Friday, September 26, 2014

Lunch with Don and Joyce Collins

Today, Tuesday, we met our friends, Don and Joyce Collins, at the Spier Hotel where we had tasted such good wines a couple of days ago. We arrived at the Spier a few minutes after the Collins. They had gone for a walk, so I took off after them on the lovely half mile path connecting the hotel with the wine tasting room.

At one end of the path is an interesting mosaic based on a Michelangelo sculpture titled “The Slave”. Eight tall, slender panels are set in a pattern that allows one to see the face from a distance as the panels come together in your eye. The design is in memory of the slaves that were brought to southern Africa from the Middle East, India, and Indonesia by the Dutch in the 17th century. 

Further along the trail are sculptures of the nine Muses from Greek mythology. All the art in the complex is intended to highlight the connections between the arts and winemaking, which they also consider an art.

I found Don and Joyce on the trail as they headed back to the hotel. After they got their bags to the room, we took off for Warwick Winery where we had reserved a “Wine Pod” overlooking the pond for the picnic. After we tasted their wines, we headed off to the pod. Our server, Patricia, kept us in a light-hearted mood with her personality as she poured the wine and discussed the wines.

One part of the presentation is a story explaining a small silver sculpture they sell here. It seems that many centuries ago, a king wanted a rich man for a son-in-law. Of course, the princess fell in love with a commoner. The king promptly threw the poor suitor into a dungeon. When he saw his daughter actually wasting away in sadness, he offered the young man an opportunity. If the boy could create a cup that two people could drink from simultaneously, he could marry his daughter. In a few weeks he created a bell with a swinging cup suspended above the bell. As one drinks from the bell, the smaller cup rotates and the other person can drink out of it. Of course, we were expected to try it. Jim and Marcia did succeed which I suppose means their marriage was meant to be.

Our meal was an excellent collection of bread, lox, salad, salamis, cheeses, new potatoes and a pleasantly mild beef pate. A variety of sauces enhanced everything. We had a fine time sharing stories of our trips so far and what we have ahead of us. The Collins’s next stop is a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. Then they will head to Illala Lodge in Victoria Falls where they will be able to compare it with Iguassu Falls in South America. We will also be staying at Illala in about one month’s time. They will finish their trip at Chobe National Park in Botswana. Chobe was one of the highlights of our last trip as we saw dozens of elephants and many lions on our game drives. Chobe also includes game drives on a boat so we could get that perspective of how the animals live.
Nelson  greets us as we enter the Warwick Winery estate.

We dropped them back at their hotel in time for them to freshen up before their wine tasting at Spier. At home, one more glass of wine was followed by an early descent into the never-never land of dreams.

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