Thursday, November 15, 2018

South Africa Day 9

We briefly visited Cape St Francis Lighthouse as we set off in the coach for the day.

This land nearby is set aside for a nuclear power plant, and South Africa already has two such plants, providing 5% of the country's power needs . It appears the construction of the Thyspunt reactor is on long term hold as many issues about the location are debated. As an aside, South Africans argue that power is being sold off more cheaply to Zimbabwe than to the people of South Africa. Sounds rather like our own Australian gas. 

We stopped for morning tea at the quaint little Kontrei Kombuis Country Store. One white woman who must have been over 70 took the orders and the money while the black staff did the food preparation and made the tea and coffee. Some of the bread I mentioned at the barbeque a few posts ago was being cooked outside on a hotplate. It was another case of a white woman seemingly surrounded by black people and quite comfortable with that. We didn't see any other white people there, but our guide told us there would be that evening in the adjoining bar where an important rugby match would be shown on a big screen. The men's toilet was as large as a bedroom with very little in it except the toilet itself and a washbasin. The toilet pan kind of looked like it was terrazzo. I've never seen one like it before.  

I had noticed from the coach a disused railway line often running parallel with the road. While it was overgrown, it appeared to be intact and could be used.

What is this thing for?

I have never seen such a thing. I am almost certain it is to pour water into steam train tanks as they pause underneath. I've seen them filled by trackside tanks, but this appears to be mains water supply.

Our next stop was an ostrich farm at the awful to pronounce Oudtshoorn. They are certainly larger than our emus. Various facts about ostrich farming were presented and like the the earlier Aloe, it seemed there wasn't much that eating or applying ostrich can't fix. Ostrich like to have their long and perpendicular neck stroked, and of course there is always one in the crowd that will take things too far, but it did get a laugh. Yes, think the worst.

What do we do now? We cover the birds eyes and jump on its back.

The eyes are uncovered and off we go for a ride. There was a 75 kilo weight limit, so that is my reason for not riding one, believe me or not.

Young ostrich are terribly cute.

Nevertheless, we had no compunction about eating ostrich steaks at the provided and very nice lunch. The steaks were ok but I won't go back for more. This is the youngest ostrich to hatch.

Our next stop was Kantor Caves.

There were some old photos made into murals. There is always one who stands out in a crowd. I've seen this in old photos before. Is he gay? Is he just pushy? Is he just a poser? I don't know.

You must admit, it is quite a pose.

A bit of a cave and cavern thing on the outside.

The interior of the caves were amazing. The best European painter could not have done better than what we saw. We took a one hour tour and the guide, as all had been, was terrific. He even sang for us and his voice was strong and and highlighted the acoustics. So good that before the South African World Cup that the floor of  large chamber cave was concreted over and made level, well maybe not. Seating was added and there were operatic and other performances, until it was realised that vandalism was happening, drunken shenanigans behind stalactites, and other cave destroying stuff.

Truly amazing that one wall of the cave used to played as a drum, until it broke. We were given a brief demonstration of the drum effect of the remaining part and it was incredible to hear. Just like a real skinned drum.

The shadows are long and it is time to leave. Something went terribly wrong at our hotel for the night, so instead of a 5.30 start the next day, we journeyed on to the town of George, a long drive, but the accommodation was good and we did not have to be on the coach until 8.30 to get to George Airport to fly to Johannesburg.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

South Africa Day 8

A light post for this day, which usually indicates lots of travelling in the coach.

We had choices, zip lining or bungee jumping. At a 260 metre drop, the bungee jump is the longest in the world and has been done by South African politicians and world celebrities.

This is where the bungee jump was to happen.

We did choose the slightly more sedate zip lining. We knew all about ziplining from Canada, although we did not do it there. Of course you go downhill when ziplining, though R amused us when he reached a zip line station safely and then came half way back to us. Ah, R has safely done this one. No, wait, he is coming back again. He missed his footing and had to hand over hand himself to the zip line station. We had two guides, the gorgeous Nigel, and some chick. She went ahead and Nigel followed. We being busy and active, so no photos. I expected there would be a vehicle at the bottom to take us back to our coach. But no, we had to walk 650 metres up a steep hill. Nigel and his companion were patient as we oldies kept stopping for a breather.

It rained while we ziplining. We were at quite a high elevation. Little Jo's words were ringing in my ear, there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, and my short sleeved shirt was inappropriate. Of course I put on bravado. Not cold at all. I am fine. I was freezing cold and the fire, food and hot drinks were most welcome back at the base. For the first time the coach heating kicked in and it was welcomed by me as my shirt dried.

A nice enough place for lunch. We skipped the optional walk and boardwalk walk. I don't think we missed much.  Why aren't these dudes actually going anywhere?

We watched a kayaker come out and rescue this bloke who had fallen out of his kayak. No sooner was the rescuer back at shore, than the same tosser fell out of his kayak again. The rescuer had to come out again and put the bloke back in his kayak. Why does this stupid man keep falling out of his kayak? R informed, staff training to rescue kayakers.

This is a fast boat for tourists, that goes up and over waves, hopefully.

Tourists were loaded and off the boat went out into heavy seas.

Of course there were waves and rough seas, wherever we were.

That night we stayed at Cape St Francis. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

South Africa Day 7

I think you might get the best photos of African wild animals in a zoo. Second to that is perhaps in a private animal park. Apparently we visited one.

Zebra everywhere. So cool.

Nice knob.

Who can see more than enough zebra.


I don't know why but I thought a rhino was about the size of a small cow. No! They are huge.

They eat grass, not meat, but hate humans.

Impala in Kruger Park are about to be culled as there are so many of them. They are terribly cute.

Lazy lioness.

With children?

Daddy lion is here to look after you young cubs, if he does not kill the cubs.

What are these animals. I forget. Not kadu. I just can't remember and google is not being helpful.

This is an elephant, in case you did not know.

They'd be buffalo up the hill.

Don't mind us Mr Giraffe.

A really good place to see wild animals and the public facilities were really good too.

Did this all happen on the same day? I am not sure but I think so. We boarded this vessel for a lunch cruise. It was really nice.

Knysna Lagoon, I think.

The entrance to the open sea.

Housing on the way back. It was once an island owned by the same people for one hundred plus years. It was sold to a property developer, and you know what they do.

Then it was to Monkey Land. The lighting level in the jungle was low and very few of my photos turned out well. Here is the best of them.

Oh my mummy, what a large nipple you have.

Lemur, native to Madagascar.

Tortoise on its way to somewhere. It moved fast enough and I can see why it may have won the race against a hare.

This is a really small monkey, often napped as a pet, but they turn nasty on their owners.

I uploaded this photo, but I am not sure where it was taken. Maybe in our accommodation for the night. Oh yes, it was a four star high rise hotel. Very nice. More window views to come.