Cocktails at Jack’s

After a good night’s sleep we woke up at 8.00am and went up for our Sea Stretch session before enjoying an al fresco breakfast. We then wandered around on deck, looking at our surroundings and decided what to do. We had the whole day to explore at our leisure and do whatever we wanted, when we wanted – great.

We then went back to our cabin and got ourselves sorted out for going ashore. We thought we’d get some exercise by walking along past the marina, shops and bars and making our way to the attractive little sandy beach we could see, which already had one or two people swimming and strolling along in the sand. In any case, we wanted to find somewhere to write out the postcards we’d bought yesterday.

I made sure I put on plenty of suntan cream and off we went. Although there was a refreshing sea breeze, the sun was already very hot. We just took our time ambling along, stopping to look at the pleasure craft in the marina, and looking at the waterfront restaurants and bars, whose owners were trying to tempt us to come inside.

Walking along the boardwalk, we soon came to some steps leading down into the golden sandy beach. I kicked off my flip-flops and walked barefoot in the soft sand along the edge of the shore, allowing the small waves to lap around my ankles. Several families of local people were out fishing, walking their dogs, swimming or paddling in the sea – what a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

As we walked back again we tried, where possible, to walk in the shade of the trees as the sun was very hot. Eventually we arrived back to the shops, and we went into a small corner store for a refreshing orange ice-lolly.
We then decided to go to one of the bars, have a cold beer, and write out the postcards. One of the little bars, simply called “Jack’s Bar” had a number of high tables and stools outside, and looked inviting. The price list proclaimed the Castle beer to be 10 rands a bottle (about 60 pence!) so in we went.

We sat on a stool at a high table and ordered our beers, which were cold, foamy and very refreshing. I wrote out the postcards as we drank them. I then spotted the cocktail list and ordered myself a mojito while Trevor had another beer. The barman, who introduced himseld as Dion, was very friendly.

The mojito was lovely and was cheap, only about £2.00 compared to the £4.30 charged on the Voyager for a far inferior version. As we had nothing to do and all day to do it in, we decided to stay for another. This time I chose a drink called “Liquid Cocaine” which came in 4 shot glasses and only cost 15 rands or 85p! Cheap or what!

Sitting here in Jack’s Bar was just a great way to pass the time. Trevor stuck to drinking beer but I was determined to try some more of the interesting-sounding cocktails and shooters. The next one I tried (also 15 rands) was called “Snail Trail”. It was an intriguing selection of drinks served on an escargot plate, and consisted of black Sambuca, green Sambuca, tequila, Stroh rum and a sort of cream liqueur like Bailey’s. I was given a straw through which to taste the various samples.

What a concoction! The neat tequila was strong, but the Stroh rum nearly took my breath away. It was very fiery and medicinal-tasting. Dion saw my reaction and brought over the bottle to show me; it was 120 proof (60% alcohol) and is the strongest spirit they are legally allowed to sell in South Africa. It was just as well it was followed by the creamy liqueur!

After the challenge of the Snail Trail I decided to have another mojito which was cold and thirst quenching. We decided to make this our last one for now, as we’d already spent a couple of hours in Jack’s Bar and were ready to go back to the Voyager for our lunch. After we’d finished our drinks, we asked Dion for the bill and it came to 190 rands – just over £10.00 for five drinks each!!

We’d already made our minds up we would come back here tonight for a couple of hours after dinner, because the Voyager wasn’t scheduled to sail until 10.30pm.

Back on board we had a light lunch then went and sat out up at the pool deck for a short while, before going back to our cabin for a drink-induced nap for an hour.  🙂

Then we got ready and went along to Scott’s Lounge for the afternoon quiz which we didn’t win once again.

After getting changed and freshened up we went up to the self-service restaurant for our dinner before disembarking the Voyager and making our way to Jack’s Bar once again. There were quite a few people in there as they were showing the Manchester United v Southampton match. We sat on stools at the bar and Trevor had a Castle beer while I ordered the “Liquid Cocaine” again, which contains vodka and Blue Curaçao amongst other things. Then I had a really good margarita, sitting there enjoying the ambience of the bar which had a sign on the wall saying There are no strangers here, only friends we haven’t yet met.

As we needed to be back on board for 9.30pm at the latest, we decided we’d stay until nine o’clock, giving us time for just one more drink. So I finished off by having a martini which contained passion fruit liqueur and other things and tasted absolutely delicious. The bill for the three drinks each came to about £6.00, so today it had cost us a total of about 16 quid for eight drinks each, a couple of quid a round. Can’t complain about that!   🙂

We made it back on board the Voyager and went along to the Darwin Lounge for tonight’s show, which was a tribute to the George Gershwin classics. Then it was up to the Sunset Club where the music was a bit more lively and featured disco stuff from the 70s and 80s. I got up to dance quite a lot, and ended up somehow getting everyone doing “Strip the Willow” to Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, if you can imagine such a thing!  🙂

At least there were a few more people in the Sunset Club this time and we could enjoy a dance. We had a couple of drinks each and commented that the two glasses of wine and two beers on the ship cost nearly as much as the 16 drinks we’d had between us in Jack’s Bar had.

It was well after midnight when we returned to cabin 4130 to settle down for the night. Voyager was well underway again and we had Durban to look forward to tomorrow morning.

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