Africa, Europe · 14 Days · 132 Moments · July 2015

Louise's voyage in South Africa

12 August 2015

Reunited with our fur babies earlier today. Thank you for following my journi to South Africa we have both had a magical holiday and created some amazing memories we will remember forever. Over and out Lou X

11 August 2015

Very sleepy on the 21.40 train back to Piccadilly Station.
Whoo London Town!
This Hare Krisna chap was a passenger on our plane, he was a real character. The security people on Addis Ababa were very suspicious of him and his accordion hand luggage. Every time he got up to go to the loo you could hear the sound of cow bells.
Flight number 3. The Dreamliner back to London Heathrow. And yes Mr Christopher slept on this flight too.
The worst airport I have ever passed through. Bole International Addis Ababa. Gobsmacked that this is the hub for a member of the star alliance.
Addis Ababa by day light every street corner had an armed guard.
Guess what day it is. The doormat on the way into the hotel also reminds you what day it is.
I think this pot hole needs reporting to the local authority. The night before we sat on a balcony watching all the acts driving around this pot hole and every now and again one tried to go over the middle of it.
Guess who left his tag in what I believe to be a woman's t-shirt that refers to hunger in Ethiopia.

10 August 2015

Hotel security not quite sure what they are looking for!!!!
Some pictures from around the hotel and U.S. Enjoying an Ethiopian beer.
The hotel room is lovely certainly better than an airport seat
Every lift should have a mat that tells you what day it is, I'm going to develop a range of doormats I would just forget to change it.
When landing at the airport there's rows of little booths each representing hotels. I think Ethiopian Airlines must like putting their passengers up overnight.
Oops someone's case has fallen off the conveyor. Cue Chris the sherper to walk along the conveyor to retrieve it.
Leaky roofs in the airport it actually looks more civilised when arriving.
Whoo arrived in Ethiopia for our lay over. As we are in transit for over 11 hours the airline have provided us with a hotel, dinner , breakfast and shuttle bus to and from the airport. I managed to land us in a slight spot of bother when arriving at the airport, having read the on board magazine whilst on my flight I had discovered that we were one of the countries who can get a visa on arrival, I headed to the visa on arrival desk and was given a visa in both passports and then charged $100. We told them we didn't have any money and again tried to confirm to them that we were in transit until the morning, we ended up going back to airline desk who managed to escort us through immigration. Somehow they have managed to remove the visas from our passports we were stood in arrivals counting the pages just incase they had lost a page in order to remove the visa lol!
When Chris tells you he never sleeps on a flight here is the evidence.
Dinner chicken rice and veg mmmmm cheese and biscuits with a tiramisu desert. Much better than the hot hot hot curry on the way out, hopefully tomorrow's flight will be as pleasing although the supplies will be coming from Addis Ababa airport so I'm not holding out much hope after my last experience at this airport. I will try and take pictures tomorrow.
Cheers from 38000 feet.
Breakfast on board for Lou and Chris. The vegetarian sandwich was found to have chicken inside so the first picture is Chris' brekkie. Ethiopian jets.
South Africa from the air, Table Mountain, the V and A waterfront, Robbin Island and the container ships heading to port.
Nelson thanks us for coming and looks forward to seeing us again soon.
Here we are waiting in the airport to board our first fight home. This is the water I somehow managed to get through security in my handbag! I am looking forward to getting home to see my fur babies but first we have one more adventure with a night over in Ethiopia. The airline have also notified is that they have arranged us a hotel so it looks like I have the choice of 2 beds. See you all very soon x

9 August 2015

Last meal on holiday was pizza laid on the bed in the hotel. It was a perfect way to end a nearly perfect holiday. This boy is very happy with his dinner anyway look at that smile.
I is for Idiot
In the afternoon/early evening we went into Stellenbosh to have a look round the town and shops. I think we agree that Stellenbosh is one of the nicest towns we have stayed in. It was very contemporary although the buildings were colonial and quaint. There were lots of art galleries and art sculptures around the town.
Just received my winners picture from the Kudu shit spitting challenge 2015. Classy bird.... You can take the girl out of Bradford
The gardens and house were lovely very quaint. Chris had once again chosen well and the accommodation was brilliant. Although I'm sure he will tell you his princess sulked on arrival as she felt the room was too small. Hahah everyone is allowed to be diva occasionally!
Following my massage we lounged in the gardens, I think it was the most overcast day we'd had since arriving but it was lovely to just relax and enjoy the surroundings whilst nursing my tender head following too much wine the previous evening.
Following breakfast I went for an African wood massage at the hotels spa. It was a 60 minute full body massage it was bliss. A great way to end the holiday.
Breakfast at Wedgeview was lovely served in the garden, gazebo room with view out over the winery and surrounding mountains. I had Dave's special which was egg on toast covered with Ham and Cheese it was lovely. Chris had a full English he said it was really good sausage.

8 August 2015

We stopped to wine taste at Viljoensdrift Estate, unfortunately I was crowned chief driver so was only able to sip not gulp. We selected a bottle of Pink fizzy Muscapinot a blend of grapes to enjoy in the evening. I also bought myself a fizz keeper. Although I am ashamed to say the wine bottle is empty and the fizz keeper is in its packet unopened. My tender head tells me that one bottle led to 2 followed by multiple night caps.
We stopped off at Ronnies sex shop on route 62 The garden route to take some pictures. Chris has passed them onto an advertising agency who were interested in the story. Originally the sign said Ronnies Shop and no one stopped. One day for a joke his friends wrote / added sex to the sign and since then business has boomed. Ronnie has a bar that is decorated in graffiti, business cards, baseball caps, bras and knickers. A shop selling memorabilia from the shop and the Road kill cafe that serves milkshakes and food. When asking the lady on the counter her recommendation for a milkshake her reply was Jagermiester and Lime, I declined and stuck to Turkish Delight milkshake.
View across the pass heading from Swellendam to R62
The fairy sanctuary in swellendam we didn't go in, I'm not sure what they've been taking in Swellendam but someone was definitely away with the fairies!
On our way to the next location we stopped off in Swellendam I thought it was Swell and Chris couldn't give a damn.
This was the best kept secret a hot tub nestled in the garden bubbling away at 35c..... If only we had booked to stay for 2 nights I could have easily lost hours whilst sipping some more of that lovely white.
I could get used to this operation hammock begins when I get home. I've never laid in one before but it's amazing!
Meet this rare African bird the wellybooter bird, they are native to this area and love to perch in trees soaking up the sun.
The gardens were stunning, we enjoyed having a good wander round exploring. The check out time should have been 11am however on arrival the previous night the owner when asked shrugged his shoulders and said whenever is fine. We have learned a new concept of time whilst on our holidays it's called Zulu time. At a Zulu occasion the event wouldn't start until the last person arrived. I think we must be Zulu and the ones that always rock up last.
We have a toothpaste thief when questioning Chris if he had seen my toothpaste this is what I find in his toiletry bag, his teeth should sparkle!
Meet Borat one of the resident ridgebacks at Bloomestate. He was a very cheeky beautiful boy.
I think I have to say that this was the tastiest and best presented breakfast I have had in South Africa. The dining room was located across the gardens in the main house.
I awoke refreshed the next day to this view of the gardens WOW!

7 August 2015

The rooms were stunning set in the gardens. Although the time we arrived would mean we would have wait until morning to see our surroundings properly. This was the hotel we were going to be early for but in true Chris and Lou style we were magnificently late. Infact I don't think we have made anything on time this holiday. I was even late for the wedding although I did escort the bride so she had every right to be late on her big day.
Finally we arrived around 9.30pm. 5 hours after we had started off on a 1.5 hour journey. I toasted my arrival with a bottle of white in the bath.
After reaching the end of the dirt road we could see a sign we hoped it would confirm we were headed in the right direction.
Once again the sunset was stunning I have never seen the sky so red.
After miles of dust rd and endless farm gates the sun started to set. The shortcut managed to double our journey time and we had seen no other cars for miles. We really were on safari in a Toyota Avensis!
The route we should have followed to Swellendam was blocked due to bush fires. We had to go the long way round to get there but never fear I found what looked like a great shortcut on the map.
Children playing rugby league at the side of the road with home made goal posts. Reminds me of our childhoods rather than the play station and computer generation we seem to have created.
We stopped one last time in Mossel Bay to watch the surfers. The waves are great here but someone told us there had been 3 shark attacks very recently do I'm not sure it's a good place to surf.
We stopped for lunch in Mossell bay at a fish and chip shop that was a converted open top bus. The views from on the upper deck were amazing and I was lucky enough to see Dolphins swimming up and down the bay. Amazing!
We left Wilderness and headed for Mossel Bay, the road hugged the coast all the way and again the sights were stunning and the sun very hot.
Just a couple more pictures from Mont Fleur the last picture was the view we could see from our window. The rooms were hexagon shaped with 3 windows all with lovely views of the bay.
Clean washing I can complete my holiday clean and fresh. Counting the amount of socks Chris put the wash was concerning though 3 pairs how many days have we been here. I did find it funny when she asked me if Chris' shirts are suitable for ironing and I asked her what an iron was lol I said I only iron his clothes if we are seeing someone who thinks I don't look after him I hate ironing with a passion nearly as much as pairing socks.

6 August 2015

Our Meal with Lou and Denise the owners of Mont Fleur was lovely. We were also joined by an Itallian family who were heading 1500km to Krougar national park on Safari, the Children were so well behaved and polite. We were given a platter of vegetarian starters, stuffed sweet peppers, rolled aubergine and stuffed mushrooms. For main course Lou had made a pork chop dish recipe that was given to him many years earlier by a European visitor. As Lou's wife Denise is vegetarian he doesn't have many opportunities to eat meat. Lovely hosts beautiful meal!
We headed back to Wilderness stopping off in Pletternberg bay where we stopped to buy wine ready for our evening meal from a local winery. The bay at Platternburg was beautiful and again another stunning sunset. I have never seen sunsets with so many different colours.
As planned we made it to Storms river for an adrenaline hit. We were harnessed up before zip lining across the ridges and ravines some were 89 meters and the longest been around 250m and 50 meters high over the waterfalls.
So we made it to Tsitsikamma nature reserve and found a quaint little cafe for lunch. The drive was stunning as was the scenery, I don't think my eyes have seen so many beautiful things so close together. Some of the scenery and sunsets we have seen have taken my breath away.
These signs were in the little cafe we found in the Tsitsakamma national park I think they suited me wonderfully.
Today we are headed to Tsitsikamma in the Eastern Cape. We are hoping to take part in some zip lines and canopy tours. The views on our way here were both stunning and interesting.
Breakfast was lovely and was even served with a sprig of Rosemary.
Rose cottage at the B&B we had both completely forgotten but this was the reason we booked this one. Although I have to say it was an excellent place and the hosts are fantastic. Lou and Denise.
What a beautiful way to start the day. We were up at 7 and went out for the sunrise and a stroll on the beach.

5 August 2015

Going to the loo by candle light during the power shredding.
We arrived in Wilderness just before a scheduled load shredding. This is where they turn the electricity off for a scheduled length of time to carry out maintenance works. This happens county wide, our host Lou seems to think this is down to poor management but is happy that a schedule is in place as previously it used to just happen without warning. As the B&B would have no power they advised us to walk into town as some of the restaurants have generators and we can have dinner. We went to a lovely Italian restaurant called Pomodoro, we were allocated a lovely table nestled behind the pizza ovens where it was really cosy and warm.
We have now arrived at our next stop in Wilderness at the Mont Fleur bed and breakfast. The B&B is lovely run by an American couple who have offered to cook us a pork dinner tomorrow night. We arrived just in time to watch the sunset from the porch. I will get some more pictures tomorrow, The views across the beach are lovely. The owners tell me it's really safe here there's no high fences or security and there's lots of of family's walking around.
More pictures of the Outeniqua pass, the cloud was so low we drove right through it.
We are just crossing the Outeniqua mountain pass, there's picnic areas every few hundred yards it's stunning......
Some of the animals we saw on our safari this morning my travelling photographers have many more pictures they can share with you later.
This morning we went out on a game drive. We boarded our land rover at 9am to see what wildlife and birds we would be able to see whilst out in the bush. Although the sun was high in the sky it was still very cold.

4 August 2015

We also met some beautifully coloured birds who were very friendly. The pictures I have are limited as my hands were full of birds and nectar food. We also had a close encounter with the lemurs this was great fun as the jumped all over us. Again I don't have any pictures of this to show you although I had my 2 photographer with me aka Chris and Cat so in sure you will get a viewing .
Whilst here Cat and I had a close encounter with the baby Cheetah cubs. It was very well controlled. These cheetahs are part of a breeding programme in the hope that they can eventually release some of the Cubs back into the wild.
We went to the Cango wildlife park as our afternoon excursion and saw lots of lovely animals as part of a guided tour.
This morning we had another meeting with the elephants where we got to feed, touch and hug the elephants. These elephants have been looked after since they were babies when their mother was killed by poachers. They were very cheeky and full of dirt and dust in fact Cat walked round with a dusty bum for the remainder of the day. After meeting the elephants after the wedding I didn't think it could be topped but the experience was varied and was really hands on.

3 August 2015

Once the sun had gone down we were taken to the lookout lounge overlooking the dam for the wedding breakfast, I've never understood that phrase although I felt like my throat had been cut so break fast we must. As promised for my main course I did have a steak although it was an ostrich steak. It's one of the tastiest meats I have ever eaten. Ken and Wendy were kind enough to treat us to a bottle of bolinger champagne and we had speeches and toasts as well as tears and laughter into the night. After a very long but enjoyable day we retired to our tents around 11pm.
Following the ceremony and meeting the elephants we were taken through the game reserve on a tier seated Range Rover complete with a cool box full of cider , wine and larger. It was perfect I had great fun watching the bride and groom whilst they posed for the photographer with bottle in hand. I have to say although it was my 1st I recon it's the best dressed safari I will ever go on.
The ceremony was beautiful, the bride and groom were both very nervous in the morning. The registrar was very funny but his words were beautiful he talked about always remembering to make time for one another. Both Cat and Damien scrubbed up well and Ken and Wendy both sat at the side of me and cried throughout the ceremony. I was informed by Wendy they were tears of joy.
Following breakfast we visited an ostrich farm. It was a great place. You had the option of cuddling, kissing, feeding and even riding an ostrich. I sat on one of the ostriches for my photo taking but I wasn't very keen on riding one.
The happy couple on their last morning as bachelors.
So here we are the morning of the big day has finally arrived no sign of Cat or Damien yet it must be due to the lack of sleep they had from the Hippo snorting and roaring outside their tent all night. This morning after breakfast we are going to an Ostrich farm before returning to get ready for the wedding.

2 August 2015

The food at Buffelsdrift was lovely we certainly wouldn't have been able to run away from the resident hippos following our meal tonight.
The tents are beautiful complete with electric blankets, wooded floors, comfy beds, flushing toilet, and a free standing bath. What an amazing way to start the day!
1st drink on arrival well deserved I say after a 5/6 hour drive
The signs to the toilets in the bar area at Buffelsdrift.
We arrived at Buffelsdrit around 4pm, when you get to the entrance it's a long winding road into the car park where we were met by a chap in a golf buggy with a trailer for our cases. Once we had loaded we were taken to the reception area to check in. The view from here across the dam were gorgeous we were advised we weren't able to swim in the dam due to the 3 fat ladies...... All female hippo's who live in the dam. I haven't seen one yet but I keep staring across the water in anticipation.
The journey through to Buffelsdrift was amazing, long winding roads through mountains with the odd scattered village. The speed of the roads was equivalent to our motorways at 120km/h.
Stopping for fuel and they wash your windscreen is brilliant I think they should do this in Manchester. Although I must say now we I travelled the mountain Rd there is a need for this service the amount of flys and creepies you kill on your windscreen is unbelievable.
Bye bye Cape Town
Well last morning in Cape Town, we have all had breakfast. The transport for the flight collects everyone from the hotel at noon. Chris and I are planning on getting on our way imminently. According to the Sat Nav we have a 5 hour drive. I'm looking forward to arriving but I hope these tents have heating it's freezing here at night.

1 August 2015

Beautiful evening meal and my first taste of South African wine since I have arrived here, needless to say I'm sure I will have another sip or too. The food was beautiful to start Chris had Hake and Salmon Fish cakes. I had mussels in white wine and Garlic Sauce. For main course Chris had catch of the day freshly caught hake with veg and mash, I had Braised Springbok with veg and mash. For dessert (I'm allowed on holiday) I had a trio of desserts which came beautifully displayed and Chris had a creme brûlée.., mmmmm
We managed to finish our day at Signal Hill which is also known as the Lions Rump, the hill faces table mountain and gives you an amazing view across the city, we followed the winding road all the way to the top chasing the sunset, who else would have come up with this idea. As we turned the final corner to the top of the hill we were met by hundreds of people and gridlocked traffic. I couldn't go forwards, backwards or turn round. The only thing for it was to get out and enjoy the sunset before sneakily doing a u turn and finding a more sensible location down the hill. As we were looking to park up a sightseeing bus was going up the hill, at the top it was a deadend with a car park. We were there for around 40 minutes and the bus never came passed us again he's probably still stuck up there now. The views were breath taking, you could see the whole harbour and the whole of the Cape it was beautiful.
We then drove round to the Cape of good hope. This is where the current from the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. You could certainly see how rough the sea was. You could really smell the sea air and as it was getting latter in the day all the birds were flying back to roost on the cliff edge.
This little chap was waving the flag for us when we reached the bottom. He was very keen to come down but a security guard with a stick kept frightening him back onto the roof they are known to be quite vicious, mischievous and excellent scavengers.
Our first stop was Cape point the most southern tip of South Africa. We climbed to the top and caught the flying Dutchman back to the bottom, it was a beautiful day and we were lucky enough to witness whales basking in the Atlantic below us.
I always wanted to be a Farmer I think I should upgrade my Seat
Some scenery in table mountain country park on our way to the Cape of good hope.
These pictures were all taken on our way to the Cape of good hope, there's so much to see whilst your out in the car it's amazing. Some of these areas I wouldn't want to turn into you can really see the rich and poor.
This is Woodstock and the old biscuit factory market. A very quirky selection of market stalls and shops built inside an old biscuit factory. It was chaos round here I would say to look at itvwas like Camden Town a very different mixture of people and you could certainly see some of the poverty, those effected were the entrepreneurs looking after your car for R20 whilst you went off to the shops. Chris bought a new tripod as he didn't pack one and I bought a very pretty little dress for my friends little girl, it's got a cute little mouse hanging out of the pocket.
Met for breakfast this morning and Ken caused mayhem feeding the birds and bringing one into the restaurant I thought he'd ordered his toast for him not the birds lol!

31 July 2015

I've just worked out that we've been in South Africa about 31 hours we've had 4 meals so far, one included breakfast, one included fish and chips.Since stepping off the plane Chris has eaten 4 12 inch pizzas you do the math.........
Chris and his pizza don't be deceived thinking it's the same he did eat 2 of them!
Had a lovely stroll round the water front tonight, Cat, Damien Ken and Wendy ate in a traditional African Waterfront sat under a gazebo with heaters and blankets it looked really cosy and quaint. Following our fish and chips we were still quite full and decided to opt for pizza in the bar we spent last night in. Mmmmm we discovered they sold caramel vodka mmmmmmm the last time I came in this bar it made me do tipple tails but that's a story for another day.
New Boots purchased from the waterfront shopping centre I wish I had packed some and I reminded Chris that Rosemary said anything you've forgot you can buy 😉👍
Chris in said photo pose before I shouted Baboon I only wish my camera had been ready for the next shot. I will get it at some point this trip although I might have to progress to Rhino elephant lol.
This sign was in almost every lay by. What I did find amusing was to wait for Chris to be in full photo taking mode and then shout Baboon its exercise for the needy haha
Just realised or rental car comes complete with its own supply of mint flavoured sweets mmmmm
We stopped at Boulders beach to meet the Penguins they were lovely and so funny to watch.
For lunch we stopped off in Simons town and had Hake and chips they were lovely. We danced with a singing troup of buskers unfortunately have no pictures of this but Chris has a video on his phone he should be able to share with you. The fish and chips were delish £12 for 2 with drinks was reasonable.
Our first stop was Llandudno where we stopped to walk on the beach it was beautiful no signs of sharks today though. Catherine got caught by a wave resulting in soggy feet and sandy legs!
We left Cape Town to head to the Cape of good hope the views along the way were beautiful.
The Breakfast in the Portswood Hotel was beautiful Chris even managed to get a portion of smoked salmon when asking for baked beans lol! I think we will survive the rest of the day now ready for adventure!

30 July 2015

Found the hotel and managed to locate Ken, Wendy, Cat and Damien in a bar in the waterfront called Mitchell's brewery. Chris had 2 stone baked oven pizzas, we ate and drank cocktails all night and the bill was only around £50 for all of us.
Arrived in Cape Town as as soon as we left the plane Mr Burton managed to get himself in trouble! He trumped really loud in the corridor off the plane and the starred at me making the people ahead of us think it was my bottom that had made that noise.!
Having the plane refuelled in Botswana, can't reach don't worry here's a step ladder!
Approaching Botswana and then onto the final leg of our journey.
Not too far off 2nd flight now, eaten, slept lots and now feel ready to go again. In another hour we will have been travelling (train included) for 24 hours!
Chris manning the passport control at Addis Ababa Airport. It was chaos, very unorganised. If our luggage arrives at the same time it will be a miracle.
Don't ever visit this airport it's awful, long cues at the toilets and no toilet roll. Everywhere you went there were traditionally dressed men with pray mats slung over their shoulder. Duty free is like Bury market however it is very very cheap.
Burton attempting to redo his laces in the airport waiting for the connection to South Africa via Botswana xxx
First view of Addis Ababa from the airport

29 July 2015

The hottest curry I have ever eaten for the rest of this week please call me hot lips and feed me ice cream hourly!
The flight info 624mph
Me on the first flight waiting in anticipation for food and to see what the selection of alcoholic beverages might be choices choices!
Chris with is photography book on plane número uno
Couldn't stop chuckling when the safety announcement on the plane involved please remember to turn off your electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops and calculators! Damn I knew I had forgotten something Ethiopian Airlines is not for accountants and tax men!
We met Cat and Damien in the Weatherspoon's in Terminal 2. They left us in time to board their 19.00 flight into Johannesburg.
London to Heathrow in 15 Minutes! When buying our train tickets we booked right through to Heathrow. After leaving the train at Euston we had to get the tube to Oxford Circus and then onto Paddington where we would board out plan for the final leg of today's journey. We boarded the Heathrow train which was the nicest train I have ever been on I must add, found a lovely seat close to the luggage again and complete with plug sockets..... Little did I know we would be faster than the speed of sound and could have stood the entire journey without trouble. It was only on ticket check it became clear that our £30 return ticket was cheaper than the train we had got on. I'm not sure if it was my charm, the amount of people on the train or the fact I had that I will hold this train up if needs be look on my face but the very kind ticket inspector asked us to be more careful next time..... My fabricated I asked the information story ride that wave!
Well we set off on the 12.15 train from Manchester Piccadilly to Euston after R & P had waved us off at the platform. I have a feeling this trip is going to be a good one and I will tell you why!! On entering the train some ejits had stolen our reserved seats. Chris went off exploring in true form and found the perfect spot, table, close to the loo, not a million miles away from the food carriage and a plug socket. After trundling and getting settled just in time to reach the first stop at Stockport we decided food was on the cards having skipped breakfast. Chris went first, I went next to see what delights and fair trade products were on offer, very pleased with my selection I prepared to pay but stupidly my card wouldn't accept as the card reader wasn't connecting to the Internet, following around 8 attempts the chap (Robbie) who was serving behind the food Winked put the void receipt in my bag and wished me a good day. Great start to the holiday free lunch!