Long Live Port Elizabeth

Tuesday 22nd June published Saturday 26th June (Kirsty’s blog)

On our final leg of the Garden Route towards Port Elizabeth and our World Cup destiny we decide to stop off at Knysna for those elusive oysters (Judy told us that Knysna is famous for them and recommended a restaurant on the waterfront). We park up and browse the shops on our way to the gorgeous little harbour. There are fantastic shops here selling African arts and crafts and it’s really good quality, I was trying to imagine a shop in Blackpool selling sculptures, oil on canvas, beautiful metal creations and intricate beaded jewellery…but I couldn’t. They certainly don’t do cheap tat around here, in fact they have some lovely stuff.

Ansy spotted the restaurant and we again manage to get a table right by the water, but we check this time before sitting down that they definitely have oysters and do they…hurrah!

So a dozen large wild oysters to share and a glass of wine each, is the order of the day. However, our lovely waitress Rochelle returns with bad news…they only have medium sized wild oysters! I wouldn’t call that bad news, I’d call that an opportunity to order some more oysters!

When they arrive I think there’s been some kind of mistake as the most enormous, gigantic, plump, prehistoric looking oysters turn up. If these are medium sized the table wouldn’t have been big enough for the monsters that must be large size! They are gorgeous too, and we spend a happy hour or so eating oysters followed by a bit of sushi before hitting the road again, bliss!

We set off for Port Elizabeth and I’m looking forward to meeting Wendy at Sir Roys on the Sea, who I’ve been dealing with over the past few days to try and secure a room for our three night stay. The whole of Port Elizabeth has ‘no room at the inn’ and it’s looking likely that we’ll have to sleep in the car on match night. Wendy has been doing her best but is still awaiting confirmation from FIFA on a pre-booked room. The excellent directions take us straight to Sir Roys at the Sea and we’re warmly greeted by Wendy (feel like we know each other after the last few days of emails and phone calls), she also has the brilliant news that FIFA have released a room so we’re not homeless after all :o)

The room is lovely with a sea view and it turns out that ‘the boys’ are in the room above us but have just gone down to bar ‘Finnezz’ for drinks.

We shortly join them and find that Eva Minimus has arrived safely, though from now on will be called Jam Jar Jack on account of his savings account which he used some of to fund his SA trip. Though Eva Minor (or moany as the boys are now calling him) is conspicuous in his absence. Turns out he’s been doing all the driving as he thinks Steve and Dave are blind because they can’t read a menu without holding it as far away as their arms will allow. So he’s a bit knackered, fed up of drinking and having some ‘me time’.

We are off to meet Dom, new arrival Keith and Simon at their hotel bar down the road so after a 5 minute cab (which took over an hour), we arrive to find them happily ensconsed in a really dark, loud bar, having spent the best part of the afternoon there, they were merrily working their way through a mixture of bubbly, red wine and cider! Dom was put to bed, tired and emotional after his epic football marathon and the rest of us headed to Blackbeards for dinner where Chris joined us.

We have a lovely meal apart from Keith who had to send his back but it was worth going there jut for the OTT nautical theme and the hilarious ‘Manuel’ style service.

We head back to our lovely little spot at Roys at the Sea, their tag line is ‘Where everyone’s treated like royalty’ though I certainly slept a whole lot better than the Princess and the Pea!

Match day tomorrow, can’t wait, have no idea what all this dissention in camp will do for our performance, we can only hope that they’ve got everything out in the open and bonded as a team, ready for tomorrow.

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