People of Mpumalanga don’t suffer from undue modesty – or how else do you explain a place called ‘God’s Window’. But I have to admit, the views are phenomenal. Along the winding mountain roads are little villages with crafts, great restaurant, whisky and – naturally – curios to all tastes.
One of the places we visited was Pilgrim’s Rest – a little village with number of houses restored to their ‘previous glory’. My favourite spot is the old BP Garage and it’s famous car that has been left to ‘Rust in Peace’.
Sunday was cold. Because we were travelling with Merlin, restaurants did not let us inside, so brunch was a chilly – if tasty – affair. However, a walk to a Bridal Veil waterfall warmed us right up – and made both Merlin and myself comfortably snoozy for the drive back home. Luckily, Stuart is made of stronger stuff.
I’ve been to Mpumalanga three times before, and twice I was unable to see much further than my own hand due to heavy mist, and thus unable to enjoy the famous views from the Panorama Route. The third time I was white water rafting in Blyde River and never got high enough to enjoy the views. Fourth time lucky.
This Friday was a public holiday in South Africa (Youth Day). Both Stuart and I have been so busy we only realised this on Tuesday – and decided it was too late to book a trip somewhere. In the Friday morning we promptly regretted the decision, and book a cottage in Mpumalanga anyway. Only 3h drive away from Joburg, it is a beautiful mountainous area. There is a lot of coal mining in the area, which explains the rail tracks in the middle of nowhere.
On some days playing guitar can be frustrating to Stuart. On others it seems to sing in his hands. Both ways, it is a passion. Albeit one he doesn’t have as much time as he’d like.
Self-made samosas in the freezer are the ultimate just-in-case snack. Stuart and I made another batch today – with just enough fooling around in the kitchen. The problem is that when the in-case moment arrives, the samosas are typically already gone. But we can always make more.
On a lazy Sunday afternoon (or any other quiet moment really), you never see Stuart without a book or newspaper in his hand. (at least in digital format as in here…) It is OK though – you won’t often catch me without mine either.
Today has been a day from culinary heaven – asparagus, pancetta & qruyere quiche, tomato & basil sorbet – and cold-smoked salmon (!). It is a taste of Finland. And I still have about 1.5kg of it in the freezer.
The most interesting culinary experience was, though, the cold-smoked chocolate ice cream I made from cream I smoked with the fish. It was eye-rollingly good. I dare you to taste.
Ally and Chris – thank you for being (again) the guinea pigs!
I focused much more on cooking than on photography, but just for the fun of it, below are a few pics of the food.
Travelling is fun, but then there is home.
With my mother half a world away, I spent my Mother’s Day brunch with friends. Me and Stuart had great time with Ally, Chris and their two pups. We were unable to get a table in any brunch restaurant in town (Mother’s Day problem…), so we ended up in their newly built house. And we ate way too much – as appropriate.