Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Thursday, April 02, 2015

10. Paarl, South Africa

Paarl, South Africa

We flew from Maun, Botswana to Cape Town, South Africa on the 30th of December, 2014. The prices for hotel rooms in Cape Town, for the year end celebrations, had tripled overnight, if you could get a room at all. It seemed all of South Africa wanted to party in Cape Town and welcome in the New Year 2015.
Rodeberg Lodge

We arranged for a quieter weekend and had booked into a lovely, old, very quiet B&B, the Rodeberg Lodge, in Paarl. We arranged an airport pick up from the Paarl Taxi Company and spent a few days just reading, napping and taking walks. The B&B building was an old, converted Dutch farm house and well taken care of. The wooden stairs squeaked, the doors were slightly slanted, the wooden floors gleamed with polish, the overstuffed sofas and
A Comfy Room
chairs made you snuggle in and just relax. Perfect. Breakfast was plentiful and Leney, the manager, was like a big sister who took care of everything and got things done, whatever it was. At one point she even drove us to the mall near by so we could buy some items. Leney was the perfect host. It was the perfect place to recuperate.

Paarl is about one hour North West of Cape Town. We would call it a suburb, but Paarl has its own town center and is
Breakfast Area
a city.

At the medical clinic in Paarl we visited Herbert Krein, a fellow motorcycle rider. Herbert rode a motorcycle tour last October here in South Africa with Stefan Knopf. A crazy bunch of accumulations of circumstances left Herbert a paraplegic after an accident. Since we were in Paarl, we wanted to slap Herbert’s shoulder and tell him to keep on smiling. Life sometimes dishes out heavy punches. Herbert got smacked hard. We learned from his attending son, that Herbert will live from now on near Cologne, Germany. He needs permanent, constant care. His body has healed enough now for an airlift from Paarl to Cologne. In Cologne starts Herbert’s mental rehab. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to find oneself a paraplegic.
Back Garden at the Rodeberg Lodge

Carol and I kind of just zoned out while in Paarl. We did little things in Paarl.
I had stitches removed from my head at a local pharmacy (Dr. Max put them in after I fainted due to low BP and cracked my head). I tried to find a watchmaker to get a new battery for my watch but did not have any luck in Paarl.

Thatch Roofed Church

We visited the oldest, still in service, thatched roof church in all of South Africa.

Thatched Roof
Carol climbed the stairs to visit an old slave school and church but found the doors locked. We took a taxi out to the very last prison Mr. Nelson Mandela was in, the place from where he was finally set free. Mr. Mandela’s statue at the entrance of the prison today now represents the new direction South Africa pursues, the “Road to Freedom”.

Old Slave School and Church

Paarl, with history galore, with the wine region surrounding it, is a wonderful representation of South Africa today. It shows life after apartheid and is not tinted with rose colored images. Paarl is a very historic town with lots of old buildings, yet it is also the new South Africa.

Prison From Which Mandela Walked to Freedom

We spent 4 days in Paarl, recovering from our Safaris and I from my bout with colitis. The town of Paarl was a good stop over and helped me to recover from my illness.

This Long Walk to Freedom Statue was unveiled on 21 August 2008 in the presence of Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 90th birthday which occurred on 18 July, 2008.

Lovely Gardens in Paarl

So long Paarl. It was a good stay.


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