Tuesday, May 31, 2005


30/05/05 - 31/05/05

Weather cheered up a bit so we went into town and headed for the other beach. I imagine that these beaches are packed in their summer time.

this place is quite small, so there isnt a lot to do if you dont have much money. Wanted to do the worlds highest bungee jump, which is about 40kms from here, but finances tell me I cant do it,

Had a braai (bbq) today as well. cooked up some meat which went down a treat.

On the 31st, we hit the 3rd beach in plets. We had a coffee overlooking some surfers, and then these 2 dolphins made an appperance. They were jumping in and out of the water. A real pleasure to watch,

Sunday, May 29, 2005

crap weather


Absolutley terrible weather today. Just like being at home. Rain and very windy. Stayed in and watched movies and played cards. A real lazy sunday. and bloody freezing

Saturday, May 28, 2005



It was our 1st full day in plets. Weather was a bit cloudy but had somenice moments of sun. went to town and had a look around. Went down to one of the beaches and saw the beacon ilse hotel, which is situated on the peninsula of the beach. we tried to stay there instead but it wasnt possible.

Got some shopping and a book with 50 card games. getting a bit bored of rummy and blackjack....

As it was a saturday, we decided to hit the town. Went to a bar called flash backs. Wasnt brilliant but we met these 2 crazy girls, who at 1st we thought they were after our money. One of them gave us her life story over and over again and the other girl kept going on about fish...

all in all, a good day!

Friday, May 27, 2005

coach outta cape


Got up at stupid o'clock to get the coach to plettenburg bay (plets) This time,things were a little better organised than our francistown nightmare.

we drove along the garden route with some lovely scenery on the way. Arrived at our new apartment. Its just like a little village here. Just outside of the complex are quite a few shacks, which meant that it wasnt safe to wander round like in cape town.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

cape point


We went to one of the most southern points in africa today. Lovely place, but ther weather was a bit drab.

We didnt walk up to one of the highest points, as there was a sign saying that it takes 1.5 hours..... so we got a funicular thing up there.

Again, the views were stunning. This is the point where the atlantic and indian oceans meet..... unfotinuately, we didnt see any whales.....

The trip down from this point only took 8 mins.....

On the way to the car, we got some sandwiches, with the last bit of money we had. We didnt eat breakfast either. As I opened the door for tanya, a baboon came from no where, and jumped ontop of the car, Then it launched itself at tanya, and swiped the sandwiches from her...... I was facing the other way at this point and didnt see a thing.

The smug monkey ran off with our only food, and left tanya in a bit of shock. She is ok now though, and we can have a laugh about it........

We drove back to cape town, via scarborough and some other places. Finally got back to cape town and had something to eat from our apartment......ravenous

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Road trip


Today we got our wheels, and headed off to pastures new. The VW beetle is cool, but bl00dy awkward to drive.....

We set off for our 1st stop, which was camps bay. This is where one of the beaches are, and it was so nice. Then we went to houts bay. we ate some lunch here, and the sea gulls attacked from above.....

Thanks to simon webster, we went to a place called chapmans peak drive. This piece of road must be the most beautiful in the world. The views and scenery was fantastic. We looked over a beach called noordhoek beach, and there was miles of sand. we actually got to go down there as well.

We eventually arrived in simon's town (not actually a town owned by simon, but just named after him)......

This is a quaint little fishing village, that reminded me a lot like some places at home. Mainly in cornwall....like looe or tintagel.

There is also a navy port here. We checked into a hostel and had a wander round. 2 mins later, we hit the end of the town.....

Dinner was nice, and then we headed to the pib to watch the liv versus ac milan match,..... what a way to end the day..... come on liverpool.....well done..... you did us proud

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

table mountain


We went on one of those tour buses today which took you round cape town.

Saw some of the main town, castles, museams etc. The highlight of the tour was to get to go up table mountain. The cable car only takes 3 minutes to get up there, and its about 1800 meters up.......

Once you're up there, 1stly its freezing, and also so very flat. Just like going for a walk in the new forest....

There were some magnificent views as you can imaging, and some interesting animals as well. There is a thing called a Dassie, which is really cute, until it looks directly at you, and then it looks menacing.

The tour bus also took us to some of the beaches. WOW.. Clifton and Camps bay are totally amazing. So picturesque and empty - winter time here. But I could have sun bathed no problem...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Batman and robben island


Today we visited the island where Nelson Mandela was help captive for around 18 years as a political prisoner.

The ferry over was a little rocky, as we battled against the atlantic waves....

once there, we had an excellent guide, who took us through the history etc.. of the island. It wasnt only an island for prisoners, but for people with leprocy too.

We went inside the prision and saw some areas where prisoners were held and "tortured". our guide around the prison was an actual prisoner from the eighties, who was held there as a political prisoner. Just because he believed in a cause.

We also saw the actual cell of nelson mandela. This was a sad sight, as the cell was so tiny. Stone floor and no glass in the windows. Although he was one of the "lucky" ones, as he had this cell to himself. the other prisoners had to share a cell with 3 people in it......

It was certainly an eye opener, and the ex-prisoner guide i felt was brave to come back and show people what went on there.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

market day


Went to a flea market today, where we purchased a few authentic pieces of jewellery. Tanya also bought some shoes she kept seeing and going on about. definatley blown budget now....

Then got on a bus and headed into the main town. only had a quick look as nothing was open (sunday).

Booked up a B&B for weds night, as we are heading down to simon's town and cape point (for those map enthusiasts).

Also managed to hire a VW beetle for our trip down there. should be fun fun fun......

Watched a couple of movies and had fish and chips for tea....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

cape is marvellous


Went for a wander round today. Its amazing how different this place is compared to jo'burg. you could never just wander the streets of jo'burg......

walked to a place called the v&a waterfront. This place is humungous and very busy. Shops, restaurants, pubs galore.

Watched FA cup final whilst pigging out on beer and biltong. I think I got the meat sweats from scoffing so much biltong. Glad arsenal won..... thats for sending us down utd scum.....

Went to the V&A waterfront for dinner. Went to a really nice jazz place called the green dolphin. had live music whilst we ate. I had a starter, main, 2 beers. Tan had main and glass of wine. also had a bottle of water and an amarula each to finsih off. The whole lot came to 20 pounds and this place is supposed to be a bit upmarket as well.....

Still managing to blow our budget though. Called home today. was good to hear some familiar voices...

Friday, May 20, 2005

boring booring boring


Today we just sat in airports and went on planes. Not much to tell. Went from Vic falls to Cape town via jo'burg. One of the airline, Kulula, was quite amusing. They try to make it a fun experience for you and joke around when they do all the anouncements.

The place we are staying in at cape town is nice. Its a self catering apartment, and it had a TV... We had to do without for 5 days without TV........

Watched a film (copycat) and then went to bed.

Thursday, May 19, 2005



Went on a helicopter trip over the falls today. It was an amazing experiance. Got some excellent pictures as word cant really describe how it was. It was our 1st time in a helicopter and I got to sit in the front. I was the "co-pilot". The views from the front were spot on.

We then sunbathes for a bit down by the pool. We went to the bar for another sundowner, where there were some elephants there this time. Went back to the lodge where we finsihed off the rest of the alcohol and ate some dodgy hake fish fingers,..... there;s not cod in these parts.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tans Bday


It was tanya bday today. i made her breakfast and made her a home made card. couldnt find one to buy here in the falls.

For a treat, tanya had a manacure whilst I popped off into town.

In the afternoon, we went on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. It was so calm and serene. Very romantic....except for the warrior, who joined us, who had the perfect body....pecks...six pack etc. I saw tanya glimpsing...

There was a free bar too, but tanya stuck to soft drinks due to a dicky tummy. We saw some more hippos. Watched the sun go down again. Never get bored of it. Its so different than in england.

On the way back home, at the enterance of our lodge, there was a buffalo stood there just grazing (it was in the evening). It looked up at us as if to say " yes, what you looking at?"

I cooked spag bol (homemade sauce) which was really nice. Played some games and then went to bed. By the way, I killed my 1st AFrcan spider last night. Not huge but quite meaty. Took 3 whacks of my shoe to kill it.........

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

No money.......


We woke up this morning with no money, no food and no hope. No-ne here will take travellers cheques and swap them for US dollars. You can only get local currency at a ridiculous rate. We werent going to be ripped off, so we ventured back into town and went to the backpakers lodge we stayed at earlier in the week. They sorted us out with some money to get us through the next few days, as they took out TC's. So we went shopping and bought a bit of food. the chioce here is so limited. but when in rome.........

Then we went to the falls. This place is stunning. The force and might just cant be described. Not sure where all the water comes from, but to give you some idea, around 10,000 litres of water drop per second........Some really good scenes (see pics). The spray comes up from the bottom (about 70-100 metres down) and drenches you. You can also see this spray for miles round. It was just like an english downpour.

We walked along the falls and went to go over the bridge but we didnt have our passports. one one side you have the zimbabwe border control, and the other side you have the zambia border control.

Watched the sunset from the bar again. we are now offical "sundowners"......

Monday, May 16, 2005

lokuthula lodge


Wow. we are sat in opur own lodge, which is absolutely luxourious. we are overlooking the zambeza national park, on the top of a hill, and can see as far as the horizon. At sunset, we went up to the bar where it overlooks a water hole, and there were herds of buffalo, deer and a giraffe. the giraffe was quite amazing as it had to practacally squat down to get a drink....

Also went to the croc park today, where they had 1000's of nile crocodiles, all of different shapes and sizes. Held a small one (about 5 months old.) At this park, they also had a leopard. It was in captivity but it was beautiful. Not very sociable though. And there were some lions too. We walked on this tiny concrete bridge which went over their enclosure and watched them while they were being fed. They were growling with delight I think.

Also saw the corcs being fed as well. This was amazing. the noise they make when they snap their jaws shut is awesome. Its like a real hollow sound, like a sledge hammer hitting a tree. Then the snap of their teeth when they met as well.......sends a shiver down your spine.

For dinner I had baby croc tail for starters ...yummy. it was quite nice, and dont laugh, but it actually tastes like chicken. we sat overlooking the national park in the dark, and the noises of the animals created a great ambience. Also had some african singers singing for us whilst we ate.

Sunday, May 15, 2005



Headed off to vic falls today. only took about an hour. Arrived at backpackers lodge abd its pretty funky. The hits we're staying in are completely open to the wild. the people here are really nice. me some fellow travellers. all from oz. took a walk into town and was constantly hassled by the locals. they all wanted us to buy zim dollars off them and their hand made goods. in the end, I just gave them some change just to get rid of them. The blackmarket rate here is about $15,000 zim to one US $. Bank rates are $6000 zim to the US $. So a beer costs about $22,000 at the hotels......
Had a nice eve. sat round a fire sharing stories with the other backpackers. Had to use eye mask and earplugs to sleep...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

vic falls


today we went on a river cruise which was fantastic. We set off at about 3pm and went on the chobe river at chobe national park. After about 10 mins, the first thing we saw was a group of hippo's feeding on the side of the river bank. It was amazing just to be so close. They were munching through the reeds. It was like watching a game of hungry hungry hippo's.... whilst we were on the cruise, we saw so many wild elephants. huge ones and baby ones. you could see them as far as the horizon. Also saw crocs, fish eagles, chobe bush deers, snakes....
we watched as the elephants swan from one side of the river to the other. It was a really wierd sight watching an elephant swim..... didnt know that they could. The sunset was amazing on the way back. the colour of the sun was a warm glowing red colour, but nmy camera didnt really get the colour properly.

Friday, May 13, 2005

trains, planes and automobiles.......

12-13 May 2005

Not alot happend on the 12th. We check out of our hotel to embark, and what can now be seen as a mammoth trek up north.

We set off from Gaborone at 9pm (only just made it) on the overnight train to Francistown. Now, when I drove this journey before, it took me 4 hours. But this train journey is going to take 8-9 hours......

It looked at first that me and tanya were going to be separated in 2nd class, but the train guard sorted us out and gave us our own compartment to ourselves.

The compartment was a bit scummy, and there we cockroaches walking around as well. But hey ho, soldier on.....

The journey was very bumpy, and every time it left a station, the train would toot its horn, meaning that no-one was going to get any sleep.

We arrived in Francistown at about 5.30am and it was still pitch black. We ambled over tio the bus station. After about an hour or so, a tiny mini bus turned up, and there was a massive scramble to get a seat. We didnt make it..... so, we waited a total of 3 hours until the next mini bus arrived. we made sure we got on this one.

Yet, as it was only half full, we had to wait until all the seats were taken. We waited for about 2 hours in the seering heat before everyone was on board. It was crammed in big time. Bags, and people everywhere. So after 5 hours at the bus station, we set off.

The total journey took 6 hours. Boy, were we minging when we stepped off.

Despite the length of time it took, we only spent 20 pounds each to travel 565 miles across the country.....amazing. You cant do that in many places i can tell you. Mind you, we are flying back on the return journey, as there is no way we can face that bus journey again.....

Kasane is a tiny farmers vililage. One road in and one road out. Dust and chickens everywhere. We are right on the boarder of Chobe national park, so we are going to take in a cruise or game drive whilst we are here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

lions, tigers and bears

11th May

Today we went on a game drive. This was Tanyas 1st experience of seeing wild animals so close up. There were elephants, cheetahs, hippos, ostrich, impala, antelopes, giraffes etc. It was pretty incredible, yet so cheap.

We had our own guide, and he told us all the stories and info about the animals and plants. It made you feel really important.

Our guide broke the rules for us, and went off the main track to drive right up close to a giraffe. So cool. Tanya's breath was taken away!!!

You cant really compare it to a zoo, but if you get a chance, you have to go on a safari.

Looking to do another game drive when we head up north, as I am hopong to see some lions and a hippo close up.

We are both loving our time here, and not yet missing home!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Driving round

9-10 May 2005

Not much happening over these days. Just getting hold of the car, and driving round Gaborone getting to know the place. Some of the places are quite old and dusty, but the main shopping malls are almost brand new and shiney.

Sun is beating down on us, at arouind 30 degress and we havent seen a cloud in weeks. I miss the little fellas.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

hot hot hot

Up at 8:30 for brekkie, and then hit the sun beds at 9:30. We were the only people out at that time in the morning. The locals must think we are crazy. I almost felt German. Had a dip in the freezing pool, which literally takes your breath away.

In the Eve, went to a local african tavern. Had a bloke playing music, everything from Neil Diamond to Queen. Not traditional, I know, but he was very good. Then a couple of white south africans walked in, and they asked to dance with tanya. I think they were shocked that they saw a white girl in there. Then they starting "joking" around with the locals about aphartite and stuff like that. It was all jokey jokey until we got outside. Then the locals turned nasty. Me, Tanya and adam distanced ourselves from it all but it was quite intimmidating. I think they ended up having their wallets nicked, but they probably deserved it for being so rude.

We ended up at the casino agina, where Tanya turned 100 pula (local currency) into 350 pula on the slots. I'm definatley sticking with this one!!!

Then we met some crazy guy in a green blazer who nicked a load of straws and tobasco sauce?!?!?!?!?!? We were taking the mickey out of him, as he had a voice like louis armstrong, and he looked like sammy davis junior. We did set off at the beginning of the night not to have any alcohol, but ended up drinking a whole lot. It must be the African air. Havent been sobre now, since at least just before I left work a few months ago. Sorry poor liver...........

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Crusty lodge

Woke up this morning and thought "what on earth are we going to do now." The "Crusty" lodge (Cresta lodge), isnt very good for tourists, plus we didnt have a car to travel around in. For the price you pay, its a massive rip off.

Bezza suggested we stay the same place he's staying. Its a 5 star hotel, but they have a low cost section of the hotel, but you can use all their facililites. We took him up on his offer and packed our bags. This new place (metcourt inn) is incredible.

Over half the price of the crusty lodge and they have a casino, 2 pools, sauna, gym, cinema, hair salon, 5 restaurants, etc etc..... cant get the smile off our faces. The metcourt is only a few months old, so everything is brand new unlike crusty lodge.

watched quite a bit of footy as well. saints scraped a 2-2 draw in injury time, but need a miracle to stay up.

Had a great meal, Calamari (squid) to start and duck breast for main. All thanks to Adam.... This travelling lark is great.

David Motsomi and Pako turned up (used to work with them last time I was here) and it was great to catch up.

After dinner, we went to the Casino where tanya doubled our money on the slot machines - jammie.

The weather is still fab, so gonna sunbathe all day tomorrow.

Friday, May 06, 2005

to and 'fro

Today was all about travelling. Met a semi-racist taxi driver who had some interesting opinions on the current situation in South Africa (blacks getting all the jobs etc). The flight to botswana was on a tiny plane, that only had propellers and not a jet engine. Could also see the wheels when you hit the runway...... The seats and stewards were so much better than Virgin. The heat in Gaborone (Gabs) is totally different than South Africa (S.A.) Much more hotter and humid. Check into Cresta Lodge and then realised that the exchange rate isnt what I thought. May look for cheaper lodgings as its about 70 pounds a night at the mo. Met up with Adam (Bezza) and he took us to the Bull and Bush, where I had a famous fillet steak. So nice and tender.

Met some of the Barclays guys that Bezza has been working with. Had a few castle beers and a bit of a boogie with Tanya and then Adam took us back to the hotel. There was some function going on that went on welll into the night. We declined to join in and hit the sack instead....boxed city.....

Thursday, May 05, 2005

citrus wine......mmmmmmm

Got up at stupid o'clock for a wine tasting experience S.A. style. Natalie and Nicho took us. By 10:30am we were downing shots of liqueurs and citrus wine. I have to say its an acquired taste for sure. after that we went to a cafe for more alcohol (only 1pm at this point) and this place had on old red double decker london bus, which is used for dining. How the hell did that get there\? I dont remember seeing South Africa in summer holiday with Cliff. Spent the rest of the day doing not much at all. Last night at the country club before we set off to Gabs.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

catch up

Tuesday 3rd may

Today was very relaxed. had a great nights sleep and woke up about 10am. tried toi get shower working but it s a bit dodgy to say the least. played a game of pitch and putt and only beat tanya by 5 shots. Tanya notes that she must beat me next time. On the way to the dam cruise, we finally saw these monkeys everyone was talking about. cute little things luckily. The cruise itself was very calm and serene as it is a stagnant lake but it got a bit smelly.some of the houses that were set in the hills were fab. Also saw some zebra on the way. had an intro meeting this eve with free food and wine. got to meet some interesting people. We met a couple who were really nice and offered to take us wine tasting on thurs,. Had an early night tonight and against tanya's protest i watched Liv v chelsea.....come on liverpool........

Wednesday 4th May

Today we spent most of our day with a couple called Morina and Glenn. They are just like having our uncle and auntie over to look after you. They took us to see some of these amazing houses that can only be described as Hollywood. Yet 100 yards down the road, there is a township, who are squatting on land, with their corigated iron houses. Such a contrast.

We then went over the dam to do a bit of shopping. we bough enough meat/fruit/veg etc to feed the 5000. And it only came to 16 pounds. The couple we went with spent 5 pounds on a thing they call a texas steak, and I'm not kidding, it can only compare to a dustbin lid on size!!! We also had our 1st taste of Biltong today and we have acquire the taste for it.

We were very fortinuate to see some wild animals roaming the street, we saw an elephant, buffalo, hyena's, springbok, rhino, cheeta's and giraffe...... we had our pics taken with them and everything...... of course, they werent real, they were just plastic casts, buit they were very realistic.. Tanya;s sister fell for the picture we sent her.....

We had a Braai (BBQ) in the eve, which we cooked up all the meat we bought except the Texas steak as it wouldnever fit on the grill. We now have enough leftovers to last us til the end of the month....... Gonna have to get rid f some clothes to fit in in the backpack.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Finally Made it......

We are now sat in our country club cabana, overlooking the main swimming pool, and to the otherside, the magalise mountain range. Just wondering what we done to deserve this.... They have 9 & 18 hole golf, tennis courts, 4 swimming pools, sauna, steam room, resturants, etc etc......

It all started with a dodgy flight really. I expected a lot more from Virgin, but they didnt meet my expectations.... tiny leg room, small tv screens, not very useful air stewards. Plus the woman in front of me insisted that she had her seat reclined the whole journey....even on take off. Me bing me, I didnt say a word.. Also my tv screen was stuck on super soccer (Nintendo) from about the early 90's.... couldnt even fix that.

Managed to get a whole 2 hours sleep on the plane! It was nice to see a freindly face at the airport. My old mate Simon came to collect us from the airport in Johennesburg. He chauffeured us around in his gold BMW 328, with all the mod cons....

He took us to Sandton City, where there is a humungous shopping centre. Take West Quay, times it by 3 and then pile them on top of each other!! This is where teenage girls take their daddies credit card, and spend away. Not cheap. Attached to the shopping centre, was the most incredible hotel i think I have ever seen. It was inter-continental Sun hotel, and it was draped in gold. Could have been real, not sure. Then, we walked on a bit and then we saw a huge water fountain, worthy of Vic Falls I reckon!! Its funny, coz everwhere you look, you see signs saying that water is Africa's most precious product, but there are water features and swimming pools everywhere.

We ate lunch at another shopping centre, where I had my 1st Proper african fillet steak (yummy) and only six pounds...Tanya decided to try something different, so she went for a burger with monkey gland sauce.... she is still alive!

The place we are staying is fantastic. The only concern is that we keep seeing signs saying "do not feed the monkeys" and "ensure that doors and windows are securely locked - due to the monkeys". Hope they mean monkey and not gorilla.......

Just about to go on a river cruise.... see ya soon