Orange River and Wine Country

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Our first stop in South Africa was right over the Namibian border at a place called Orange River. There wasn’t any spectacular activities to participate in, but the place was still breathtaking. The Orange River apparently got its name from the colour. However, I don’t see how. The water looked blue enough to me, and the surrounding hills were lush and green. Perhaps we hit the wrong part of the river…
We could hardly wait for lunch before it was time to jump in the river. “Careful of the current!” Manda warned. But how bad could it be? The river wasn’t very wide, and we were strong swimmers. Wrong.
The current was so strong that it was nearly impossible to swim the 10 meters or so to the middle to grab on to the paddle boards. You had to swim way upstream then cut across as fast as possible. By the time you’d made it that far, you were exhausted. Kelsi as Gina made the trek out to the paddle boards just to prove they could do it. I decided to lie on the deck with the puppies and get some sun. As with every campsite we’ve stopped at, this one had no shortage of adorable puppies wanting to play. So we spent the afternoon sunning ourselves and relaxing by the water.
The next morning we were up and driving again. For our last night out in the bush, we stayed at a lovely winery partway down the west coast of South Africa. The winery was beautiful (as most wineries are) and the owner Sparky was a delight!
We had a couple hours to relax, then all sat around on the patio for wine tasting and cheese and crackers. This is exactly what I wanted to do while in South Africa!
The winery had some really nice wines to try. My personal favourite was the Klawers pinotage. It went perfect with the cheeses, and we bought a bottle to have with dinner as well!
Sadly, this was the last night that Farai was cooking dinner for us. We all sat around in a circle while he did his final speech for us. All of his meals had been so incredible, and this one was definitely one of his finest. It was sad to say goodbye to Manda and Farai and Vincent, who had taken us through so much of Southern Africa in the past three weeks. But there’s so much more to explore, and I must admit, Kelsi and I were pretty excited about getting away from the confines of a tour and exploring on our own. We had two more weeks in South Africa to get into trouble, and we couldn’t wait for it to begin!
Next stop: Cape Town

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