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TRAVELBUCKET

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SARDINIA BAY

On a quick weekend visit to my daughter in Port Elizabeth I was afforded the opportunity to visit and explore the less touristy but scenic beach of Sardinaia  Bay on the western side of Port Elizabeth.   The morning was greyish but quite pleasant when we set off from home in St Georges Park. Our aim was to do a cache here, but on arrival was pleasantly surprised to see that the locals were out and about with dogs and children enjoying a sort of windless day – only a slight breeze tucking at my pants, so quite pleasant! We walked up the dune and spent some time on top of it to admire the views and breathe in the fresh sea air.  Fantastic.  I must say our country must be one of the most beautiful places on earth that God has created!  Reluctantly we made our way back down… Read more >

FRIENDLY STRANGER

In a previous life the premises was a small surfboard factory, but was given a new life and was turned into a popular eatery situated in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth away from the tourist strip.  That is what makes it so nice to visit – you meet the friendly citizens of The Bay while having breakfast or lunch or a beer or whatever you fancy at that moment. My daughter took me for an early Sunday breakfast and what a nice surprise!  The mixed décor creates a fantastic relaxed atmosphere to create just the right mood to have something delicious from the varied menu. A first for me was the “craft” juice – something to the likes of craft beer, but a healthier option.  But do not forget that they also serve some craft beer here!  This is not just a coffee shop but much more.  It was… Read more >

LIVINGSTONE AND STANLEY

While all wrapped up in winter woollies we traversed the Outeniqua pass towards Oudtshoorn before sunrise.  Our aim for the day was Minwater 4×4 (owned by Louis Jordaan) near Oudtshoorn with Livingstone the Landy accompanied by Stanley (the coffee flask) – two true explorers side by side! As the sun was starting to lift its head there was time for a quick early morning cup of coffee  and a rusk with Stanley providing the hot water source.   It was on the chilly side so  we did not linger long before we continued the drive. The sun was slow to rise and the shadows cold and deep.  We had breakfast while the fog was still hanging low over Oudtshoorn and the valley down below.  What a privilege to live in Africa and enjoy life from the window of your old Land Rover. We all enjoyed a nice day out in… Read more >

MILLWOOD GOLDFIELDS

Deep in the heart of the Knysna forest a story of hope to find that elusive gold nugget unfolds when one visits the forgotten town of Millwood    Every time I visit I just wonder what life must have been like in those years … So here is the story. Back in 1886 Millwood was a bustling gold mining town patched together by the dreams, greed and hope for riches that comes with gold digging.  The rumour of gold was enough to draw people from wide and afar.  Yet, after no substantial gold-bearing reefs were found Millwood was reduced to a ghost town amongst the ferns.  Today the only buildings that are left of this once booming time is Moterolli’s coffee shop and the Pitt Street Cottage with its yellowwood floors and ceiling next to it that offers accommodation. The gold rush started when Ruigtevlei farmer, James Hooper, found a small… Read more >

THE CHIMPS OF TACUGAMA

On one of my trips to visit hubby in Sierra Leone we explored around the sprawling city of Freetown and heard from the locals about the chimp sanctuary high up in the hills.  My daughter was excited – she wanted to visit.  So we set out to find it.    The trip there in itself is quite a bit of an experience as you travel through dust trodden streets littered with old wooden houses high up on the hills.  The travel is slow going so enjoy the ride.  It is all part of the experience. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is tucked away in the threatened Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserves on the edge of Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone.  The sanctuary spans about 100 acres (+- 40 hectares) of lush indigenous rain forests. In 1995 Bala Amarasekaran felt in his heart the desire, and had the vision, to rescue, confiscate and… Read more >

MELACCA, MALAYSIA

I stepped back in time when we visited this UNESCO world heritage site that looks out over the Straits of Melacca.  This town, which is situated about two and a half hours’ drive south of the capital Kuala Lumpur, is filled with history and many other influences.  Once we arrived in Melacca a lot of things looked familiar yet slightly different which immediately reminded me of my home country, South Africa.  Then it dawned upon me that this is where a lot of the influences in South Africa come from as a lot of South Africans are of Malay decent. We had a weekend to spare after hubby concluded his business trip to Kuala Lumpur so we hopped on one of the many long distance buses which runs between KL and Melacca. Driving out of KL I noticed many kilometres of rubber and palm olive plantations.   At first it is… Read more >

GIANTS OF KUBU

It is the month of August and the end of the winter or rather dry season in Botswana.  After dropping off my 76 year old mother (who was on safari with us)  at Francistown Airport to take her first international flight home we took the A30 towards Orapa and Kubu Island. Shortly after we picked up our camping permits – after the lady in the office gave us a wrap over the knuckles for not making reservations in advance – our first glimpse of Sua Pan, part of the 16 000 km² pan complex, appeared on the horizon.  I am excited!  This will be another first  for me – a  visit to the vast pans and ancient Baobabs. As Kubu Island is a national monument and a pristine wilderness area the rule of take everything in and take everything out applies (and that includes taking your own firewood and water). If… Read more >

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