Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Travel Tuesdays - My favourite City in SA...Cape Town!

For our honeymoon Riaan and I decided to go somewhere that we had both been as kids, but we had never gone to together...Cape Town! The mother city!

I love Cape Town, it is beautiful, stylish, and so laid back.
When Riaan and I got back from honeymoon we were seriously considering moving to Cape Town, it just suited us so well. We then decided to wait a while and see how we felt about it after a couple of months, in May we were seriously considering making the move but then in July London became a real option for us with me getting a job offer.

It was a no brainer, we had to give London a try! We can always come back if we don't like it and move to Cape Town...

Anyway, lets get back to Cape Town. There's a plethora of things to keep you busy in Cape Town, from the wine routes, to the mountains, the beaches, the city sights and not to mention ocean activities!!

We decided to play tourist in our own country, we hired a car for the week and just explored the Cape.
We stayed in Bloubergstrand, across the road from the beach, we spent our afternoons here watching the locals windsurf as the sun set and the sky turned pink over Table Mountain .

On day two we ventured in to town, visited The Castle of Good Hope and City Hall.

On day three we took a Cable car up Table Mountain and went on a 3 hour long exploration of the top of the mountain. This was followed by a visit to, The Houses of Parliament, The Crypt, Saint George's Cathedral and The Company's Garden.

On day four we visited the Two Oceans Aquarium and did a little shopping at the V & A Waterfront.
On day five we did the Constantia Nek wine route, that was our day spoken for!

 Yuuuuck! That wine was gross, it had asparagus in it!!

On day six we took a boat ride from Hout Bay to Seal Island...and then we went on the Constantia Wine Route AGAIN!

On day seven we took the scenic route all the way to Cape Point and made a stop along the way at Boulders Beach, home to hundreds of penguins.

On day eight we went kayaking at Sea Point (a honeymoon gift from my Aunt Kim and the gang), after which we had a mini picnic on Clifton Beach.
After that we moved on to the Ambassador hotel for the night, we had dinner at Salt and enjoyed the breathtaking sunset.

And with that we ended of the most amazing holiday to date and were more than a little sad to be going home the next day.

I would love to hear if you've been to Cape Town, and what was your favourite part of the visit.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Discovering new blogs

I love stumbling across new blogs, reading blog posts has kind of taken over from reading novels lately.

Besides for a few blogs, I'm busy reading "The fault in our stars", unfortunately I watched the movie before I started reading the book, I'm the type of girl that prefers reading the book first, it's just better that way! I did the same with "The notebook", but surprisingly I enjoyed the movie more than the book, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling did such a good job at portraying the characters!!

Anyway, back to the discovery of new blogs! I was recently nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, by Charlotte. This girl is so sweet, and seriously talented!! We may have to make a plan to meet up once we're in the UK!
The idea of these blog awards is to link up to smaller newer blogs (with less than 200 followers) that you've discovered and to help fellow bloggers discover these hidden-gems too! I love it, spreading the love and sharing the lovely content in the community that is blogging!

So before you read any further pop over to Charlotte's blog & browse around, have a look at her etsy shop and show some love, maybe leave a few comments...bloggers love comments!

As it goes with these awards, there are rules! Obvs! (Hahaha I couldn't resist, Sorry, not sorry!) Here they are:
If you are nominated you must...
- Link back to the blog who nominated you - Done!
- Answer all of their questions - Read on!
- Write 11 facts about yourself - Read on!
- Link 11 blogs with less than 200 followers and tell them you've nominated them - Read on!
- Ask 11 questions for the blogs you nominate to answer - Read on!

These were Charlotte's questions:
1. What time is it right now? It is 1pm (13:00)
2. Would you rather be a fish or a bird? I would rather be a bird (a parrot to be exact - they are smart and they can talk), fish are slimy and gross and have a 3 second memory, birds can fly and they can poop on people they don't like! Awesome skills!!
3. What kind of genre of book is your favourite? Fiction and romance, if I can have both in one book, even better!
4. When lightening strikes the sea, why don't all the fish die? I think you have to be grounded to get electricuted? I don't know, science was my worst school subject.
5. What is to the right of you, right now? Stock sheets, files, my pencil bag, cellphone and water bottle.
6. Why is your blog called what it's called? The day I decided to start my blog I decided that I would write about all the food I make, the stuff I bake and our life in general, I had just gotten the opportunity to work abroad and thought it would be a good way to keep our family and friends up to date with the goings on in our life, and so our flavourful life was born!
7. What goes on-top your Christmas tree? My parents used to have this horrible angel doll (which I made in primary/pre-primary school) on top of the tree, then we got a fibre optic tree that has a star on top that lights up, so the angel got demoted from top of the tree to shelf ornament.
8. What did you leave out for Father Christmas when you were younger? Milk and cookies (had to be chocolate chip), one year we left him a beer because we thought all men like beer and he must get tired of all the milk!
9. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Ha! If we're going the bible route it was probably the chicken? But who knows, it could have hatched from an egg that evolved from the dinosaur days?
10. What is the last film/movie you saw? Gone girl. You have to watch that movie, when you walk out of the cinema you'll just be like "WTH just happened? Who does that?" Then you'll want to watch it again to pick up on things you may have missed!
11. Your favourite Disney film is....? Beauty and the Beast! Hands down! I watch it at least once a year.

Time to link up! I'm seriously only nominating smaller blog's that I actually read (so I might not make the 11 mark), I'm nominating my favourites and if you've already been nominated I promise I won't take offence if you don't post about it all over again, but if you want to, then go for it!

1. A love triangle - Charlotte haha I had to, this blog just speaks to my soul!
2. XO Kerry
3. Londonlotta
4. Our journey to everywhere
5. Polished tickles and Beauty
6. Musings of a wanderer
7. The parisian wannabe
8. Wonderfully made

And now the fun part, my 11 questions for my nominees!
1. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
2. Where are you right now while replying to my questions?
3. How's the weather?
4. Do you beleive in ghosts/paranormal beings?
5. If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
6. If you could be any Disney princess, which one would you be and why?
7. What is you favourite Christmas food?
8. What is the one app you can't live without?
9. What is your day job?
10. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
11. If you could live in any country/visit any country which country would it be?

AAAAAHH! I almost forgot the 11 facts!
1. Yesterday I went for my first full body massage, it was incredible!
2. Today is my last Monday of work in South Africa!
3. I can't go without peanut butter, I eat it at least 3 times a week on average.
4. I have green eyes with "chocolate sprinkles" as Riaan would say.
5. My favourite Marvel Heroes are Thor and Iron Man.
6. I prefer eating healthy to take-outs.
7. I'll be crossing off my number one and number seven on my travel bucketlist in January!
8. I can't stand people who think they are self-important and better than others.
9. I really want to learn how to do photography, and take really nice pictures.
10. I hate bugs, all of them, except Christmas beetles, they are the first sign that Christmas is around the corner.
11. I haven't finished my Christmas shopping yet, that's really bad for me! Furthermore, I write my first ACCA exam in 2 weeks and I haven't really started studying, so much to do!!!

And I'm done!!
Don't forget to let me know when you're done so I can see your answers to my questions!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Welcome to...Travel Tuesdays!!

Since I will soon be doing a lot of blogging about London and life in London, I have decided that it’s time to do a few of my promised travel related posts. I have been lucky enough to roam off the beaten track a little and I hereby declare Tuesdays to be Travel Tuesdays!!

Starting today I will share one trip with you every Tuesday for the next couple of weeks – probably until we head off to the Wild Coast just before Christmas.

Riaan and I are really longing for a Kruger getaway but there really aren’t enough days left for us to do everything we NEED to do and everything we WANT to do, besides the time issue there’s also the money issue, if we’re going to drink French wine and eat macaroons in January we can’t be blowing all our cash in SA!

The Kruger National Park is easily one of my favourite places in South Africa, with its wild beauty and the unusual closeness to nature you experience while there, it is perfect if you’re looking to get away from the rat race that is Johannesburg. 

The first time I went to the Kruger was in December 2007, I went with Riaan, his parents and his 2 brothers, we met up there with the rest of his family that frequent the Kruger. I have so many fond memories of that holiday, singing Johnny Cash in the car and Riaan’s cousin telling some foreigners about the cheetahs we had just seen, their response “Come on! Really??” , complete with what I’m sure was an Australian accent had us crying from the laughter. 

Our last trip to the Kruger was last September, a little over a year ago now. September really is a nice time to visit the Kruger, there are a lot of baby animals about and it isn’t nearly as hot as December. We usually stay at the Hazeyview Cabanas, which are really nice little self-catering units situated along the river, just a few minutes drive away from Phabeni Gate and is also quite close to the Paul Kruger Gate. Last year we stayed at the Kruger Park Lodge, it was lovely. We played golf and by play I mean we drove the golf car while Riaan’s cousin and his wife walked after us. The buck roam around on the golf course there, it really is pretty!

On a clear evening you can see millions of stars light up the night sky, you hear insects chirping and if you stay inside the Kruger at one of the camps, you will most likely hear a lion or two roar during the night.

There are a ton of things to do in and around the Kruger National Park, here are a few of the things we have done over the years:

Take your car and go on a game drive, look for animals. Last time we all clubbed in and built up a kitty consisting of a R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 (Incase you don’t know, each of these notes have an animal from the big five on it) and the last person on the trip to spot an animal of the big five gets the corresponding note. I hope that makes sense!
4am, waiting for the gate to open, we were 4th the queue.
Go on an evening game drive, you’ll go on one of the Park’s game drive vehicles with a guide. These drives can be a bit pricey so shop around, but believe me it is money well spent. You will see so many animals!
Excuse the poor quality, this little lion was walking along next to our game vehicle one evening in 2009
Visit Gods Window, try go on a clear day as mist and clouds will hinder your view. Climb the 200+ stairs to the top and take in the breathtakingly beautiful views, it's a steep climb but so worth it when you feel like you're on top of the world!
Visit Bourkes luck Potholes (these aren’t your everyday potholes, they’re huge!!), dip your feet in the refreshing water and don’t forget to toss in a coin and make a wish!

Visit The Pinnacle Rock in Blyde River Canyon, it protrudes 30m above the valley.
There are a ton of natural waterfalls in this area (some of which you can go swim at), including the Mac Mac, Horseshoe, Lone Creek and Bridal Veil falls as well as the Mac Mac pools.

Go to Pilgrims Rest. This one road town is worthy of a few hours of your time. When you are here there are a few things that you have to do! Pan for gold, this is after all the little town that attracted hundreds of settlers in search of gold during the gold rush period. Have a pancake at the pancake house – it’s a thing! Definitely go to the sweet shop, their nougat is delicious and everything is home made. Also wander through the monuments there, all of the buildings have been refurbished but remain unaltered and stand exactly as they did hundreds of years ago. Pay a visit to the robbers grave at the cemetery and take not that as an outlaw, his grave faces a different direction all of the other graves in the cemetery. Last but most certainly not least, have a drink at the Royal Hotel. Unfortunately I can't find our pictures from the trip we took to Pilgrims Rest, hopefully I'll find them soon and do a post on Pilgrims Rest alone.

Have a braai - the most relaxed and social way of cooking you meat!!

Pack a breakfast picnic, arrive at your gate of choice before the sun comes up (we always try to get there first), pick a watering hole and have breakfast there. While you’re having breakfast in the car, enjoy the sunrise and keep an eye out for the animals as they come for their morning drink of water.

Have lunch at Skukuza on the deck, overlooking the river, you can usually see elephants or hippos wallowing in the water.

Here are a few of my pictures from our Kruger trips over the years.
Cheeky monkey that climbed into Riaan's Aunts car, not impressed that we chased him out!
A few of the other (more pricier) things you can do include:
Pay a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary and interact with the elephants or go on an elephant back safari.
Take a hot air balloon over Hazyview.
Go on a guided bush walk in the Kruger.

I hope you enjoyed the post and found it useful. Let me know if there is anything I can elaborate on, or if there is anything else you would like to know!