Blogs from South Africa, Africa - page 4


Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay March 6th 2014

Tsitsikamma to Jeffrey’s Bay (113.8 km or 71 miles)—Wednesday, March 5th. Bright sunny day We made our way back onto the N-2, still heading toward Port Elizabeth. A couple miles down the road, we pulled into the parking lot for the “Big Tree,” which is a 1000 year-old yellow wood tree. Parked the RV in some partial shade and showed our “Wild Card” at the entrance. We then set out to walk into the forest for “ just a short way” on a boardwalk. As was usual, the “just a little walk” was quite a ways along with many steps going up and down. We could have been walking in any moist forest environment as the ferns and other woodland plants growing here looked really familiar to us. When we got to the tree, it was ... read more
1403-83 Walking along the path reminds us of Oregon
1403-84 Interesting fungus
1403-85 And Spanish Moss

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town March 5th 2014

The title of this blog is T.I A. I stole this acronym from the movie Blood Diamond. A movie that was filmed in South Africa in 2002. At one point in the movie, after about 20 minutes of craziness on the screen, Brad Pitt says to a fellow actor....TIA man...This Is Africa. So my family and friends here we are in Africa.....and T.I.A!!!!! Let me tell you first a little bit about our trip here! First I will tell you it was the longest continuous journey I have ever taken. Rene and I were up at 3:30 am. Our dear son-in-law Kyle, took us to the airport and we arrived at Edmonton International at about 5:00 am. We breezed through customs, and boarded our 2 hour flight to Minneapolis. We had a 2 hour layover in ... read more
IPads everywhere!!
Just hanging out!
Found Dick and Sue

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Oudtshoorn March 4th 2014

Oudtshoorn to Knysna (127 km or 77 miles)—Monday, March 3rd. Rainy and overcast today. The whole group left the park basically together as we needed to be at the Cango Caves at the same time for a tour there. Climbed straight up and then up some more for about 27 km. The Cango Caves were formed 20 million years ago by acidic ground water chemically eroding the limestone rock forming the rooms. The stalactites and stalagmites started growing in the rooms when the water drained away the same way they formed in Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Here the opening was large enough that the caves were used for shelter by ancient peoples, but were only historically described in 1780 by Dutch settlers. We assembled in an entrance hall while tickets were purchased and then walk ... read more
1403-55 Van Zyl's Hall
1403-56 Stalagmite illustrating dryness of formations
1403-57 Cleopatra's needle

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Mossel Bay March 2nd 2014

Riversdale to Oudtshoorn (179 km or 111 miles)—Sunday, March 2nd on a clear blue sky day. On the road by 8:00 this morning–took rare (most likely only) mileage reading of 63078. Continued back on R-323 and then on the N-2 this morning towards the town of Mosselbaai. Passed huge petrol? factory in the town of Petroport. In Mosselbaai, we turned down to the shore for a tour of the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex. King John II of Portugal was determined to find a sea route to India via the southern tip of Africa. In 1487, he sent Dias from Lisbon with two caravels of 100 tons each and a larger store ship. Dias sailed down the coast of Africa constantly tacking against a southern wind. Tired of this, Dias sailed into the open ocean and missed ... read more
1403-21  Life-sized replica of Dias' caravel
1403-22 Looking toward the bow--note curved deck
1403-23 Ropes used to hoist the sail

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay March 2nd 2014

We are now back in Gordon's Bay after a much better return flight Toronto/Amsterdam/Cape Town. There was only and 2 1/2 hour layover in Amsterdam and the total travel time was around 23 hours. We found a really great web site that we used to get the best flights. It's You can't book through the site, but it covers most air routings around the world, all major airlines and the costs. There is also an app for those using Apple. It's very easy to use and even provides a graph showing the lowest fare over a span of dates. App is ITA Software, "on the fly". I think the ITA is for International Travel Association. This week we got settled back into our apartment at Highcliffe House after receiving a warm welcome back from Jane ... read more
Debra's Toes, Post Spa Visit
Starlight Concert
Picnic at Starlight Concert in Comfort


Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Agulhas March 1st 2014

Stellenboch to L’Agulhas (144 miles)--Friday, February 28th Travelling on Highway R44 on the Whale Coast Drive (unfortunately the wrong time of year for the whales), after 82 km we turned onto R43 toward Hermanus. After about 22 km, we navigated the traffic circle and turned toward Stanford, a few more km and we turned onto Highway R316 toward Napier/Bredasdorp. We turned right at a sign for Cape Agulhas now on 319, and drove to the “Southernmost tip of Africa” where we looked at the rocks, the oceans (Indian on the left and Atlantic Ocean on right), and the lighthouse before driving a few km back to L’Agulhas Caravan Park for the night. Driving this route we travelled along the coast through small communities at first. We stopped in one small town at a ShopRite and ought ... read more
1402-139 A strange bird we couldn't ID
1402-140 Looking back toward Gordon's Bay
1402-141 Some nice homes across from the previous view

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 28th 2014

We are off to Africa......soon. As I write this first sentence we are exactly 4 sleeps or 3 full days, or 80 hours, or 4800 minutes away from leaving. suffice it to say.....we are leaving soon!!! I might also tell you that we are very excited!!! For Rene and I Africa has always been one of those exotic, far away, places that you see on T.V or hear about from the news. A place where there is incredible beauty, enormous deserts, fantastic wildlife and..... unending human poverty and suffering. A place that we never even really talked about going. So how come Africa now! tell the truth I'm still not really sure! Rene jokes that it was me who wanted to go to Africa, and he wanted to go to Canada's Wonderland (hehe) Oh and speaking ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Roodepoort February 28th 2014

Johannesburg is one of those places that has many assumptions and generalisations surrounding it. These assumptions are commonly made by those people who haven't actually visited the city, but who feel they should spread the word about what they've heard. Unfortunately most of the things these people have heard, are bad. I learnt this interesting point of fact before I arrived here in South Africa as I was warned by many of my closest friends and family about the dangers that await me in Joburg (Johannesburg). Of course I was told about all the crime and corruption that happens here. I was told that I'll land myself in trouble if I choose to travel to this country. I was also told that the country was extremely poor, having no clean water or electricity and that most ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Roodepoort February 28th 2014

Had an extremely interesting conversation with some local girls I made friends with a few nights ago. We spent the evening discussing a form of medicine which I thought was no longer practiced on Earth - how wrong of me! According to google and it's reliable Wikipedia, witchcraft is the use of magical faculties and has been around since the earliest human cultures. Witchcraft is taken very seriously here. I was told that an educated, western doctor will step aside in the corridor of a hospital if a witch-doctor was to pass. According to locals here, if you truly want to harm someone or bring bad luck to someone, you must approach a witchdoctor and request a spell or potion to do so. Stemming from the devil and his power, witches are wives of Satan and ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope February 26th 2014

Well there has been a lot of 'playing tourist' in CapeTown. I have contemplated and meditated while walking the old labyrinth at St George's church, gone to the disturbing museum of slavery and stood on the very southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Point, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, the entire continent sprawling northward above me in all it's glory. There have been restaurants that served kudu and springbok, ostrich and of cause the ever popular Smiley or roasted sheep's' head split in two. (Needless to say I had only a brandy to steady my nerves!) There have been costumed little girls dancing for the tourist dollars or more accurately rand and always jokes with the brothers as I barter for some silly trinket ending in a belly laugh, them with my money and everyone ... read more

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