Stomping About South Africa

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
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Trip End Jun 16, 2013


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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Thursday, April 18, 2013

All I want to do is STOP! What I mean to say is, on the day-to-day level I just want to stay in one nice place for no less than three nights – one bed, no packing up, a day of taking stock, getting laundry done, repacking and doing whatever else I feel like doing. On the larger level, it means going home – not right away but darned soon. As of April 12, we are 4 weeks away from returning home; every day I make myself focus on enjoying whatever I am doing yet constantly in the background, my mind is doing the countdown…27 days, 26 days, etc.

Jim says he could continue travelling endlessly. This brings me to a piece of information passed onto us during our meerkat adventure (I'll tell you more about that later in this blog). We were told that the male porcupine is nomadic and the female loves to stay home and look after the babies. I figure, deep in Jim's and my DNA are some wild porcupine genes.

Cape Town is sitting in one of the most picturesque locations of any city in the world. We had planned to stay in Cape Town for a week but after wandering around town, hiking on Table Mountain with the sun shining gloriously on us and visiting the V & A Waterfront, we decided to do our stay-in-one-place outside the city. Since we have to return to Cape Town to fly home, we have the option to spend more time here later.

We rented a car and set off down the scenic Atlantic coast through a number of quaint towns to the Cape of Good Hope where we spent the day hiking. Rounding Cape Point and heading further towards the Indian Ocean, we stayed a night in Simon’s Town. With a lovely Sunday morning latte stop on Muizenberg beach to do some photography, watch the surfers and enjoy the families having fun in the sun and sand, we headed along the coast to Betty’s Bay. Since November in New Zealand, Jim has been aching to get a really good photo of a penguin. Betty’s Bay is the home of a large colony of African penguins so Jim was treated to many photo opportunities.

Our day ended by settling into a sweet little cottage in a seaside retreat with ocean and mountain views. Hermanus during peak season is packed with tourists but given it is autumn, we ended up having the cottage all to ourselves for the first night. Ahhhh…so nice. Here is where we finally allowed ourselves a 3-day rest. We took some coastal walks, caught up on emails and this blog, got our laundry done and hung out a few of the local joints. In one of the little shops I was intrigued by a sign that said, 'Drink coffee. Do stupid things with more energy!’.

With our energy returned, we drove inland into the Little Karoo to a town called Oudtshoorn, famous for ostrich feathers. We didn't acquire any feathers but we did eat ostrich meat which was very tasty. Puttering about the area, we explored some amazing terrain, hiking into a waterfall off the Meeringspoort pass and travelling to a tiny, charming town called Prince Albert where we enjoyed a great cup of coffee and a bowl of homemade soup at the Lazy Lizard. We met Dave and Denise, a delightful older couple who said they were on a SKIN trip (spend kids inheritance now) and asked us if that was what we were doing. Maybe...? To return to Oudtshoorn, we took the Swartberg pass, climbing high up and over the Swartberg mountains with some treacherous driving and spectacular views to keep us occupied.

The final activity in this area was the best! Before sunrise on a very cool morning we met up with Devey Glinister, the Meercat Adventures (www.meerkatadventures.co.za) guide and quite a character. We then hiked out into a field with the lawn chair, blanket and coffee supplied by him. Gathering around the spot where he had tracked the meerkats the previous evening, the group of 10 of us waited in silence for them to poke their heads out of their homes in order to catch some early morning sun rays to warm their little bodies. We sat in wonder as the 16 little guys entertained us for over an hour and we were no more than three meters away from them.

Back in the car, we returned to the coast and the famous Garden Route.
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Comments

Sue Walker on

Good morning,
Cute little guys that entertained you! looks like you are enjoying the show
xo

Bart van Eijden on

I think I have rarely seen such a good travel blog with absolutely stunning pictures. I am trying to do the same as you are doing, however you are most likely traveling with a laptop and some editing software. All I wonder is, which lenses are you carrying? You mst have at least 200 or 300mm or so? I wish I had brought mine! Could you send me an email or so to tell me about your gear? Do you have tips about what to do with some of my best photos, who would buy these?

Have a look at my blog and tell me what you think!

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/bartvaneijden/1/tpod.html

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