Gift of maté gourd from Uruguayan guests at Dempsey’s.

Gift of maté gourd from Uruguayan guests at Dempsey’s.

Special guests from Uruguay landed up with us due to a double booking at another guest house. A tense start soon warmed into lasting smiles as we exchanged knowledge on each other’s countries and on the excitement of travel. We learnt about their local beverage called ‘maté.’ It is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, a tea leaf mix that is steeped in a traditional calabash gourd, hot water is added to it during the day, a metal or silver straw called a ‘bombilla’, is used for sipping on the tea during the course of the day. Yerba maté leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the brewed liquid in but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture. A modern bombilla design uses a straight tube with holes, or a spring sleeve to act as a sieve.

We were gifted with an ornament of a maté  gourd, a most pleasant surprise, thank you to Gustavo and Federica!  All we had to give them was some of Jack’s delicious home-made biltong. We hope that they enjoyed it. Jack suggested he visit them in Uruguay to teach them how to make the biltong; Uruguay is certainly not short on cows, the present count is five cows to one person with most people being in the farming industry or veterinary profession!

Once they had left we found the large bag of tea in their room; the tea leaves looked a bit like finely chopped and dried marijuana!

 

Maté information sourced from Wikipedia:

Country of origin: Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivian Chaco, Brazil. Introduced:16th century AD

Mate also known as yerba mate or cimarrón is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, particularly in Argentina (where it is defined by law as the “national infusion”) Uruguay, Paraguay, the Bolivian Chaco and Southern Brazil and in southern Chile. It is also consumed by the Druze in Syria, the largest importer in the world, and in Lebanon.

water flask, calabash with bombilla and bag of mate tea

Water flask, calabash with bombilla and bag of Mate tea

our ornament gift on the right

Our ornament gift on the right

one large bag of mate tea!

One large bag of Mate tea!

this is what the tea looks like

This is what the tea looks like

special gift from uruguay

Special gift from Uruguay

 

 

Gift of coffee from Vietnamese guest at Dempsey’s.

Gift of coffee from Vietnamese guest at Dempsey’s.

A kind Vietnamese guest staying at Dempsey’s Guest House, surprised us a with a gift pack of coffee with a coffee filter included, all the way from Vietnam. He demonstrated how to use the coffee filter and insisted that we add condensed milk for the real Vietnamese effect. You cannot scare us with condensed milk! It was a sweet, strong experience. Thank you Trung!

 

neatly packaged coffee with filter from vietnam

Neatly packaged coffee with filter from Vietnam

long strong process, condensed milk was added, yumm

Long strong process, condensed milk was added, yumm

Update on our frangipani seed pod seedlings.

Update on our frangipani seed pod seedlings.

In early 2015, we shared our exciting discovery of the frangipani pod in our garden. http://dempseys.co.za/fascinating-frangipani-pod-in-dempseys-garden/ We’ve been slack in reporting on the growth progress but we have these recent photos to show you that the four ‘seed survivors’ are thriving. We managed to save approximately 18 seeds, we planted them and once they were ‘shooting’, we gave a few away as gifts. This was around May last year. Later a snail gang wiped out a further few seedlings and we were left with only four plants, these we have nurtured. We look forward to the day when the plants flower as there is a strong chance that the colour of the flowers will differ from the yellow of the original tree flower:)

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Ziplining chameleon at Dempsey’s!

Ziplining chameleon at Dempsey’s!

No words needed for this escapade along the power line in our garden!

from a distance

From a distance

couldn't believe our eyes!

Couldn’t believe our eyes!

brave or mental?

Brave or mental?

Miles from any tree or branch!

Miles from any tree or branch!

6th Avenue Shopping Centre, Walmer: fresh new look is a feast for the eyes.

6th Avenue Shopping Centre, Walmer: fresh new look is a feast for the eyes.

6th Avenue Shopping Centre is just 1km from Dempsey’s Guest House in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. Its tired and tatty look was recently transformed into a modern, vibrant-looking centre with the upgraded “Café au Lait Coffee Shop” taking the spotlight at centre stage. A wonderful space now with good light and clean lines.

6th Avenue Shopping Centre is another reason to stay at Dempsey’s Guest House when next you’re in town.

Café au Lait Coffee Shop
6th Avenue Shopping Centre
corner Heugh Rd and 6th Avenue, Walmer.

Tel: 041 581 2210

https://twitter.com/CafeAuLaitPE

http://6thavenue.co.za/index.php/2013-10-15-08-29-48/retail

cafe au lait coffee shop at 6th avenue shopping centre

Café au Lait Coffee Shop at 6th Avenue Shopping Centre

fabulous space at 6th avenue shopping centre

Fabulous space at 6th Avenue Shopping Centre

clean lines at 6th avenue shopping centre are pleasing to the eye

Clean lines at 6th Avenue Shopping Centre are pleasing to the eye

Dempsey’s is proud to be associated with Greencycle.

Dempsey’s is proud to be associated with Greencycle.

We are proud to be associated with Greencycle Recycling and Collection Services and recently received a pleasant surprise from them, a certificate thanking us for our contribution to making Port Elizabeth a more environmentally friendly city. Thank YOU Greencycle, you have managed to maintain your outstanding service over the years, you’re a force to be reckoned with and we will continue to support your recycling work.

Contact:   Laura or Louise

Mobile:     072 237 5895

Phone:       041 581 2174

E-mail:      info@greencycle.co.za

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greencycle-Recycling-Collection-Service

For information on Greencycle, what they do and why, please view: http://www.greencycle.co.za

 

Awhile back we posted that we’ve been ‘going green’ for a few years already, here’s the reminder:- http://dempseys.co.za/been-going-green-for-years-at-dempseys-guest-house-port-Elizabeth/

 

Superb drongo entertainment!

Superb drongo entertainment!

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Recently we were treated to superb entertainment right on our private deck area at Dempsey’s Guest House. The crazed entertainment was provided by a whacky Fork-tailed drongo who was born to perform. Bursting with confidence and attitude, this drongo had us pleasantly amused for a long time; the more we chatted and cheered, the more flamboyant the performance became! Ah the wonder of nature.

 

 

 

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Baby olive woodpecker:)…maybe not!

Baby olive woodpecker:)…maybe not!

Yesssss, we were able to get close to the nest and capture the baby woodpecker:)

http://dempseys.co.za/olive-woodpecker-nesting-in-our-tree/

Oops, we have erred and think that these photos are of the mum and not of the babe as we’d initially thought! Ah well, back to the wait.

 

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Olive woodpecker nesting in our tree.

Olive woodpecker nesting in our tree.

Spring is in the air and our garden is alive with activity, especially after the good rains we’ve had. Nesting in one of the ancient syringa trees is a woodpecker family. The photos show a parent keeping vigil. Today we saw a fluffy, baby, grey head pop out of the hole. Sweetness! If we are allowed closer, photos of the baby will follow.

The Olive Woodpecker has two isolated subspecies in Africa – one is in Central Africa, and the other is endemic to South Africa, living in evergreen forests. It forages in the upper canopies of trees, probing pecking branches and licking with its barbed tongue. Both sexes excavate the nest, which is usually a oval-shaped hole in the trunk of a tree. Egg-laying season is from August-November, peaking from September-October.It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for roughly 15-16 days. The chicks are cared for by both parents, leaving the nest at about 24-26 days old. The juveniles return to the nest to roost for about 3 months, after which they become fully independent. Several adaptations combine to protect the woodpecker’s brain from the substantial pounding that the pecking behaviour causes: it has a relatively thick skull with relatively spongy bone to cushion the brain; there is very little cerebrospinal fluid in its small subarachnoid space; the bird contracts mandibular muscles just before impact, thus transmitting the impact past the brain and allowing its whole body to help absorb the shock; its relatively small brain is less prone to concussion than other animals.

Source: Wikipedia

 

 

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Our sweet surprise from Dutch guests.

Our sweet surprise from Dutch guests.

As our Dutch guests were bidding us farewell yesterday they gave us this lovely pair of Dutch clogs. What a lovely gesture and a sweet surprise. Thank you to family Franken and may you enjoy the rest of your South African holiday.