Sharon Mock Whitaker and Valerie Mock

RamblingRosies

Sharon Mock Whitaker and Valerie Mock

We are sisters who began our love of travel with our parents when we were in grammar school. We grew up in Northern California and had traveled most of the Western States and Mexico before the 8th grade. Sharon traveled to Europe the first time when she graduated from high school to be a Girl Scout camp counselor and Valerie lived in Europe 7 years teaching the US military community at the graduate level. We rarely take a tour and usually travel on a low budget, by car, plane, and train. We have recently both retired and Sharon bought a Roadtrek RV, that we named Rosie II after our parent's "Rosie (Rambling)" that they drove to the Panama Canal from San Francisco and all around the US. You may see some of our non-Rosie II travels here, but we will be using this space to keep family and friends informed about our journeys. We hope you enjoy traveling with us.

More videos will be posted on our YouTube Channel: Rambling Rosies.



Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay April 9th 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 » Eastern Cape » Cradock March 8th 2014

Addo Elephant National Park to Mountain Zebra National Park (222km or 138 miles), Saturday, March 8th. Completely overcast today. Before leaving Addo, we stopped at the gift shop to buy T-shirts and to look around at the various items for sale. We then hit the road going out the Park Gate and turning right toward the community of Paterson. Just outside the gate, was a troop of vervet monkeys, a herd of impalas, and several spur-fowl with red feet and beaks. We continued driving along the Park fence line for several miles. Fencing for these animal parks and reserves, in this part of the world, is FENCING in all caps. They must withstand a bull elephant leaning on them and keep antelope from jumping over and out and hopefully deter poachers, so they are about 6-8 ... read more
1403-141 Cape Mountain Zebra
1403-142 Red Hartebeest
1403-143 European Roller


The Addo Elephant National Park, Friday, March 7th. Sunny day. The third largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant National Park covers about 180,000 hectares or 444,700 acres. The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today, it is sanctuary to over 550 elephants plus lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique and rare Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. We drove around various dirt and tarred roads looking for animals first thing this morning. This is the wildest we will ever be able to see these animals even though they are in a fenced and gated area for their protection. Animals that have historically been in this environment ... read more
1403-117 Leopard Tortise alongside the road
1403-118 Looking out over parts of Addo NP and neighboring reserves
1403-119 Flightless dung beetle

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 » 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 » KIrstenbosch February 26th 2014

Capetown, South Africa--Wednesday, February 26th. Afternoon tour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, World Heritage Site. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISITNA! After lunch we walked with Ann to get her car out of the parking garage. We finished lunch later than we expected and so we were pushing it to get to the gardens by three to be able to get a pre-arranged by Ann golf cart tour. Unfortunately, we were just a bit late due to HEAVY going home traffic. Ann surprised us with tickets she had already purchased and we went inside. It was quickly obvious that I was not going to see much of the gardens as they are planted basically uphill on the side of Table Mountain and the afternoon heat was extremely hot. As we were walking along an aisle of Camphor trees planted in ... read more
1402-94 Courtyard at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
1402-95 Some of the statuary in the courtyard
1402-96 Camphor tree avenue

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 26th 2014

Capetown, South Africa--Wednesday, February 26th. Morning tour of Robben Island Had a good buffet breakfast and then took the hotel shuttle to the ferry for Robben Island that you catch from the Victoria and Alfred waterfront. We got there early and had to stand around waiting for the 9:00 ferry, so, of course, Valerie kept busy taking pictures of the plaza’s Clock Tower and Tidal Gauge, a statue of a Mother and her children looking out to sea in front of, we believe, an insurance office, and other things that caught her eye, like a baby seagull tumbling down the steps of the Mandela Museum. We took about 45 minutes to get to the island on an old tug/fishing like boat. Robben Island has been used by Europeans for many different things starting with the early ... read more
1402-55 Clock Tower and Tidal Gauge at Victoria and Albert Waterfront complex
1402-56 Inside Mandela Museum and Terminal to Robben Island
1402-57 Bust of Nelson Mandela

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 25th 2014

Capetown, South Africa--Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Met at 7:00 am this morning to pick up cell phones but the case came with no instructions inside. Big mistake to assume that all of us know how to use this modern type phone. Had a nice buffet breakfast that was a combination of European with sliced cheeses/meats/yogurt; English with bangers, baked beans, and grilled tomatoes; and American with cereals, pancakes, eggs and bacon. Plenty of fresh fruit. British style tea so very, very strong you need to add milk to cut it. Boarded the bus at 8:00 and headed through town and down the about 60 mile-long peninsula for an all day tour toward the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Absolutely stunning coastal scenery along the way somewhat like Northern California with straight down cliffs to ... read more
1402-14 Many nicely built houses and resorts along the coast
1402-15 Parking on the roofs of the buildings--reminded us of the Amalfi Coast
1402-16 A few of the 12 Apostles on our way to Cape Good Hope

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 24th 2014

ATLANTA TO NEW YORK—Friday, February 20th, 2014 Shantrice, our roommate, dropped us off at the airport which was real nice of her. We spent more time before getting onto the plane than we did on the 1 1/2 hour flight to New York. Arrived here at foggy, foggy JFK airport and took a shuttle bus to the Sheraton Hotel. The flight wasn’t too bad--with a storm predicted for today we thought for sure we would have lots of turbulence. Had some, but most of the bumps occurred in the ride on the shuttle bus between the terminal and hotel as the streets are really full of potholes, most likely a result of all the snow they have had. Snow was about 2 inches deep all over the ground, but it was not terribly cold out. Valerie ... read more
1402-02 Our home for about 15 hours
1402-03 Sharon on Johannesburg airport's answer to no gangways to accomodate wheelchairs
1402-04 A few of the township homes on way from Cape Town airport




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