BIRTHDAY TO ME IN SOUTH AFRICA
left the farm latish this morning and didn't get as far South as we had hoped so
here we are in Springbok. It was an uneventful day, crossing the border was a
piece of cake - no carnet, no import permit, nothing. The policewoman wrote our
numberplate on a piece of paper, immigration looked at it and said nothing,
customs barely even looked. All that hassle and worry for nothing.
than that, nothing to report. Uncle David's farm is further from the border than
I imagined so really it was a full day's driving to get here. We saw quite a few
overland trucks which is interesting because I don't remember seeing them here
in the past. I guess it is a growing business and even South Africa is getting
is no longer a small village, quite a thriving town now with lots of places to
stay. It seems that the B & B idea in particular has caught on in a big way.
Of course a lot of it is based on
the Namaqualand flowers but Springbok also positions itself as the gateway to
the Richtersveld and so on. The camp site is quite nice - all the amenities and
even a patch of grass to camp on.
highlight - saw Table Mountain at 2:18pm on 18 August. Yes! The end is almost in
sight. The drive down here was quite nice, I like the Western Cape and so does
Scott, just nice countryside really. We stopped at a farm stall for an excellent
pie and salad lunch. The owner was most impressed with our trip and even came
outside to check out the car and say goodbye to us. We decided to spend the
night in Cape Town, it seemed appropriate, and headed off to the Waterfront City
Lodge. They were full but phoned another place, The Commodore and got us a room
there at R600 per night. Steep, but it was Cape Town after all. We got there
only to find that their parking was underground (we wouldn't fit) and that they
were not at all interested in helping us find an alternative. The worst part is
that they had open parking for busses but didn’t even think to offer us the
option of parking there. We cancelled our booking and headed off the Graduate
School of Business. I forget the name of the place but the Forte hotel group
runs an excellent place for R330per night. I guess it is a student's residence
but there is nothing wrong with it at all, it lacks no comforts. It used to be a
prison so the canteen has a jailhouse rock theme - we didn’t go there so I
spent a while wandering around the Waterfront then went for a sunset cruise.
This was excellent, we were on a yacht that motored out of the harbour and then
just sailed around for an hour and a half. It was very nice indeed. They offer
unlimited champagne but it's a pretty safe bet that most people can't sail on
the open seas and quaff lots of champagne. No-one on our boat could anyway!
the sail we did some shopping - champagne for Aghulas the next day, a gift for
Liesl's baby and my first kaleidoscope. I love kaleidoscopes and have always
wanted to collect them so here the collection begins. I particularly like the
quirky one or the really nice traditional ones. This one falls into the quirky
but clever category - it is a three-sided tube with mirrored insides and a
marble at the base. Works really well.
was dinner. We decided to splash out and went to a really nice restaurant called
Mortons. While disaster is too strong a word, it can hardly be called an
unqualified success either. We both had a starter which was great but come the
main course, we struggled to eat even half of it. It was all just too much and
too rich. Desert was not even considered at that point!
dinner we went back to the hotel, called Robin and Silvia to tell them where we
were and that we would be home next week. Hardly believable but there it is,
only a few nights left on the road. We ended the day by having a hot bath and
watching TV in bed!
Aghulas came and went but not without some fanfare. Champagne was sprayed,
photos taken and a few moments of general hysteria were enjoyed. So that's it -
we drove Africa North to South, now all that remains is to get home safely.
That's a worry to me. There is so much more traffic on the road than anywhere
else on the continent and it moves so much faster - I get very nervous, both as
a driver and as a passenger. Oh well, I guess I'll soon get used to it again and
join right in.
Cape Town, Scott drove to Aghulas where we spent about an hour and took lots and
lots of photos. We hit the road again and headed East stopping at around 5pm in
Knysna. We decided to call it a day there, bought some food, second hand books
and headed to Lake Brenton resort for the night.
a place! The only way that I can describe the facilities is to say that they
have hotel quality finishes. We're not only talking tiled floors and walls,
mirrors and vanity tops but also showers with glass, yes glass, doors, a fully
equipped gym and, wait for it, a sauna. Yes that's right - a gym PLUS a sauna.
Actually two saunas - ladies and men!
is also a common room with a TV and Pool Table. For the first time in my life I
played Pool (only R2 per game) and boy am I bad at it! Fortunately Scott is no
great shakes as a Pool player either so we played four games and had a ball.
Once again we were camping alone (it is low, low season in South Africa) but the
weather all along the coast is unseasonably hot and sunny so we're having a
left the campsite at Knysna at around 8:45am and only got here at around 2pm.
It's quite a drive but was also slower than it should have been because we took
the old road instead of the new toll road. I was hoping to Bunji jump off the
Storm's River Bridge. I know that there is an old an a new bridge and I assumed
that we'd jump off the old.
out I was wrong on all counts. Firstly, there is only one bridge, it is not on
the Toll road and there is no jumping off it! Fact is, the jump is not off the
Storms River Bridge at all but off another on which is on the Toll road. Call it
another missed opportunity. I'm still not sure if I will actually jump when the
moment comes. I have already missed 2 opportunities so that might be telling me
something. I do think that it is something that I would like to try however.
Scott isn’t so sure about it at all, I guess that we don't have to do
everything together though.
checking in to the hotel, Scott went for his bath and I phoned home to some bad
news - my parent's had been robbed. This time it wasn't the cars, someone broke
into the house. Our fax machine is one of the missing items. Fortunately it
looks like they were interrupted, there was lots of stuff packed and ready to be
taken but still there. Not what we need to hear days before going back.
truly relaxing day. I'm so unwound I'm ….. - just can't think of an apt
metaphor. How about I'm so laid back I'm horizontal!
breakfast we went for a walk to the beach, lay around on deckchairs reading,
phoned Liesl, had a siesta, played Put-put, wallowed in the bath, had dinner and
watched TV. It's a tough life and more of the same tomorrow!
is very well but exhausted - Shannon feeds every two hours so I guess that means
that she's getting very little sleep. One big blessing is that when the crunch
came, John forgot all his reluctance and became a doting father. I guess this
generally happens, but it must come as a relief when it happens to you.
laid-back day of doing little. We went for the Nature Trail Walk - all 3km of
it, played a little pool and then relaxed. It was a pretty miserable day
weather-wise, cold and windy so our beach lie-about didn't happen. We did go for
a late afternoon walk on the golf course but it was quite a job - I got back
freezing and had to soak myself in a hot bath. I'm really enjoying this hot bath
ended off the day with Scott watching Contact (the movie) and me kind-of
watching it. I liked the movie but the book was much better. This always seems
to be the case doesn't it.
colder! No thought of beach or Golf course walks today. We decided to head into
town and see what was on offer. Town being Port Alfred. It's a nice little
place. We wandered around, took refuge in the CNA, wandered around some more
until the cold forced us into the car. We took a drive around the fancy Marina
development then parked on the beach for a while. It was a sunny day so in the
car and out of the wind was pretty nice.
had lunch and our standard siesta but then suddenly Scott got sick. He threw up
and spent the rest of the day moaning softly in bed, I even went to dinner
don't know what Scott's problem was yesterday but he woke up fine today.
home now, we could probably have made it all the way today still but we did tell
everyone that we'd only be home tomorrow so that's what we'll aim for. The drive
up here was OK but very, very windy all day.
now in a nice place but boy is it freezing. We're wearing tracksuits in bed and
are still cold. Back to the joys of a South African winter.
made it back home safely and arrived a week ago today. Robin and Silvia had made
a Welcome Home banner for us but unfortunately we got there before they did - a
pity. Our first few days were spent in a frantic rush getting slides and photos
developed. We spent ALL of our first Saturday here mounting slides and then had
a mini-show on Sunday for family and friends. We now have to out together a
proper presentation for a whole lot of people at the school. It's probably a
good thing, it will force us to do some work.