Wild Wild West Coast

Whenever you eat shellfish in South African restaurants, the menu says it comes from Saldanha. I’ve always wanted to go to this magical place up West Coast, the birthplace of yumness, and eat cheap sea-food. So, this past weekend – to mark our 2 year anniversary – my boyfriend and I ventured the hour and half drive out of the city.

After some research and phoning around, I’d found out that the oyster factory no longer sells direct to the public, but you can buy from Charlie’s Fish Shop in Suldahna for R7.60 each. We stopped by and picked up the cheapest dozen we’d ever got and headed on to the accommodation I’d randomly found via Booking.com to eat oysters and drink wine  (that we’d bought in Cape Town before leaving the city) on their terrace.


Our oysters and wine


The charming terrace surrounds


We stayed in Jacob’s Bay – A place I’d never heard of but I liked the look of the guesthouse, Klokkiebosch. It’s a tiny village between Suldahna and Paternoster. 20 mins each way. The whole of Jacob’s Bay has white washed houses, with blue details and gravel roads – so It reminds you of Greece or Italy (or what photos of Greece or coastal Italy make me think it’s like).

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Klokkie bosch terrace


Our guesthouse from the road.


It’s the most sleepy, idyllic place and I’d love to disappear there for at least a week,  just to read, breathe and relax. Our guesthouse was Klokkiebosch and it was just charming.

We headed into Paternoster for Rugby (SA beat Scotland, yay) and Paternoster is an equally idyllic (if somewhat more established) fishing town. Complete with white washed buildings and a long stretch of soft sand beach. Food in Paternoster was not as cheap as I’d dreamed, but fancier. Turns out it’s quite a fine-dining hub and all the main restaurants were fully booked. The Noisy Oyster and The Gaaitjie. We found a table at the cozy Square Spoon and had Snoek, Prawns and seafood curry with coconut rice. All very yum.

The view from our table at Gaatijie

The view from our table at Gaatijie

The following morning we returned to Paternoster for lunch where we managed to get a table at Gaatjie. I’d recommend Gaatijie for lunch and the Noisy Oyster for dinner if you’re doing the foodie thing, because Gaatjie is RIGHT on the beach so the views would be wasted at night. (Again, I felt like i was eating in Greece – or heaven.) It’s fine dining at it’s best and the presentation and flavours were sublime. But it still has the natural laid back environment of a small beach town.

Complmentary bread with pickled tomatoes and olive & anchovy tapenade.

Complimentary bread with pickled tomatoes and olive & anchovy tapenade.


Panfried Kabeljou

Panfried Kabeljou


Lamb shoulder with pea and mint puree




my strandloper


misty whitewashed village


A very memorable anniversary lunch was followed by a stroll on the misty beach before the scenic drive back to Cape Town to catch more rugby (Argentina beat Tonga!) Good food and good results all weekend.

*high five*


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Sri Lank Awesome day 2: Colombo to Kandy

In April 2015 I had the most magical 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, now I’m trying to diarise it both for my memories and your travel reference.

I wrote a post about my first day in Sri Lanka here.

On our second day we woke up super early to catch the train from Colombo to Kandy. We booked this online ahead of time, the tickets are really cheap on trains – but we were in Sri Lanka over their new years’ celebrations, so all the locals were travelling too – so we paid a little extra to a booking agent in order to secure seats. It was still only around R100 each (as opposed to about R50). It’s best to book ahead of time but you can only get the fancy carriages online. In Colombo, there is a special ticket window for tourists in the 1st & 2nd class advance booking office at the east end of Colombo Fort station, it’s all very user friendly. We travelled 2nd class ‘coz 1st class was sold out. But it was perfectly pleasant, clean and spacious.

At the station, wandering around the platforms, a few locals offered us assistance as to which train we needed, and after a while of us nervously staring bemused at the menagerie of people and trains, a young deaf guy took us by the hand (they took us by the hand many times over the next 2 weeks) and guided us all the way to our train and  seat. Then he asked for a donation. Dammnit, HUSTLED! We gave him a tip and sat in our seats, bottled water and backpacks in hand.


Most of the rest of our compartment filled up with school-aged kids and a few sweet grey haired grannies, white hair in a neat bun offset by their colourful saris. Sri Lankans are as excited by the train as tourists are. I don’t remember seeing any other tourists on that train trip so you really feel part of the country. After having lived in South Korea, I’m used to being stared at by locals but Sri Lankans are far more polite/shy and do not make you feel alien at all. Mostly just avoiding eye contact and allowing you to just carry on.

Through every blackout tunnel all the Sri Lankan girls scream (echoing throughout the train) and all the boys make ghost noises. It’s really quite charming and joyful. One of the grannies and I exchanged a grin and head shake at the adorable youth antics, once the daylight had returned to the carriage after a particularly long black out.

We took the train from Colombo to Kandy because 1: it’s an efficient way to travel and 2: it’s so fun and gorgeous as the train ascends out of the tropical heat of the coastal Colombo, up into the cooler mountainous regions, along cliffs and over passes. (Tip: Make sure you get a seat on the right hand side of the train, that’s where all the views are.) We didn’t have right hand side seats, but everyone leaves their seats to lean out of the doorways and visit friends, so you all get to take a turn leaning out the windows.

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Arriving in Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, we had already booked our hotel ahead of time so we hopped in a tuk tuk at the train station and he took us up some twisty, steep cement roads to the venue. We stayed at the Kandyan Crown Hotel (quite a stunning boutique backpackers that’s 4 storeys high because it’s built down the side of a cliff. It’s nice and isolated from the noisy main part of Kandy, and the views are spectacular.)

I had to have some Sri Lankan tea, aka Ceylon tea. As I hadn’t had it properly from a teapot yet. So the owner gave us access to a side balcony, a pot of tea and time to plan the rest of our day (he was very helpful with recommendations and his own tuk tuk driver that we could phone and call whenever we needed him – this worked out cheaper than using random tuk tuks. Transport around Kandy is more expensive than Colombo, you’ll feel like you’re being hustled – but it’s standard – so if you can make a plan with your hotel, like we did – take it!)

Ceylon tea

Ceylon tea


One of many balconies on the Kandyan Crown

Inside, the spacious, cool wooden interior with 2 storey, floor to ceiling views.

Inside, the spacious, cool wooden interior with 2 storey, floor to ceiling views.

Our tuk tuk driver

Our tuk tuk driver on the small back roads of Kandy.

Kandy is called the cultural capital of Sri Lanka because it was the last city to fall to colonialism and therefore preserved a lot more of the traditional architecture, temples and traditions. As I said it’s cooler than Colombo due to it’s mountain location, but it’s still hot and humid. Think Durban summer.

Kandy has a huge man-made lake in the centre of the town. It has the small-town feel of a mountain village, but it’s still really noisy, full of traffic jams and people. The highlight of the town is definitely the Temple of the Tooth, which is where Buddha’s tooth is said to be kept. THE Buddha. Apparently, as legend would have it, when Buddha was cremated, there was a tooth left in the cremains and that traveled around India for a few hundred years, then a princess smuggled it into Sri Lanka, hidden in her hair. (Much like drugs into Thailand with silly South Africans.)

We headed into the centre of the town, and asked our TukTuk driver to take us to a restaurant where HE would eat. We didn’t want touristy things. He took us to a small cafe in the corner of a parking lot next to the lake where we ordered ‘food’ with sign language of hand to mouth. We got a plastic bag filled with a rainbow of flavoured and spiced rice with a boiled egg. It was yum. It cost us R7. Then we booked tickets to the Kandyan cultural dance show and wandered around the entire circumference of the lake. Which is basically walking on a pavement with a noisy road to your right and a gorgeous pristine lake on your left. The lake was built by an emperor a few hundred years ago. He filled in rice paddies to create it. A lot of people in the town thought it was a white elephant and objected his campaign. Once the lake was inevitably created, the king had all those who had doubted him empaled on spikes at the bottom of the lake. Ew.

lunch in kandy was at a local's restaurant where they laughed at us for wanting cutlery.

lunch in kandy was at a local’s restaurant where they laughed at us for wanting cutlery.

The man-made lake creates a much needed breath of air in the town.

The man-made lake creates a much needed breath of air in the town. (So does looking at my boo.)

The chaotic city right next to the lake.

The chaotic city right next to the lake.


Scenes around lake Kandy


Beautiful but Busy.


innocuous street art next to Kandy’s lake


Kandy is in the mountain regions so the city exists on multiple levels.

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From Kandyan Dancing to the Temple of the tooth, we had filled up with culture (and this was the most ‘touristy’ we ever felt in Sri Lanka. They hustle, beg and bargain with you much more in Kandy than anywhere else, you also have to join the pack of other tourists in the audience of the dancing and accessing the temples. Not ideal but worth experiencing)

Back to the hotel for an early night. Tomorrow is one more day exploring Kandy before catching a tuk tuk all the way up into higher altitudes, past waterfalls into TEA COUNTRY!

More on that, next time.


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I’m nominated for an Mbokodo Award in the Comedy Category! (Which makes sense, imagine I was nominated in the Architecture category? THAT would be comedic. “What is this, a house built for funny ants?!?”)

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I‘ve never been personally nominated for anything! Not even as a prefect in school (much to my family’s disappointment, and my non-surprise.)

I won an award for a poem, once I wrote when I was 11 years old. About Spring. Coz that warm weather really gets me waxing lyrical. Never mind that I was 11 in 1994 and I could have written a poem about the start of Democracy. The end of my country’s tragic law, the birth of Mandela’s rainbow nation – THAT should have won an award. But I was happily nestled in my white privilege, and SPRING was the most essential thing to put pen to paper about. I even rhymed womb with tomb. It was special. I called eggs tombs. That’s not deep that’s just wrong. It’s the literal opposite of a tomb. Unless you’re buying it to eat. Then perhaps. Wow. Maybe I am deep. I was advocating veganism. No wonder I had no friends.

But now I’m nominated for a real award, Mbokodo (which means rock) honours women in South Africa who are changing the field in their respective industries of the Arts. It’s curated by Carol Bower Productions and the Department of Arts and Culture.  You can read more here.

To be honest, I feel like I’ve somehow sneaked in under the radar. I don’t know how, who or when they chose me. You don’t register for this award, you don’t send in a submission – they watch the industries and you are nominated by an independent panel. So, HOW did they notice me? I’ve only been doing this for 4 years. I don’t really deserve it! (But I’ll take it!) I have a sneaky suspicion my latest show in Grahamstown at the National Arts festival is what caught their eye. I say this because in their bio of me on the website they quote some of the reviews that were in the Cue paper (the festival paper) this year. AND during one of my shows, there was a very official looking woman, with the ‘all access’ media passes around her neck, who sat in the front row with her arms crossed and never even cracking a smile. The whole way through my hour of hilarity. Any comedian will tell you, that even if, in a room of 100 audience members, 99 of them are laughing – we will only focus on that 1 who is not. She was my nemesis. I was convinced she was a reviewer and a scathing expose was about to surface. It didn’t. (Or maybe it did and my thoughtful friends managed to buy them all and burn them before my sensitive eyes discovered it. Just kidding, my friends are comedians. They would have wallpapered my car with that shit, making sure I saw it as they laughed in a bush nearby. I love them.)

But yes, here I am. Getting flown up to the awards in Joburg this Friday. (SAA, thank you very much. FREE FOOD ON THE PLANE. Whoo hoo! Luxury!) Getting free accommodation in the Raddison Blu, Sandton and getting the honour of being at the same event of people who are truly inspiring.

We all roll our eyes at the ‘It’s an honour just to be nominated’ schpeel. But that’s how I feel. Really. My fellow nominees are absolute powerhouses, Mel Jones and Irit Nobel. Two women who’ve been in the game much longer and, in many ways, paved the way for me. The 2014 winner is Celeste Ntuli, another absolute steam-train of a comedian. The Queen of Zulu comedy. Believe me when I say, I am honoured and humbled to even be on the same website as these women.

I’ll be wearing local Cape Town Designer, Blackeyed Susan (available at The Bromwell). I love their stuff. I’ve worn their dresses twice before. To two other awards shows – The Fleur Du Caps and the SAFTAs. (Both of which I wasn’t nominated for) Well, the SAFTA’s was for ZAnews and we had 11 nominations. Including ‘best writing’, but I doubt it was because of any of the ludicrous things I’ve written.

Other fabulous nominees include Tara Notcutt (for theatre) and Lauren Beukes (for creative writing). Are you kidding me?! I stayed up reading Lauren’s novel, Broken Monsters just last week – now I get to say I’m nominated for the same awards show that she is!? Pinch me! (I like it.)

*high five for ROCKS (Mbokodos)*



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Our currency is at a record low, again. And because this is the land that I love, our country folk took to twitter to make humour, not war. The hashtag #StrongerThanTheRand started this morning and is still going strong.

I tried to find a website with some of the best ‘Stronger than the Rand’ tweets, but couldn’t find a good one. So I thought I’d collect my faves.

Here, in no particular order, are some I saw – and lolled at. (Please comment your faves that I may have missed below!)

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If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all…


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Fashion Friday – Radio Show.

Fashion Friday!

Today on my radio show it’s all about fashion, good causes and more fashion.

I’ll be chatting to Karisa Nicholls the Blogger known as @CTmylove and Anthony Smith from Ambienz Concierge @ambienz_  about Fashion Flavours and Art on Saturday, 8 August 2015. 
I will also have funky local designer Shana Morland in studio to discuss her upcoming show on the 1st August in Fashion Week. All garments are made locally with an emphasis on good construction techniques and design, resulting in great timeless pieces. The fabrics are sourced both locally and internationally, and every step is taken to ensure they are natural as far as possible. All prints are either hand printed or screen-printed with the highest-grade quality. Tune in to hear about which illustrator she has collaborated with for her SS1516 collection and Errol Arendz, her footwear partner. 
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More about Fashion Flavours & Art: The gorgeous Shimmy Beach Club will act as the perfect backdrop for an evening of true elegance, rich flavours & inspiring creativity as we celebrate life with a night like no other.
Bentley’s luxury motor vehicles will set the scene as guests are welcomed with a unique cocktail creation by Brand House Luxury Blends.  As guests continue down the red carpet their senses will be ignited by the aromas of the Bvlgari fragrance bar and the breathtaking sculptures specially created by exciting young artist Adriaan Diedericks, whose sculptures have travelled as far as Belgium, London, Germany, Italy & California.
Our MC for the evening, Liezel van der Westhuizen, will greet guests as they mingle under Shimmy’s crystal chandeliers 
while enjoying canapés served by Sevruga Restaurant.  Evening entertainment will include:
 An opulent 1920s style photo booth
 An interactive art piece by local artist, Johnny van Zyl
 An opera performance by Given Nkosi
 Fashion shows by Molteno Creations & Gabriela Fraser Designs
 A dance performance by The Dance Centre
 As well as a 1950s inspired performance by the Femme Fatales
There will also be a host of fabulous raffle prizes up for grabs, with all funds raised through ticket sales & the raffle giveaways going directly to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) – a cause close to the heart of so many 
South Africans today.
Each guest will walk away with a decadent thank you bag sponsored by Langaro Wellness Centre, Bvlgari, Le Kap Magazine and more, and everyone is invited to stay and party the night away at the official FF&A Shimmy Beach after party.
The theme for this year’s event is “Tell Your Story” and we invite everyone to come and share their stories of life, love and strength with us.  
To be part of this evening in support of an incredible cause, please take note of the following details:
 When:  Sat, 8 August 2015 @ 19:00
 Where:  Shimmy Beach Club, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront
 Tickets:  R450 pp and available via Webtickets:  http://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1457027408
Tune in from 1-3pm on Friday 24th July 2015 here.
*high five*

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Grahamstown, National Arts Festival 3.0

My one woman show, Yes Really Angel is going back to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2015, for it’s 3rd and final run.

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Directed by Nik Rabinowitz and produced by Siv Ngesi, this show marks my first meander into the world of full-length comedy. I cringe to think of it in its infancy in 2013 and am much more proud of the content now, in 2015. So make sure and check out the story of how I got my name, what it was like growing up as an awkward girl named after a stripper and how I tripped and fell, wearing red stilettoes and a bikini, into stand-up comedy. There’s also a good dose of observational humour where I impart my dark wit onto everything from Blackberry conspiracy theories, the zombie apocaplyse, useless guardian angels, tales of my time teaching English in South Korea and why we should avoid glitter. The usual things.

Check out the full listing of my appearances and times (Including appearances at Goliath&Goliath, Cape Town Comedy Club in G town and The Very Big Comedy Show) here.

Book for Yes Really Angel on the National Arts Festival page Here (I’ve already sold a bunch of tickets – yay-  so book now!)

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Mass Hysteria 2015



“The Long Bunfight to Freedom”


This year has been witness to the most extraordinary scenes of Parliamentary disorder ever, with fists flying, insults exchanged, mass walkouts and the deployment of SWAT teams in the House. Never before have overalls and berets been at the heart of potential darkness. The nation was astounded that not even load shedding could stop light from being cast on the shenanigans of our elected politicians.


They have accepted bribes, employed inept family and pick-pocketed the taxpayer as he waited for SAPS to pick up the phone. Have we, the people, unwittingly jumped from a frying pan into the fire?


What is the solution? Where will we find relief? Who can we look to for answers?


Nando’s is committed to keeping the heat on those responsible, and even though they don’t profess to have all the answers, they sure know how to turn on the burn.


The burn promises to come in several degrees, from the extra hot spice of John Vlismas, to the lemon and herb stylings of former caveman, Alan Committee, with many, many flavors in between.


Quite simply, if comedy had a government, this would be it. From the makers of “The Comics’ Choice Awards”, “Revelations”, “Bitches” and most other great comedy shows in the country comes the best comedy production of the year.


Look forward to a handpicked line-up of the best stand-ups in the country each night on one, beautifully designed stage. Book now and find out why comedians should be running the country – all proudly presented by the chicken that gets us talking – Nando’s.


Johannesburg show dates and line-up:


Nik Rabinowitz

Chester Missing

Tumi Morake

Mpho Popps Modikoane

John Vlismas

And for the first time in years….



Teatro, Montecasino

19 August – 23 August 2015


Cape Town show dates and line-up:


John Vlismas

Tumi Morake

Mpho Popps Modikoane

Alan Committie

Chester Missing*

Loyiso Gola




14 October – 25 October 2015

Artscape Opera House Theatre


Book for either (or both) Johannesburg and Cape Town runs atComputicket as soon as you can, or you will lose out, and your friends will avoid you and it will be awkward.


**Please note that due to availability Conrad Koch/Chester Missing will be performing for a select number of Cape Town show dates up to 20 October 2015.

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Sri Lank Awesome – My Diary of Sri Lanka: Day 1.

Everything about Sri Lanka was awesome, except for the guys on the cover of the guide book. Those fishermen are jerks.

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Sri Lanka. The first Asian country I’ve ever travelled to where people aren’t surprised that this white girl could be from South AFRICA. “Where you from?” “South Africa.” “Ah, AB Devilliers! Sorry about the world cup. Bad luck!” – Sri Lanka, the land of cricket. That alone. What’s not to love? Add to this that land of tea and I’m sold. But Sri Lanka was so, so much more than just Cricket, Tea or Curry and we are truly in love with this Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

When I told people that I was going to Sri Lanka on holiday most responded with ‘Why?’, others responded with an impressed nod of ‘I didn’t predict that, I’m almost impressed at your unpredicability’ – much like what the very first hipster must have felt when he was the first to wear his grandpa’s hat in public. I liked the idea of going somewhere that not many people had an opinion on. Myself included. A true bonafide adventure, best get my captain’s log in order! (read: Instagram). I’m from Cape Town. We’re Hipster like that.

Day 1: Colombo

After a bit of a nightmare in Abu Dhabi with Ethiad Airlines seeming to have made EVERYONE in the airport miss their flights.


Angry hoards in Abu Dhabi Airport.


Montage: An angry transfer desk full of waving fists and stomping feet, Long queues of tired travellers at different degrees of furious, threats of us being trapped in the desert airport for 17 hours as there were no other flights, Regretting the choice to wear shorts in the Seychelles heat that we’d left, because now my lily white legs were the red-light district of the conservative UAE airport. After tears and pleading, using my one Arabic word (learnt from the inflight announcements) “Shukrah” I thanked them as they managed to book my hussy body onto a different airline flight only 2 hours delayed off to Sri Lanka. (Possibly to remove the excess flesh heathen from their midst!) Our flight was further delayed midair by an hour, thanks to Yemeni airspace being closed due to the war that had just resurged there. Damn inconsiderate wars, throwing off our holiday plans. How dare they.

We arrived at dawn into Colombo airport, maintaining an upbeat optimism that lingers when you know you’ve spent all your savings on this damn holiday and you WILL have fun, no matter what, dammit. So SMILE!

Yay, airplane selfie.

Yay, airplane selfie.

Pros: We liked the curry on the flight, maybe our western tastebuds will not shrivel up and die. The Sri Lankan air-host-dude was hot and all the Sri Lankans around us on the plane were really friendly and excited about us visiting (or perhaps just excited to be returning home). They even moved us to the back of the plane where there were open seats so we could sit together, and lie down.

Inside the airport, standing at the luggage conveyor belt, our carry-on backpacks in tow, awaiting the one suitcase we had to check in, laden with no-no carry-on items: suncreams, face-wash and bug spray. Oh the litres of Tabard we had flown across the globe. Watching each bag as it came out of the magic-secret-rubber-curtained-hole-in-the-wall and it wasn’t ours. Seeing the dwindling crowds, and convincing each other with optimism that there were still one or two other people, they haven’t lost our bags – have faith. And then it came. A very polite Sri Lankan accent out of the mouth of an officially dressed gentleman, with a younger more nervous looking, equally officially dressed gentleman in tow.

“Excuse us, are you Miss Angel Campey?”

“Yes, I am…?”

“Oh dear. So sorry madam, but your luggage did not make it onto this flight. It remains behind in Abu Dhabi. Please come with us.”

Nervous glances between officially dressed gentlemen as I inhale and exhale a measured-try-to-stay-calm sigh. How is this foreigner going to conduct herself?

Pained glances between foreigners. Trying to reiterate telepathically the mantra: “Remember the optimism, honey. Don’t let’s ruin our holiday.” (Of course this was easier for me to embody, besides for one bottle of suncream and an XL can of Tabard spray, everything else in said suitcase belonged to my boyfriend. All of his clothes.)

After a few loud sighs at the Lost Baggage counter, it became evident that our luggage had been put on the same flight that we had been threatened to be placed on, 17 hours after our original arrival time. All credit to the Sri Lankan airport authorities, they knew exactly where our bag was, what time it would arrive and promised to deliver it to our back-packers at no extra charge. (Which they eventually did.)

We strapped the “optimism smiles” back on and marched forth into our new adventure.

And then, everything became right with the world. Cue R4 a cup of instant tea (yes they have instant tea machines) and taking a breath to suck it all in. Women in Saris, the Palm trees against the blue sky through the airport windows. The immaculate grass, which we had to touch to make sure it wasn’t astroturf. Warm air, warm smiles, warm tea. Hello Sri Lanka.


mmm, tea


We bought a Dialog sim card with airtime for my iPhone (2gigs of data and free SMSs that, all inclusive, only cost R130). We called our taxi driver, who’d already been there waiting for our original flight – shame – he sent a friend to come collect us. Heads up: we payed 3500 Rupees for our taxi, which is R350 – but pretty standard for Sri Lanka as we have family friends who live there and recommended him. The Airport is pretty far away from the city and includes toll roads, so while this cost is much higher than average things, it seems fair.

We arrived on the 15th of April which is Sri Lankan New Year’s Day. We hadn’t planned on that but it was magical. The roads in the infamously bustling capital city, Colombo were much quieter. Restaurants all seemed to be closed, and shops deserted. All the people were also on holiday, just like us.

Tuk-Tuks were around R30 – R50 to get around Colombo, depending. Our first destination had come highly recommended by our Airport Taxi Driver, the Mount Lavinia Hotel. It’s a 5 star hotel that feels incredibly opulent with fountains and air conditioning. A pot of tea also set us back R60, but it was a welcome sit down and stock take. We met a pair of incredibly enthusiastic (are they ever not?) Americans who had retired in Sri Lanka and were full of tales of colonial wonder and caution. Tales like “Don’t wear your expensive jewellery around the locals, they might snatch it from you” which had us rolling our eyes inwardly and nodding politely. Sips tea like Kermit.


Colonialsm at its best. The View from Mount Lavinia Hotel.


We were gagging for a bit of local flavour after that, so went walking looking for this beach-promenade I’d seen on a travel documentary called ‘Galle Road’ – I thought. In hindsight I chuckle at myself. Us walking through the seafront suburb, asking locals to direct us to ‘Galle Road’ and all of them pointing away from the coast, and looking at us a bit quizzically. Turns out, Galle road is the name of the main road that goes through the whole west coast of Sri Lanka, and can be driven on for hours, Literally. It links major cities.  After wandering the noisy (deserted) Galle Main Road, we found ourselves part of a funeral procession of mourners, as we walked in the same direction (which was hauntingly magical), eventually passing the graveyard which is where they left us. We ducked into the first local curry shop that we finally found that was actually open. Just a small cafe where we shared a chicken curry for R30, and a Fanta orange. The universal fun finder. The local children giggling, and peering out shyly from behind the kitchen curtain wall at us. My spice-phobic boyfriend seemed to be coping very well, with only a few tears.

After consulting the bible, (The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka book), we decided to head into the central Colombo district. To feel a bit of the chaos. We drove past The World Trade Centre, which is a set of twin towers. No joke. Went to the train-station to pick up our pre-booked tickets for the following morning to Kandy. Then we went back to the Chicken Curry restaurant to pick up our Guide Book. We forgot that behind. (We were sleep deprived OK!?)



All this Tuk-tukking around helped us to see the city, and enjoy the quiet holiday-time roads. We also drove past this amazing Promenade full of food stands and people flying kites.

“There it is! That’s Galle Road! That’s what I saw on the Travel Channel!”

Turns out it’s called Galle FACE. Face… Road, same same.  Whatever, we were finally here. And what a day to be there. All the people that seemed hauntingly vacant from the main-road shops and restaurants were here! As sunset approached, the promenade was crawling with Happy New Yearers, all enjoying the late afternoon sunshine. Some flew kites, some played cricket, others snacked on different curried yumness from the food-stands and the majority were down at the seaside, shrieking with joy at every wave that wrapped around their ankles.


So much joy. Bubbles, kites, balls, flags (and those are the twin towers in the distance).


Me bottom right, on Galle Face – under a small sample of the countless kites soaring.


You know you’re in Sri Lanka when: Everywhere cricket.


New Years beach time seems to be a global phenomenon


Sri Lankans at the beach.

We bought some curried, crunchy yumness for R5 a bag and sat watching the sights. It was a truly joyful first day in Sri Lanka. We alternated between watching children play cricket and the sunset. At R5 a bag, we couldn’t help sampling some more of the stall foods. Pro Tip: Sri Lankan curry-powder on sweet-pineapple is surprisingly yum!


Bag of crunchy yumness.



Curry powder on everything. Even fruit.

Curry powder on everything. Even fruit.

Max towering over the locals. (Everyone assumed he was Pakistani or Indian because of his tanned skin.)

Max towering over the locals. (Everyone assumed he was Pakistani or Indian because of his tanned skin.)

Curried Crab.

Curried Crab.

Our first Sri Lankan sunset.

Our first Sri Lankan sunset.

Sitting, watching the first sunset on this tropical island, alongside the young mother whose toddler was practicing the over-armed cricket bowl with a small transparent ball that flashed LED red and blue with every bounce as he gleefully chased after it, to gather it up, prepare for his run-up and again throw it over his arm, we were struck by how peaceful and contented Sri Lankans were. There was no boisterous noise, even though there were throngs of people. There were no hustlers coming up to peddle their wares on the the two (clearly foreign) people sitting on the stairs. There was a sense of shyness about us being in their midst, a sense of respect and mutual understanding. That we were there because their country was beautiful, and as they smiled, and shyly looked to the sunset themselves, enjoying it’s last rays on this, the first day of their new year – it was as if they were saying.

“Thank you, we know it’s beautiful. You’re Welcome. Enjoy.”


Sri Lankan Sunset

Thus began our time in a country that already had our heart.


..To be continued. Tomorrow we were off by train to the cultural capital, Kandy.


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Random Haai-Fives: Shark Cage Diving with Gordon’s Gin.



“They say it takes a legend to know one – and in Gordon’s case this couldn’t be any truer.”

In September 2014 Gordon’s Gin launched a national search for a true Gordon’s Legend: someone ambitious adventurous and inspirational, who embodies the spirit of legends – Gordon’s Gin.

Finally in December, the winner of the Gordon’s ‘See Yourself as the Next Legend’ competition was announced. Andrew Mphore, a true hero within his community, won the grand prize of a 7-day getaway for four people in South Africa’s Number One holiday destination, as well as R50 000 in cold hard cash.

On the 28th of February, Andrew and his lucky guests arrived in sunny Cape Town and checked into a luxury penthouse suite at the 15 on Orange hotel. Over the course of their stay, the four were treated like absolute royalty – as true Legends should!

I was invited to join Andrew and his family on Day 4 of the week of Legendary experiences, to keep an eye on what awesome things Gordon’s was doing – so I could report back to y’all.

The day started at 4am wake up, to see Australia losing spectacularly at CWC, which was honestly quite a high already. Then our awesome driver (aptly named Gordon) picked us up and took us to 15 on Orange where we could snack on the (5 star) breakfast buffet and feel luxurious. We got to meet Andrew and his entourage and I’d brought fellow stand-up comedian, Westley Cockrell as my plus-one. None of us had any joy in our eyes that early.

Then we were ushered back into the van, with packed bags full of more food (fattening us up for the sharks, perhaps?) and started the hour or so drive off to Gansbaai. I rode up front with Gordon and chatted about his life of VIP hosting luxury, so the trip flew past in a gorgeous sunrise of Overberg colours.

And then. We arrived.




A beautiful sunny morning, with what looked like a calm sea greeted us. We went inside where there was MORE food, coffee and a safety briefing. We all got kitted out in rain-coats (the kind the serial killer wears in teen-horror films) and trundled off to the ‘Apex Predator’ boat.

I’ve gone shark-cage diving once before, in the same bay. But today was a whole different experience that I really think classifies as ‘Legendary’. Mostly because I now know 1. What it looks like when 90% of the people are seasick on a boat and 2. What it looks like moments before you die from a Great White swallowing you whole. As one lunged at the cage, open mouthed, and snapped about 20cm from my face. I screamed. Underwater. And clung onto the random German Tourists alongside me in the cage.

The DVD footage of that is pretty amusing as you seem me propelling upwards, one arm outstreched like the Lady of the Lake to cling to the top of the cage. The shark guides were yelling at me to go under the water again as the shark was about to make another pass (at my face) to which i replied. No thanks, I’m fine up here. Much like when you hide under your blankets from monsters, I knew that if I didn’t LOOK there wouldn’t be a 4 metre long Great White Shark, circling me.

Adrenaline coursed, jokes were made. Swells were bobbed over, and we all survived.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Andrew and his crew.

Andrew and his crew.



Westley Cockrell and I - 'We're going to need a bigger boat!"

Westley Cockrell and I – ‘We’re going to need a bigger boat!”



Our driver and host, Gordon.

Our driver and host, Gordon.

Da dum.

Da dum.


Daaa dum.

Daaa dum.

Andrew's Brother in Law - he Survived (and saw 2 sharks)

Andrew’s Brother in Law – he Survived (and saw 2 sharks)

Me, before pseudo death.

Me, before pseudo death.




When asked what the highlight of their stay was Andrew said the entire trip was one big highlight. But if he had to single out some of his favourite moments they would definitely be driving the AC Cobra around Cape Town and cage diving with Great White Sharks.

“I never imagined I would do all these things in my entire life, let alone 7 days!” said Andrew. “Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a Legend.” Gordons Gin. A legend since 1769.

Tune into my radio show today from 1-3pm on 2oceansvibe radio, I’ll have Simphiwe from Gordon’s Gin in studio to chat about the campaign.

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