GREETINGS, one and all. Another day’s slog in the workhouse, another day older, deeper in debt. Well, you can’t take it with you, so enjoy yourselves. The other morning, the CO and your scribe took a trip along the coast, ending up at Marina Beach. The weather was perfect and the setting serene. It doesn’t come much better than this. The Hibiscus Coast has so much to offer – don’t you agree?
Bavaria to Southbroom
Another favourite spot is St Mike’s, which has become a regular place to share a bottle of wine and put the world to rights if anyone will listen. Fortunately, good friend Derec Mohr of Southbroom fits that category. Originally from Bavaria, Germany, he had a 30-year career in hotel management with the Hilton Hotel Group, including spells in Paris and Montreal, Canada. He came out to South Africa on a golfing holiday, fell in love with the country and the rest is history – ‘one of us’ in more ways than one.
Down Argentine Way
The wine took effect – we knew how ‘to put right’ South Africa: next stop South America! “Interesting you bring up South America,” said Derec, “we have some people from Buenos Aires, Argentina, staying with us. Nice people, you should meet them”. Within the hour, we were in Southbroom to meet Alberto and Ana Chiesa and their lovely 18-month-old daughter, Sofia.
Two of a kind
Alberto is a lecturer in media communications at the University of Salvador, Buenos Aires, so that’s something in common – newspaper writers are like a ‘Band of Brothers!’
Plus, the number of Argentine footballers playing for Manchester City. He was born in Buenos Aires and educated at Salvador Jesuit College.
Ana is a translator in international banking, making sure a few extra ‘zeros’ are not made erroneously. Ana comes from a beautiful Andean town named El Calafate, Patagonia, in the south of Argentina. We were lucky to visit this area a few years ago, happy days.
Alberto and Ana are both of Italian descent, he from Tuscany and Ana from Sicily. Their great grandparents moved to Argentina a century ago, in an age when immigration was encouraged. Alberto confided that Argentina is currently going through very difficult economic times. Haven’t we heard this somewhere nearer home? The Chiesas are seasoned world travellers and have visited the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, France, Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, as well as the United States, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.
Now visiting South Africa for a month, they’ve taken in Johannesburg and Kruger National Park, where they saw the all the Big Five in one morning. Add to that a three-day stay in Durban, a brief visit to the Hibiscus Coast, then on to Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route and finally ending up in the Cape to stay on a wine estate. Nice work if you can get it! When Alberto was asked how he rated South Africa on a scale of zero to 10 – hospitality – 10 and overall SA – 8. The latter because of indifferent service here and there. Fair point. The CO and your scribe tried to put that to rights (again) by inviting the Chiesas for breakfast the following morning before they left for East London. We think it did the trick and Alberto and Ana are now thinking of taking tango lessons in Beunos Aires later this year. Time to tango, boys and girls!
‘Tintanic’ sails in
The ‘Tintanic’ exhibition on display in the Southcoast Mall during February is a must-see for everyone. Everyone should know about the great ship ‘Titanic’, although for many it was a movie with Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslett.
See you, Rob.
HAVE YOUR SAY