Last lot of pictures were of the flight home and landing.
I had the trip of a lifetime, so many happy memories.
Last lot of pictures were of the flight home and landing.
I had the trip of a lifetime, so many happy memories.
Last day, so a hearty breakfast, one last walk around the pool. Back upstairs to pack the suitcases. We had a few hours before the flight home, and it’s the best day weather wise (always the way) we found a lovely beach to walk along, a really nice place for our last lunch together. And even had time for an ice cream.
Back to collect suitcases and homeward bound.
Cinco de Mayo. A puzzle for you to print off and try.
Mexico, Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army‘s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio_Zaragoza The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force was a boost to morale for the Mexicans. Zaragoza died months after the battle due to illness. A year after the battle, a larger French force defeated the Mexican army at the Second Battle of Puebla, and Mexico City soon fell to the invaders.
A busy day today. We went up Table Mountain, it started out a little cloudy, but as we queued to go up the cable car the sun came out.
The view was breathtaking, and I was pleased I pushed myself to look out the window.
The views at the top of the mountain were amazing. It did feel like you were on top of the world.
The evening found us in the town, a Ferris wheel gave us the views of the town. It was a lovely way to end the day.
Today was a lazy day. So I thought I’d take a few photos of around the resort.
The last few pictures were taken on out walk to dinner. It’s an old railway carriage that was turned into a restaurant. It wasn’t but we were allowed to take a few photos.
Day seven sees us off for a tour around the cape. We hired a guide, so it was just the three of us and the guide. Then the best part of the tour. A trip to Boulder Beach to see native penguins. They use to let you wander through the beach, but as tourists began to walk off the path, they had to build a walk way instead.
I have to admit I loved it. It was amazing to see them so close, with no bars or glass between us. I could have stayed all day.
An early start to the day. A boat trip was planned. Whale and dolphin watching. What I got was “Diving with Sharks”!!
They lure the sharks up to the boat. You then climb into a cage and have a “close and personal one to one with a shark!”
I wasn’t too keen at first. I don’t swim and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the guides were great, they informed us what to do, and how to get into the cage. We wouldn’t be totally submerged.
Debating on wether or not I would do it. It’s something I’ve wanted to do. And I know my son was keen, so I thought “let’s give it a go.”
That was amazing. Not getting into a rubber suit (that was hard putting that thing on!) but the experience. To be that close to a shark, to see it in its natural habitat was something I will remember for a very long time. I only went on the cage once, but we had the opportunity to do it several times. I probably would have e gone in again, but the face mask was very tight!!
After leaving the boat behind, we got taken to a penguin sanctuary. That was cool, the guide showed us around and gave us a little chat. Telling us what the sanctuary did, and how it was funded. They rescue penguins to release back into the wild.
Coming back to the hotel, we were all pretty hungry, so we grabbed a taxi and headed into “The Victoria and Albert” wharf. It’s got lots of shops and places to eat. In the summer it will look really nice. But we had a little cloud. But it didn’t stop us from enjoying the rest of our day.
We ended up staying for a few hours, watching the sun go down in the restaurant we were eating in.
Always got time to sneak in an extra five minutes to read a book 😉
We are on our second leg of our African Adventure today. We packed last night, so it was just pyjamas and toiletries, and then we are good to go.
We go down to breakfast for the final time at the Pretoria hotel. As it’s an internal flight I grab a couple bottles of water, fruit and a few muffins for the flight.
Sitting in the reception area we wait for our taxi to take us to the airport.
My Travel companion 😉
It’s a two and a half hour flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I grab the window seat and look out the window the whole flight. Looking at the patchwork landscape I try hard to see wildlife (but I think I’m a little too high up to see anything 😉 I put my earphones in and listen to some music.
We get off the plane, grab our cases and then it’s off to find our transport.
Noticing a sign that says “Burns” I’m assuming that’s for us😉 we say hello to the driver and he grabs my suitcase and takes us to the car.
The sun is shining on Cape Town, whereas Johannesburg is dark and closed in. Cape Town has more of a modern look to it. The buildings look newer and the roads are a lot smoother.
We get to The President Hotel.
The Pretoria had the colonial feel about it. The President has more of a modern look to it, and we aren’t far from the sea, so it looks a little like the beach resorts back home.
Our bags are taken up to our room once we are checked in. Again water is offered, and I grab a bottle. We are told all about the hotel and given a welcome pack (hotel keys, menus, and facilities on the site) we follow the porter up to our rooms. Definitely a different feel here. Very clean, very modern.
The walk into the little shopping area doesn’t take long. We have a quick look round. Then decide on where we will eat tonight. We have an early start tomorrow, so it’s an early night for us.
Another early start.
Breakfast downstairs grabbed fruit and a couple of muffins (not sure what our lunch entailed today, always better to be prepared) we have a walk with elephants planned today, and then lunch with a panoramic view (well that’s what the leaflet said😉)
Quickly went back upstairs to grab my bag and my penguin.
We are picked up outside the hotel by Rebecca (who explains she is also our guide today)
We are travelling to a nature reserve called “Glen Alfric” (there use to be a tv program called “wild at heart” the program was actually filmed there, and now it’s a reserve, they educate there, and a few other films and programs have been filmed there) Rebecca also chatted about the future plans for the site (an ostrich farm, an equestrian center, a winery and conference facilities) they also do walking safaris (which is what we’ve booked)
We arrive at the reception, Rebecca then leaves us for about an hour and a half, apparently the elephants need feeding😉 after we book in we are shown to a lovely sunny spot to enjoy coffee, juice and cake. It’s really pretty, and we also find out they do an overnight stop (but they don’t have many rooms, so I should think it would be nice and quiet) we have a quick tour of the places that were used in the tv program.
Rebecca finds us and says it’s time for our walk, and we are really lucky, the group we were added to have cancelled, so it’s just the three of us 😀 so we get the elephants all to ourselves.
Walking alongside and petting these huge animals was rather daunting at first. We were shown where to walk, not to stray too far from the elephant keepers (it’s still a wild area.) the keepers explain that the elephants wander around the reserve (within reason) they are heir to keep the trees and bushes from becoming completely stripped. They tell us that the elephants will walk for miles grazing, so they have to follow them (usually on foot) it was an experience I won’t ever forget, these huge majestic creatures, to pat them, to look them in the eye, and to feed them. It was amazing.
Saying goodbye to the keepers (we had over an hour and a half) we start our walk back to the reception area, and then lunch. I spot an ostrich, and Rebecca immediately tell us that we have to move quick (it’s the mating season, and the makes become quite territorial!!) being told that the kick from an ostrich could break a leg or arm, so we don’t want to chance our luck. It’s scared away and we continue up to the reception. We meet a friendly zebra (also in the series) and we get to pet him, but that ostrich is still hanging around, so we leave the zebra behind and carry on up the hill.
Sitting by the pool area, we wait for our table.
The table is on a wraparound veranda, and set pretty high up. The scenery is breathtaking, we can see for miles, we see giraffe and zebra in the distance, horse riding and a few stray ostrich.
The meal is a buffet, and there is plenty to choose from.
Rebecca takes us back to the hotel after lunch. The journey is filled with chats and looking at photos. It’s another memory I will treasure.
We got to watch the sun ride overlooking the scrub, the rock we were on reminded me of the scene in the lion king 😉with a cup of coffee in hand, we watched the sun coming up it was lovely to watch.
A 6am start today ….. with blankets in hand we make our way to the meeting point. Not the way I thought I’d start my birthday 😉but as we’d seen a few animals yesterday, I was eager to see more.
We got to see so many, and an ostrich or two, a few guinea fowl, springbok and warthogs.
And we got to see really close up ….. two lionesses, that was unexpected and worth the early morning. Seeing them in their own environment, their huge teeth as they yawned, (this is what I came to Africa for) watching them on the telly, is good, but seeing them so close, seeing them just look at you gave me goosebumps.
Bumping our way back to the lodge we continue to see the wildlife, we catch a brief glimpse of two giraffe in the distance. Getting back to the lodge, there was a heartbreak waiting for us. We had a hour or so to kill before going back to our hotel and civilisation (I could have stayed here for the rest of my holiday) so grabbing a quick shower, and packing the overnight bag, we sat around drinking coffee and just soaking up the peace and quiet.
Heading back to our hotel in Johannesburg was a jolt, going from the safari to “civilisation” the peace and quiet to the noise and built of the city (it was only for two days, but I could have stayed there longer)
We get back to the hotel, quickly unpack and then set out to see Johannesburg, we are on the move to Cape Town Sunday, and we haven’t walked up the hill I can see outside our window yet. So grabbing a bottle of water, we go and enjoy the sun.
The Union Building was at the top of the park. A huge statue of Nelson Mandela greeted us at the top. The park was lovely to walk around (shame we couldn’t go into the Union Building, but it was close to the public!!)
We get back to our room, and now I know why my husband and son were anxious to get me out of the hotel. The staff had decorated my room 😀 they’d made a beautiful cake, and I couldn’t wait to tuck in. We managed a huge slice each, and then popped the rest into the mini bar for later.
Dinner. And I made everyone dress up as it was still my birthday😉 had a lovely meal. We didn’t order dessert, as there was still plenty of cake to eat in my room, so we ordered coffee. The staff came out with coffee, and more cake !!!
We then headed out to the outside bar area, had our coffee, and watched the sun go down. Then back to the room where we had just a small piece of cake.
Last day in Johannesburg tomorrow before we start the next part of our holiday.
The view as I enter the lift. It’s the walls for the reception area. It makes it look like it’s a window. my Safari outfit (had to go with the khaki😉
This is my room 💜leopardsong Safari lodge. View from my front door. It’s so peaceful.
A quick breakfast in the hotel, and then we are picked up for our overnight stay at a safari lodge.
I’m imagining all types of things, from mud huts, to a large tent!!!
What we get is a lovely lodge area. There is a communal dining area, a bar, a mini pool and outside cooking area.
And the rooms ….. they are a lovely surprise, from the outside they have a look of a old type hut, but inside they are done to look modern and comfy. The high ceilings are to accommodate the fan, and looking up, you see it’s thatched. I did wonder if we would get any eight legged visitors (🕷) But we were told it’s not the right season for them yet 😉
We have a few hours before we go on out late afternoon safari, so I quickly unpack the overnight bag, and we go explore. Coming across a meerkat was a nice surprise, the antelope were a surprise, they wander around and nibble on the vegetation, and in the distance are zebra. Susan (the manager of the lodge) said they roam around free, they are all ok, but not to get too close to them (mating season begins soon, and fights can start out!!) we take a walk up to the gate we will enter (electrified and warned !!) looks like a scene from Jurassic Park (well the gates aren’t THAT big!!)
We get to the meeting place, and we are all given a thick blanket (it’s still cold in the evening, and the jeep is all open, so the wind is pretty cold. We will want them for the journey back.
Setting out in the jeep,
The ride is a bumpy one, on the way we see zebra and the Kudu that wander around the lodge area. Big electric gates open ….. all we see is miles of scrubland and dried grass area (I’d love to see this area when it’s green and lush.)
We have a driver/warden called Kael, he is very knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. He gets everyone looking for animals, he points out their tracks, and gives us a brief description of what to look out for.
We got to see Zebra, water buffalo, Wildebeest and Rhino. Giraffe made an appearance towards the end of the safari. But the highlight ….. had to be the lioness tracking her prey !!! It was like a scene from a wildlife program.
Watching the animals in there natural habitat bears any zoo, this is what I came to Africa to see. To watch them in their natural habitat will be a memory I will treasure forever.
We drove around the reserve for almost three hours, we watched the sun set, and then made our way back to the lodge, where there was a lovely meal waiting for us.
And the staff had made a cake as a surprise, it was a lovely way to end my Pre-birthday.
We then had a drink around the fire, before turning in for the night.
Tomorrow we are up at 6am for the sunrise safari 😀
This is my travel penguin. I try to take him everywhere I go. This is my husband. We get to the hotel in Johannesburg, and now he’s trying to get on the WiFi!!!!
This is my So, he loves to update his instagram and FB account 😉I think he tweets, but I’m not sure. And me 😉looking slightly tired (it was a long flight)
And Percy my Penguin needed to chill too.
The Hotel we stayed in. Very nice.
After checking in, the boys needed feeding ….
Our room, loved the huge bed. And seating for my reading and journal writing.
View from my window. Right at the top is The Union Building. We are going to hopefully walk up to it the next few days.
Percy needs a nap after a loooooong flight
Diary entry ……..
Due to depart Heathrow at 19.05 (7.05pm) we actually left at 19.08, which wasn’t too bad considering the amount of people we needed to get on the plane (and there we a few who were making loud noises in the queue)
I think hubby was hoping we were going to be upgraded, and was a little disappointed when we had to walk past the comfy seats. My son had warned him the flight was full (but hubby was hoping my son was going to surprise us) but we were sitting together, so I didn’t worry.
Hubby had the window and I was sat next to the aisle, my son sat in the front and had an empty seat next to him. He turned and said he was glad he could stretch out. But no such luck …… A gentleman went and sat in the empty seat (my sons face was a picture) but that wasn’t the best bit, the man chatted to my son the WHOLE ELEVEN HOUR FLIGHT!!!! My son was hoping to catch a film, then sleep. The man was either a nervous flier or lonely!!! The only time he was quiet was when there was food being handed out😦
Hubby didn’t fare much better either, he had a student behind him who had either too much sugar or was just really hyped and a first time flier ….. he bounced, he whooped, he must have had headphones on, because any conversation was at a very high level….. the only time he was quiet, was when he was eating.
I didn’t watch a film, I’d brought books and a diary to write. I did catch a little nap, but it was a little cramped and awkward to sleep for too long. So I got plenty of reading done, and wrote in my diary. I also listened to my music and a few chapters of an audio.
Whilst reading I made a few notes on a Post it pad. The lady sat in the aisle seat opposite me was fascinated. She asked if I was a beta reader, I said no, just a blogger. I didn’t want to drain my phone by listening to music and writing notes on my phone (but it works have been easier to copy and paste 😉
We had a few children on the plane, and keeping them occupied was a full time job. It did remind me of when we took the kids on holiday when they were younger (I had them both a bag filled with books, colouring and a few small toys, and snacks) but it was a pretty quiet and smooth flight, once the lights were turned down, most of the passengers settled down too.
Technically it’s day two, but as we are still on the plane, I’m going to add this as day one still…..
Landing wasn’t too bad. Getting off the plane was simple enough, and even passport control wasn’t too bad. Waiting for the suitcases to arrive on the carousel was fun🙄 and it brought back memories of waiting for suitcases with the kids. (Now we travel on our own, it a couple of small suitcases and we take them on the plane with us, easier and quicker)
We had transport laid on, courtesy of the hotel we are staying at. Looking for our name on a board, we spot our driver and we are whisked away to the car.
Driving through the airport and onto the African motorway, I was struck with how brown everything was. In fact it didn’t take much imagination to see a Spanish landscape (I didn’t expect to see wildlife, but I just imagined something else!!) But the driver was chatting to my son, explains they are just coming into their spring/summer season, so that’s why it was looking so drab, once the rains come in the spring, the summer will look lush and green (almost made me want to come back for the summer) but the summer is sooooo much hotter, so we got sun but not the really hot sun that comes with October/November.
Approaching the place we will call home for the next five days, the Sheraton is a majestic looking building. And walking through their large revolving doors, you got that sense of stepping back in time. Very austere, very grand.
Heading towards check-in we are asked if we’d like a drink. Bottles of water are given out, and I’m directed to an area where I can grab a coffee and a muffin. Sitting down I watch hubby and my son check us in.
It’s not long before a man with our luggage on a cart is taking us up to our rooms.
We have a beautiful room. Large bed, en-suite. And a nice seating area where I can read and write. The window looks out onto a park, and at the top is a building (we find out later it’s a council building)
Unpacking and sorting out clothes for five days (then off to Cape Town, so I don’t want to unpack it all. Toiletries in the bathroom. Kindle and books on my side of the bed. I grab a travel handbag I always take on holiday. And we pop out to stretch our legs and see a little of Pretoria……
We’ve had a quick look around the town, but there really isn’t too much local, we would have to get a taxi so the larger town nearby.
Back in the hotel we chill and decide to eat here. Then pack an overnight bag for my safari adventure tomorrow.
Shower then an early night. It’s been a long day.