To Cape Town

 Posted by Elizabeth at 1:16 am
Apr 162011

After leaving Cape Agulhas we followed the coast road for a couple of days on our way to Cape Town. At places it is very scenic, especially along the “whale coast” and immediately before Cape Town around Hout Bay. We unfortunately didn’t see any whales though as it is not quite whale season yet.

We stopped off at Boulder Beach where there is a significant colony of African Penguins. You can get extremely close to them via a boardwalk around the area as they sit on the beach and do what they do. There were fluffy baby penguins around that I have never seen before which look a bit odd, as well as penguins sitting on their eggs.

Cape of Good Hope was our next stop which is the most south westerly point in Africa, and again another obligatory photo stop. We took the funicular up to the top of Cape Point where there was some lovely views, when you could see them through the mist rolling in!

We then hit Cape Town, staying at the Imhoff Park 1 night and Hardekraaltjie Park another night, both of which were again clean and civilised. I am not sure how much longer this civilisation is going to last and when our first cold shower is going to appear! I’m not looking forward to the cold showers, but I am looking forward to being in the wild and experiencing the Africa we came back to see.

In Cape Town we took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. It is an awesome view from the top over Cape Town and the bays on the other side of the point. We had a beautiful morning with clear skies and no wind, but from all accounts it seems it can be quite misty and windy up there at times. It is definitely worth the cost, but I would suggest getting there early as by the time we came back down around 11 the queue for tickets was long and you had to park and walk quite some way to the cable car terminal.

We took a walk around the V & A Waterfront, it is pretty with lots of restaurants and shops, but nothing much to interest us considering we’re not into shopping. It is very much like our Darling Harbour in concept. We dropped in to the Castle of Good Hope for a quick look around. It is worth a look but is probably better with the guided tour which unfortunately we were too late for,

Today we visited Robben Island which is where political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned during the apartheid period up until 1991. I have to say we were both disappointed in the way tourism to the island is handled. Firstly the workers today were having a  “go slow” so the ferry left 45 minutes  late and then travelled at a slower speed than normal. Now I know that is just today, but it wasn’t a good start. When you arrive you are then herded like cattle onto buses and driven around some of the island with various buildings pointed out to you and information about them explained. Problem is, if you weren’t on the right side of the bus you really didn’t see anything. You were allowed off the bus at only a couple of places, one being of course a shop, and then when there was information to read there were so many people crammed into the small rooms you couldn’t get near the information anyway, and then you were hurried back onto the bus before there was  enough time to read anything! The last stop was the actual prison buildings where the political prisoners were held and you were guided by someone who was actually a political prisoner on the island. This was quite interesting although more time, less people in the group and more information would have been good. Overall the island was a disappointment although it has the potential to be an extremely interesting and informative place.

We have now left Cape Town on our way towards Namibia, which we are both looking forward to.

Apr 172011

After leaving Cape Town we headed for the Cederberg National Park, staying the night at Sandriff Camp. The camp is quite popular with chalets as well campsites, all of which were grassed and spacious. It rained a little in the evening, but not enough to be a problem.

The next morning we took a scenic drive through the park. It is very rugged scenery with rocky mountains and dry, sparse vegetation. There were only a couple of small villages along the way and very few people about, which is no wonder as I expect it would be a harsh place to live. The drive though was pleasant enough.

We spent the next night at Cosy Mountain Retreat in Kamieskroon. It is a great site, nestled on your own up in the rocky outcrops. There is a little shower and toilet and place for a fire. We had a pleasant afternoon watching the sun go down and eating our dinner. Then though the wind started and boy did it start! It howled ALL night with some tremendous gusts. Our tent being on the roof copped the full force of it all. We tried to seek shelter behind some large boulders, and whilst that did help a little, it was still a very noisy and rocky night. Needless to say, neither of us got a lot of sleep through it all, so it will be early to bed tonight!

We entered Namibia this morning with no problem whatsoever and very little cost (the only cost was 220R for road tax, about $32). Right now we are sitting on the banks of the Orange River at Amanzi River Camp under the shade of some trees, a gentle breeze blowing,  watching the world go by. Much better than being at work!

Fish River Canyon

 Posted by Elizabeth at 3:48 pm
Apr 182011

Ai-Ais National ParkThe landscape changed pretty much as soon as we crossed the border into Namibia. It has become quite flat and barren with very little sign of life, both human or animal. The roads have turned to gravel but are better than some of the tarred roads and we can travel on most of them easily at 80km/h.

As expected, it is also getting much warmer as we travel north. Last night was the first night we stayed in shorts, didn’t need a jumper and we slept with the tent open. All in all it is quite pleasant at the moment.

We have spent the day in the Ai-Ais National Park and visiting the Fish River Canyon. The canyon is pretty Ai-Ais National Park Ai-Ais National Park Ai-Ais National Park

spectacular and there are a number of viewpoints from which to admire it. The Fish River has carved out the bottom section of the canyon, but it is getting close to being the dry season when people hike along it, so there wasn’t a great deal of water in it. camp at Canon Roadhouse

We are stopping the night at the Canon Roadhouse. A quirky restaurant, bar, lodging and campsite. It has old rusty cars both inside and outside the building and all sorts of motoring paraphernalia adorning the walls and floors. The camping area is quite pleasant with designated sites and perfect amenities. We have just had a massive hail storm, but the tent survived and only the chairs ended up a bit wet. All part of camping!

New posts and pictures added

 Posted by Elizabeth at 3:05 pm
Apr 192011

We finally managed to find some internet (slow as it is) so I have updated our posts and added some pictures to the older ones. I also posted the post for Lesotho which I forgot to do the last time.

Still having an excellent time, not missing work at all! Missing everyone though.

We are currently in Luderitz, Namibia about to head off to Sesriem, but will add a blog later.

Please keep the comments and emails coming, it makes our day to read them when we finally get internet access. (Wayne says Larry has to keep off the red wine, but I think it makes them funnier!)

Love to all – Elizabeth and Wayne.


 Posted by Elizabeth at 4:40 pm
Apr 192011

Quiver Tree Forest, KeetmanshoopWe left the Ai-Ais National Park and headed towards Keetmanshoop through pretty flat desert plains not seeing much except for some Springboks, ostriches and a huge goanna. We dropped in to see the Quiver Tree Forest and the Giant’s Playground. The forest is supposed to be the largest group of quiver trees in southern Africa. They are unusual trees but I don’t think it is worth the entrance fee, especially when you drive up the road a little further and you can see them anyway for free! The Giant’s Playground is an unusual collection of groups of rocks that look like a giant’s playing blocks piled up around the place. Again it is unusual but not worth the fee.

We camped last night and tonight at Klein-Aus Vista Camp at Aus. Another pleasant camp,although no grass this time, but still we have hot showers.Kolmanskop

Today we took a tour around the old ghost town of Kolmanskop. It was a significant diamond mining town in the early 1900s and had everything there you could ask for, even electricity when nowhere else had it. They had a large hospital, butchery, bakery, shop, ice making facilities, a huge concert hall and a school as well as all the mining buildings. The town was abandoned and is being overtaken by the shifting sand dunes. Some buildings are completely full of sand, others are partially filled. It was an extremely interesting tour and place to visit and would definitely recommend it.

Hospital, KolmanskopHospital, KolmanskopDoctor's house, KolmanskopQuarter Master's house, Kolmanskop

The area around here for hundreds of kilometres is still a restricted diamond mining area. Even today they are mining diamonds – 1.6 million carats up to the third quarter last year alone. When they first arrived you could literally pick them up by the loads straight from the ground. That would have been some find!

© 2010 2Taylors Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha