10 Days and 2480 km’s

Dan and I recently completed our longest road trip to date!

We departed early on Saturday morning & headed for Baviaanskloof approximately 630km from home. I made a deal with Dan that en route to Baviaanskloof I would not stop at farmstall’s apart from taking a leg stretch, toilet break or snack stop. I am proud to say that I managed to do just that. The trip was long & almost never ending, but think it was due to the excitement we had for the Leopard Trail that lay ahead, as well as the unknown as to where exactly we were going to be staying that night as the GPS was not picking up the exact location & there was no cellphone signal within the Baviaanskloof region.

After many memorizing long quite roads, passing through major industrial cities of South Africa (George & Mossel Bay), we turned right onto a dirt road which would take us down Base Camp known as Hikers Hut in Baviaanskloof where the next day we would begin our hike.

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Road going through Baviaanskloof

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Leopard Trail – Landscape blackened by the raging fires that swept through in December 2016

10 of us completed the Leopard Trail, some of us had met each other on Arangieskop in October 2016, others  were new but very quickly we all made friends. Days were extremely hot, reaching 40 plus degrees by midday & a warm 23 degrees in the evening. There was never a breath of wind, a luxury for us having come from windy Cape Town. We experienced a partial solar eclipse late one afternoon which was a very special event. I think what added to this memory is that we were literally in the middle of nowhere experiencing the true beauty and remoteness of nature. Simply the best!

There were many scorpions around each camp site and on the last evening we even managed to come across a Solifugae also commonly known as a Sun Spider, totally fascinating & wanting to constantly be in everyone’s shadow whilst making its way across the ‘braai’ area, eventually heading back into the bush.

4 days of tenting in absolute wilderness was something quite incredible for me.As I had never done this sort of thing before. Yet always dreamed about doing it. Always starting our day before the sun was up and ending our day & tucked into our sleeping bag’s by 20h00! The sights, the sounds & the fresh air really does something wonderful for the soul. I know it contributed to me being absolutely content in going to bed so early listening to all the nocturnal creatures whilst staring at the stars! Dan not so much as he is normally only winding down around midnight!

Leopard Trail was a great & as usual an unforgettable experience. The landscape was blackened from fires that had raged through in December 2016. Therefore there was minimal shade & flora, yet it was a good visual of the landscape & type of rock found within the area. February was an extremely hot month to do Leopard Trail, but I didn’t know when next we would be able to do it hence took the opportunity regardless, as a result there were minimal watering points, waterfalls & rivers. I think it would be a stunning hike in Autumn or Spring.

After the Leopard Trail we then made our way to a farm in Joubertina where we stayed the night. A soft bed & hot shower was well received after many days tenting! We left early the next morning & made our way to Storms River Mouth Rest Camp. With permission from the owner, we could not resist the urge to pick some fresh fruit to take home. So some fresh pears of varying types as well as some green figs & fresh nectarines. Directly from farm to table! Mom was thrilled!

After exploring every possible shop en route we arrived at the campsite where we were now able to set up our tent in record time. After all, we are getting quite good at it now. Thanks to Leopard Trail.

From Storms River Mouth it was on to Diepwalle in Knysna for 2 days, which was beautiful and very tranquil set high on the mountain in amongst the indigenous forest. We then went to Barrydale for the night before returning home.

Our days were filled with much sight seeing, beach walks, hiking along the coastline through forestry, walking 50m into a guano cave, finding a bushman’s cave/ resting spot, spending time with calving cows, drinking unpasteurized milk, plenty of good food, chats, no cellphone signal (a big plus for me as I always enjoy escaping technology) and many other memories in between.

Below is a video that Dan put together of our trip. I managed to have my hand on the camera for a bit so please excuse the shaking as I was more focused on hiking & concentrating when boulder hopping!

Taking leave & road tripping is simply the best recipe my soul could have asked for. I certainly did not want to return to work, but one thing is always certain. Whenever we come back from a holiday we always have more adventures & ideas lined up for future trips. It definitely gives me motivation and determination whenever I return home to do the absolute best I can wherever I can so that I am able to go away & enjoy these amazing getaways.

If you would like more information on the camp sites that we stayed at, cost etc please don’t hesitate to comment & I will provide you with the information.

Hope you enjoy!
Fiona

Boulders Beach Experience

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View while lying on Boulder’s Beach

I don’t often go to Boulders Beach & surrounding areas. Let alone I seldom swim at Boulder’s Beach purely for two major reasons.

  1. Unless you hit the beach in the weekday, it is generally crowded with tourists experiencing the amazing scenic beauty that Simonstown has to offer. Whilst those who have absorbed the scenery, spend their time snapping pictures of the African Penguin who exit the beach in their ‘tuxedo suits’ strutting the beach as if they are on a fashion catwalk!
  2. If you enjoy floating / wading in knee high water this beach is perfect for you. However if you are more of the adventurous type, favouring snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking & surfing then this is not the beach for you, as many of these activities are banned from the beach because of it being a breeding colony for the African Penguin.

However I decided to take my mom for her first Summer swim of 2016! It was a calm, hot day and I knew this would make the perfect setting for mom to have a splash without getting bowled over by an incoming wave!

We set out & arrived by 10h30 shocked to see there were only a handful of people on the beach, unlike previous experiences where we have been rubbing shoulders with strangers. We took in the beauty that we are so lucky to call Home. Watching the penguins continuing their daily activities & retired yachtsman setting sail in the background. All adding to the ease of slowly getting in to what mom described as “chilly” water yet in the next description she felt as though we could be somewhere in the Mediterranean.

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African Penguin couple

Mom was determined and took the plunge quicker than I was able to! Shocking! Given I am the one who swims considerably more than she does, but perhaps I was simply enjoying the new change of scenery as it is completely different (both in landscape & water conditions)  to our usual beach 10 minutes away.

The rock formations are incredible and simply amazing to take in while swimming in & around them. Many display granite exfoliation, where huge layers peel off over time (similar to an onion & its various layers) & its not always easy to be able to see this taking place in nature yet at Boulder’s its a common sight.

Our swim was fabulous & we had a really great morning at Boulder’s Beach. So great we are going there again this week. Hoping to have another great experience.

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This beach does have spectacular granite formations and great examples of exfoliation taking place.

Thank you for reading. If you are a visitor to Cape Town, I definitely recommend a visit to Boulders Beach. Aim for early arrival especially during November – February. You can pack a picnic and sit on the beach or have a lunch at the nearby restaurant before taking a dip at the beach. Either way it really is a special stop which I think many locals tend to acknowledge.

Fiona 🙂

McGregor Meander …

I love exploring the small towns within South Africa. I am making it my mission to travel and explore them as much as I can, now that I get a long weekend every 3 weeks.

With this in mind, Mom & I recently visited McGregor (with our two ‘yorkies’ in tow).  It was our first time to the town of which I have heard so much about and it certainly lives up to its name, such a peaceful & fabulous get away so close to Cape Town.

On the Friday morning when we left Cape Town we took a casual drive through stopping at all the local farm stalls, wineries  & sights en route (as I always seem to do on any road trip)! I had a terrible cold developing but certainly didn’t let that stop me from having a wonderful getaway! We stayed at a fabulous self catering house called Willow Tree Cottage located within the small town (http://www.tourismmcgregor.co.za/PearTreeandWillow). The dogs were able to explore the garden while Mom & I soaked up the Winter sun relaxing. Not many restaurants are open on a Friday evening & those that are generally require a booking in advance as they tend to get booked up on weekends. So after a bit of improvising we had scrambled egg with salad & vegetables! Perfect for a stress weekend that followed suit.

Saturday morning we awoke with cows that were grazing on the boundary of our garden, what a great alarm clock as oppose to waking up in the city with cars, hooters & in my case naval base going’s on. In the morning browsed the town with all its shops including the Saturday morning market. It has a wonderful charming atmosphere to it that I cannot put down on paper. We  then ventured out the town & had lunch in Robertson a much bigger town nearby with various facilities & amenities. There was quite a buzz & hustle among the streets, which created a wonderful atmosphere when walking around the town on a busy Saturday morning.

For any budding artist or anyone who has an appreciation of pottery & the work that is in involved with it, a must see in McGregor is Mill Stone Pottery (http://www.millstonepottery.co.za/millstone/index.php). Paul is a fascinating potter (together with his wife – make a great team) with many years of experience. He is willing to share his ideas, inspirations and works of art with you whilst you browse the calm creative space around you.  I learnt so much about the intricacies of pottery & before we knew it we had spent 2 hours here just absorbing the wonderful surrounds. Mom & I needless to say walked out with a clear mind & hands full of pottered items!

We had a fabulous dinner at Tabaldis (http://www.temenos.org.za/#!restaurant/c5lv), which is the centre of the town and is open throughout the week with menu that change according to what is in season & availability. Temenos is on the same property as Tebaldis & they have beautiful gardens,which make you feel like you are lost in an enchanted garden. It is a retreat where you can escape the race of life and make you feel as though you are a million miles away from the rest of the world. Our weekends days were filled with warm Winter sun whilst the evenings we quite chilly, so made getting into bed with a book after dinner all that much easier!

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Donkey sanctuary outside of McGregor

The Eseltjierus Donkey Sanctuary (http://www.donkeysanctuary.co.za/)is a great place to let your children or in our case our dogs out to play or walk around the farm, whilst the donkeys are kept in the paddock. Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary provides a permanent refuge for abused, neglected and elderly donkeys. They are given the opportunity to live out their lives with respect and dignity, surrounded by their own kind, in a protective and natural environment. Was a great stop and experience in conjunction with a fabulous lunch out on the deck in the sun.

Holidays are always too short & before we knew it we were packed & in the car en route home. We couldn’t resist a final stop at this fabulous farm stall which its great selection of pumpkin! Mom thought it was a simple procedure of choosing a pumpkin however before she knew it the shop lady was out to give her advice on just how to choose the right eating pumpkin as oppose to pumpkins which are dried out & kept as ornaments/decorations.

Finally we were on our way home with 2 humans, 2 dogs, a pumpkin & many great memories all round.

Cheers Fiona 🙂

The Best of Barrydale

Having recently returned back from a weekend away in Barrydale with my mom, (not forgetting our two Yorkshire terriers that accompanied us) I thought I would share some of Barrydale’s best stops.  Barrydale is approximately a 3 hour drive from Cape Town. Its a small farming village situated between the Overberg region and the Klein Karoo.  Its not a very big town in comparison to other “dorps” we have been too. However the scenery of the mountains certainly creates a tranquil setting. A perfect way to settle into the weekend.

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Overlooking the town of Barrydale

Mom & I took a leisurely drive through from Cape Town, exploring all the farm stalls en route, a tradition I seem to have to do whenever I do road trips. I simply can’t help myself! We went through the Tradouw Pass (which means Women’s Path in the old Khoi language) before entering Barrydale. This 17 kilometer drive through an altitude range of 219 meters meanders through some of the most beautiful & rugged mountain scenery on offer in the Langeberg. This pass is undoubtedly in the Top 20 tarred passes in the Western Cape on an overall rating. The pass joins the towns of Barrydale and Swellendam and was originally built by Thomas Bain. Shortly after exiting this beautiful pass we arrived at our accommodation for the weekend, Sandy’s Place (http://www.sandysplace.co.za/). It is pet friendly which of course was our main concern since we were traveling with our dogs Jack & Zoe. It has pleasant rooms with nice” braaiing” facilities outside as well as an adjacent garden which Zoe & Jack could wonder through. Hosts Johan & Sterna van Eeden do their utmost in making sure your stay is a great one & are very hospitable and welcoming.  It was pouring with rain upon our arrival, so our plan of having a braai quickly changed & turned into dining out at the Karoo Art Hotel, 1km away from where we were staying. It is a very quirky, modern and art filled hotel (https://karooarthotel.co.za/). Their award-winning restaurant Karoo Grill certainly proved to us why it has won so many awards over the years. Their food simply delicious. A perfect setting especially for mom as she is an avid lover of painting & art herself. The art made for great dinner conversations in the restaurant as we heard various tables chatting about the beautiful art that surrounded them.  The emphasis in this restaurant  is very much on South African traditional food, particularly on Karoo dishes. I definitely could recommend this as a great dining stop!

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A Taste of the interior of Karoo Art Hotel

On Saturday morning the clouds had cleared and the beaming sun was out. We were smiling. So we browsed around the main street, which I may add isn’t a very long street at all! All the shops were dog friendly and loved Jack & Zoe popping in. One of the interesting shops we stopped in at was Barrydale weavers. Where they make all sorts of items from hand towel, to bath towels & mats. What took my fascination was the lady pictured below who was clearly making a mat & how skilled she was at working the line of thread behind her with the turning of the weaving rack. (She worked on this piece the entire time while we were in Barrydale).

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Work in Progress

 

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Barrydale Weavery

It was a very chilled day & I think we were just enjoying the sunshine along with the fact that it wasn’t raining. Absolute bliss! Once we had browsed the shops that were open we decided to drive a little bit out of Barrydale heading toward Montagu direction. As you leave Barrydale you pass Barrydale Cellars which we stopped in at very briefly. They are very much brandy oriented, very lovely, however Mom was looking for some wines to take home & sample.

A fantastic winery with not only great clean tasting wines but it is also beautifully laid out & decorated is Joubert – Tradouw Vineyards (http://www.joubert-tradauw.com/) which in my opinion is a definite stop even if you do not buy anything, just to experience a taste of what wine making is about, seeing the barrels in dark cool rooms simply made my experience there a very personal & real one! After tasting & buying a few wine bottles at the various wineries along this route, we decided that it would be a good idea to turn around & head back before we literally end up in Montagu.

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Joubert-Tradouw Winery

Magpie Art Collection (http://magpieartcollective.com/) is another interesting stop not only if you are interested in art but if you like to see items being reused & recycled. As this is exactly what the artists at Magpie do, they take the residents trash & simply turn it into art, whether it be light fitting decorations, chandeliers, bird mobiles & chairs just to name a few. You immediately feel immersed in the huge amounts of creativity that flow through their exhibition room. It really is fantastic to see what you able to do with a little bit of creativity and flair.

The final stop on my brief Barrydale weekend with you would have to be the much talked about Diesel & Creme (http://dieselandcreme.co.za/). Boy O’ Boy was it a delicious treat for Mom & I, certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry that is for sure. We had walked everywhere the entire day to make sure our tummies were empty for the tasty surprise that awaited us as Diesel & Creme. Mom ordered “Morning Glory” (coffee & espresso milkshake) while I ordered Peppermint Crisp for a change as being a creature of habit I generally always go for something chocolate. Surrounded by a fabulous atmosphere we were silent whilst sipping away at our milkshakes!

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Mom & I with our milkshakes!

The decor certainly keeps you entertained with a mix of old & new, it almost takes you right back to your childhood. Only happy memories at Diesel & Creme. A great way to end the weekend.

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Because every day is a great day at Diesel & Creme

 

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Funky Milkshake Bar

Bye for now ….Fiona

You never know

In my short time on this planet I have noticed that my life has become a bit predictable.
It is no longer much fun watching television or movies as in the first few minutes, its not hard to work out the plot and story line.
Saddening as it is to say, even my daily commitments as well as my interactions with most people can be a bit of a predictable tiresome routine.

One thing that always seems to surprise me is Nature. No matter if I am swimming, hiking or any of the outdoor activities that I  do, I always seem to be learning something new.
I am very happy to live so close to nature and have it so accessible in South Africa.
I must admit I would find it difficult to get into ‘city life’ for any amount of time.
Its not always whopping huge shockers,it may be something very small and very easily overlooked but there always seems to be something to be seen when being surrounded by nature.

Fiona and I try take any opportunity we can to get out and make the most of what is right on our doorstep. I thought I would share a great example of the totally unexpected, from our weekend adventures. Whilst hiking or swimming I find it is so easy to get caught up into the rhythm of the exercise till something unexpected catches your eye and or peaks your senses.

A Sunny Saturday Afternoon:

A bit of bird behaviour and then a twig breaks. Total silence falls over us like a thick blanket.
Fiona quietly points to the direction of the noise and we stop. We look for signs and wait.
The breeze is on our back so whatever it is chances are it knows that we are here.
Not really thinking it’s a big deal we move silently as possible into the middle of the clearing towards a little mound. Waiting patiently we still can’t see anything as there is thick brush in that direction. “Na it’s probably a porky I say” (referring to a Porcupine or something like that as its late afternoon).
Moments later I can hardly believe my eyes.

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I am astounded to see what is slowly making its way almost directly towards us. A Rhino….Wow. How does an animal so big move so quietly through the bush?
I know that there are no black rhinos in this area and by the size of its head and its wide grazing mouth it has to be a Wijt or White rhino.
Black rhinos tend to be a bit moody, like my grandmothers old English bull terrier, they have bad eye sight and just tend to charge at  any movement.

The big male seems to be very relaxed after what looks to have been a great mud bath.
He does not seem to worried about us. Now he is just standing in the clearing. How odd!!!
Its a bit of a “pinch me” type of moment.
Just as we are getting accustomed to the sight of him, the rest of the group slowly emerge from the brush.

Its a whole social group!!

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The moms were even kind enough to give us a glimpse of their little ones.

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How is it that five of these animals were standing just meters away in the bush and we were non the wiser.
Fully grown a White rhino can get up to 1.8m in height and weigh around the 2000kg mark. Its big on television but something to behold in the flesh.

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Just as quickly and silently as they arrived they soon disappeared into the bush on the other side of the clearing, leaving us both a little trail blazed as to what we had just seen.

As I said,   no matter what we choose to do outdoors its always a bit different with new exciting things to be discovered.
Big or small, it all adds to the experience that we call life.
That day shall not be forgotten any time soon.

Dan

Roadtrip to Stanford

Dan & I recently took a road trip to Stanford! What a great adventurous & unforgettable weekend it was for me. I managed to tick off a lot of ‘firsts’ on my adventure list! With our kayaks packed in my ‘bakkie’ we headed to Stanford, with a deal that we needed to stop in at all the farm stalls en route. Not missing one! We managed to conquer that, although I must admit whilst I loved stopping in at each & every farm stall once you have done one you have done them all. However there were a few farm stalls that definitely stood out from the rest, either by offering interesting items for sale or general decor & design. First stop was the infamous Peregrine Farm Stall on the N2 near Grabouw (http://peregrinefarmstall.co.za/) beautifully designed and a wonderful atmosphere. We decided that this would make the perfect stop for lunch. Home made pies it was!! Delicious! Fantastic home baked goods for sale, which had my mouth watering with every step I took. However we managed to resist the temptation & continued our journey.

Another great farm stall with huge character & interest was Dassiefontein along the N2 Caldeon.Crammed full of antiques, odds & ends one really does need to put aside a good hour or even two to browse around in order to find something that takes your interest. There certainly is so much to see & experience in this farm stall.  (http://www.dassies.co.za/main.php)

After plenty of exploring back roads en route, we arrived in Stanford. Absolutely peaceful, it was then I knew I was on holiday & was finally relaxing with the manic rush of the city washing away. We browsed the shops in & around Stanford, before stopping in at Birkenhead Brewery to quench our thirst with some of their beers they had on offer (http://www.walkerbayestate.com/) All the beers are very drinkable indeed & made for a relaxing summers evening whilst sitting on our ‘stoep’ in Stanford.

 

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After resting our tired bodies & sleeping like the dead, we woke up to a still & quiet morning which was a perfect day for our river cruise which we went on later in the afternoon, after wondering around the local fresh produce market.

The main aim of our river cruise was to see the layout of the river for our paddle on Sunday, which we had planned. It was lovely & can highly recommend it for a relaxing afternoon & well worth the R150 for a 2-3 hour trip! You are able to bring your own picnic, meat, drinks etc to have a ‘braai’ on board while enjoying the tranquility of the surrounding river & landscapes. The boat ‘African Queen’ (http://www.africanqueenstanford.co.za/) took us up the river till he was no longer able to go due to it being too shallow for the boat, turning around, stopping for 30 minutes to allow people to swim & braai before docking back at the starting point. Truly relaxing afternoon & well worth it.Stanford Blog

Sunday’s forecast said 0.8mm of rain. Of course Dan & I smiled with happiness as we couldn’t have asked for better weather for kayaking, cool skies meant less chance of us getting burnt to a fine crisp. However a little bit of sunshine that morning would have been great! We set out early in the morning with our picnic bag packed full of great home made salami’s, local cheeses from Klein Cheese Farm & a home grown oxheart tomato etc all from Stanford & surrounds. Definitely a feast worth paddling for! We set off down the Klein River in the direction of Hermanus. There was a fine mist rolling down the mountains bringing a refreshing breeze across the river, making the cooler conditions much easier to paddle in, instead of being scorched by the midday sun. Minutes later that all changed & we soon found ourselves paddling in the pouring rain. Once we reached the estuary, the rain had subsided so we figured that now was our best chance to stop, find a place & have lunch. We tucked our kayaks in among the reeds for protection against the chilly breeze. Dan quickly hooked out our picnic and placed everything on our kayaks & what was planned & supposed to be a very ‘romantic’ picnic turned out be a very fun, entertaining & certainly unforgettable memory, as the clouds decided to open their doors again on us. Gobbling in a few pieces of cheese & salami continuing to laugh all the while we made the decision to pack up this wet picnic feast & save it for when we get back so that we can enjoy & savor all the flavours we had so carefully chosen & put together for our picnic. Despite the rain it was a great +/- 30km paddle which I thoroughly enjoyed & didn’t think I would manage to complete & spotting 2 fish eagles later paddling home. I am really keen to go back and try another section of the river as it was my first time kayaking on a river. I had always been kayaking in the ocean prior to this experience. After a hot shower we enjoyed our picnic on the ‘stoep’ when the rain had abated.

On Sunday afternoon we took a relaxing & easy drive down to Gaans Bay via Die Kelders & Danger Point lighthouse, doing a bit of a 4×4 trail along the coast which not only took us off the tar roads, it allowed us to see places & scenery we would have otherwise missed. We treated ourselves (thanks to my persuasion) to a chocolate brownie (shared I should add) & coffees at The Great White House in Gaans Bay a really relaxing venue.

Gaans Baai

Monday brought about a very exciting day for me & something I have been wanting to do for ages, was horse riding. So we set off early & headed to Farm 215 where our horse riding was going to take place, through African Horse Company (http://www.africanhorseco.com/). We walked down to meet our horses & guide, very nervously I got onto my horse with no issues or hassles I think I even surprised myself with how effortlessly I got on. And we were off! As simple as that. We left the farm dirt roads & slowly made our way onto the mountains, so lovely, free & wild. Very strange at first to get used to the feeling of bumping up & down on a horse but I slowly got into the swing of things. When we were comfortable we trotted for a bit and eventually by the end of the 2 hour trail we were able to gallop, much easier on the body than trotting that’s for sure! I must have been out of rhythm as usual ( if you know me well you will know I don’t have much rhythm ability when it comes to music, dancing or even horse riding it seems!) As when we were trotting all I could hear was Dan laughing behind me in absolute hysterics. His horse quickly over took me & soon I was able to laugh behind him watching him trotting on his horse. Funny site to see both of us on horses, I am sure!! I am definitely motivated to try the beach trail next time we in the area, as I loved my horse riding experience & so happy I am finally after many years able to tick that one off my bucket list! Great way to end off our wonderful weekend away.Horse Riding Farm

We never sat still not knowing what to do next on this holiday. We made every minute count. Whether it was walking around the town in the evenings eating ice-cream, running from stop street to stop street for a good laugh & exercise, or to simply taking a drive to Die Kelders, Danger Point & Gaans Bay. It was a great first road trip for 2016 and certainly lots more in the pipeline. I am looking forward to exploring our country and the beautiful surrounds it has to offer.

Till our next road trip cheers for now

Fi 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brief two days in Tasmania

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in Tasmania, getting the chance to have a family catch up as well as include some sight seeing whilst there. The minute I landed, I had a weird yet calming sensation run through. I instantly fell in love with the place. The beautiful, undulating hills with thick forest, the fresh cold air, rural yet busy enough to not feel isolated and the wildness about the place.  This was the furthest South I had ever been on the world map, and I could feel it. It was a wonderful feeling, wild coastline with the odd scattered housing across the land, among them beautiful farmland and forestry could be seen for miles.

Staying in Hobart, I instantly felt at home with the place & was so excited to explore and yet at the same time, I wish was was staying longer than two days. Staying up on Tolman’s Hill was absolutely magnificent. Over looking the Derwent River & Harbour. Simply breath taking & peaceful.

Saturday morning I woke up early & Sean (my cousin) decided it would be a good idea to go up to Mount Wellington as soon as possible as the weather was clear & very few clouds in the sky. He said the views up there would be beyond amazing & would also give me perspective on the area & where everything is in relation to the mountain. He was spot on with everything, 1250m above sea level & 6 degrees we were up on Mount Wellington taking in the sights, smells and vast space. After spending some time there we left to go visit the well known Salamanca Market, after spending 3 hours browsing around & shopping till I dropped, it was off to lunch in Peppermint Bay. A fabulous restaurant overlooking the water, with rolling green lawns.

Sunday brought around some winter weather, so I was pleased that I managed to tick Mount Wellington off our list in the short amount of time we were there. I visited MONA (Museum of New & Old Modern Art) what a powerful, insightful place. Thoroughly enjoyed it & it spoke 1000 words for me. Interesting and certainly very unique pieces of art. Not your typical museum that’s for sure!! We then went for lunch at Coal River Farm near Richmond, where I bought a few wooden items. We then spent the afternoon just catching up on family news and memories, which was very special & so needed!

I immediately fell in love with Hobart & was very sad to leave after just spending two days there, its a place I could happily return to.  I certainly hope to in the future.

Flying back to Sydney I continue the last week of my holiday. Can’t believe 3 weeks are nearly up, but at the same time I am looking forward to arriving back home.

 

 

Day at Tinbinbella

I spent the better part of my day wondering around the beautiful walk ways of Tinbinbella in Canberra, taking in the majestic space that surrounded me the thick bush and immense wildlife. Although I must admit I was not able to see all of the wildlife it has to offer purely because of great camouflage on the animals part, of perhaps maybe my poor animal finding eye sight, I am not sure!

However we were able to see Koalas in the Eucalyptus tree, sleeping whilst another one was quietly eating. After doing a loop walk called the Koala path , I quickly spotted a Wallaby eating food outs the trays provided by the park, who simply stared at me, the food clearly too good to give a miss. The bird life here is truly amazing and to think they are all wild. Cockatoo’s are a plenty breaking off the bark of trees & eating loads of flowers, leaves and pretty much anything else they think they can eat they will!

 

The Gippsland Water Dragon is a beautiful lizzard which we spotted sun baking on the banks of a little pond. Such a beautiful lizzard, gives our one’s back home some competition both in colour and size.

Taking a walk around various ponds not only did we hear the calls of Kookaburras along with various other bird species, we were lucky enough to keep our eyes focused on what was a stream of bubbles going around one of the ponds. Up popped a Platypus! I was delighted, despite not knowing much about these prehistoric looking creatures my instant reaction was not only to take a glimpse of this animal as he/she surfaced but to snap an image off on my camera at the same time. A success it was! To add to our growing list of spotted animals we saw two Pelicans, once again I was in absolute awe and amazement of how beautiful these birds truly are.

Lunch was calling and we stopped by a shady bench which was in the echo of a valley and had our picnic which we had assembled before departing this morning. Filling our tummy’s with great food and our souls with the silence yet fullness of the nature that surrounded us I was now in heaven! Being surrounded by nature is absolute bliss for me.

Lastly while heading home we came across a Red Belly Black Snake carefully maneuvering across the busy road, trying to avoid contact with a car’s tyre, it successfully crossed the road where it disappeared into the grasses. Magnificent sight and great way to end the trip home.

I truly enjoyed wondering around, spotting and keeping an eye open for the unexpected to pop up. A day spent with nature is a day not forgotten.