Wednesday, 6 September 2017

WEDNESDAY 6TH - HEADING FOR HOME


I didn't expect to be doing another blog but we are killing time at the hotel before going to the airport and, would you believe, it's a nice sunny day, so I went for a walk with the little camera to try and get some photos of Table Mountain in less cloudy conditions.

 
We have been warned about the number of people who go there when the conditions are good so we didn't try and go in the limited time available. Just as well. Check out the number of vehicles parked on both sides of the lower station.


Find the cable cars in this picture.



This is a close up of the top station. Looks pretty rugged up there.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

TUESDAY 5TH - CAPETOWN

We said goodbye to our new found friends last night and are now on our own for the first time since arriving at Victoria Falls on 11th August.

We arranged a city tour for this morning to give us some orientation in relation to the city. After that, we spent a few hours in the waterfront area. Unfortunately Capetown had some rain this morning, which it badly needs, but not while we are here.



 
That meant that the signature attraction, Table Mountain was well up in the clouds with gale force winds at the top and therefore closed.


There are strategically placed frames through which one can take a photo of the mountain. It wasn't at its best this morning.


We had to be content with this promotional picture.


During the tour, we also visited Signal Hill, so called because ships were signalled from there in earlier times. There was no chance any signalling would be happening today.


At the waterfront, there is a big wheel, a miniature London Eye, which gives an excellent view of the immediate vicinity but the view of Table Mountain was no better from there, but note the blue sky above the cloud bank.

This may be the last blog. I'm not sure whether anything noteworthy will occur before we get on our plane tomorrow afternoon so, unless it does, the blog will go into recess until the next adventure.

Monday, 4 September 2017

MONDAY 4TH - CAPETOWN

As I am typing this, I can hear the sound of traffic outside our window. We haven't had that for more than three weeks. We are comfortably settled in Capetown and are here for two nights before flying home.



Our hotel is so close to Table Mountain that I can't get a complete photo of it but I can photograph some bits, one of which is shrouded in cloud, apparently quite a common occurrence. We are booked on a City Tour tomorrow morning which includes Table Mountain if visible. If not, the cable car doesn't run. Hopefully I can find a vantage point from which to get a better shot.


We spent most of today on the highway with a minor detour through some more spectacular country to visit a Rooibus tea plantation. Quite interesting but not on a par with the many fantastic experiences we have had in the last three weeks.

We have seen the last of The Beast and have our final dinner tonight. Hopefully we can keep in touch with the delightful people we have been travelling with. There is talk of a reunion tour of a different part of Africa in 2019.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

SUNDAY 3RD - HAPPY FATHERS DAY


Another travelling day today. Only 250 kilometres to go to Capetown and our final dinner tomorrow night. What a fabulous experience it has been.

 
At our Friday night venue, they used a donkey cart to haul the luggage. Very novel.

We did have one activity planned for today in that we visited the Namaqua National Park, a little way off our route but worth it because of the fabulous wild flowers it is famous for at this time of year. The only problem was that, because of a late winter and no rain, the flowers are not in bloom. One of our rare disappointments. I did get a photo showing the potential.

 
We consoled ourselves by having a coffee at a very quaint coffee shop on the way back out to the main road.


Tonight is our last night dining “out of The Beast”. We have always had lunches prepared by our very capable chef Israel but he has prepared dinner perhaps only every second night. Everything he needs for his excellent meals and for a well stocked bar is carried with us.


Saturday, 2 September 2017

SATURDAY 2ND - TRAVELLING SOUTH


 
On the road again today but at least now on bitumen roads. We have dusted off our very dusty ports and hope to be able to keep them clean from here. They have lived in the dusty luggage compartment of The Beast for almost three weeks now.

 
The country we are travelling through continues to be spectacular but very dry. The only moisture we saw today was the Orange River which is the border between Namibia and South Africa. It is a river which apparently flows strongly all year round and supports a vast area of grape growing. The only greenery in an otherwise arid country.

We crossed the border into South Africa and are staying in the nearest thing to a conventional motel we have stayed in since arriving. It is somewhere near Springbok but it seems that we won't be seeing anything of the town.


Since I had no new photos to post today, I thought I might post some of our favourites. You have seen them before.


Happy Father's Day to all you fathers who may read this.


 

Friday, 1 September 2017

FRIDAY 1ST - FISH RIVER CANYON



Today's expedition was all about the canyon, allegedly the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon.


It was certainly large and certainly grand. It is about 100 kilometres in length, up to 20 kilometres wide and 500 metres deep. Very impressive.


We are no longer doing game spotting as such but that doesn't stop us spotting game. Two new species for today, a mountain zebra, as distinct from a Burchell's zebra and a klipspringer. The mountain zebras differ from the other species in that their stripes are much closer together therefore they have more their belly is white and, to state the obvious, they live in mountainous areas.



 
 
There is a little artificial waterhole in the central area of the lodge and it may well be the only water for some distance. There is no sign of any other water in the vicinity. The local animals obviously come to visit including an oryx this morning.


We also encountered some baboons today when we visited some hot springs in the area. This fellow had just ripped somebody's camp to bits.


Heading further south tomorrow.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

THURSDAY 31ST - ON THE ROAD AGAIN



Travelling day today with very little to report. We covered 600 kilometres which, at Beast speed, took all day. Fortunately the roads, while mostly dirt, weren't too bad.


We are now comfortably settled at the Gondwana Canyon Village at Fish River Canyon, apparently the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon which we will be exploring tomorrow.

The countdown has begun. This time next week, we will be heading for home.