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Top pinks to drink this summer

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I love drinking pink wine! It’s a refreshing and playful option – perfect for warm summer days. There is a large variety of blush wines in South Africa, ranging from light dry wines to medium/fuller bodied wines. All of which perfectly compliment summer foods like salads, seafood and tapas.

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Bridge Capital's top 10 items to pack

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You're three hours into your drive and you realise you've left your cell phone at home, or your tent, or some other significant item. We all know that sinking feeling!

It's nearly time to pack. To jog your memory, we asked the Bridge team to send in the top 10 items they won't be forgetting to pack this holiday.

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Bridge Capital’s top 10 South African restaurants (with a sea view)

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In the Southern Hemisphere, December holidays are all about good company, good food, good wine and spectacular sea views! As a team we brainstormed and came up with our collective top 10 spots to celebrate summer in South Africa.

Who knows, you might just catch us sipping a cocktail at one of our top 10 this holiday season.

The Lookout Deck & Restaurant, Plettenberg Bay

If you holiday in Plett, like many of the staff at Bridge Capital, you will have a tale or two to tell about a night out at “The Deck”. The Lookout Deck Restaurant, nestled between the Lookout Rocks and Nature Reserve, is a legend in its own right. You couldn’t dream up a better spot for a causal seafood meal and sundowner. Arrive with sandy feet and salty skin.

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Samba time : Day 7 "Seven shades of green"

Piet-2.1We are up for breakfast by seven o'clock as we start our 'jungle walk' at eight. Thankfully it's not raining today and we leave our jackets in the room. We ask for an 'off the beaten track' walk and soon our guide is hacking away through the forest. Eat your heart our bikram yoga. We are bopping and weaving, hopping and squatting, jumping and climbing through the densest forest any of us has ever seen.

We meet all kinds of interesting new plant species and the most amazing of trees. Our personal favourite is the telephone tree. A big MF with a deep baritone voice when you hit it with a stick. They tell all the tourists that you are supposed to hit on this tree when you are lost in the forest and the sound travels for miles. Well one part of this we can confirm as the sound is phenomenal and during our walk we hear sounds from other guided walks from miles away. Our guide, as most of them are, is a mine of useless information. He shares many a tale with us but my favourite of the day is of a group of five French tourists who got lost, after wandering off behind a troupe of monkeys. Five days on their own in the jungle before the Brazilian army finally found them, and that's not because the army was useless! Monkeys!

We quickly see how easy it is to get lost as we urge our guide to take us further off the beaten track? Within minutes we are in dense growth and have no idea which way is which. The guide hacks away merrily with his massive machete and we live in hope that he actually knows where we are and where we are going. But as is always the case ALLS well that ends well and after two and a half hours of bush whacking we are fully drenched, covered in mud, soaked in sweat but all in agreement that we've just had a whale of a time. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was the scarcity of bird life - we saw very few birds.

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Samba time : Day 6 "Meeting of the rivers"

Piet-2.1There's no early morning walks as the humidity is off the charts and it's raining really really hard. Well we thought it was until we saw really really hard rain later in the day, but perhaps that was really really really hard rain or simply a proper deluge.

Breakfast is a buffet affair but no European style familiarity at The Tropical in Manaus. There's a tapioca cake, coconut bread, 'chocolate' milk (well it looks like chocolate but that's really where the familiarity ends), fried bananas, and a manioc flour pancake thingy in which they bake the usual omelette ingredients sans the eggs. Oh, and also, the worst coffee on the planet!

We wait in the lobby for our transfer to the lodge at 08h30 as instructed by our travel planner only to be on the phones by 09h00. They are only expecting us tomorrow. But all's well that ends well and a quick plan is made to put us on a boat down river, while someone takes our luggage through to the lodge. The boat is an all day excursion to the 'meeting of the waters' with a lunch on the way back, scheduled to arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon.

We are soon met by our very friendly guide Anselmo and introduced to one of his guests. An Indian lady from New Zealand, who lives in Australia and works in the travel industry there. She's been on a two week working visit to South America checking out sites and hotels and things to do, for their clients. Just drown them in the Rio Negro, is a common suggestion from the three of us and being a Kiwi she probably agrees but professional curtesy prevails!

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