Archive for January, 2005

Jan 28 - Cape Town

Friday, January 28th, 2005

Due to some technical hickup Eli’s report disappeared (one hour of writing…) into thin air…. So instead of publishing that report this will be a real short one. \everything is OK and we are now enjoying Cape Town and suroundings. Today, being a bit of a rainy day, is shoppingday at Waterfront and tomorrow we will go to Cape of Good Hope!

Take care.

/Johan & Eli

Jan 19 - Durban here we come!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2005

We are now in Durban and we have started to explore the city. We traveled here through Swaziland wich was an experience of its own.

We found accomodation easy in Barberton. A very small city with no turists at all, or at least very few of them. All restaurants were open in connection with salary payments (and Jan 15th was obviously not such a day..). The hostess of Old Coach Rd guesthouse called to one of the restaurants and they promised to keep the kitchen open until we came. We got our dinner and when we arrive back to the guesthouse we fell quickly asleep after a beer and talk with the host.

Jan 14 up early. We had decided to go through the scenic, but bad road to Swaziland, and we were told that the 45km would take us 2,5 h. How can 45 km take that long?? We headed “happy as hippos” towards Swaziland. First 10 km were fine with sealed road. We even enjoyed the stunning view. But then the nightmare started. Yes, we know that we had been warned both from the host and the LP guidebook, but we could not believe that the road was that bad. Eli started to cry half way and she did not stop until we were at the border. The view ?? Don’t know really. Johan had to look at the road which was covered with huge sharp stones. And were there weren’t any stones there were big holes. The Opel Corsa that we are driving is not meant for those type of roads for sure. At one occation we even had to leave some spareparts on the road that were scraped off underneath the car. Phuuu. NO more unsealed roads for Eli anyway!

The rest of the journey to the capital of Swaziland, Mbabane, was fine. Really beatiful country with a nice mountain view werever you turned your head. We did some sightseeing in Mbabane and the next day we passed through the country and back to South Africa. We passed the border in the south and spent the night in St Lucia. The weather in Swaziland were nice. Around 25C during the day and maybe 19C in the evening. St Lucia met us with hot humid weather. It feels atleast 10C more with the humidity. Anyway. The thermometer said 31C but felt like 40C.

We left St Lucia at 11.00, after our first sleep in. Really nice and I think that we deserved it. We headed towards Durban and arrived here Jan 18 at 18.00 after a nice stop in Umhlanga Rocks, a tropical beachparadise.

We had some problems finding accomodation here in Durban but after some phone calls we found one night in one place and the two coming nights in another guesthouse. We have checked in to the second place already and it is really nice. A huge room with a veranda out towards the garden and the pool. I think that this is so far the nicest place we have stayed at.

Sorry guy’s. We do not have time to sit at the internet cafe anymore. Now we need to do some serious sightseeing.

Love
/Eli & Johan

Jan 15 - Going south

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Long time no hear…. Sorry guy’s for that, but we have not had any comunication possibilities with you until now. So, what has happened these past days? Phuuu, do not know were to start…

Ok, Blyde River Canyon were cloudy but when we arrived to the, accordingly to the guide book, most scenic spot of them all within the area, the clouds were gone. Lucky us !! It was really beatyful and worth the drive. From Blyde River Canyon we went towards Kruger National Park (KNP). All our problems with reservations were solved and the plan was two nights within the park and two on a private game lodge. We spent the night in Hazyview in a big bungalow. Really nice place with mango trees in the garden (yes, we could eat as much as our stomachs could manage) and a superb kitchen (we were not cooking ourselves) and warning signs for hippos exploring the grounds.

Jan 11 we left Rissington Hotel at 06.00 for entering the KNP and left it the 13th. We have seen so many animals it would be a diary of its own to tell you about it. Anyway, in KNP we managed to see 4 out of the “Big 5″, B.R. E. L.L (=buffalo, rhino, elephant, lion, leopard). The first day we saw elephant and rhino. Amazing how big the are ! Day two we saw the buffalo and after a long search we finally found the cats, at least the lion, but we were happy and satisfied. Now we could go home.. What can we tell more about the park? Early mornings and hot days for sure. We were up at 04.00 and drove around for approx 11 hours every day in 38C. It’s hard work beeing a tourist….(Kraft folks…can you belive Eli is up that early??).

Jan 13 we left the KNP at 10.30 after 5 hours of driving without seeing any animals. We headed for Elephant Plains Game Lodge (EPL), looking for profesional help in finding animals. We were still missing the LEOPARD..

Arriving at EPL after hard work in KNP was a relaxing experience. Plenty of staff serving you all the time from that you stepped on their ground until you left. Schedule of the EPL was such;

  • 05.00 knock on the door.
  • 05.20 coffee/tea at the veranda before going on safari
  • 05.30-09.00 safari
  • 09.00 breakfast
  • Then relaxing till 14.00 when lunch was served
  • Relaxing again until 16.30
  • 16.30 safari
  • 21.00 dinner and then straight to bed.
  • Next day the same!

    So, did we see the leopard? YEEEEEES!!!!!! What an animal !! Fantastic!! What can we say?! Can not find the words for it !! We made the “Big 5″ !!

    We left EPL today and we are now heading for Swaziland. We are right now in Nelspruit but we will try to find accomodation in Barberton close to the border after a cup of coffee and tea.

    So, until next time !!

    Love
    /Eli & Johan

    P.S The weather is cooler now comparing to KNP. From 38C dow to “only” 25C…

    Jan 10 - On our way

    Monday, January 10th, 2005

    So, now we are on our way…. The flight went well but it was tough on our legs. We have rented a car through Avis, an Opel will take us through the country.

    We stayed in Jo’burg for one night but I think that we managed to see a lot anyway. The day we arrived we managed to find a guy that took us around the city in his taxi. We drove around for approx 2h and managed to see the “highlights” of Jo’burg. I do not know if the infamous police station were people disappeared from during the apardheid regim is a “highlight” but anyway…

    The day after we went on a Soweto tour where we saw people living in tin houses in one part of the township and in the other part in luxury villas with nice gardens. Compulsory stops were at the houses of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Winnie Mandela. Only Nelson Mandela isn’t living in Soweto any more.

    We left Johannesburg yesterday afternoon for Lydenburg where we managed to find a really nice farm guesthouse to spend the night at. Unfortunatelly we woke up this morning with cloudy weather…

    Right now we are in Sabie where we have to have a cup of coffe and tea. Eli can hardly stay awake in the car and we also need to decide if or when we are going to Blyde River Canyon since we can not see anything due to the clouds hanging down. The guide book says that it is supposed to be nice viewes around here so I guess that we have to believe it since we can not tell ourselves…

    /Eli & Johan

    Jan 7 - Finally on our way…

    Friday, January 7th, 2005

    So, it was a long night yesterday and an early morning. There was so much to do before leaving…As we couldn’t decide were to go inte Kruger Park we had to discuss during the night. Finally when we decided everything is booked.

    So the status is right now that we do not know how, when and if we are going om safari. Sigh…We are trying to reach our contact in SA (=South Africa) but without luck. This will have to be continued tomorrow since they are leaving the office before we arrive in London. After a stressful morning and afternoon we are now going to get ourselfs a nice cup of tea and coffe.

    Love
    /Eli & Johan