TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

SUDAN

When hubby went to work in Sudan (before the divide into Sudan and South Sudan) I had to grab a map and look closely where exactly in Africa  it is located! Then I started to Google all the lesser known but interesting facts about Sudan. As the temperature rises to 50 degrees Celsius in summer time the first thing that strikes you as you get off the plane in Khartoum is the oppressive heat whether it is early morning or late at night and then the different culture and way of living due to the extreme temperature where the tarmac melts during midday.   However the Sudanese people are very friendly and always willing to share what they have at their disposal even if it is just cup of sweet tea or a glass of water.  Everywhere you will find clay pots on the street where people can have a… Read more >

AN EPIC JOURNEY

A classic 1962 Landy was an item that was on hubby’s bucket list for a very long time.  So it happened that while he was working somewhere in Africa he bought this old lady over the internet and had to pick it up at O R Tambo on his homeward journey. So off I go on a Kulula flight to O R Tambo to courier the necessary tools, several other items as well as some warm clothing that (we thought) would be needed  for this epic journey after the late snow falls that had the country buzzing.   A bit of TLC here and there and we set off on a 1 200 km road trip to take her home. All went well until just before Kroonstad where our first of 42 unplanned mechanical stops started.  With a speed of about 20 kmph and a stuttering Landy we arrived at the Shell… Read more >

MONTAGU

An all girls weekend wandering took us to Montagu in the Boland region.  The town was named after the former secretary of the Cape Colony, John Montagu.   It was also known as Agter Cogman’s Kloof. With its picturesque setting Montagu is famous for the mineral springs nestled on the verge of the town, impressive rock formation as you drive westwards on the R62 towards Robertson, outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and rock climbing,  good food and local wines and of course the Montagu Dried Fruit Company. We used Paul and Shirley’s Koo Karoo Cottages as our base and explored the town and surrounds.  Our first wandering took us to the Old English Fort – declared a monument in 1999 – perching on top of the “tunnel” in Cogmanskloof about 4 km from Montagu as you drive towards Ashton on the famous R62. The fort was built by stonemason William… Read more >

THE LANDLOCKED COUNTRY IN THE CLOUDS

          We have visited Lesotho a couple of times before, especially the eastern side coming up with Sani Pass from KwaZulu Natal, but this time round we visited Malealea Lodge in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and entered from the more developed western side at Wepener. Arriving at the border post at Van Rooyen’s Gate (hours 06:00- 22:00) near Wepener all was quiet the day after Christmas and the formalities were done without a glitch and off we go. Our plan was to camp at Malealea Lodge and explore the vicinity during the last week of the year.  Since our previous visit to Lesotho we noticed that the main road network improved a lot, but as soon as you get onto the gravel things are still the same = the further from civilization the worse the roads. The roads are potholed and maintenance non-existing.  After all… Read more >

COTE D’IVOIRE – IVORY COAST

So I had the fortunate chance to visit the Ivory Coast a couple of times while hubby was working in West Africa and resided in the sprawling capital of Abidjan with its 2 million inhabitants. Arriving at Felix Houphouet Boigne airport you are in French country.  Leaving the airport parking you are welcomed in French (Bienvenue) as you pass the white elephant sculptures spanning the airport road.   Sadly this welcoming sign is no more as it was removed during 2011 with the change of government.  Also look out for the bronze statues as you leave the airport grounds. You will also see the local guy, come rain or sunshine, delivering his bags full of baguettes every morning with his bicycle or an old beat up Citroen stacked to the roof with pain (French for bread).  We were really spoiled as you will not have to look far to find… Read more >

RED BULL HANGAR 7

Hangar 7 at Salzburg Airport is by no means a normal hangar; it is one of Salzburg′s contemporary top-attractions. A private airport hangar owned by the founder of the energy drink company “Red Bull”, Dietrich Mateschitz.  It was built for hosting his private aeroplane collection.   The display consists of a growing number of small, not so small and some large historic and contemporary planes, helicopters and several vehicles such as Red Bull racing cars. A formerly used hangar did not provide sufficient space for the unique collection and the Red Bull hanger was finally opened in 2003. The building is airfoil shaped, constructed of 1,200 tons of steel and 75,000 sqft of glass surface.   Every piece of glass was individually custom made in China and no one is exactly the same shape as any other in the dome.  In total there are 1 754 pieces of glass with a total weight of… Read more >

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