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Why a Sunday in September is no time to visit the West Coast National Park

Last Sunday, Guillaume had some time off work for the first time in ages, so we decided to take a casual drive up the R27 and check out the flowers in the West Coast National Park.

Well, let me tell you, a Sunday in September on the West Coast is CHAOS. We arrived at the park’s gate somewhere around 10am, only to find at least 30 cars already queuing to get in (by the time we left a couple of hours later, a new line extended about 200m down the highway). Luckily the wait wasn’t too long, but naturally, we found ourselves constantly stuck in some sort of traffic.

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addo, travel, eastern cape, addo elephant national park, wildlife, south africa

My Addo top 5

As I mentioned the other day, my mom and I recently spent a week in the Addo Elephant National Park, just to take a little break from our busy lives.

While we have this long-standing dream of doing the Camino de Santiago together (which I know we will eventually get round to), time and finances haven’t really allowed (just yet), but we both felt like taking a bit of much-needed time out, so decided to do a more manageable local trip instead.

Both avid bush-lovers, we knew we wanted to go somewhere a little wild, but also didn’t want to spend too very many hours on travel… which made Addo the obvious and perfect choice.

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sunset, sea point, cape town, sea point promenade, africa, south africa, travel
jeffreys bay, beach, supertubes, travel, south africa, shells

Snaps: A morning in J-Bay

At the beginning of August, my mom and I took a little trip up the coast just to get away for a bit and spend some time together. She had recently wrapped up five intense years of political work as a ward councillor in the Overstrand municipality and I was on the brink of starting a brand new job after a few months of trying to make ends meet as a freelancer (more about all of this another time).

In short, we both needed a little breather before stepping into something new.

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On turning 30 – a few jumbled thoughts

DISCLAIMER: This post is a couple of months old. I found it in my drafts folder the other evening and was rather surprised by its substance. 

I’m nine months into 30 now, the Paris attacks seem like an eon ago (with far too many similar horrors having followed in their wake), and Adri’s beautiful little Fia is motoring around their home on chubby hands and knees already (nothing like watching kids grow to make you realise just how brutal the passage of time is). But much of what I felt and anticipated here still rings true. 

I obviously thought it was no good/too personal to publish at the time, but since my sentiments haven’t changed, I’ve decided to put it out there anyway. Better late than never. Maybe I’ll follow it up with a few new insights in due course.  Continue reading

Cederberg, Cederberg Wilderness Area, Algeria campsite, explore, adventure, West Coast, South Africa, travel, gypsified, road tripping, south african road trip, backroad adventures in south africa

Winter wandering along the West Coast: Cederberg Wilderness Area

The final leg of our West Coast trip was spent at CapeNature’s Algeria rest camp in the Cederberg Wilderness Area.

After stocking up on a few groceries, visiting Strassbergers leather shoe shop and popping in at the Rooibos Tea Factory in Clanwilliam, we headed on into the mountains.

Even though it was a couple of degrees colder here, the skies above were clear. So, we agreed to do the camping thing once again.

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lions head, lion's head, cape town, hiking, south africa, wally's cave, table mountain

Lion’s Head: two alternative routes to try

It’s a strange compulsion we Capetonians have – this need to conquer Lion’s Head. Not once. Not twice. But as many times as we possibly can.

At the crack of dawn. As dusk settles over the city. By the light of the full moon.

There’s a mountain in the middle of the city and we shall climb it. We shall climb it till our feet would follow the path even if our eyes were blindfolded. And we shall Instagram every attempt and share our pics on Facebook too.

I guess it says a lot about our need to reconnect with nature, but when you’re battling crowds just to get a view… it kind of defeats the purpose.

So, how about taking a route less travelled next time?

Here are two I can highly recommend:

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Lamberts Bay, sunset, yo yos, camping, explore, adventure, West Coast, South Africa, travel, gypsified, road tripping, south african road trip, backroad adventures in south africa

Winter wandering along the West Coast: Lamberts Bay camping

On the short (and possibly illegal) drive from Elands to Lamberts Bay, we encountered several cars heavy-laden with surfboards and saw a few stoked-looking bodyboarders changing into and out of wetsuits at Doringbaai.

This spelled only good things for Lamberts, which made Guillaume step a little more firmly on the accelerator.

True as bob, popular surf spot Yo Yos was pumping: 3 – 4ft lines marched into the bay, with a stiff, yet gentle offshore wind combing the perfect a-frame peaks. Surfers whooped as they carved up the playful walls, the sun slowly setting behind them, leaving streaks of incandescent pink, orange, purple and blue in its wake. (This beautiful description courtesy of Guillaume).

We witnessed all of this from the neighbouring municipal camspite, where we were pitching our tent for the next two or three (we hadn’t quite decided yet) nights. Guillaume had gallantly sacrificed his surf to help set up the camp in the last bit of light.

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Just tell me a story: 5 podcasts I can’t get enough of

If there’s one thing I love more than anything else in the entire world, it’s a good story.

And, if you’ll allow me to brag just for a second here, I’m really good at sniffing them out wherever I can.

So, when I finally got round to listening to Serial Season 1 – the who dunnit drama that got the entire world tuning into podcasts again – sometime last year and devoured it at a furious pace,  it didn’t take me very long to find similar sorts of audio thrills elsewhere.

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