Monday, August 29, 2011

2 Girls 1 Car

Note: This supposed to be a blog post but it turned into a diary of events that day. I blame my over active mind for it.

DJ Mixi & Stephanie Be with "Turbo Ted"
On Monday, the 15th of August 2011 I had the extreme pleasure in entertaining 2 of Cape Town's finest radio DJ's @StephanieBe and @DJMixi both of Goodhope FM. They were given an Opel Astra 1.4 turbo which they named "Turbo Ted" to test drive in a roadtrip around the country, dubbed the #REEDSroadtrip. When I first heard of this expedition of theirs I was quite anxious to meet them seeing that I've known Stephanie for a while via social media so I lept at the opportunity to be their host while in Durban. As Murphy would have it, the weekend they arrive I get struck down with flu and the weather turned a new type of ugly. For a city that boasts the best winter weather around, Durban really did its most to prove otherwise that day. Never the less, come rain or hail they drove all that way for a purpose and I wasn't prepared to let Durban down...okay that sounds a bit dramatic but I did the best I could.

Protea Hotel Edward
The guests spent their night at the Protea Hotel Edward on Durban's main beachfront. One of Durban's leading 4* hotels it boasts over 100 rooms with a roof top pool deck and over looks the warm Indian Ocean. Its been through a number of renovations to keep up to its high standards over the years so guests can expect nothing but the best from it and judging from the ravings of the two girls, the breakfast buffet is a must!


As summoned, 10am I was waiting for them in the hotel foyer. As a local you want to give visitors the very best impression of what your city has to offer. Especially since they were from South Africa's number 1 tourist destination, it was a hard act for Durban to follow but in our own unique way I feel the city does have the charm to pull it off. First order was to get some coffee but while we were on the beachfront I opted to take them for a drive to the Point Waterfront which is currently underdevelopment and if the Small Craft Harbour is completed, it could rival waterfronts across the world let alone the Victoria and Alfred. Once the short but sweet drive around was done, it was off to Florida Road in Morningside for a caffeine injection at the Vida E Cafe. On a good day Florida Road attracts a good number of people, whether its the restaurants or maybe to one of the parks for a walk, there always is a buzz to the road.

"Soo shoping in Gateway"
Upon having our drinks, we discussed the possible destinations on that rain riddled day, one of which was Gateway Theatre of shopping. Once they heard it was the biggest shopping center in the Southern Hemisphere, nothing more was needed to be said. Drinks were downed, phones packed away, off to the car and the next destination was Umhlanga. Being in the construction industry myself I love Gateway, the design is simple and while it might have its slight flaws, its main aim is achieved by having a hassle free setup. The parking is all conveniently located behind the entire mall length, the major supermarket retailers are situated in a separate level from your other boutique shops so if its just groceries you need, you don't have to venture through the entire center and the walkways are huge to accommodate high volume of shoppers. Errr I seemed to have drifted away from the topic here, back to the girls, they loved the place and let me make this official, for the first time in my life, I have taken a woman, be it more than one to Gateway, and we saw half the place in less than 20 minutes, that's 90 000 square meters! Of course my luck had to strike out soon as they found a shoe shop, or as they liked to call it, a "Soo shop" but I didn't mind, gave me a breather from the walking. The thing with shopping centers, you see one you see them all but luckily there are attractions that set Gateway apart from others, like the indoor fountain, to the largest indoor climbing rock, not forgetting the Wavehouse which has the longest free standing wave in the world as well as the Tony Hawk designed skate park ....but it was the kiddies rides that stole the attention of the two beauties, for reasons I cant state on the blog.... Moving on, we paid a visit to our favourite monkeys at Gorilla Creative Media offices which is situated in the Wavehouse, where we went to investigate what really goes on there. I was disappointed at the lack of banana's but there was plenty of Axe and Red Bull to go around! After saying about our good byes, we realised the sun decided to pitch up, it was time to chase it as it was making its way to the city.

Spice Emporium - via kishyr.ramdial.co.za

Now a trip to Durban wouldn't be complete if it didn't involve spice somewhere in it, due to my mind being clogged up I didn't think of it at the time but luckily MixiSpice Emporium. Importers of quality spice and everything Indian it was the best one stop shop you can find. Sweetmeats, poppadoms, curry mixes and samoosa's were the order of the day for our intrepid ladies who had a ball in there with the various scents, sights and eats.

The girls going through Moyo's cocktail list
All that shopping makes one tired, well sort off so we headed to the Moyo Pier bar to chill out on the top deck while injecting our blood stream with yet more caffeine The Moyo Pier bar that's located at the end of the uShaka Pier at uShaka beach is a must for any visitor. It offers unrivaled views of Durban's harbour entrance and the golden mile. They serve a variety of drinks, cocktails and beverages to cater for ones taste as well as a generous food menu to satisfy the light eater as the bigger meals are served in the main restaurant located on the main land inside uShaka. The weather decided to turn foul again while we were enjoying the view, running in the rain to the car was quite entertaining as we encountered a river of water at the entrance to the parking lot but that obstacle was soon crossed and got the visitors peckish.

The Roti
Now I've never driven around with 2 radio DJ's in my life, then again most of you reading this post hadn't as well so it must be said, there isn't a need for the radio to be on as they're pretty entertaining them self as their voices are ones that you'd be accustomed to hearing coming from the speakers but its even better live! So the trip from the Point to the our next destination was filled with random singing, talking and voice over intros for their shows on Goodhope FM. All good fun though!The choice for our late lunch was suggested by a friend of the girls on twitter. House of curries chips, cheese and gravy roti. Its the famous food of choice for the late night reveller, made famous by the original Johnnies Chip and Ranch of Sparks Road, Overport. Not only does it taste good but its fairly priced and huge! The 3 of us split one and it still managed to fill us. The girls were daring and since it was Mixi's first visit to Durban they decided to order some Bunny Chow's...now now, I know I said "chows" but these weren't the normal sized ones but miniature Bunnies, about 2 bites size. Its probably the most famous culinary item that Durban can be famous for, isn't that hard to make and tastes oh so good!

@iAvish_Karr in deep thought
The day, although full of activity was not over for that evening a good ol Durban tweetup was arranged in honor of our visitors from the Cape. The venue of choice was Livingstons Gastro Pub in Glen Ashley. The evenings weather wasn't much to speak of either so the turn out wasn't as impressive as expected but Durban's key tweeters were there to have a good time over a drink or "chucken pot paah". Present were @askashe, @ShansDBN, @waewest, @lizlaughalot, @madammichelle, @coaxel, @NevinSP, @iAvish_Karr, @shaunie2fly and of course myself. The evening which was full of laughs and fun ended earlier than normal since the girls had to make the drive up to Joburg the next day and as Nevin pointed out quite often during the evening that it was a Monday. That brought an end to a very interesting yet thoroughly enjoyable day. Now there have been rumors doing the rounds that I am Durban's unofficial tour guide, that isn't true. I'm not for hire, I'll only do it if you're cute ;)


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