Wednesday, December 31, 2014

South Africa - December 2014 - The frist 5 days!

We've just returned from a 3 week trip to South Africa, which I spent all year planning and looking forward to, and now I can't believe it is over.

We had the most amazing wonderful holiday, stayed in some really awesome accommodation and overall had a wonderful time seeing friends and family and reconnecting. 

This time there was only one thing that pissed me off and that was the fact that whenever people mention the fact that you are travelling on Euro's and because the exchange rate favor's the Euro we are so rich, well firstly people don't seem to understand that unlike everyone else I have not had an increase since I came to this country almost 14 years ago now.  

In that time South Africa has become so expensive, accommodation, eating out etc.  After I have spent most of my money on Airfare, accommodation, gifts - I cannot afford to pay for your meal, also it would be nice to be treated seeing as we made the effort to come over and spend our well earned vacation time with you.

But besides that little gripe, most of our friends and family were most hospitable and we are grateful to them.

After flying 6000km's to Johannesburg, we then did over 4000km's by road our trip was absolutely amazing.

Day  1:    Arrived in Johannesburg and as it turned out due to load shedding, we could not get through to Fourways where we were staying to we did a detour past the South where Sylvia was hosting a party for all the kids in the South.

Day  2:    Met our friends and family members at the Indaba Hotel for Breakfast, Thank you Gwen, Shemila, Larissa, Trevor, Kirsten, Paul, Denise, Joe, Carla, Carol, Shannon, Daniel, Candice and all the Rowe Family.  After Breakfast we took a drive through to the folks and then met Gwen and John at Monte Casino for dinner.

Day  3:    Drove through to Kwandabele to see my old mom Johanna and Monde - we tried to get her some shopping but due to power outages, the shops, banks and everything was closed.    We stopped in Pretoria on the way back hoping to see my Niece and Paul and Elliott, we met up with Paul & Elliot in a shopping centre for coffee, always good to see them.  We then met the family for Dinner at Tony's in Randparkridge.

Day   4:    We left at 10:00 on our journey to Cape Town, we negotiated our way out of the city and onto the highway, glad to leave Johannesburg and her load shedding behind us and the city and head to the open Country.  This was a road I had only ever travelled along as far as Klerksdorp, which was also a very long time ago.  So it was exciting seeing new scenery and seeing all the old mines, some which I had been to and some not.   Travelling through Wolmaransstad was quite a challenge as we hit a major downpour and could not see 2 feet in front of us.  Jhb - Potchefstroom - Klerksdorp - Wolmaransstad - Bloemhof - Christiana and finally Kimberly.  Our first stop Kimberly the town where Diamonds were discovered in 1866.  We were staying in the Protea Hotel which over looked the "Big Hole" It was great to get out of the car, Emily went for a swim and we sat and had a drink at the pool!   We had a good old South African Braai, with Pap and sous and as much meat as you could eat.

Day   5:     We had breakfast in the dining room which was a bit of a rip off at R130 per person, but we had to eat and we wanted to get to the "Big Hole" and the museum before leaving for the next leg of our journey to Oudtshoorn which was a good 800 km drive.  We headed over to the museum and then managed to leave by 11:00.   The Kimberley road to the Cape was very good considering it was only one lane traffic either side.   We stopped at a little side road café to replenish our drinks and buy some Biltong, a road trip is not a road trip without biltong.    We finally arrived in Oudtshoorn at about 7PM, thank goodness it was still light.  We checked into the Protea hotel where our room was a Rondawel next to the hotel and headed out to the town in search of somewhere to eat.   We found a lovely restaurant / beer hall and I had a wonderful "Ostrich Salad" which was to die for and then back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

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