The Sweet Service Award goes to Bahia-Sub in Vilanova de Arousa, and its skipper Santiago. The boat company uses its rubber duck, seating about twelve Camino pilgrims at a time, transporting them on the Rio Sar, from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecesures, a journey of about one hour, but we were on the water for 90 minutes. Skipper Santiago was a true gentleman, slowing down or stopping the engine to show and inform us about interesting sights along the way, including the mussel farming outside Vilanova de Arousa, the second largest in the world, clam fishing, crosses in honour of Saint James and two other holy persons on a little island on the river, and ruins of a church and a castle on the river bank, with a replica of a Viking boat that pilgrims used to travel to Santiago de Compostela. The real spoil was a tea break, with hot tea and a mini muffin served.
*. South African exports into Africa are growing, says Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Africa head Matome Mbatha. Angola is taking 6 million liters of wine, of which more than 80% is sparkling wines, and predominantly JC le Roux, a brand they are ‘crazy about‘, Mbatha says. The 4,5 million liters of Nigeria’s imports from our country are mainly Pinotage and Merlot.
* Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is to open a pop-up The Test Kitchen restaurant at Continue reading →
* From 25 October FlySafair will offer flights between Cape Town, Durban, and East London, as well as between Johannesburg and the two cities. Costs start at R399 one way, reports Southern African Tourism Update. The routes were selected after a vote by 20000 passengers.
* Saronsberg is the wine estate which has been ranked highest in the South African Wine Index 2015 Wine Awards Report, of all local wine Continue reading →
* Loadshedding has returned with a vengeance, starting with Schedule 1, and switching to Schedule 2 during the course of yesterday afternoon, due to ‘unforeseen technical problems’, according to Eskom.
* A Scottish B&B owning couple is taking TripAdvisor to court for refusing to divulge who is posting ‘bogus’ reviews about their establishment, so that they can sue for defamation. The review company says that it must be sued in the USA, where the company’s headquarters are.
* FlySafair launches its Cape Town – George route on 13 November, at R399 one way, adding to its routes between the Mother City and Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Terms and conditions apply, in that extra charges are levied for extra luggage, special seating, and catering is charged for additionally.
* The Le Kap Lifestyle Fair will be held at Blaauwklippen on 6 December, and will be a showcase of fashion, food, wine, horses, and cars. Five top chefs, including Brad Ball, Gregory Czarnecki, Malika van Reenen, and Roland Gorgosilich, will prepare the food, and French champagne will be served. Veuve Clicquot, Glenmorangie, and Belvedere Vodka, as well as the wines of ten wine estates will be on offer, while ‘gourmet food markets‘ will be set up. There will be a dressage show, as well as a fashion show. Bentleys will be on display. R500 entrance, tickets via Computicket. (received via media release from Vivid Luxury)
* Coffee and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance will be the foundation of a new destination store Donford BMW Motorrad in Continue reading →
* FlySafair took off for the first time last week, offering permanent low-cost flights between Johannesburg, Cape Town, George, and Port Elizabeth. Extras are charged, including meals, luggage in addition to two pieces of hand luggage, pre-booked seats, travel insurance, and extra-space seats. Base airfares between Cape Town and Johannesburg cost R 499 per direction.
* The City of Cape Town has launched a Mobile Transport TCT App. Developed by ‘Where is my Transport’, it is unique in Africa, and will guide commuters as to which form of transport they can use to get to their destination, incorporating the MyCiTi Bus, Golden Arrow Bus, Jammie Shuttle bus, city sightseeing buses, and Metrorail trains. In addition information relating to shops close by, and directions in getting there, is also provided. The app can also guide users of private transport, providing travel times, as well as informing them about traffic hold-ups such as accidents, roadworks, and more. Locals can use the app to report potholes, faulty traffic lights, and bad driving to the City.
* Award-winning wine blog Terroirist sings the praises of the ‘Swartland‘ generally, and of the wines Continue reading →
* An International Institute for Peace through Tourism World Symposium will be held in Johannesburg from 16 – 19 February, in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. The symposium will ‘honour the legacies of the world’s three champions of peace and non-violence‘…’by building bridges of tourism, friendship and peace‘ between Africa, Asia, and North America in the main.
* The launch of FlySafair next week will have a temporary effect of lowering domestic airline prices. The new airline will offer a base price for the seat plus two pieces of hand luggage at 7 kg, extra charges being levied for meals, checked luggage, and pre-booked seats. The airline says that the fares offered are not just opening specials and are sustainable. Skywise and Fly Blue Crane are also waiting to take off, offering flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Mango does not expect a price war to develop after the launch of the new low-cost airlines.
* The introduction of low prices by domestic airlines when FlySafair takes off next month will not be permanent, its competitor Mango has stated. Prices of all airlines may be lower for the first few weeks, but these are not sustainable in the long run, the competitor spokespersons have said.
* ‘At the present moment, the clock has not stopped’, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told a media conference on Friday, meaning that the new Immigration Regulations will be implemented on 1 October. There is no timeframe for the completion of the work of the task team, which will be appointed to evaluate how the regulations can be better implemented. The Minister confirmed on Friday that the Regulations themselves will not change.
* When asked about the sudden resignation of Jan Hutton, Chief Marketing Officer at SA Tourism, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said there ‘are many sides of a story’, and said that he did not want to interfere with the SA Tourism’s Board handling of Continue reading →
* FlySafair has been granted its license to operate domestic flights, having got its local ownership at a level below 75%, as required.
* The City of Cape Town is threatening an intensive law and order program over the Easter weekend, with roadblocks in conjunction with the SA Police, aimed at reducing accidents.
* Honest Chocolate has created a unique collection of chocolate busts of President Jacob Zuma, Helen Zille, Mamphela Ramphele, and Julius Malema, to tie in with the forthcoming General Election, costing R70 each or R280 for the set. They are available at their outlets at 66 Wale Street and 66 Albert Road in Woodstock. (received via e-mail from Honest Chocolate)
* For the first time ever Long Street (between Wale and Buitensingel Streets) will be closed to traffic from 20h00 on 31 December until 4h00 on 1 January, creating one of the biggest street parties Cape Town will have ever seen!
* Four low cost domestic airlines may take off in 2014, in competition to Mango and kulula, reducing the cost of domestic air tickets, it is speculated. Skywise, 1Time, FlySafair, and Fastjet are likely to begin operating next year.
* Tonight the City of Cape Town is hosting what has been billed as ‘Africa’s largest free’ New Years Eve party on the Grand Parade, not only to celebrate the start of 2014, but also to inaugurate Cape Town’s status as World Design Capital 2014.
* The Cape minstrel marches should be given ‘national heritage status’, reports the Cape Argus, to prevent the annual wrangle between the minstrel associations and the City of Cape Town, which has to offer permits, financial, and traffic service support. Tonight the Malay Choir Nagtroupe will march at midnight, while the daytime march in the streets of Cape Town will take place on Friday 4 January, two days later than the usual date.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage