelegen Estate winery. We sampled the wine (which wasn’t as good as Delheim) and toured the pristine grounds. It was originally built for a Dutch governor who came to town. The home was very grand and a lot like Downton Abbey – there was a separate room for everything. He had slaves from all over the world – each had his/her name and country of origin posted in the museum to honor his/her life.

  9. Bill Quach Says:

    I took this day to get some exercise, connect with my peers over wine, and take in yet another perspective of South Africa. My highlight was walking through some of the most beautiful gardens and grounds I have ever seen. The surplus of time also presented me with plenty of opportunities to work on my photography craft, to the dismay of said peers.

  10. Garry Ferguson Says:

    Saturday 11 March: Free day – On this day I indulged in the exploits of another gorgeous winery, as well as some golf, that was conveniently situated nearby. My golf game was terrible, which is no revelation. However, it was still nice to be out there hackin’ away with friends. I am well beyond the times when I would become frustrated with my game. I have no reason to be frustrated and no reason to expect a high level of proficiency given that I play so sparingly. Therefore, I have resolved to just enjoy golf when I have the chance to play no matter the ineptitude of my performance.

  11. Parnali Says:

    In Gordon’s Bay, we had gone to the Vergelegend Winery, which was absolutely stunning. The hills, the weather, the flowers – everything about the ambiance was absolutely perfect and unreal. Though the visit was extremely enjoyable, there was one particular moment that really stuck with me. Our waitress at the Vergelegend Winery told us that her family – for over five generations were among the many slaves that worked on Vergelegend grounds hundreds of years ago. Because her family members were slaves on the winery years ago, she felt such a connection with the land that she could not leave. She told us this story with a smile on her face and it was an incredibly powerful moment. She wasn’t the least bit upset about her family being slaves on the winery, rather she was so happy that she could continue working on the land and feeling that connection with her family.

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