They were the best of times, they were the worst of times. – C.Dickens
The next two days consisted of exploring the coast around PE. Unfortunately I explored it a little too closely for my liking. The others guys on the trip were keen surfers, or keen to be keen surfers, so when they saw the swell was up in the bay outside our B&B we headed for some surfing action. Having only surfed once, I was excited to try again. A complete battering by 8 foot waves on the swim to the backline had me thinking otherwise. By the time I tried to catch a wave (which I’m told were awesome, but to me looked deadly) my arms were tired and things were going horribly wrong. 15 mins of wave battering action later things weren’t looking much better. I had half caught a couple of waves, but they were really out of my league.
My friends had surfed into the bay, but I could only assume they were struggling to get back out, so I decided to try to get back to our spillway alone. Sadly, this was surrounded by rocks and the waves were crashing into them with speed and height. Every so often there was a break in the waves, so I could inch closer without the fear of being ripped to pieces, but this calm was soon interrupted by more waves and a growing fear of death on my part.
Then, as if by magic, appeared my guardian angel, a kid of no more than 15 on his way out to surf the fury. No doubt hearing the desperation in my voice, he kindly guided me back into the slipway, I was safe.
I was met on the beach by my friends who had by now, stopped wondering about whether I was ok, and had started to contemplate what they would write in the letter to my Mother about my death.
So, I was done surfing for, well, ever, but at least there was more football to be watched. Italy, Slovakia was as good a game as you could hope to watch, Chile vs Spain too. Saturday morning we returned to PE to watch South Korea vs Uruguay. We’d already decided we were going to support Korea, but were really struggling for a way to express it.
Not much Korean fancy dress in Port Elizabeth. We found some flags though, and some doggy hats (yes Doggy not dodgy) and when we arrived at the stadium, made a bee line for the Korean fans. They welcomed us with open arms and we had a great time singing and dancing with them throughout the whole game. It was electric when they scored their equaliser in front of us. This made the Uruguayans’ winning goal all the more bitter. It was nice to see the Korean team come over after the game to thank their fans and offer a humble bow. Fat chance the England team would ever do that.
We were again disappointed by the lack of variety in PEs night life, and found ourselves watching the USA Ghana game with some Americans in a pizza restaurant. They were not interested in singing. At all. Never mind, there were enough teapots full of odd coloured cocktails to keep me going. NOTE: When drinking cocktails from teapots, be sure to keep a finger over the spout, lest the cocktail will pour on your trousers.
Sunday, after saying our goodbyes to Monica and St Francis bay, we bombed back to close to Cape Town to watch the England Germany game. We stopped briefly to watch crazies throw themselves off the world’s highest bungee jump. I was tempted but not in the right state of mind.
We watched the England game in a rather odd little bar in the middle of a small town called Calendon. It was just what I thought a pub in an outback town in Austrailia would look like, apart from with Flat screen TVs and all the Carling Black Label you could drink.
Thoroughly unimpressed by England’s performance. Whether Lampard’s goal was given or not, we were well off the pass for all but 15 mins of the game. Even if we had squeaked through past Germany, the Argentineans would have destroyed us, so perhaps best to go home now, with a decent excuse in hand and our tails between our legs.
All in all an excellent road trip. Lots of footy lots of boozing. Downsides included almost dying and losing to German, but like I said before, they were the best of times, they were the worst of times.