The 3 A's... Africa, Asia & the Americas

See Virtual Tours of Cape Town

4feb07

Hi Everyone (you might want to print this off and read it later when you've got time) It's been AGES since I wrote with our travel adventures.

I can;t believe just how quickly 4 months in C&S America flew by. We finished off South America with 3 weeks in Rio where we rented an apartment one street away from Copacabana Beach (did I already tell you that?) and vegged for the whole time. We had to drag ourselves off the beach to go and see Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain and Sugar Loaf mountain!! It was worth it though.

5 Days in London getting spoilt with delicious home cooked meals from Simon's Mum, sitting in front of the fire eating choccies and drinking a good old cup of english tea, and visiting our old Noth London haunts went by VERY quickly indeed!!! And then we were bound for South Africa!! We were joined by Simon's mum and dad for the first 2 weeks and so that was very much like a holiday - we had a lovely time.

We started our adventures in CapeTown where we spent a few days visiting the sights - Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope/ Cape Point, the beautiful beaches round the city, the new Waterfront development - a big shopping area with restaurants etc. CapeTown is a lovely city, very clean, lots of new developments and some really posh houses. There's an area called Camps Bay and Clifton where the houses are something else. Sprawling mansions overlooking the ocean. Some were set high on the mountain so they had their own funicular railway up to their house from the street. This is luxury city!!

Now we'd managed 4 months in C&S America without getting 1 upset tummy and were feeling very fortunate indeed. I realised that it had to catch up with us at some point, unfortunately my time came in CapeTown! I'll spare you the details..... I was very lucky that it only lasted 24 hrs though. After CT we headed down the famous Garden Route towards a beautiful little place called Wilderness - it has a beautiful white sandy beach that sprawls for miles and miles... It really reminds my of around West Coast Australia where I grew up. We stayed in a lovely hostel called Fairy Knowe Backpackers. It was right out in the country set right by the river with an old steam railway that ran by at the end of the garden. It felt like something out of 19th century england...

The beaches all along the Garden Route and further along are all wide sprawling, white sandy beaches..... one thing though, they are sooooo windy. Honestly, you get sprayed by wind everytime you step onto the beach - and it hurts!! We had an amusing day in Wildernesss when we went for a nice walk in the counrty and got chased by Baboons - they even threw stones at us!! I didn't quite realise how bad the situation was so was calm as you like, but Simon jumped down off the path onto a dry river bed, and dragged his mum in a fireman's lift behind him. It was quite funny afterwards, but we were all pretty shaken at the time....

We left Simon;s parents at Wilderness but only for a few days. They were heading for the Stellenbosch wine area and then were getting a flight from CT to go to a game reserve right past Durban. We would meet then at the game reserve in 4 days time. So we had 4 days to travel over 2000km !!!! We hired a car to do the journey and to be honest it has been a godsend!! We travelled from Wilderness to a place called Port St Johns on the Transkei coast...

This is a beautiful area - very wild with beautiful beaches again. We stayed oin a lovely little backpackers place which was a cottage that takes 6 people, set right on the ocean. It really was idyllic. WE took a walk along the coast to a nature reserve. Here we saw our first zebra!@! It was amazing, we just walked off the coast into the reserve and there, about 5 feet from us was a couple of zebra grazing. He didn't bat an eyelid.... We were gobsmacked!! So that was baboons and zebra we'd seen!! From PSJ we travelled to this place called Gringdolovu, where we were told there was a great backpackers place ....

We slept in little zulu huts. They had an aromatherapy bath which we were very jealous we didn't get to try cos it looked amazing!! It was an old-style freestanding bath under the stars, with just frosted glass partitions around - an open wood fire was lit next to you and the bath was filled with herbs and aromatherapy oils..... it looked very romantic indeed. Another couple were having a bath that night so we missed out....

Next stop was Hluhluwe Game Reserve - the highlight of our trip so far. We'd booked accommodation in the reserve so we just drove into the reserve. Our jaws dropped when we drove in there and saw a herd of zebra just munching at the side of the road!!! We drove a little further and we saw buffalo and wilderbeest!!! We went for an afternoon drive in the car and saw a family of giraffe less then 2 metres away from us. I was just astounded!!! More was to come....

We went for a game drive that night and oh my god..... we saw a lion walking along the road towards us. We got a bit scared when the game driver switched off the lights.... the bloomin' lion was right next to us!! He carried on walking towards us and went down the side of the car, back on the road and walked away from us, stopping now and again to mark his territory!!! THEN we saw.... a leopard!!! it was stalking a herd if Impala. Again we almost pooed our pants when the driver insisted we switch off the lamps so as not to disturb him. There we were, sat in an open game vehicle, a leopard, not more than 20 metres away and we can't see a bloomin' thing!!!!! Aren't leopards one the fastest creatures on land???..... mmmmm.

After that, everything paled into insignificance - baboons, getaway!, zebra, pah! rhino, seen those, hyena - oh . It was an amazing couple of days.... We're now in Swaziland, chilling out. Si's M&D have gone home after a great holiday... We're heading up to Kruger Park, the biggest game reserve in S Africa where we'll hopefully see lots more animals. We haven't seen an elephant or a cheetah yet..... Fingers crossed. Apartheid may be abolished, but it certainly isn't dead in S Africa. It's an amazing country which has come an awful long way politically, however there are still a few generations that hold their very strong views and these will not disappear overnight....

Will stay in touch whenever we can (internet is not as prevalent as in America) Hope you are all well....

Lots of love , wendy xxxxxxxxxx

Public Holidays in South Africa