Sonia

bertrams

Sonia

This blog is for family and friends to keep up with our travels (read as: let us brag and let dad know I'm not recklessly endangering his grandchildren) and for those researching their own trip as I know other's experiences were invaluable in my planning.



Africa » South Africa December 22nd 2018

Up early to head to Cape Town. Dropped bags at Ashanti backpackers. Returned car. Wandered around the silo district. Grabbed a hop on hop off bus ticket (ZAR220) and spent the day exploring. First important stop Table Mountain. Cable car (zar230 - 190 if after 1pm) is so cool. It goes fast and rotates as it travels. Amazing views from the top. We did a few walks around the top. Quite glad we didn't hike up, looks like loads of scrambling and didn't want to smash ourselves before we started our big adventure. Late lunch in Camps Bay with excellent cocktails and good view across to the beach which is pretty but definitely not a great place to swim. Hundreds there but none in water. We stopped at Green Point to check out the lighthouse. ... read more
Rhino at the V&A shopping area along the water front in Cape Town
Cable car on the way up
Cable car looking down

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Boulders Beach December 22nd 2018

After another excellent breakfast we headed to Muizenberg Beach. Hugely popular even on this grey Friday. The colourful bathing boxes and white sand with long rolling waves are probably more impressive on a better day (and to someone who hasn't always lived near the world's greatest beaches). Heading back around False Bay we stopped at Kalk Bay where we enjoyed a Devonshire Tea by the train line in an old carriage - Expresso 73. Strolled along the foreshore to the harbour where the fish market encourages a couple of seals to hang about. There is also a mini light house. Lots of little shops to explore if you're into that and Ice Cafe has a huge assortment of flavors and the steamy heat meant a double scoop didn't seem ott. Fishoek and St James are also ... read more
Muizenberg
Kalk Bay
Slangkop lighthouse. Kommertjie

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope December 21st 2018

Driving south from Simon's Town the entry to the Good Hope Reserve section of Table Mountain National Park is just over half hour and costs non-residents ZAR303. We spent the entire day exploring the park and could have spent more - walking trails, spectacular views, wildlife spotting, delicious food, historical sites. Platboom Road past Dias Cross gave us sweeping vistas along the coastline with no other soul in sight. The south western most point was obviously a must do stop for all tourists, they jump out take a photo at the Cape of Good Hope sign and head off. We explored the rocky beach, climbed the track to get a view from above and spotted seals, terns, lizards and a snake. We also took a photos at the sign 😊. We then headed up to the ... read more
The Cape
Seals,  cormorants,  gulls.
These guys are everywhere.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape December 20th 2018

South African airlines was comfortable and efficient. I watched some movies I hadn't seen and Wayne didn't snore too loud. Arrived in Johannesburg around 5am. Transfer to domestic no problem. Wayne had a chat to a guy from Perth while I grabbed a coffee, momentarily taken aback at the 28 on the till until i remembered that the exchange means that was a $2.80 coffee and it was good. Got to Cape Town about 9. So glad I grabbed a sim card at the airport cheap and easy (MTN) and allowed me to get a blog started, make calls and use GPS. Probably won't do that in other countries but we are in SA for over a week and I need to ease in to not being as "connected" as I'm used to. Once we finally ... read more
Silvermine
Boulder Bay
Penguins

North America » United States » Arizona » Page April 26th 2017

Surprisingly good bagels and coffee for our free breakfast started the day in Page. Quick drive out to Horseshoe Bend to join the masses taking photos. Made sure to take a few shots that would stress pop out and it is a stunning outlook but very crowded. Off to Monument Valley. Along the way we stopped a couple times to enjoy the view and Wayne bought me some funky earrings from a Navajo woman who he shared some stories with. Navajo monument national park had a nice little gallery and museum and the short walk to view the adobe houses in the side of the canyon cliffs was well worth it. Lunch at Kayenta was a Sonic experience. Instead of driving through you drive up to a personal booth choose what you want place your order ... read more
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North America » United States » Arizona » Page March 25th 2017

Up super early to jump on the free shuttle to the GC visitor centre to see the sunrise over Mather Point and hike an hour or so back along the rim. Brilliant! We watched a black abyss transform into colourful ribbons of rock. I always love a good sunrise but watching the outcrops glow and change as the sunlight moved over them was pretty magical. The walk along the rim was great. Perfect to take loads of photos, learn about the geology if that’s your thing and build up an appetite for delicious breakfast at El Tovar overlooking the canyon. The Maswik Lodge where we stayed was only a couple hundred metres walk to the rim so we strolled back and packed up. On our way to Page we stopped at a bunch of lookouts including ... read more
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North America » United States » California » Los Angeles March 19th 2017

Jesse, Tasha, Nic, me and granma headed to Disneyland. Wayne Kellie and Lucy adventured along the Californian coastline and did some shopping. We met at the Super 8 Anaheim. Tasha and Jesse have been to many a Disney theme park so they headed off with a solid plan. Nic flitted between each group and each park. Granma and I went on some rides and wandered around. We also went to visit Mickey of course. I think “it’s a small world” was mums favourite. The sheer volume of humans entering and exiting the park is astonishing. Staying close-by was a great call. We could crawl home after parades and fireworks, in fact Wayne saw the fireworks from the verandah of the hotel. ... read more
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North America » United States » California March 18th 2017

We walked across a footbridge to the free shuttle at the bottom of the hill. Nic had to run back to the room because he forgot his ID and didn't want to miss the opportunity to have a Duff beer in Duff Gardens (turns out he did want to miss it - Duff beer is not at all delicious) so he and Wayne ran up the hill instead. We were in the gates by around 8.30. First up (against advice to head to the lower rides and work our way up) we headed straight to Harry Potter world. Hogwarts and Hogsmeade looked amazing and there . Nic and I got straight on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. Probably the best ride I've ever been on. Even being in the line (which was quick) ... read more
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North America » United States » California » Los Angeles March 17th 2017

After braving our first LA traffic we parked both cars in some churchyard for $8 then cruised Hollywood Boulevarde naming all the stars we knew (like pretty much every other tourist stumbling along), bought T-shirts, spotted the Hollywood sign, lunched at Dave & Buster’s with bonus play cards to the attached arcade. We all piled in to the canyonaro to head out to Santa Monica Pier. Timing could have been better as we fought peak traffic and arrived as a ridiculous fog rolled in which made it freezing and reduced visibility to zero. We collected the other car and nic mum and me went to check in to our airbnb. What a nightmare! The place was super convenient to Universal Studios but the owner was kinda weird and we obviously weren't meant to be there. Never ... read more
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North America » United States » California March 16th 2017

Beautiful breakfast at Lou Lou’s on the pier. Jesse attempted the gigantic griddle cake. The omelettes were yummy and the cinnamon French toast perfect. We confirmed that there is a bridge out along the Big Sur but decided to drive down as far as we can then loop back. Point Lobos State Reserve had tracks around the coastline and we spotted seals and oodles of otters. Further along we checked out Bixby Bridge then turned around. Along our alternate route, the Appalachian foothills enabled a stop at Hahn winery for some wine tasting and a platter of local cheeses and other delicious things. Tonight we stay at Lemon Tree Inn in Santa Barbara, really lovely place and people, where I had yummy pasta and Kellie got pizza while others wandered down to Jack in the Box ... read more
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