South Africa 2018


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January 15th 2018
Published: January 15th 2018
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Greetings everyone from South Africa!! Once again we are enjoying the beautiful weather and countryside of Gordon’s Bay, about 1 hours drive from Capetown. Our hosts Jane and Jim of Highcliffe House welcomed us on January 12th at around midnight! The trip was uneventful with a KLM flight from Toronto to Amsterdam, a 2 hour wait at Schiphol Airport, then a direct KLM flight from Amsterdam to Capetown. This is the best route to take, although, it’s still requires a few days of adjustment to the 7 hour time difference and the long flying time. Our plan is to return home on March 20th and given our winter experience in December, we feel some despair in not staying away longer!!! (Although it was a beautiful Christmas season this year with all the white background In Niagara on the Lake!)

Over the last few days, we’ve been busy organizing for our stay. We’ve secured our memberships at Virgin gym, Momentum driving range and South African Golf Association as well stocking up on provisions for our apartment. Jane and Jim have already hosted a paella” night for 10 people; our friends Harry and Susan from France (formerly from Toronto), their friends (Marjorie and Roy) who were visiting from Toronto and some new guests to Highcliffe House, Sophie and Beat from Switzerland. So we are pretty well settled in.

We will need to adapt to drought conditions and most of this area is under severe water restrictions. This means residential properties are limited to 89 litres/day/person. The water reserve is now down to 19% and it’s projected there will be only enough water in the reserve to last 100 days. Now is typically the dry season so the outlook isn‘t promising. As a reference, 1 flush of a toilet uses 9 litres of water!!! So far, from what we’ve experienced, everyone appears to be adhering to the guidelines and doing whatever can be done to conserve water. Undoubtedly upon our return home, we will have a greater appreciation for the abundance of water and be more disclipined in it’s use.

This trip is going to be a little more expensive than previous ones as the South African rand has appreciated about 10% since November. This is probably a good thing for the country as most of the improvement is the result of the FX markets positive outlook with the election of a new President of the ANC (African National Congress) currently the ruling party in government.

We’re unsure about how much touring we will do this trip, so we may send fewer blogs than previous years. When we have some new experiences to share that are different than before, we will send them along. In the meantime, for those folks that are away for the winter, enjoy yourselve where ever you are. For those that are still at home, we hope the rest of the winter will be kind!!

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16th January 2018

Thank you!
Hello Dana and Debra, Glad you arrived safely and good to hear that you have already attended a party. All our activities sound wonderful and the weather in particular as we are having another storm today and it is very cold. I would have a real problem with the water shortage as I have to use the bathroom more frequently than the normal person!! We had a nice time on our cruise and missed a week of extremely cold weather. The real estate business is very slow right now due to frigid weather and all the mortgage changes. It is going to be a slow start this year but may get very busy in the later part of spring. Have a wonderful vacation and keep in touch as always. Doris

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