Location: South Africa
Well we have arrived at the end of our tour! We got into Cape Town just before lunchtime and been off looking around for some accommodation, our needs were very small just a nice shower and bed as we have had 7 weeks of sleeping in a tent and it is high time for some of lifes simple luxuries.
We have a few days in Cape town to have a good look around and then we are leave to come home on wednesday night so we will be back at home on friday.
The trip was fantastic ... time just went so quickly though.
Lots of stories and photos for those interested infact we had hardly sorted though the wedding photos let alone another few thousand to go through.
Anyway just wanted to let you all know that we are safe and sound got to go and meet some friends to update our photos.
Look forward to seeing you all soon
Lots of love from Africa
Location: South Africa
Sorry it has been so long since we updated the site, we have literally been unable to get to internet for such a long time. We also thought we would be able to use our mobile phone for the rest of the journey down to Cape Town but we can't get coverage in Namibia either so we will still be out of range for another few days.
At the moment we are in Swakapmund at the moment - a Mount Maunganui version of Namibia although there is no sunshine just fog. This afternoon we are off to go quad biking in the desert sand dunes which will be heaps of fun then tomorrow we go sandboarding. Hopefully the fog clears off a bit so we can actually see where we are going.
Since we last wrote we have been to the Okavango Delta which unfortunately we were a little dissappointed with we were taken in there on Mokoros (little wooden canoes with a guy poleing), we were sort of just left to do not much for 2 1/2 days which got a little boring, we went on 3 game/nature walks and that was about it - never mind it is pretty much the first thing we have not really enjoyed in Africa. We have also been to two other game parks Chobe and Etosha national parks. They were really cool, especially Etosha. The camp grounds we stayed at had water holes fenced off on the camping ground side so you could go down and sit and watch the animals coming to drink. It was lit up at night so you could see them. We saw rhinos, lions elephants, griffae, and a few other little animals coming to drink - really cool although extremely hard to take photos of in the dark.
Not long until we come home now for those of you still asking we arrive home on the night of the 5th October.
Sorry we can't reply to everybody individually we get to internet so infrequently that by the time we have read all the messages and written this our time is pretty much done - not to mention how slow some of the computers are.
Anyway look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Take care es and dave xx
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Well ... we are still alive, although both Dave and I really thought one or both of us might not make it through yesterday!
We decided we would do the full days rafting trip yesterday and we can safely say it is the frightening thing we have ever done in our lives! The morning started off with number 1 to 10 rapids and after we flipped on rapid number 4 every single person on the raft - apart from the guide ofcourse wanted to get off. We didn't have a lot of power paddling with the people we had on the boat so we never managed to get enough power to get over the rapids increasing our chances of flipping. The first flip was absolutely terrible. We were stuck under the water and both Dave and i popped up under the boat - not that we could see each other. one of us managed to grab hold of the ropes and hold on but the rapid was quite long so we were up and down under the water struggling to get enough air before we were pushed back under again. By the time we were all clear of the worst of it the guide was in such a hurry to right the boat again and try and get everyone and everything back on board that he flipped the boat on top of me and i again had to struggle to find my way back to the side of the boat for air. Dave lost one shoe in the process and mine only just stayed on by one strip. We then obviously couldn't get off the trip as we were in the middle of a gorge in the zambizi river. We then flipped again on rapid 7 and then we felt pretty sure we weren't going to make it through the day - rapid 7 took Dave's second shoe.
We stopped for lunch and i was wondering whether to catch a ride out with the lunch guys but the guide assured me the afternoon was not as bad as the morning and we had bought a combination trip with river boarding as well which happened after lunch. So we carried on ... the river boarding was fun, i think Dave actually quite enjoyed it - i was still scared out of my mind especially when you board through a grade 5 rapid! We also saw a croc sunning itself on the rocks - so much for no crocs in the rapids eh! So with fins on and in the middle of a river i felt like i probably looked like a seal so if i wasn't going to drown i was going to be eaten. Anyway the afternoon trip ended up being not half as bad as the morning and we were actually able to enjoy ourselves on some of the rapids.
We wanted to kiss the ground when we got out of the boat at rapid number 19. We then had to walk out of the gorge which was absolutely horrendous. In NZ you would not be allowed to send clients on a climb in or out of the gorge like we had to do. You can see why they make you sign away every part of your livelyhood, if you survive the climb down and the rafting itself, you still might not make the climb out. If we were a cat we would only have one life left (between us).
Anyway glad we did it now because we are safe apart from no shoes and a few bruises but you could not pay either of us to do it again - last night we were still having dreams about it.
Anyway we are off to Botswana today so about to do some last minute shopping then back on the truck. We have another 8 people joining us today so we will be up to 18 people.
Hope everything is going well in NZ another 3 1/2 weeks and we are home. We can't believe how fast it has gone.
For those of you who don't know and have been asking, we arrive home 10.30pm on the 5th October - so J9 we will be at your 30th with bells on, glad it can make it!
Gotta fly, will email again soon.
Es and Dave xxx
Well we sitting in a shopping mall in Lusaka (Zambia) that could be anywhere in the world so modern and not what we ever expected to see in Africa. THere is even a subway here - go figure!
Well we have had a couple of rather different days - where else in the world could you be locked up in your tent dying to get out to go to the toilet but unable to move or make a sound because you have elephants less than 30cm from your tent entrance eating the seed pods lying around the groups tents and trucks. We were staying in a camp ground just 500 metres from a national park right next to as river. So not only in the middle of the night did we have elephants walking around the tents we had hippos out looking for food too. One of the girls on our trip also woke up in the middle of the night to see a giraffe, an elephant and a hippo within 50 metres of the tents! It was all very exciting really. The elephants come around and steal your breakfast etc too not a lot you can say to a big elephant when he wants something of yours really is there! We went on two game drives in an open 4WD one morning and one night one (one of the few places in africa you can do a night game drive). Unfortaunately we didn't see any lions on either of the drives but we think we were so spoilt with our first two where we saw absolutely everything that we will be lucky to top that now.
Tomorrow we are starting our house boat trip for 3 nights on lake kariba - where you can't unfortunately go swimming because of the hippos and the croc's but the boat has a pool so we should be fine.
We are having a really great time here and all with our recent encounters with the elephant kind Dave is actually managing to keep himself together so we shouldn't have too many more little outburst like when he was 9 in the cinema watching star wars!
Our trip feels like it is going really quickly we will be home before we know it, just with a little more baggage than we left with - including a malawi chair which we kind of got suckered into buying because we could hardly refuse the price.
Anyway will email again soon i am sure we should have some more exciting news after the next few days on the boat.
Hope you are all well, take care.
Es and Dave xxx
We accidently deleted your email address, can you please let us know the email address of the guys staying in our house and more details on what is happening with the strike etc.
Thanks heaps Dave
We are currently in Malawi stocking up on food for the truck, we have spent the last three days at Lake malawi which was good and relaxing, read lots, swam and tanned on the beach - always forgetting it was a lake not the ocean because you can't even see the other side. Apparently very rarely Hippos make their way up from the river but we didn't see any thank god.
We are actually going to be away from internet for several days and our phone is still not in range so don't worry we haven't been eaten by anything large just in outback Africa.
We are heading to Zambia for several days then off on a house boat for a few nights which should be fun.
Hope everybody is well, sorry this is so short but we do not have a lot of time between taking shifts on the truck looking after everything.
We will try and get to internet as soon as we can.
Love to you all
Es and Dave xxx
Well we had one full day to spend on zanzibar island at the most amazing beach and it is raining! Was planning on working on my tan so that is not looking good.
We have been out snorkelling this morning feed some fish and saw a few cute ones but nothing too amazing and it was cold so that had to be the shortest snorkelling trip in history.
We did a spice tour yesterday and watched a guy climb a huge coconut palm while singing and dancing - it was quite amazing and highly amusing.
We are leaving zanzibar island tomorrow and heading down to lake malawi which is supposed to be beautiful so hopefully we will see some sunshine down there. It is winter here - not like at home but not as hot as our travels around europe which sometimes we think is a good thing and sometimes a bad thing.
Dave is a bit sick at the moment, but just with a flu so far we have managed to stay away from any tropical or food illnesses which is pretty amazing when you would have seen the outdoor night market we ate at for two nights in stone town - the chocolate and banana pizzas did go down a treat though.,
Anyway our time is up and we need to go and get some lunch. Thanks for all your email, nice to get updates from everybody.
Es and Dave xxx
Location: Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Well we made it safely to Africa and all is going well. We have almost been with the tour a week now so we have 6 to go. We have already seen the BIG 5 which is really luckly as often people don't get to see leopards.
We have had some very VERY close encounters with Elephants - much to Dave's horror - on the truck they now say the African meaning of his name David is 'run from elephant'. He was very funny saying "quick quick wind up the windows", as someone quite rightly pointed out winding up the windows was not exactly going to stop an elephant from charging us in a little 4WD. Anyway this has happened twice to us in two days, the first time and the most scariest was heading into our campsite - and then it happened again the next day in the Ngorongoro Crater. Needless to say we have some very good photos. We also had some very close range views of lions, hyienas, zebra etc etc.
Our first day in Kenya we visited an elephant orphanage with baby elephants and a baby rhino, then we went to a giraffe park where you could put a piece of food into your mouth and then lean over to the giraffe who would take it right out of your mouth at the same time giving you a big lick all over your face - NICE!
We have already been to the Serengeti National Park where we sleep our with the animals - you weren't allowed to get up and go to the toilet or anything because there were no fences around the park. Unfortunately we couldn't hear the lions because there are a few snorers on our truck.
The second night out in a bush camp i had a dream that there were animals walking on the edges of our tent, i woke up in the morning not knowing if it was real or not but Dave didn't seem to hear anything so i figured it wasn't real. After we had packed up our tent this english guy (from another truck) who had pitched his tent no further than 1 1/2 meters from our told us he had ignored all warnings not to keep food in your tent and in the middle of the night a wild boar had come sniffing around his tent and walking right over the top of it looking for the apples and bread he had inside. I did need to ask myself whether my dream was at that stage real. He was just bloodly luckly it wasn't an elephant or a buffalo which were around the camp, or we all could have been trampled.
Anyway all in all we are having a really good time. We have been extremely luckly so far with our encounters and we have a truck tour about 2/3rds full so lots of space and not too much drama.
We will try and get some photos on next time we are at internet.
Anyway on our way to try and watch the all blacks play and have a look around the shops.
Love to you all Es and Dave xxx
Location: London, Europe
Sorry we havent written for so long we have struggled to get to internet with paying an absolute fortune. We are back in London now and due to head out to Africa first thing tomorrow morning however as you all will have heard by now the UK is in a total lock down with these terrorist activities so who knows when we will really get to Africa. Anyway not a lot we can do about it so we may well spend a few extra days in London, we are staying with Daves aunty and cousins so we are having a nice time anyway.
We had a great time in Europe we hired a car for a couple of weeks so we covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time which was good and bad in some ways, a lot of time spent in a car but saw lots.
The first night we had the car we arrived in a little german town called Berchegarten we had no accommodation booked so we asked a guy who had just come out of his office where we could find some accommodation anyway he ended up taking us back to his house to stay for the night with his family for nothing. It was really interesting to stay with a german family, he took us out to an amazing lake in the mountains that has water quality you can drink, it was absolutely freezing was beautiful. We then started camping the following day and what happened!!!! We had a HUGE thunder storm our tent leaked and we ended up sleeping in the car so a great start to camping you can imagine.
From there we went and picked up Nick and Ness (some friends from Tauranga) and we spent the rest of the time travelling through Italy, France, Switzerland and then back to Munich to drop off the car.
We spent a day in Rome and while we were at McDonalds for lunch (I know McDonalds in Rome) but we were all so hungry, anyway we bought our food and Dave put the wallet on the tray, some random guy came over and put a piece of paper in front of us, Dave ended up telling them to go away and 2 minutes later he came back with another guy who then put a postcard in front of Daves face made a but of a scene and then Dave told them really where to go, they took off and then Dave noticed the wallet was gone. Dave got up and started chasing them he started calling for the police people came from every which direction helping, they ended up throwing down the wallet which they hadnt had a chance to get anything out of so I picked it up and dave continued chasing them as he didn't know at that stage whether they had anything or not. Anyway to cut a long story short alongside some political police who got wind of what was happening, two guys from the army (who just happened to be in town to do some shopping) we found the two guys who took the wallet hiding in the pytheon they were arrested and we spent the next three to four hours in the police station all quite a drama really but at least we got the wallet back with everything in it.
From there we spent a few more days in Italy then went to Nice (France) where it was 40 degrees the hottest day they had since 1941 - it was SO hot. When we got in the wine region in France the temperature dropped to 12 degrees which was a nice change for about 5 minutes then we all wished for warm weather again. We hired some push bikes in the wine region and had a bike around the region called into a guys house who made his own wine. It was a really fun day.
Anyway loads of stories to tell but already have made you read lots so wont go on too long!
Hopefully we will get out to Africa tomorrow but we let you know what happens.
Anyway got to get out and do a couple of things before everything closes around town.
We promise to try and keep you more up to date with where we are and what we are up to through Africa.
Hope everything is okay in NZ with you all.
Es and Dave xx