Tag Archives: holidays

Zim Spoils: Part 2

I shared with you the first few days of my Zimbabwe/Victoria Falls trip. What follows is the remainder of that beyond-gorgeous experience. We really maximised our time there, and it was worth every minute of it.

Our second morning in Zimbabwe was an early one, a bitterly cold one that seemed to feel the need to prove that it was, in fact, winter. We were collected from the hotel and driven to a lovely boma where we awaited the arrival of another new form of transportation.

My mother dearest feeding her elephant

My mother dearest feeding her elephant

Riding an elephant was kind of like riding a horse, except the saddle was a lot less supportive: I constantly felt as though I was sliding uncomfortably close to the handler (called a Mahout) in front of me, so I got a really good inner thigh workout by trying to maintain my personal space-bubble. The elephants themselves were lovely, although a bit intimidating, particularly when they started to get a bit aggressive with one another. They were still very tame, however, and they were a pleasure to be around.

We got a really close up view of the inside of an elephant's mouth, teeth and all when we feed them after the ride

We got a really close up view of the inside of an elephant’s mouth, teeth and all when we feed them after the ride

After awarding the elephants some treat, we were served an unexpected breakfast of our own, which almost makes up for the excessive price tag of the once in a lifetime opportunity. It was really great, but certainly not the kind of thing you would be able to pay for on a regular basis.

Waiting for breakfast, which was accompanied by Mazoe, a popular juice concentrate

Waiting for breakfast, which was accompanied by Mazoe, a popular juice concentrate

Granted, we were at a highly popular international tourist destination, but everything was really expensive! We had the option of bungee jumping or the bridge swing, but they were heavily priced, so we opted for the zip-line instead (definitely not because I was too scared to attempt them, because I’m not, obviously…). It was fun, but not as thrilling as the other two extreme sports undoubtedly were.

Zip lining above the Zambezi

Zip lining above the Zambezi

We attempted to visit the market while we waited for a shuttle to collect us and take us back to the hotel, however we ended up at the wrong market. Take note: the market is in a well-established building with charming little shops that we only found after spending so long in the less-established market that our bus arrived before we could rectify our mistake. At least we were genuinely supporting local business.

My brother waiting impatiently to be collected by the bus after being dragged around shopping

My brother waiting impatiently to be collected by the bus after being dragged around shopping

We concluded our final day in Zimbabwe with a sunset Zambezi river cruise, complete with Gin and Tonics (to ward of the mosquitos) and some crocodile meat hidden in the platters that ensured I only ate the non-meat items – aint no way I’m having croc, I’m not that open-minded just yet…

A charming welcome before boarding the boat

A charming welcome before boarding the boat

The hungry hungry hippo calls his friends. There ended up being about seven in this area eventually

The hungry hungry hippo calls his friends. There ended up being about seven in this area eventually

Elephant on the banks of the island in the middle of the Zambezi. It had just been banging it's head against the tree to get fruit

Elephant on the banks of the island in the middle of the Zambezi. It had just been banging it’s head against the tree to get fruit

The sunset over the zambezi was a perfect way to end a lovely holiday in Zimbabwee

The sunset over the zambezi was a perfect way to end a lovely holiday in Zimbabwe

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The berry best – Wakaberry

One of the things I get most excited about when I go home for the holidays is this treat. If I do nothing else, if I don’t leave the house at all, I will make sure that I get to this place, at least once!

My family waited impatiently for me to take this photo before snatching them up for a good gobble

My family waited impatiently for me to take this photo before snatching them up for a good gobble

Wakaberry is really growing all over South Africa (except in my province…). I don’t know how this Fro-yo “fad” came about, but I am so glad that it did. This stuff is so delicious! I just wish I could stay in Johannesburg so I could have it every single day! Ok, maybe not that often, but still, on a highly regular basis! Maybe I’ll be so lucky that they open one of these havens of tastebud heaven in Grahamstown. Yeah, right, like that would ever happen! I’m sure they need water to maintain their facility, so this town and its municipality would not be conducive to a successful business.

My uncle's face shows it: it's so good you kind of feel naughty eating it. There is no limit to how much deliciousness you can have, it's hard to think that's even allowed!

My uncle’s face shows it: it’s so good you kind of feel naughty eating it. There is no limit to how much deliciousness you can have, it’s hard to think that’s even allowed!

My little bro never used to like Wakaberry because he thought all the flavours tasted the same. I have educated him well since then, as you can see

My little bro never used to like Wakaberry because he thought all the flavours tasted the same. I have educated him well since then, as you can see

This could be one of the luckiest girls ever: Julia, my cousin, lives right near Wakaberry. I would never eat another meal anywhere else again!

This could be one of the luckiest girls ever: Julia, my cousin, lives right near Wakaberry. I would never eat another meal anywhere else again!

I am in my absolute element every time I go there: the choice of toppings that they have there! By the way, they make the best brownies ever! My only regret is that each time I go there, I make the most of the visit, and I exploit everything by taking a bit of everything, regardless of what would make a good combination. One day I’ll be able to just have vanilla and fudge brownie flavour yoghurt with some brownie bits and some chocolate chips. Rather than the mess that I do tend to make…

My personal pot of deliciousness. You can clearly see the smooth vanilla fudge pieces, the moist brownie bits, and the berry swirl in there, amongst the rest of the beautiful mess

My personal pot of deliciousness. You can clearly see the smooth vanilla fudge pieces, the moist brownie bits, and the berry swirl in there, amongst the rest of the beautiful mess

Frozen yoghurt reminds me of Starbucks coffee and Sushi. It’s a lifestyle that I look forward to, one day when I’m big and living in London, or Hong Kong, or New York, or some other glamorous and metropolitan city. Or maybe it’s just hipster, and that’s fun too…

He hates having his photo taken, but I think we did a solid job of cleaning up those pots of yogz

He hates having his photo taken, but I think we did a solid job of cleaning up those pots of yogz

 

Students in Utopia

Spontaneity is my favourite part of life, so I jumped at the Sunday invitation to a week away beginning the following day, with people I hadn’t even met before!

One of my best friends extended a last minute invitation to me for a visit to “some place out in Magaliesburg, just outside of Johannesburg. I would be going with a friend of her’s from Uni, Chris, and his two friends, Murray and Warren, that neither of us had met before. And then one of the guys that we knew (and are very close with) from our Europe Tour just over a year ago, Kyle.

Spontaneity with some bests  s best!

Spontaneity with some bests is best!

We hopped in the Land Rover, fresh from the Landy Fest a few days earlier, and drove to Utopia. Apparently, this used to be some kind of sex-related holiday-type location… But they told us that it’s not anymore, so we believe them. Chris’ family have a cottage there, which isn’t powered by electricity, something I only found out upon arrival. I actually still don’t know how the lights were working… Man, I am a city girl, and I love me some electricity!

Our hidden cottage in the veld of Magaliesburg

Our hidden cottage in the veld of Magaliesburg

What does one think when they hear students are going away for the weekend? Alcohol of course! We were with some proper lightweights of the drinking field, so after a mere two beers, in some cases, some injuries were occurring (as people fell down little rocky cliffs) and grasshoppers were singing Rufus Wainwright’s Hallelujah.

Private rock pools for some "welcome to Utopia" drinks

Private rock pools for some “welcome to Utopia” drinks

Utopia is situated just next door to a popular camping destination called Mountain Sanctuary, which has access to a stunning gorge/ravine. We took our second day to hike up to the West Pools where these crazy kids decided that jumping off 8m high rock cliffs into a rock pool would be a good idea. Granted, they had done it before, so it wasn’t that unsafe. I regret that I didn’t participate, but I went down the bum slide, and I know that next time I go, I’ll rock it! And hopefully it’s warm and doesn’t start raining again…

You have to aim it just right so that you don't land on murderous rocks at the bottom of the pool. Which is why it's so cool

You have to aim it just right so that you don’t land on murderous rocks at the bottom of the pool. Which is why it’s so cool

We watched the sunset of the Magalies mountain range. The journey to this perfect location was treacherous: 4×4 mode activated, singing 18 Till I Die, we showed the old toppies ahead of us how students tackle the rocky roads of Africa.

Chris shows off his 4x4 skills

Chris shows off his 4×4 skills

The old folk just watched us mad kids driving past the section of rocky road that they were unsuccessful in conquering

The old folk just watched us mad kids driving past the section of rocky road that they were unsuccessful in conquering

Dinner was perfectly South African: a braai of boerewors and sweetcorn, with melktert shots as well. Brandy and coke went around as we sat chatting around the bonfire, the evening just warm enough as summer dies out.

Though the weather looks threatening, all it did was freeze us once the sun had disappeared. Thank goodness we had consumables to keep us warm

Though the weather looks threatening, all it did was freeze us once the sun had disappeared. Thank goodness we had consumables to keep us warm

Where's the fence?

Where’s the fence?

We cleaned the house in record time on our last day. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that there were girls around this time? Though I must admit that my contribution was meager…

Kyle is missing from this photo (can't imagine why...). This photo was taken much to Chris' displeasure: who stands on a Landy!?!?!

Kyle is missing from this photo (can’t imagine why…). This photo was taken much to Chris’ displeasure: who stands on a Landy!?!?!

It’s always great to meet new people and try new things. I didn’t try things I wasn’t comfortable with, and that’s OK, there’s always next time! Also, no electricity meant I didn’t charge my phone for 3 days, and guess what? I didn’t die! (But it was close, obviously…) It was hard though! I want more holidays like this in my life: appreciating my beautiful country, and keeping active as well, which we did on our hike to the pools. This is the life I want forever, and I am so glad to be living it now!

At times like this, I truly love living in Africa

At times like this, I truly love living in Africa

British Countryside, how quaint

Forest Phonebox

I like to photograph. This is a collection of photographs from England, 2009, a family holiday.

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