Departure Day and Retrospective Reminiscing

Trip Start Nov 21, 2008
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Trip End Dec 07, 2008


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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Sunday, December 7, 2008

We decided to have an early breakfast so we could take advantage of the morning to squeeze in the last bit of lazing in the sunshine as knew that our return to the UK would be a shock to the system temperature wise! Breakfast took a while but by the time we finished it was optimum sunbathing conditions and we did that until checkout.

Steve loaded the car whilst I sorted out check out and when I walked out to him he was removing the cases from the boot so I was a bit puzzled. Turns out as he drove from the car park to where he was picking me up, he'd been stopped by two of the employees who pointed out a flat tyre. Actually they pointed out a very flat tyre! Our guess is that it was a result of driving back from Shamwari along that dodgy dirt road. Given the rising temperature and the fact that Steve had pulled over right in the glaring sun, Steve had gotten very sweaty just moving the cases. We were very thankful that the two gentlemen that stopped us took over and did the work without us having to ask. Steve was very grateful and therefore tipped them for their willingness and kindness.

Our drive to Port Elizabeth was very pleasant and the flat tyre hadn't affected us time wise. I didn't sleep which I feel is noteworthy. We also saw some monkeys by the side of the road. We actually thought we'd see more roadside monkeys and baboons than we did. The sunshine made PE look really pretty especially along the water. It was a shame we couldn't stop.

From PE we caught a flight to Jo'berg and from there it onto Heathrow. The lack of sleep from the bleating baby birds the night before meant I slept soundly throughout the whole Jo'berg to Heathrow leg whereas Steve struggled. Good thing we were getting the train back and he didn't have to drive because undoubtedly, I'd fall asleep during that car journey too in spite of getting almost 12 hours on the plane!

We arrived at Heathrow at 6am and it was a really cold and frosty morning. It was hard to comprehend that less than 24 hours ago we'd been sunbathing in 26 degrees and now it was about -4!

Some Post Holiday Musings
We loved loved loved Cape Town and the day spent exploring Table Mountain, the Waterfront and Robben Island. The penguins at Boulders Bay are unmissable. Cheetah walking was amazing and the Keurbooms river cruise unexpectedly entertaining. The game drives were spectacular - rhino stand off, lions mating, baby monkeys, massive herd of elephants being particularly memorable.

Food thoughts: dinner at Le Quartier Francais an absolute highlight as anticipated. Dinner at the Old Mill in Swellendam, Emily Moon in Plett, Five Flies in Cape Town, Harbour House at Kalk Bay were all amazing and I would heartily recommend all these establishments for food, ambience and service. Perhaps Old Mill slightly less for ambience it was quiet but the food made up for that. Also memorable was Steve's attempt with the braai and the I'll not forget eating outside amongst the trees in fear that a fruit bat was going to descend and land on my head! Lunch at Olympia Café in Kalk Bay was unexpectedly delicious and our first lunch at Camps Bay in Wang Thai is a treasured memory as it was a sign that our holiday had started.

If we could do this trip again, anything we would have done differently? Well I think I would choose a different restaurant for lunch on the Waterfront other than Quay 4. I bought what I thought was a super strength insect repellent that was more expensive than the recommended Tabard and Peaceful Sleep (both of which I'd tried and still got bitten) hence had high expectations of this stuff only I sprayed my legs whilst still wearing my silver peep toe evening shoes and they ruined the leather finish and my pedicure as it made the varnish go all tacky so I ended up dumping the shoes and having to get another pedi (the one that took 2 hours at Tsitsikamma!) and have been searching for a suitable replacement pair of sandals since...

Now we're back and thinking about a return trip to South Africa and given what we've seen and done, we feel that Cape Town we would definitely go back for more along with the Winelands (I'd like to stay in Franschhoek this time) and safari whether Shamwari (I'd be happy to go back again as it was so good but also open to trying somewhere new but I have to be certain it is as good if not better) or venturing up to Kruger. We'd probably give the Garden Route a miss having done it already. Don't get me wrong we enjoyed it but feel that it would save time if we missed that bit and caught a flight between the West and Eastern Cape and we could use that time to do something else.

I hope by reading this you can experience a little of the pleasure this trip brought us whether it be the flavour of the food, the taste of the wine, the awesome animal sightings and the sunshine. We would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone!
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Comments

southafricasun
southafricasun on

Hello from South Africa Sun!
Your holiday was great!! Just the type of holiday we are proud to organise!! Come back to us when you want another one! This time I would recommend staying up in Madikwe, there you can have a suite with a heated jacuzzi on your deck which is so private, it is just you and the animals!! We stayed there and had a giraffe pass our room!! Then there is the Kalahari! I could go on for hours!! Let me know when you are ready to go again!! Thanks for booking with us and I loved your journal!!

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