Flips, Sun City and surrounding area
Trip Start Aug 22, 2009
22Trip End Sep 26, 2009
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From here we headed into J'burg and where we stayed the evening with Oom Johan – this was a nice relaxing weekend where we stayed at their place and on the Sunday we had a huge braai with all the family over. A great concept the 'fondue braai' where the coals were thrown around a circle in the middle of a table and each person had their own pair of tongs to cook their own meat right in front of them.
Sunday evening we headed towards Oom Flip and his holiday place at the dam, the night before heading towards Sun City.
Sun City and Lost Cities.
Monday we headed over to Sun City and we had planned a two night stay out in Boshuek (10km from Sun City) – here we stayed at the Amritz Guest Lodge and the owner of this guesthouse is actually a relation of Paul's (on his Mum's side). The guesthouse was out in the middle of a farm, they had a small aviary filled with budgies and two female guinea pigs – so cute!
The Monday was a nice relaxing day over at Sun City where we spent most of the day at the 'beach' (its actually an artifical beach that's been created here) and swimming in the 'waves' (actually a large wave pool)
The scariest slide of them all though was the 'Tower of Courage' which this was the first slide we went on – here you had to cross both your arms across your chest and your ankles. I saw Paul go over first and disappear over the top and finally saw him splash down at the very bottom... I really wanted to walk away but I thought damn it I'm going to regret not going down. So here I am panicking while I'm lying flat on my back, cross both arms and legs 'check'.. next thing I know the woman up the top has pushed my back so I slide forward but then all I can see ahead of me is the far far horizon, next thing I know I'm completely airborne, I've closed my eyes and I start really freaking out and I feel my ankles uncross them BAMB I feel the slide back behind my back and I close my eyes til I finally reach the water at the bottom. I get up from the water with a sore toosh, which is actually still bruised might I add!! And Paul's just laughing at me, shaking his head saying 'why did you uncross your legs??', well it's kind of hard when you're airborne!
We walked around the area checking out the broken columns, elephant sculptures, other animal etchings into the stone – we felt like we'd stepped into an India Jones movie site!! it was so cool and so beautiful. We continued around Lost City checking out the little waterfalls, and walked up the stairs up to the Palace. We didn't realise we couldn't get inside the Palace which was a real shame and we were too late to book a tour so we've bought a book we'll show everyone of the inside.
We went and had dinner at the Raj restaurant in the Sun City Hotel which was fantastic, and Paul played a bit of Blackjack in the casino.. the 100ZAR got blown in bout 5minutes, he had fun! I must say the detail in that place completely blows Skycity out of the gutter!
We were going to spend a second day in Sun City but we figured as we had already checked out the casino and the pools etc, we went to MaroPeng and the Sterkfontein Caves instead, in the Cradle of Humankind (after an hour long detour after us not paying attention to the GPS and reading signs)
From here we drove over to the Sterkfontein Caves, these caves were made famous as they discovered the earliest human remains in the world – look up Mrs Ples and Little Foot and you'll see the name Sterkfontein, this is where we went... compared to the Sudwala Caves they were really cool where they were exceptionally tall, cool at a constant 18degrees and luckily they had no bats!
By now we must admit we're getting really tired, homesick and can't wait to get into our own bed!
Today (Wednesday) we've left Mariette's guesthouse and headed back towards the dam (Oom Flip's), and off to Lesedi Village. Here we got to experience the different African cultures – Ndebele, Basotho, Zulu, Xhosa and Pedi, so with our tour guide (dressed as Zulu) he took us around these mini villages and were greeted by the different chiefs in each village in their native tongue (the Xhosa was difficult as they 'click' and 'cluck' in their language – Nelson Mandela's was Xhosa) and saw different unique experiences in each.
After walking through each we were lead to a large grass roofed hut where all of the different cultures came out and danced for us – these were incredible where especially the Zulus kick their legs up so high where they can actually kick past their head
After getting up and booging with the Zulu girls we worked up an appetite and ate in their restaurant where they offered a buffet meal and we both got to try crocodile and ostrich meat for the first time! Very very nice!
The following day we went along to the de Wildt Cheetah Park with Paul's younger cousin Edene and her friend – so here we could tick both cheetah's and wild dogs off our list! This was a nice reserve where the area was donated by Anne de Wildt's children.
Firstly they introduced three of their cheetah ambassadors which ran for us, first up was Dee who was quite skittish but she was very young (1 year), she was a bit slow getting out of the vehicle and was more interested in watching something in the far distance but once she got going wow damn she was quick
From here we went into a small auditorium where we learnt the history of the reserve and of the different animals they have – cheetahs (obviously), ostrich, wild dogs, small cats, badgers etc... In here we had the opportunity to pat one of their most common cheetah's Byron. Apparently they take Byron around the country to different schools and talk bout conservation issues and cheetahs etc etc and kids get to pat him all the time. We all got to go up and pat him and get our photo taken so yay another thing we can tick off the list – we've patted and had a photo taken with a big cat
From here we went on a 2hour ride around the reserve to look at and learn more about the different animals so again here we saw vultures and the different breeds – Eqyptian, Cafe Griffon etc, ostrichs and the vervet monkeys were hanging out with them and stealing their scraps, brown hyaenas, wild dogs, cheetahs and something extremely rare, so uncommon to see in Africa... the friendly impala!! (ha!).
Unfortunately these guys didn't have any fridge magnets BUT... Paul got a soft toy souvenir, you'll have to wait and see what he got (those who know him best should be able to guess what it is...).
This will be our last entry on our blog while we're actually away – the plan is we'll go to the apartheid museum in J'burg tomorrow morning and from there we'll be off to the airport to fly back home so we'll see you all very very soon!