Page 3 of MargaritaH Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel October 11th 2017

Still trying to understand why my two posts don't seem to have been sent to my email list of friends. It happened so smoothly last time I did the blog in South Africa. This time, nothing. If anyone gets this message please let me know so I know the problem is resolved. Otherwise I'm spinning top in mud and that's frustrating. Fingers crossed.... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt October 10th 2017

From the air Cairo is compelling, a dusty monochrome of building blocks stacked and formed in rows. The sunlight cast harsh shadows emphasizing the uniformity of color style and shape rows of buildings looked like sentries. From the air nothing was moving. Sand, dusty ochre and red bricks, template buildings, blocks with window squares punched out. No relief. Treeless. No shade. One color. Sand. Hazy sky. Sahara dust. Temperature 34 degrees. A Lego blocks city in sand and ochre. With dust. On the ground layers of Sahara dust smother everything. It's Grey in the sky. It's on trees leaves streets cars buildings. Some people too. Men wear flowing robes, cotton. White robes look pristine, greys and greens look grimy. Women with colorful Headwear open faced. Some though in full cover, wearing black, only their eyes visible. ... read more
Casual by standers

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape March 22nd 2015

Wrapping up the journey. So many lovely memories. Random photos. South Africa is well worth visiting if you can take the long hours of flying and pay the cost of getting there. There is so much that is distinctly theirs. Food. Wildlife. Landscapes. Cities. And people. I found the actual cost of things there was very reasonable because TT$1 is worth almost R2 ( the currency is the Rand, but people call it the Dollar - not to be confused with the US$). Notably the cost of food, you can have a 3 course dinner with a glass of very good South African wine (and there are MANY) for TT$100.00 In the supermarkets I noticed food prices were often outrageously low! A bottle of honey costs TT$20.00! Bottle of Wine costs about TT$30.00! Yes, you will ... read more
Table Mountain ever present
Regular Capetonians

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape March 19th 2015 My starting point. Before I arrived in South Africa I knew a few things about the place, especially that during the 60's 70's and 80's that the racist abomination called "apartheid" had dispossessed and enslaved the indigenous Africans plus all non-white citizens while empowering the whites to rule supreme over them. Their nightmare ended in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was freed from jail, emerging as one of the greatest statesman of all the ages. He forgave their brutality and called for reconciliation. He persuaded the non-white peoples to live in peace together with the whites. A mere 20 years have passed and I was keen to see for myself how the society had grown, in particular to witness what the conditions for African and non whites were, and see if white privilege still existed. ... read more
at Mzoli's bar, a hugely successful restaurant and bar in Langa
Daniel and Alison with Nhoza
Alyshia, with our host Jean, tells us about life pre and post apartheid

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town March 15th 2015 MADOSINI opened her heart and her home to us. We arrived totally unannounced at her door with her neighbour Nhoza, our guide in the Townships. There, sitting on her bed with her tired legs resting on a plastic crate, hand washing clothes in a basin as she sat, was one of the world's top musicians for the traditional instrument known as the Mouth Bow ( that's in english but I think it's correct name is sistolotolo). With a totally unselfconscious warmth and unhesitating hospitality MADOSINI welcomed us all, crowding in to her tiny space, then she called for her instruments.... The Uhadi, a hollow reed with a single metal string, and the Umhrulshe or gourd. Before she could play for us she must first remove her top because the fabric would interfere with it's sound ... read more
MADOSINI the undisputed queen of Mpondoland
happy to have us visit

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town March 14th 2015

This is it. Last day before we leave the country, and the weather is good so we are making a beeline for Table Mountain as soon as the rush hour ends. There is still some smoldering activity from the horrendous fires last week when houses burned down in the tinderbox conditions of the hillsides. No lives were lost though. The official website advisory says waiting time 5minutes for the cable car ride to the top of "Our African Wonder" as it's been dubbed. By the time we arrived cars were snaking around the roadway approaching the ticket area. The wait was more than 5 minutes but it wasn't unbearable. There was some consternation when we realized how much of a walk/climb it would be for Judy to get to the actual entrance of the cable car.But ... read more
Welcome to Table Mountain National park
Cable ride up 1070 metres quiet and smoothe
A closer look at the side of Table Top mountain

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape March 14th 2015

We ate constantly! South Africa has so much variety it's a foodie heaven, and Alison and her crew are deep into the Banting diet so add that element to the table. Not only is the food plentiful and uniquely theirs, it is also cheap. You can eat out for dinner with a glass of wine and spend less than TT $100.00 which is almost 200Rand. The list of genuinely South African food available is long. That warmed my heart, to find people there eating their own food and not going down the road of KFC and McDonalds. They do have those of course, Subway, Wendy's etc but they are few and far between, at least in the Cape as far as I saw. So what is so South African? First off there is Biltong .... All ... read more
Supermarket selection of meats
.... After

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Knysna March 14th 2015

We were invited by two friends of Alison, Sally and Henry, to come to their home for informal braai dinner. Their home is perilously perched on a hillside overlooking the pounding surf. We arrived after riding along rough bumpy gravel roads with names which sound a warning and say it all like "Turn Again Lane", "Turn Back Alley" and "Lands End Road." Phew. But once there, what a beautiful sight at sunset! The home was designed by Henry and is an architects dream, lovely open-plan concept, beautiful timber, designed for minimalist living. We sat around the balcony, seven of us in friendly conversation, enjoying the view while the braai cooked on an open grill. Then we moved inside .... For on the spot rum punches, great tasting food by Sally and Henry and more conversation. At ... read more
Turn Again Lane
Fabulous location for a hideaway home

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Oudtshoorn March 10th 2015

Last week's visit to the poort, the pass and Prince Albert included a visit into the belly of the earth, to the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn (the ostrich farm region) That was quite a visit. First because I had to rush to catch the start of the guided tour.... it's not a DIY kind of place. That meant I had 2 minutes flat upon arrival at the reception area, to buy a ticket then run up three levels of long sloping inclines to the start point at the entrance to the caves. I was out of breath and barely breathing but I got there just as the young woman, our guide, started her introduction. It was a well thought out tour..... It begins with all lights being switched off leaving you in a pitch black hole ... read more
Downflow formations are formed directly off the cave walls
Columns form when water drips freely from the cave roof, and deposits  sediment on the cave floor, the two points eventually meet to form a column, after millennia.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Garden Route March 10th 2015

Leaving the Reed Bed soon to make the long journey back to Cape Town. Where did the time go??? Almost four weeks gone already. In three days I'll be on a flight back to my island! Two very different worlds. What a great experience this trip has been. And you know I still have experiences that I want to blog about to share with you but haven't done so yet.... From the earliest visit, to the Nyanga and Gugulethu townships and the wonderful elder MADOSINI who played her music for us. To the VegTable and other eating experiences. Food here has been a big part of the memories . Here are .... The neighborhood in Wilderness, with its waters and the pounding surf at the beach. The Cango Caves and Map of Africa still to come ... read more

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