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Ros's South African home trip 2006

Right, here we go.... 2 days to go before lift off and counting. After a long 5 years I am finally going home to visit all family and friends and have a superb holiday. Although tinged with a bit of sadness because Gran is no longer with us, we shall still be having a family do to celebrate her life. After saving for over a year I am really excited to be having quite an extensive holiday, taking in my 4 favourite places: Jo'burg, Umhlanga, Port Elizabeth (the FRIENDLY city people!) and Cape Town. Will do best to keep you updated here! Here's to a great trip.

Diary Entries

Friday, 20 October 2006

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Righ, here we go ... my last full day in Cape Town... and it's really sad! :-( Have had a ball and am really sad to be going home tomorrow as I'm just enjoying myself far too much! Well, can't blame a girl for trying really can you.

Have had a fab last 3 days. Cape Town is so much more than just the tourist sites - on Wednesday I took a long drive all round the costal tip, into Simons Town where I saw lovely Cape Penguins on Boulders Beach. Got some great pictures (I'll do them when I get back as I'm running out of time)... on the rocks, hiding in the bush and one which I think is fab of one it's it's little cave - just it's head sticking out. Also stopped at Muizenburg and looked at the colourful changing huts and tried to find some whales, to no avail. Carried on all round the coast (didn't go to Cape Point as Wed was too windy and blustery) and took in Hout Bay, Scarborough Beach (yes, in South Africa), Misty Cliffs, Chapmans Drive where I got some gorgeous shots of moutains and scenery - a drive not for the faint hearted with road right on the cliff edge overlooking the sea. Followed on by Camps Bay then Clifton Beach and oh, managed to find my way to V&A Waterfront again! A great drive and I recommend it to anybody coming over - don't just stay in the tourist places, the routes are fabulous and scenery just as fab.

Yesterday was equally great - the weather was on my side and I decided to go up Table Mountain. What a treat. How fabulous. Had forgotten how beautiful the scenery was up there too. A bit steep price wise to get up on the cable car but comparable I guess to anybody wanting to come to London and do the sights! Unfortunately the dassies were not playing and didn't see one at all. I think it was too hot, really! Did see plenty of lizards though, and the scenery from the top awesome. Had lunch on the mountain top and walked around a bit more and then headed down to Camps Bay and took in a lovely cool drink (or two) at one of the fabulous beach bars and then took some time out to lie on the beach at Clifton Beach. It was fab.

Today the weather hasn't been on my side so my trip to Cape Point was cancelled again - being elusive this time. Oh well, guess you can't have it all. That's ok though as did a bit of retail therapy with Jax at Cavendish Square which was great too. So great in fact that over coffee bought a pair of diamond earrings for good price, it's nice having friends in the right business! I said that I would come back with either earrings or pendant, so I have, very chuffed. Then did a bit more retail therapy and found another Carrol Boyes shop, hey, well, got to make the most out of being her while I can instead of extortionate prices in the UK. I just pat myself on the back because I've been very good otherwise, no clothes or shoes (ok, ok, 2 t-shirts in Umhlanga and a pair of flip flops, but there were needed, really), the rest has gone on food, drink, car etc, etc, etc. And no laughing please when I come home - the jeans and clothes are a bit tight, but that just proves what a great holiday I've had!

Will have to make use of "Dr" Gillian McKeith's book when I get home, and the bike, and swimming and.... yes, we'll see! Feeling good though, so not all bad.

We're off out tonight to the Radisson as they have a display of Bentleys at the moment, and for drinks. And for dinner... hopefully with a lovely sundowner over the beach as Radisson is near the beach. The last supper! :-( We'll make the most of it.

Anyway guys, that's it for now, time to say bye..... and see you all next week. Can't wait to see you all and catch up. I'll upload the rest of my pics next week so you can have a peek - running out of time here and takes up too much time at the internet cafe!

Okie dokie, take care and see you really soon.

Lots of love

P.S. J, sorry about the awfully early pick up on Sunday! Oh, and please turn on the electric so I can have a nice hot shower when I get in!! Ta, R xxx

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

It is official - I love Cape Town. Can't believe I haven't been here for almost 10 years. How crazy is that. Such a beautiful city with contrastic scenery - huge mountain ranges, lush vineyards and gorgeous beaches.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to sit on the beaches - the infamous 'Cape Doctor' (the wind) has been playing up for the last couple of days and made it impossible to sit/lie down, let alone walk on it. The sand it literally moving across the road, and we're getting sand blasted. Suppose that could be a bood thing if I stood with my posterior into it, get it nice and reshaped!! ;-)

However, I'm not miserable about that - I have been keeping myself busy in the interim and absolutely love the Victoria & Alfred Waterfron (I am such a tourist) and was there yesterday doing some retail therapy and soaking up the gorgeous atmpshere - and sitting outstide in the sunshine with Table Mountain behind. Gorgeous. Had a lovely lunch too - freshly caught calamari, deep fried, with an Apletizer and a coffee - all for the grand sum of GBP 4.30! It was delicious.

Didn't really buy much other than some more Carrol Boyes, yes, really. I love the stuff and if I have to post stuff back I will.. ;-) Oh and I found my wine glasses at Ngwenga glass too, didn't think they'd have them still but they do - so managed to replace my one broken one to complete my set again.

I must be doing something right with the locals (well in P.E. and Cape Town) - this will make you laugh - my red handbag. I have been stopped about 3 times and asked where I bought it from! See, have bag will travel.

It's been really great seeing Raynor and Jax again and they have been wonderfully hospitable and Jax has spoilt us every night with wonderful, wonderful dinners - Raynor is a very lucky man.. ;-) We did have a lovely braai (bbq) on Friday too. On Sunday I went with them both to play golf - well, they played golf, I walked round! A lovely golf course too, with the Table Mountain Range all around, the sea in front and peacocks, guinnea fowls and egyptian geese ambling along the course too. It was a tad windy too though, but it was still a great day.

Went to Centry City today too (another shopping mall - can't do anything when it's this windy, I promise!), but didn't buy anyting. Oh, other than the most gorgeous cinnamon bun - I couldn't refuse, the smell was gorgeous and how could I walk past a shop that specialises in cinnamon goods. All of you who know me know how much I love my cinnamon - and it was to die for, literally! No wonder I piling on the holiday pounds, I will have to use Jax's step machine tonight, and tomorrow (had biltong too - oh, and schweppes Granadilla), ok and the next day too then. I've made up for it by buying a lovely watermelon and gorgeous fruit juice to cleanse my soul!! ;-) (never mind the fact that yesterdays find was a litre tub of Frozen Yoghurt - English Toffee flavour!).

Anyway folks, I am babbling on and on and on as usual. The photos should now be up - I've still got to put the PE one's up, and the few of Cape Town (too windy to take!), will try get to that asap.

Ok, I'm off. Tomorrow - may do Cape Point and if it's not too windy will try Clifton again, failing that maybe a wine tour, hic!

Lots and love

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Afraid that this may be short and sweet as running out of time at the internet cafe - trying to get quotes for car hire and the one web it totally useless - won't give me a rate but tells me I can confirm!!! Stupid. Just want a quote.

Anyway. Last day in PE today! Took folks, sister and brother in law to airport today as they flew back to Jo'burg for the rest of their stay. I'm off to Cape Town tomorrow and looking forward to it lots.

Had a great day at Addo Elephant Park on Tuesday, saw Elephant, Kudu buck, eland buck, warthog, giant tortoise, blue crane, oh, and dung beatles - wait till you see the photos (yes, yes, yes, when I get the time and when I can figure the darn thing out I will load them up!! Feel like a bit of a headless chicken!).

Had a great night at Donovan & Tracy's Mum & Dad, now I remember where they get their sense of humour from! And I've got stories which I can bring back with me which I'm sure will make them curl up and/or run away! ;-)

Had a great night out last night too with Billy & Sue (Ric's dad and step-mum) - had a gorgeous rump steak for, oooh, about GBP 3.50!! ;-) Oh, and a few Bacardi & cokes, naturally!

Also went to visit Mrs Wren yesterday and that was lovely, haven't seen her for goodness knows how many years. Had a good old natter and a few cups of tea, good times.

Off to see Sandy tomorrow for coffee at good old Greenacres, should be a blast, haven't seen her for abosolute ages either.

Anyway guys, I must be off, got to sort out this darn quote!! Think of me tomorrow, in the mother city!! And it's going to be gorgeous!!

Lots of love to you all, take care and catch up soon.


Monday, 09 October 2006

Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Helloooo, yes I'm here, I'm here. So sorry that not had chance to write for, gosh about a week now isn't it. Sorry. Have an excuce - I've been on the beach, yahoo! ;-) Well Umhlanga did rain for about 2 days and then we had a good day, got a bit burnt though, silly me. But of course the day we left it was absolutely goregous. But not to worry, good old Port Elizabeth welcomed us with open arms and we had a superb, fantastic day yesterday and scapered down to Hobie beach early yesterday morning - before 09h30!

Can't believe that on my holiday I've not got out of bed late at all. Always been early, things to do, places to go, people to see.

I'm finding a lot of things back home too - biltong, wors, koesksusters, chocolate log, peppermint crisp, schweppes granadilla.... oh, and also found.... that the jeans are a bit, well, you know, tight at the moment from all the previously listed finds!! ;-) Hey, got to make the most of it while you can. Trying to cut down now but the food is so cheap in comparison. Dinner the other night for 3 of us at a good restaurant in Umhlanga cost less that it cost for me alone on my birthday dinner out with the girls!

Love, love, love being back on the beach. If I could always have a pair of flip flops on my feet (yes, really) a pair of shorts and bikini top and the beach to walk along I would be soooooo happy. I now remember why it took me so long to get used to Jo'burg when we first moved up all those years ago.

Have been really busy and have been visiting family which has been good. Yesterday was a bit emotional though as we went to Grans church as a whole family and it was very sad, well, it was a lovely service, but I was very emotional, but that's to be expected. We then went to my aunts house for a bbq with all the family, and numerous members of our extended family too so it was good. Had no less than 4 fires going at once, copious amounts of food and good laugh. Did behave on the old drinks though, well, it was for Gran so had to behave.

So, where was I...... the weather has turned nasty again today so we're shopping again!! Just window shopping really as no point in me buying summer stuff when I'm coming home to Autumn/winter.

Off out to visit Don & Trac's Mum & Dad tonight and looking forward to that. May be off to the Elephant Park tomorrow and maybe Knysna day after. Meeting up with Billy & Sue on Wed night and then Sandy on Thursday. No rest for the wicked.

Anyway folk - I better be off, don't even bother asking about the pics - I've given up trying. When I try figure it out once and for all I'll stick them up there - got a good one of shark too! ;-)

Take good care of yourselves and have fun. Missing you all, but still having fun!! ;-)

Lots and lots of love

Wednesday, 04 October 2006

Location: Umhlanga, South Africa

Hi guys,

Just a quick message to say hello and say that landed safely in Umhlanga. But, now, what I want to know is.... who cursed us?? Was it Giles again? What did he say?? ;-) You see, the weather is a bit, well, cr@p to say the least!! ;-) We have hit a rather bad patch in Umhlanga I'm afraid and am now into the second day of rain.

Anyway, it should clear up by Friday..... when we leave for P.E. Hey ho. It's still be pretty good though as quite a few things have happened since I last logged in.

Monday was my last proper day in Jo'burg and met up for lunch with Rosie in Fourways, at So Sushi which was lovely. Nice sushi and lovely company.

Managed to get to see the lion cubs at the Lion Park - we didn't drive around as I was only really keen to see the cubs. So we went to "Cub Land' where all the cubs are. Have to admit that the cubs were a lot bigger than the last time I was here (no, they weren't the same cubs!!) and because of the weather (it was just about to rain) they were in a mischevious mood.

The one enclosure that we were allowed in had about 4 or 5 cubs and they shared it with a very mischevious little hyena (can't remember how to spell!) who fancied Sue's skirt for some reason and hung on for dear life... he even nipped her once or twice the cheeky little thing.

We have a few photo's (having problems downloading so please excuse me, but will sort it out I promise) and managed to get the little blighter hanging on to her for dear life. The others are quite funny because they were in a mischevious mood we were rather anxious because they weren't that small! But they were cute. I did find out that Diesel has been sold to some game reserve so he'll be happy roaming around free, which is lovely.

As well as the lion cubs they had cheetah's who 'spoke' to use (those who have cats will understand) as when we said hello they said hello back - quite high voices for such big animals, but very cute. And they purr - had no idea they did that!! So loved talking to the cheetahs. Also had a little leopard all on his own, bless.

Met up with the guys on Monday evening at Watefront and had a good evening - good food, good drink and great company. It was lovely to see them all again.

The flight to Durban was 100% better than the international flight from London to Jo'burg - more leg room, more space and friendlier staff.

Had cheecky little monkeys (literally) in the hotel garden this morning - a mother and a baby were very cute, with Mum picking off the fleas! And the others chasing themselves all over the show, but then being very naughty as they were chasing a bird and his nest up the tree.

Anyway guys, better be off - running out of time on the old timer here at the cafe. Hope you're all well and hope to upload the pics soon for you.

Take care and chat soon.


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Recent Messages

From Nix
Hiya! Hows Capetown the highlight of the holiday? Looking forward to hearing about it! Think I better book some sun bed sessions before you get back! Then i can too bump into Rufus Brevit!Have sent you email when you get time. Have fun. Speak soon! x
Response: Love, love, love Cape Town. Really, it's gorgeous and beautiful and scenic and all the rest!! ;-) Unfortunately the tanning is not going to plan - the wind is blowing a lot so trip to the beach a no go, unless you want to get sand blasted!! Should be updating the blog in a minute. R xx
From Leigh
Well the weather at the weekend was OK here - did lots in the garrden (preping for winter) but today (Monday) is looking a bit grim! Have a blast in Cape Town and make sure and grab a sunset on the rocks at Clifton beach with a good bottle of SA wine. xx
Response: Well, you know me - wherever I go I seem to bring the bad weather with it. The infamous 'Cape Doctor' has arrived with a vengence and been blowing a mighty lot for days.... dying to sit on Clifton beach with a good bottle of vino or bubbly, but I'd get sand blasted today - literally all the sand was blowing across the road in Clifton, Camps Bay and Hout Bay! :-( Hey ho. Supposed to calm down by tomorrow afternoon - so says the helicopter guy (went to check out prices - a bit steep @ R3000 for me - being done in again for being single!! Loving V&A in the interim tho!! R xx
From Nix
Love the pics so did Leon especially the cubs etc.... Explained you are in africa but said 'oh is she not coming back' Bless. Very envious all sounds fab. think i will come next time, without kids! xxxxxxx
Response: Aw, bless him... yes, I imagined him and Harry running around with the cubs when we were there, they'd definitely love it! Glad finally got some pics up - sure I did another page with Umhlanga, looks like what I did didn't get through, oh well... R xx
From nix
sounds like shes not worth talking about! Yes no more summer clothes, you have that lovely winter white coat to buy from next when you get back! Ah yes but did you go out raving until 4am after yor meal in Umhlanga! :-)
Response: Yes, funny thing that, been thinking how much money I can bring back to buy that blasted coat and other things!! ;-) Should have bought a pair of boots I saw at Diesel in Jo'burg though - on sale for about GBP55!! Oh well! Nooo..... although on another night out in Umhlanga the waiter was trying hard to get me to drink doubles!! He looked a bit high himself though!! ;-)
From Leigh
I did that bungee jump at the Randburg waterfront last time I was there! Hope you're impressed - my family were. They all sat open mouthed when they saw me at the top (I'd just snuck off to do it silently)............ I did break a nail however!!!!!
Response: Hugely impressed!! ;-) Although it's gone now! And they've taken out all the water - can't believe that! Filled in with grass now and shops on top and gardens. Still had a laugh though, and downed some good old cinnamon shnaps which got me all algow!! Found your ciggies - they're a bargain!! Hope you're well - say hello to all. Lekker bly! Totsiens.
Ros xxx
From Nix
Hi Rosi!
Got your text! hope you got mine too! Miss you lots!! My goodness by the time you get back you could put together a biography! Sounds fun hope you are ok now. Send me an email if you can. Luv you lots Nix xxxxxxx
Response: Hi Nic, yes thanks for your text too, sorry too that not had time to reply just yet, it's been really really busy. The weather has turned bad again after a couple of glorious days but can't complain really as it's spring still. Hear that the car is going well, that's fab! Miss you lots too.. say hello to all! Lots of love, Ros xxxx
From jason
Hi yer,

Hope you got my email the other day? Been thinking that you didnt get my humour.

Nice pics of Sue, Mum & Dad. Did you take any of sue & craigs Grand Design?

Glad to here you are enjoying seeing your old friends again. But sad to here that the weather has been i bit crap.

Anyway, speak to you soon.

J x
Response: Hey J, yeah, yeah, of course I got it, just been a bit busy ----- been on the beach, catching some rays and eating far too much. Sorry didn't reply sooner, but been hectic, but thanks for the call yesterday, was great to hear from you. Keep your chin up and try not to worry as much as I do if that's possible! :-) R xx
From Sue
No journal entries yet?!? See you soon.
Response: Thrilling new installments coming soon - after recover from flight!! ;-)
From Lesley
welcome home darling. hope you have a fab time and really looking to seeing you..... much love Jannie, Lesley, Natassja, Joshua and Courtney xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Hey Les, Sorry I didn't see these messages until today (usless or what), but here I am back in old Jo'burg. Really looking forward to seeing all of you too, super excited! R xx
From jason
aint u gone yet??1
Response: See - nice isn't it! Can't wait to get rid of me - wait till I'm not there (heaven forbid, don't even want to contemplate thinking what he'll be up to!) Thanks Dory! :-) Sid says hello by the way (Craig - his new name, from Ice Age!!) - always something in common you two! R xx
From Donovan
Where all the photos - Upload some phots??

Enjoy your holiday and have a blast!!!

Response: Thanks Don. Well, didn't want to bore everybody with the kick off photo's!! They may get bored of seeing me by the end of the trip! Will post some as soon as I get round to taking!