Monthly Archives

December 2015

Bottle of Red

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Wine is getting harder to come by — the horror; the horror — and when it does arrive, it is served at, shall we say, ambient temperature. Currently, that means 38 degree C (100F in old money). The only solution is to bring a bowl of ice. Surprisingly refreshing.

After staying at a terrific lodge in Harare, we didn’t want to leave Zim. But the journey has to keep going. Incidentally, the rumour on the street was that ‘The Old Man’ (Mugabe) had died. But it was only a much wished-for rumour. His parents lived to be over 100, so he might be around for a few more years yet.

We spent the next night near the Zim-Zam border, on Lake Kariba, where we found probably the last hotel with any spare rooms — New Year is a popular time to take the family lakeside.

We should see in the new year in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Hope they have wine fridges. Cheers!

Sights of SA – Zim border

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It’s been a curious few days on our journey up to Irovo.

We passed through Polokwane, Limpopo, which certainly has a different feel about it to Joburg. It’s a small place that is still wallowing in the reflected glory of the 2010 World Cup when it hosted some early stage games, and where slapdash, roadside advertisements for ‘Cheapest Abortions’ draw little comment.

The car was also subject to what sounded like a rattle of machine-gun fire, but was actually a hail of stones thrown up by an approaching truck. It cracked our windscreen in 3 places. Once that was replaced, we headed for the Zimbabwe border. Despite being there at 5 in the morning, we spent three-and-a-half hours negotiating various queues and paying lots of US dollars to very polite men in uniform.

We are now in Zim. More soon.

Zim – the trip heats up

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As we approach Zimbabwe — and pass the 2,000 kilometre mark — the temperature heats up significantly while driving past huge baobab trees and vehicles piled high with, well, who knows.

It’s so hot, I think I’ll have to cut this post short and order a beer.

Santa Claus is coming to town

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Most countries get a visit from Father Christmas on a sleigh pulled by Donner & Blitzen, who dishes out gifts to all the children who’ve been good this year.

South Africa do things a little different.

Brewing up a Storm in the Karoo

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From Beaufort West — the birthplace of heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard and very little else — we continued east-northeast towards Bloemfontein.

The long drive through the Karoo — a shrubby wilderness too vast to comprehend — was a feat of concentration for us both. We completed our first 1,000 kilometres during which overtaking manoeuvres were often difficult, especially when the huge truck hogging the road in front was also pulling a trailer. Dust devils whipped across our path every few minutes.

The road sign at the beginning of the day told us everything we needed to know about traffic casualties around these parts: High accident zone – for 200 kilometres !

We stopped in Colesberg for a break where a huge banner told us to enjoy our lovely day. So we did.

We’re off!

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A tank of diesel, a car full of school supplies, a long journey ahead, a dodgy navigator.

All the ingredients needed for a successful trip to Irovo, Kenya.

The official start was high on Chapman’s Peak overlooking beautiful Hout Bay, where the photo was taken. Then we were off. And immediately stopped for lunch. Priorities, dear readers, priorities.

Our first stop should be Beaufort West in the Karoo, where they say the best lamb in Africa is served. It’s all food.

Quart into a Pint Pot

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Two weeks to go before we leave for Kenya, we spent a sweaty afternoon squeezing as much stuff as possible into the 4×4 — a trial pack.

It was close, but we couldn’t quite manage to pack in everything.

Should have bought a Ford Transit!