Sunday, March 26, 2017

Night Before Flight

Today was exhausting. Part of it was trouble checking in. Part of it was trying to enjoy myself while waiting to go to the airport to get the check in sorted out. Part of it was having my ass kicked by the ocean.

But I've done everything I planned to do. And tomorrow I head back to my husband, my home. My bed. Awww and my furbabies! 

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to come to South Africa, to see all of the members of my family again as an adult, renew and rekindle relationships with them. And see Doreen. I am thankful that Doreen the person lives up to Doreen the Legend ;) The Doreen 13 year old me remembers. 

Nothing like getting a selfie with your 96 year old grandma :D
This might be my last post until I hit Canada. Hopefully I'll be able to find wifi along the way and post pics of my journey home. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Over the mountain

Yesterday we headed up the Outeniqua Pass, through the Outeniqua Range, and onto another adventure.

Let's just say, it was a great day for scenery, but an even better day for animals!!

The road to Highgate Ostrich Farm
We had stopped at Safari, thinking I might be able to find (read: afford) an ostrich leather something for M, but when Doreen made exclamations over the price, and the best I could do was a coin purse, I decided to turn my attention elsewhere.
We tried a second farm, Highgate, but their selection was poorer and their prices weren't posted. I satisfied myself instead with getting close to the ostriches.

There was corn on the ground, which I picked up and fed to some of the birds. I guess one was pissed at me when it found my hand was suddenly empty, and he bit at my thumb. It actually took two stabs at it. The first one I laughed because I was shocked, but then it bit harder, breaking the skin just below the joint, and then scraping along below the nail. It started bleeding immediately.

The assailant.
Luckily Glynis comes prepared and after washing it thoroughly I bandaged it up.

Our adventure continued toward Calitzdorp, with a small detour to see the Red Hills.

Amur Falcon

Towards Calitzdorp
As we drove into Calitzdorp Glynis and Doreen told us about their travels there, and how they have award winning vineyards, in particular, they are the Port Capital of the world.

This serene looking dude was one of many living in a fenced area at the front of someone's property. 

Boplaas Cellar grounds.
We stopped for lunch at the Boplass Cellar, who has award winning port. When I saw their bistro menu, I knew what I was eating for lunch.

Payback is delicious.
I tried the ostrich fillets. They seemed steak like to me. But I haven't eaten steak in 21 years, so, keep that in mind. They were rich, with a steak like texture, they cook it like steak (rare, medium, etc), but it had a much nicer flavour, in my opinion.

P.S. My thumb still hurts. Stupid ostrich :)

After Calitzdorp, Glynis drove us to Outshoorn. There was a fancy wool shop, and a shop they get deals at, and let's just say, deals were made.

On our way out of town, I started yelling incoherently. The one thing I was waiting to see was finally in front of me. Mom saw it too, a herd of Springbok. When we first saw them, there was 5 or 6, but by the time we made it back for pictures, we could only see three.

                               ^                                                         ^                                                                ^
Can you see them?
Glynis' camera has a better zoom, but the image seems washed out,
even after being colour corrected.

Then we noticed this small farm had zebras.

I promise those are zebras (and goats, I think). Not wild, but still.
But the views on the way home were still breathtaking.

Doreen calls these hills "her loaves"

birds nests

From the Outeniqua Pass

Looking towards George from the pass.

The icing on the Great Day cake.
I have less than 40 hours left before flying out of George. I leave at 1:30pm ACT (UCT+2) on March 27th, and arrive in Halifax at 8pm ADT (UTC-4) on March 28th. I had to google it, but that's 1 day 11 hours and 30 minutes travel time. Ouch. 

Tomorrow's the last hurrah! I need to check in first thing in the morning and I have a few last gifts to buy, but considering the way my heart leapt then dropped when I heart the sport bikes tearing down the N2, today, I miss my husband, and I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two days in one!

Wednesday was UNBEARABLY HOT. I couldn't handle it. It made me feel marginally better that the locals were also pretty miserable about the weather. We stayed around the house all day, deciding to go for a dinner picnic to Heroldsbaii. I was excited!

On the way there, the fog rolled in.

I was not impressed.
Mom and I played in the waves, until we noticed the following weirdness.

Today Heidi told me the blue things are Portuguese Man o'War, which are extremely venomous. So the snails are doing everyone a favour.

We took our picnic back to the house and enjoyed it in the relative cool of the evening breeze.

As I fell asleep a thunderstorm rolled it. It was glorious.

Today, I woke up to considerable excitement. It seems a visitor came in the night, and had no interest in leaving.

It sat there, preening and looking around, totally content in Doreen's fig tree!

Today's adventures took us to Mosselbaii. We went to the waterfront, but it was being actively invaded by many teens, so we turned the car around and left as quickly as possible :D

We made a quick stop at a "shed", a small building with several market stalls inside. There was lots of beautiful handmade stuff (an ostrich leather purse caught my eye, but the price tag made me leave it behind). Mom bought some things, but I left empty handed. Tomorrow will be my big shopping day. :D

We headed back towards the water for lunch.

Damn Seagulls are all the same!

Overcast but still scenic :)

We had a friend stay with us at lunch.
 Thankfully the weather turned for the better while we sat at lunch. We all had a seafood basket. I seriously cannot get enough calamari!
This was the view immediately after.

Oh, hello sun! Yes please, sunscreen!

We spent the rest of the afternoon along the waterfront. It was beautiful.

As usual, mom and I collected things as we walked. I found an adorable tiny sea urchin, no bigger than 2cm diameter. But then I dropped it. I'm so sad :'(

I left this one behind...

Glynis joined us in the photographic opportunities.

Mom and I were conned into climbing up some cliffs at St Blaize, which turned out to lead to a hiking trail and not the lighthouse at the top of the hill. The up was fine, it was the coming down that had my fear of heights kicking in.

From inside the cave

Heading back down. Carefully.

More Dassies!
We drove over to Hartenbos, where many holiday homes dot the beach.

We were previously at the point on the left.

The bright green plants at the bottom are sour fig plants.
I ate a sour fig. They're not sour, they're weirdly salty!

Doreen was out of steam, so she waited in the car.

Heading back to George, the weather hadn't changed the way it did in Mosselbaii

The mountains have disappeared.

Still no mountains

 We made it home in time for dinner, followed by tea and koeksisters. I remember Glynis' koeksister's from 1995, so I was looking forward to having more.
I went to go have a shower when I stumbled across this little fellow.

It's been raining all evening and I guess it found its way inside. Mom liberated it back into the wild/the back yard. 

And for the record, the owl stayed around all day. We all figure it will leave the same way it came; in the dead of night.

Tomorrow we head over the mountain! We're making a few stops at some wool shops, and maybe a special trip at the ostrich farm! Who knows what else our hosts have in store!