Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breakfast Review - Deerpark Cafe

After my doctor told me that I am aiming for high cholesterol and high blood pressure and that I should take it slow on the bacon an eggs, I thought that my breakfast days might be over. It is in fact true that bacon and eggs does not always make for the perfect breakfast and that I can have a healthier option in order to lower the cholesterol while still enjoying one of my favourite activities..having breakfast. I am also pretty sure that a nice breakfast at a beautiful setting like the Deerpark Cafe on the slopes of Table Mountain will lower the blood pressure as well.

I guess the main attraction to this little restaurant is the nice playground attached to the restaurant which makes it a perfect place to take your kids...and apparently dogs as well. At this stage of my life I prefer child-friendly places so that I can send them off to play and enjoy my breakfast in peace. Underneath some pine trees where I am sure Jan van Riebeeck also enjoyed a cup or two, there are plenty of activities and apparatus to keep the kids occupied for a while.

The food is great, nothing to complain about at all. The staff is friendly and the place in general has a very nice atmosphere. I skipped the bacon and went for plain scramble eggs on toast. My first latte was a bit cold on arrival but my second caffeine-free one was better. They even brought the empty sachet along to prove that they made it with caffeine-free coffee. Not that I would have noticed because I am totally resistant to any caffeine side-effects. I just thought it might be a healthier option seeing that it was going to be my third mug of coffee for the morning. What I did appreciate though was that my children were playing on their own, although my little one had to be watched due to the steep slopes leading down to the play area. 

I didn't ask but I assume the place is dog friendly as well. I have nothing against dogs and nothing against dog owners, but if there is not a leash between the dog and the owner then I sometimes tend to change my mind. Especially if I am having my breakfast with a strange dog in between my legs begging for food. Some dog owners don't understand this, but if I remove my children when they disturb other people I would like dog owners to do the same when their dog starts bugging me. If you have to remove your dog for the SIXTH time then something must have registered that your feeble attempts to discipline your dog is not working. After informing your best friend for the second time that "begging for food is not good behavior" then you either put him on a leash or you don't bring your friend to a restaurant again, especially not when he or she gets served water from a bowl on the lawn. If you are a dog lover then the above paragraph might encourage you to visit Dogpark Cafe...excuse me, Deerpark Cafe, but if you believe that dog owners should control their dogs then try somewhere else. 

Breakfast at Deerpark was good, healthy and affordable and despite untrained dog(owner)s I will for sure visit the restaurant again. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blue Lagoon or Lagoon Blues?

The closest place to Cape Town where you can kite surf in warm water and get the "blue island style" feeling is on the lagoon at Langebaan. This is a very popular spot for kite surfing beginners as the water is nice and warm and when it is high tide then you can walk in knee-deep water for large distances making it easier to relaunch your kite or recover your board if you had to. This is also where I had my first two lessons, none of which went well. The third time I went there was without an instructor and with my recently purchased kite gear. That day I got dragged through the mud and eventually pulled my emergency release to prevent myself from getting dragged over driftwood en eventually over a fence. Ever since then my relationship with Langebaan Lagoon has not been a memorable one.

I eventually taught myself to Kite Surf at Dolphin Beach and I have always wanted to go back to Langebaan to spend a nice day on the lagoon kiting in warm flat water with no worries of sharks and blowing out into the ocean. As a matter of fact I was hoping of getting some nice pictures with my GoPro and possibly some of myself as well. My photographer unfortunately were running after my children so I had to depend on my GoPro footage alone. Two attempts to go to Langebaan after the mud dragging episode did not work out either. The first time the wind was too strong and the second time the wind never picked up as promised by Windguru. Driving out 110 kilometers only to turn around "empty handed" is not my idea of money and time well spent. Today was going to be the prefect day and my family was going with me, so I was rather excited. What I completely forgot was to check the tides. Low tide leaves you with not much water in the lagoon and taking into account fishing boats and the distance you have to walk to get to the water, it is actually better to face the cold water of the Atlantic than to arrive at the lagoon during low tide. With the full moon hanging around the last two days I could have had either the best day or another Langebaan disappointment. When I reached the lagoon I was in for the latter. Spring low and not much water to play on.

I first rigged up my 10. I walked all the way to the water's edge but soon realized that the wind was way too strong for a 10. Fighting my way back to where I left my family and the rest of my kit on drier sand, I changed over to my 7 kite. Pumping two kites in one day is already more than what I am usually prepared to do. I took my board with the GoPro secured and went for my session hoping to get some nice shots, despite everything that has been against me so far. Maybe I could revive my relationship this time.

As usual the water was nice and warm but as expected with not much room to move and in between some rather irritating fishing boats. My GoPro for some reason also did not want to stay up. I took about 20 pictures of my board and not much of myself. The foot clip of my GoPro also broke off and after making sure that I didn't lose my second GoPro in a year I decided enough is enough and packed up. For some reason I just cannot get the rewards that Langebaan Lagoon has given many kite surfers before. The place is beautiful and perfect for kite surfing, but for some reason for me it never works. I guess I will just stick to the cold water at Dolphin Beach and Kite Beach and leave the lagoon for the beginners and other more fortunate kite surfers out there.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mtwara Evenings....Bliss

I took these pictures with my iPhone after I had an afternoon snorkel close to the Msemo Hotel in Mtwara, Tanzania. The water was so warm that it made me feel uncomfortable at times. Having a beer afterwards and watching the sun go down added to the amazement of the day....