Monday, 16 November 2009

We did it! We're in Cape Town

After 216 days, 24 countries and countless good times we have made it to Cape Town. It seems that unless we turn around and head up the west coast of Africa (tempting) we've run out of Africa.

Our adventure has not come to an end though as we've been staying with Graheme and Colleen, who we met in Malawi, and who have shown us a very good time.

Sadly we will be leaving soon but we've still got one adventure to go - meeting our one year old niece in Australia.

They say it's 9,600 kms to London; we must've done at least double that

The end of Africa

Paul having a good time in the rain

Cape beaches

More of the end of Africa

At the entrance of Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and others were held in prison (this is for you B!)

Me jumping for Auckland

Looking back to the mainland

us on Robben Island

Paul entering the prison

Nelson Mandela's cell

In the winelands

A local artist on show

Playing in the dunes: The Smurf

Tilly & Harry

Real hard core backpakers do it with oysters and Methode Cap

Kimberly to Cape Town

It is impossible for a girl to resist diamonds... so when we had the chance to see a diamond mine in South Africa I was all for it! We had a lovely couple of days in Kimberly, looking at sparkly things, eating fab steak and reminding ourselves what proper wine tasted like.

Then it was off on the train to our final destination...

Me and the Big Hole where the diamonds came from

Thankfully this was not our train...

The view of the Karoo we woke up to

The coffee shot


Sunday, 8 November 2009

An email about Botswana

There was recently a series of emails between Paul and his father which went something along the lines of:

Dad: Are you going to Botswana?

Son: Yes. Why? (Son is thinking that in our travels there may have been some sort of political disturbance and maybe it's not safe to go there)

Dad: I've met a man who has some rellies there.

Silence. And then a few weeks later an email address arrives with very little other information. So we email the niece to see if she has any top tips for the traveller and the reply includes an invitation to stay with her family. You have to love the kiwi connection... and it turns out that this family have a bach just down the road from Paul's parents in NZ.

The Botswanan-Kiwis have a very interesting business. They have a fleet of large trucks to take fuel and supplies into the Okavanga Delta. So in addition to the usual tourist persuits of Chobe, and taking a dugout canoe into the delta for a wilderness camp, we sat in the cab of a truck for 5 hours into and then another 5 hours out of the delta. It was a very cool to see how supplies make it in and had the bonus elements of going through a national park teeming with elephants. We were also invited into the luxury lodge as the truck was unloading and got to see how the other half live.

Elephants in Chobe

Elephants in Chobe

Amy tending the fire in the rain at our wild camp

Paul checking for more rain

Delta views

The way to travel

delta views

Huck Finn

Kermit's homelands

In the speed boat back to Maun, just before being handed an ice cold beer, a far cry from the rains we'd gone out in.

The uber flash lodge

Elephants checking out the truck

Road block

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe