Cannot unfortunately afford to take time out for a gap year, so travelling when we can in our limited holidays.

Europe » France » Lorraine » Sarreguemines July 4th 2010

Our annual trip to France, this time with my niece Emma tagging along. As usual nice and hot weather! If you are visting the Lorraine region there are many things we recommend you do: - Metz: beautiful town with a cathedral, quaint streets, cafes and shops - Amneville: a leisure area west of Metz. We recommend the Thermapolis spa and Europe's largest zoo where the animals are really taken care of well, they have large areas to live in and they have really made an effort to make them feel at home. Many baby animals were born in the last year. - The Bitche citadel is worth a visit and they usually have lovely gardens in summer. If you are interested in archaeology there are several digs nearby that would be of interest. Strasbourg is not ... read more
Metz cathedral
Amneville zoo

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 23rd 2010

We set off from King's Cross on a very hot afternoon. The train was packed with 2 hen parties in our carriage. If you are planning to travel to Edinburgh from London on a Friday be prepared for hen and bachelor party groups who will make a lot of noise and do a lot of drinking. Instead of a peaceful journey up, it was a noisy and tiring journey. We headed out to eat and have a few drinks ourselves once we arrived. Having both been to Edinburgh before it wasn't such a novelty, although it was our first time together!... read more
View from Calton Hill
View from Calton Hill

Africa » South Africa » Northern Cape » Springbok February 10th 2010

IT was a 118 km drive to cross the border into South Africa again. Just be aware that crossing this way takes longer than coming into Namibia but there is no charge. We had decided to stay in Clanwilliam for the night at the Clanwilliam Lodge, which looks amazing on the Internet. We hadn't booked it, so when we arrived, we asked for a room. I'm quite sure they overcharged us as the internet said it was only £60 per night but we paid about £80. The lodge is very dated now unfortunately although we can see that it once was a fabulous place to stay and if someone would 'do it up' it could once more be a gorgeous hotel. Our room was quite poky but the shower was great - best shower I have ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Fish River Canyon February 8th 2010

We started our day with a nice breakfast (the choice is great at the lodge). We walked around the lodges, climbed the boulders. The landscape is absolutely incredible. We walked around and I came across a 'living plant', they are very small and difficult to see as they look like little stones. We also followed a small dry river bed and imagined what it would be like after the rains. Although we were visiting in the rainy season we had not seen much rain, just a couple of rain clouds. We spent a few hours at the pool by ourselves. The pool is very cold and salt water, so it was quite relaxing. From the pool you can admire the landscape. We had lunch and then did some more relaxing. We visited the tourist shop and ... read more
Fish River Canyon 6
Fish River Canyon largest canyon in Africa

Africa » Namibia » Fish River Canyon February 7th 2010

Drive: 370km south to Canon Lodge (D324 road) After breakfast we packed our bags, said our goodbyes to the reception in the Zebra Lodge, Kalahari, and set off in our car. h3Note!/h3 I used my credit card on 5 occasions in Namibia and South Africa, and the following month I had a fraudulent transaction in Austria appear on my card, so the credit card details must have been stolen from one of these locations although I’d hate to imagine it. If you can, and if you are in a country that lets you, you can get a Thomas Cook ‘credit card’ which you load with foreign currency and it works just like a debit card and it has a VISA sign and has a pin number. Slightly better protection on your hols. I think it’s taught ... read more
C10 road leading to our lodge
C10 road towards Fish River Canyon
The moonscape of south Namibia

Africa » Namibia » Kalahari February 6th 2010

We woke up early the next morning as we had booked to go on the Bushmen’s walk at 7am. We met our guide and translator by the lodge who brought us out on the grassy plains surrounding the lodge. He stopped by a shrub and shouted out something. After a few minutes wait he shouted again and again. We were guessing the bushmen were late. After a while we saw 4 small skinny figures walking towards us, wearing animal skin as skirts around their waists, one carrying a bow and set of arrows, another a stick. They were very shy and didn’t want to look us in the eye. They spoke a Khoi-San language with click consonants. Summary from Wikipedia: The san people (or bushmen) are the indigenous people of southern Africa who lived as hunter-gatherers. ... read more
Me on top of dune
Typical dune

Africa » Namibia February 5th 2010

Woke up, had delicious breakfast and headed off towards the Namibian border. It’s a 120km drive to the border from Okiep and we were in good spirits about crossing the border. We were thinking of Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor crossing the border from Namibia into South Africa, no doubt doing their customary wheelies. When you get to the Orange river you stop at Vioolsdrif, on the South African side. You don’t do much here, you get a form from one of the border guards and you have to go into some small buildings to get several stamps. You then drive for about 200m and come to the Namibian border at Noordoewer. This was slightly stricter. You had to fill in a form of where you are going, who you are, your occupation etc. You also ... read more
Typical Namibian scenery
Long straight road

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 4th 2010

Fairly turbulent flight over night to Cape Town, this could have been because the flight flew along the coast of Africa. Probably managed to sleep on and off for 3 hours. Once we reached Namibia, we could see the Namib Desert outside and the sun rising. The landing into Cape Town was smooth and we saw Table Mountain upon landing. We were tired when we arrived from lack of sleep, but the adrenalin pushed us which helped knowing we’d have to drive 560km that day. It took around 45 minutes to clear customs upon arrival. The luggage was waiting for us as we stepped through customs. Collecting the hire car from Hertz took about 1 hr. We asked for me as an additional driver and we also got documentation to cross the Namibian border. Be prepared ... read more
Namib desert from plane
Namib desert from plane
Arriving at Cape Town

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