Saturday, August 22, 2009

South Africa – Cape Town (11.-20.08.09)

On August 11th,  we have an appointment with the shipping company in Cape Town. So we take the direct route to Cape Town along the coast.  We pass a lot of small lovely villages, the first one being Hermanus, which is known for the many whales who pass along the coast. And we are not disappointed. Very close to the beach, some very big whales can be seen, it’s unbelievable.




From Hermanus it’s just another 2 hours drive to Cape Town, always along the steep-coast, with spectacular views.



CIMG3677_1024x768 We check in at a nice campground 20 km north of Cape Town. Just for one night – in the end we will have stayed 10 nights… it’s a nice place, very well protected from the strong winds and partially also from the  rain. The plenty CIMG3761of rain we will see during these days!!





CIMG3753_1024x768 After roughly 150 nights in our very expensive expedition tent, the zippers are beyond repair and we have to use our emergency spare tent (20 Euro) for the last 4 nights!  After optimizing it with an extra tarp, it even stands the strongest rains that hit Cape Town again and again…



Our first day trip brings us to the famous wine-region Stellenbosch with its nice surroundings. We only took one picture, it speaks for itself :-)





As an “old” and long-time sailor, it’s a highlight for Thomas to see the Cape of Good Hope. Even with the car, it’s a spectacular journey. We can imagine thIMG_2243_1152x768at it’s a very tricky area for sailing due to  the constant changes in the weather.






Cape Point with its Lighthouse.






A view from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope.






After the drive and a hike along the Cape Point we enjoy fish and chips from a paper bag in the famous “Fish on the Rocks” in Hout Bay, which is known for the  best fish and chips in Africa… CIMG3708_1024x768







A nice surprise are the many penguins in Boulders. In 1984 the first couple came here for breeding, and already now there are more than 1500 penguins, which are not shy at all and you even  IMG_2232_1152x768have to watch them while driving!







Whenever it’s raining, we go to the Cape Town Waterfront with its nice malls and restaurants along the harbor. Unfortunately, we never can manage to go to Robben Island, the former prison island where Nelson Mandela CIMG3669_1024x768 spent most of his prison time. The trips are always fully booked and require reservation in advance, and often they are cancelled on short notice due to high winds.


CIMG3675_1024x768 Next to the waterfront, the stadium for next year’s soccer world cup is still under construction. It looks like there is still a lot of work to be done! Same for the infrastructure around it…


IMG_2206_1152x768 One morning, we look out of our tent and cannot believe that the weather is so sunny and warm. Very quickly we take the decision to climb the Table Mountain, even knowing that we have to make CIMG3730_1024x768the  strenuous  hike up and down, since the cableway is under maintenance. The 800 m up are extremely steep and tiring but we are rewarded with a marvelous view over the city. The hike down is  even harder and CIMG3728_576x768the next days are Claudia’s most painful days of the whole trip. Getting out of the tent in the morning is a real challenge. Good that nobody can see us :-)





CIMG3735_1024x768 The summit of the Table Mountain.







View on Cape Town from the Table Mountain.




Even the longest trip has to come to an end and now it’s time to CIMG3767_1024x768leave.  We are very lucky with our planning. The last day is a logistic masterpiece!  We get up very early (as usually) to dry our tent which we use until the last minute.  We leave for the shipping company where we load the car by CIMG3770_1024x768ourselves into the container and we do the customs clearing at the same time. When we leave the shipping company at 1 pm, the container is already leaving to the harbor. And we go to the airport with our little blue rental car which we parked at the company already the night before.


CIMG3700_1024x768 Now we are at the airport, waiting for our flight to Dubai. It’s astonishing that we will arrive in Dubai in 9 1/2 hours which is 7.600 km away and it took us 188 days and 34.400 km to come here by car!!


Once we are home, we will put together some facts and figures about our wonderful trip. Just in one word: it was like a very beautiful dream that came true and absolutely everything worked perfect. No accident, no problems with the car or the health and, most important, we are still HAPPILY MARRIED!




21.08.2009 Above Africa at a height of 36.000 feet in the Emirates First Class. It was an upgrade and the good luck seems to stay with us till the end ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

South Africa – East Coast to Cape Agulhas (30.07.-10.08.09)

CIMG3636_1024x768 We made it!!!!!!!  We reached the southernmost point of Africa! Cape Agulhas. On August 9th, 2009!! It’s a very emotional moment, since we were not always sure if we ever reach this far point! It’s an amazing place, because it’s here CIMG3630_1024x768 that the two oceans meet: the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. We are not the only people there, but for sure the only ones who came all the way through Africa…


CIMG3640_1024x768 The adventure feeling has definitely passed since we reached the South Coast. Now we are more in a vacation mood, drifting slowly along the coast towards Cape Town.


CIMG3578_1024x768 The last 2 weeks we enjoyed the diverse coastlines and many nice villages and bays.




CIMG3524_1024x768 When we leave the South Coast and enter the former Transkei, it’s like passing from the 1st world to the 3rd world, as some call it. Infrastructure is more basic, the beautiful beach villas are replaced by round huts.CIMG3527_1024x768






CIMG3554_1024x768 Even the  weather is getting colder and wet, very wet…




CIMG3529_1024x768 The area around Coffee Bay looks like Cornwall, and those who know “Rosamunde Pilcher” (TV series) can exactly imagine what we mean…


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CIMG3561_1024x768 The rain is getting so bad close to East London so we decide – for the very first time in all these months – to spend the night in a bed & breakfast in Gonubie. The 4 stars of “Amanda’s” B&B keep their promise. The room, or better, the suite, is more 5 stars than 4, and the breakfast is outstanding.

CIMG3575_1024x768 After this night, we are so spoiled that we settle for a 5 stars campground as well! We pick the best one of our whole trip at the Green fountain Farm. Here we even have our own bathroom with hot shower and bathtub as well as a small cooking area.

CIMG3497_1024x768 Once we see garbage spread all over the city, and we learn that the community workers protest for higher wages.



CIMG3589_1024x768 For the last time during our trip, we enjoy the African wildlife in the Addo Elephant National Park. Exactly this day, temperatures reach 35 degrees – it feels like the Bavarian “Fön” – what is very good, because the elephants come in large CIMG3590_1024x768 numbers to the waterholes. Not only to drink, but especially to get a “shower”. We enjoy very much to see them playing and splashing in the water.









IMG_2143_1024x683 During our very early morning gamedrive we see a lot of jackals and kudus,  however, unfortunately no lions. Kudus are not only looking good, they also taste delicious! We enjoy them as biltong, droewors and especially smoked :-)

CIMG3611_1024x768 The world famous “Gardenroute” is really as nice as people say. And as always, these nice areas attract rich people – and us :-)



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IMG_2166_1024x683 An especially nice place is Plettenberg Bay, where we even can make a beautiful hike on the “Robberg”, a small cape with stunning views of the coast and the sea with its seals. The track is not easy, it looks easy, IMG_2167_1024x683 however, it turns out to be very very slippery.  And here they don’t warn you of “slippery when wet”. We are always laughing about the expression in Africaans: “pasop, gladde vloer, wanna nat”…


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CIMG3623_1024x768 On the way to Cape Town, we see a lot of ostrich farms. These don’t look nice, but also taste delicious. Scott, thanks again for introducing us to the wonderful ostrich carpaccio  and ostrich filet.

30 - 100809 RSA Track


12.08.2009 Stellenbosch in winter, which means rain, rain and more rain. We are getting worried about our tent but at least it is clean from the outside.