"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Africa Journals, Ch. 50, The Boers Move Inland

The Africa Journals

Chapter 50
 The Boers Move Inland

Life is too short to drink bad wine.

When the ambitious settlers at Cape Town search for fertile land to raise crops for the Dutch East India company's passing ships, they found the area now known as Stellenbosch, now the second oldest city European-founded city in South Africa. 

The Boers (Dutch farmers) were able to raise produce, harvest domestic or wild animals, and supply fresh water to the ships plying the lucrative spice trade from India to Europe.   They planted vinyards, intending to meet the demand for wine aboard those ships.

We board the coach and drive to downtown Stellenbosch, the heart of the wine growing country.   It’s a beautiful, quaint (read expensive) town, the home of the University of Stellenbosch where tuition is $6000 to $12,000 a year.  It’s a nice town to visit, with its sidewalk cafes and gift shops.  

Wall hanging in gift shop

Dutch Reformed Church, Stellenbosch, consecrated in 1723

Lovely tree-lined streets.

Street corner landscaping

Burning man statue.  See below.

Unique use for a wheelbarrow.

Street corner art.

I went into a grocery store to get an idea of the culture.  


Our visit to Stellenbosch complete, we drive into the mountains, passing some spectacular scenery.

Entrance to a vinyard and winery.

Eventually, we arrive at what is now a restricted historical site, Drakenstein Correctional Centre, once known as Victor Verster prison, where Nelson Mandela spent his last 14 months as a political prisoner of the apartheid regime in South Africa.   During his time here, he lived in a private cottage on the grounds and was allowed family visits.  Mandela’s imprisonment was extended because he refused conditional release.

Mandela in mid-stride is meant to evoke his book and his personal journey, Long Walk to Freedom.

We pass an herb farm on the way to our next destination.   Brian pronounces herb, sounding the H and remarks, "Or, as you say it erb with a silent H' .  (In our country) we only have a silent p in the swimming pool."

Ah, yes.   I can count on Brian for my daily groan, and so close to lunch, too.


  1. In a word .. MESMERIZING .. that is how we find this post .. absolutely mesmerizing! The scenery is similar to what we have in the United States .. the California Wine Country .. Monterey and Carmel Valley in California in particular. Stellenbosch looks charming. The two sandwiches in the scuff-tin looked delicious! The memorial to Nelson Madela was very nice .. Smiles from Patti and Cap ..

  2. At the very tippy-top of this post is the following wisdom .. " Life is too short to drink bad wine " .. I think I will re-quote the above wisdom .. here we go .. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK ANY WINE! .. Giggles .. Cap and Patti ..

  3. The tribute to Nelson Mandela is well-deserved and must have been awesome to see.

    The sights all along the way which you captured with your camera take me along with you. Thank you for your attentiveness to everything you experienced.

    The burning man statue takes my breath away. I can feel the heat.

    "A silent p in the swimming pool" is priceless.