Back to basics

3 01 2010

It is always nice to get back to basics. We had the opportunity to do that in several ways today. On the way to village of Franschhoek we stopped at winery that also had a raptor and cheetah rescue center. It was an extremely warm day with clear skies and the African sun sending its legendary heat upon the veldt, with nary a breeze to be found. Despite the heat, we were able to visit and interact with the animals.  I spent the majority of the time with the raptors and it was an amazing experience. I have done encounters like this in the States, but never got the opportunity to interact with the animals in the way we did here. It was obvious the animals were well cared looked after. Injured raptors that could be released were, others were used for educational programs around the country. The cheetahs were animals that could not, for one reason or another, be released into the wild. They serve as educational ambassadors. It is indeed a rare treat to be allowed in the company of nature’s elite predators and share in the aura of that powerful primal connection.

The second unforeseen treat was a simple bistro, aptly and simply named, The Bistro. The town of Franschhoek is a small, delightful wine town reminiscent of Healdsburg or some other small town in the Napa clime. It consists of only several blocks with a few side streets and can easily be traversed by foot in a short time. While ambling about town with no particular destination in mind we came across The Bistro. It was as if a small European bistro had been lifted and dropped right onto the street. The chalkboard listed the days specials; fresh baguettes, fresh kidney, fish and chips all with a plethora of local wines. A gentle breeze had arrived to join us for lunch, quite a welcome guest. The fish and chips were delicious and made with local hake caught 50 minutes away on the coast. A classic croque monsieur was done perfectly. This was paired with a local Pierre Jordan Brut Rose Cap Classique (champagne). Nothing overly complicated, just great bistro fare done well. Natural, fresh ingredients prepared properly and allowed to shine. To reiterate what Chef E had said on her blog by quoting Alain Ducasse, it’s 40% technique and 60% ingredients. In other words, in the end, it has to be about the food.

A communion with Nature, delicious traveling fare and drink; it may be “good to be the King”, but I think sometimes it’s much more rewarding to be The Traveler.

(we had to pack things up early to leave at 5am so I’ll post these pics tomorrow-Doc)




2 responses

4 01 2010

Doc, it sounds like you are having the trip of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.
Happy New Year!

5 01 2010

You are spot on Caveman,
It is definitely the trip of a lifetime. Glad you’re enjoying as well!

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