October 24, 2016

Plettenberg Bay, South Africa


We flew from London to Joburg and Joburg to Port Elizabeth, before picking up our rental car and heading to Plett.

A useful mistake of mine: I accidentally booked business class flights for our leg to Port Elizabeth. They were no more expensive than the tickets from CPH-JNB later in the trip, and I bought them on Expedia. I didn’t realise this until I picked up our tickets in JNB. Anyway, what this meant was that we could use the lounge and shower before hopping on another flights and having a drive ahead of us.

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Petting the domestic A320.

It seems all rental cars on the Garden Route are either white or  gold, and ours was no exception.

Driving along the route is on a 2 lane road, and people pull up on to the shoulder to let passing drivers past. The passing driver will generally flash their hazards after they pass to communicate a Thank You. It’s nice.

We arrived in Plett in the evening around dinnertime, despite a rather exciting road closure that lead us off  our preferred path. Google saved us in the end!

We checked in around dinnertime at The Robberg Beach Lodge, a recommendation from Nina and Darren.

The view is lovely, and we could see dolphins and a whale from the inside window as we enjoyed a welcoming glass of wine in the front room of the lodge.

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Then, we found a charming room awaited us before a nice dinner at The Lodge. After many hours travelling, it was good to just settle in.

The next day, we went on a long walk on the beach into the town of Plettenberg Bag. Plett is famous for its beautiful beach, and it did not disappoint.

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It was lovely.

We had nicely deep fried lunch at the The Deck at The Lookout where both opted for a combo platter of goujons and calamari in the sunshine.

and after a walk back along the beach, we packed up and headed for Wilderness.

October 21, 2016

South Africa 2016: The Game Plan


All good trips require a spreadsheet, so here we go:

Date Day Travel Sleeps
22-Oct Sa Depart 2005 LHR VS0601 Plane
23-Oct Su Arrive JNB 0755
JNB B- PLZ 1225-1400 SAA417
Drive to Plettenberg Bay – Hertz
The Robberg Beach Lodge
Address: 89 Beachyhead Dr, Plettenberg Bay, 6600
Phone:+27 44 533 0369
24-Oct M Drive to Wilderness Mes Amis Guest House
Address: Buxton Cl, Wilderness, 6560
Phone: +27 44 877 1928
25-Oct T
26-Oct W
27-Oct R Drive to Hermanus (3.5h) The Marine Hotel
Address: Hermanus, South Africa
Phone:+27 28 313 1000
28-Oct F
29-Oct Sa Drive to Cape Town The Cellars
Address: 93 Brommersvlei Rd, Constantia Heights, Cape Town, 7806
Phone: +27 21 794 2137
30-Oct Su
31-Oct M
01-Nov T CPT-JNB  0850- 1045 SAA316
JNB-HDS 1215-1320 SAA1227
Ngala Tented Camp
Address: andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, Timbavati, 1380
Phone:+27 11 809 4300
02-Nov W
03-Nov R
04-Nov F HDS-JNB 1200-1300 SAA1226
Depart JNB 2130 VS0602
Plane
05-Nov Sa Land LHR 630a
October 18, 2016

Another Swing at Resuscitation


In July 2015, I posted a brief note on how I missed keeping this blog, particularly about my trips, as they’ve proven a helpful reference to share and a nice way to revisit my holidays.

16 months later, I’m finally back to it, having drafted some notes on recently holidays. It’s a bit like a muscle, I suppose. It feels hard to do when you’re out of practice. For example, I’m not the sort of person who takes pictures of everything, but when you want to document it later, it’s really handy to do so.

Anyway, onward and upward, time to get back into practice. I’ve backdated this and entries around the trips in 2016 because I think it’s easier to see things reported when they happened, even if I didn’t write it up at the time.

July 12, 2015

So, that took awhile…


I haven’t posted on here since 2011. Time flies, and a lot has happened since then, so much so that just about everything is a bit different. 

In that time, I’ve frequently regretted not writing about my trips, as rereading my accounts has let me both reexperience those adventures and allowed me to easily share places I’ve really enjoyed with friends. 

So, after a two week visit to the States, it’s time for me to stop over 3.5 years of procrastination and write a story. (It’s bedtime, so I’m giving myself the week to actually deliver.)

September 27, 2011

Explanation for the Lull


I haven’t posted much lately, reasons include:

  • Busy with new job
  • Haven’t been making much stuff (I *do* have a cake to post, though) or going places since I started the job
  • Did I mention busy with new job?
  • Maffetone Training
The latter deserves a bit of explanation -“Maffetone Training” is a style of endurance training championed by a guy named Phil Maffetone (shocking, right?). Anyway, it’s all about working at your maximum aerobic threshold and no greater, so this equates to a lot of very slow jogging for me right now.
When I decided to try this training method out, I searched around the internet, and I couldn’t find a normal person’s day to day account of doing this, so I started my own.
If you want to read about my glacial workouts and a dietary test involving a lack of carbohydrates, mail me and ask for a link. I don’t blame you if you decide not to, though!
August 31, 2011

Salisbury, England


After nearly four years of my whining about wanting to see Stonehenge, we finally made this happen.

Funnily, what made this trip really happen wasn’t my nagging but my desire to visit a tack shop in Wilton, which is right next to Salisbury. The things one does for the right boots…

Anyway, I was really looking forward to this trip, and I set off to roughly plan what we would do.

Darren takes great pride in planning our trips to the nth detail and said it was my responsibility to do similarly. I delivered with a spreadsheet and a google map (Shocker), that we largely adhered to. (note: this was the first spreadsheet to include specific timings.)

So following our arrival we hopped on the Stonehenge Tour bus outside of the station and enjoyed a historical tour of Salisbury en route to Stonehenge. Stonehenge is first visible from the A303. I saw it a few years ago en route to Cornwall, and it was such a surprise to see it there. if you want to see it a bit closer, you have to buy tickets and enter the site. Seeing Stonehenge doesn’t require a lot of time. We walked around the site in its entirety in about 40 minutes. There’s a free audio guide as well, but we decided to skip that because we hoped to take the earlier bus back into Salisbury.

The Pheasant Inn

We took the tour bus to Blue Boar Inn, a listed building right near the city’s Guildhall and Central Marketplace in search of lunch at The Pheasant Inn, a pub located in an old 16th century inn.

After an undocumented lunch of Steak & Ale pie and Bangers & Mash, we headed off in search of the perfect riding boots.

Equishop came highly recommended by a riding instructor I know,and given that I was having a miserable time finding boots, it seemed worth the trek. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t as good as his was. The overall customer service and selection available within the shop was quite good, but the fitter who helped me seemed very content to sell me a pair of Ariat boots that had way too much free space in the calf. My acquaintance’s experience was completely different. he joked that they made him try on every pair in the store and checked the fit like he was five years old, which was exactly what I was looking for. Would I go there again, yes, but something I’ve learned on this boot hunt is that you need to find the right fitter and I didn’t do that in this case. (I’ve since found boots and am a happy girl.)

Cathedral Exterior

So, leaving the shop a bit deflated and empty handed, we headed back into Salisbury to the Cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral, built in the 13th century is famous for its 123m spire, the tallest in England. One can visit the base of the spire via 332 steps on organized tours, but we arrived too late for the last one on a summer Saturday (1530). It’s also famous for being the home to one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta and houses the world’s oldest, still functioning clock, built in 1382.

I’ve included some interior pictures of the Cathedral, but photos in the Chapter House, where the Magna Carta is housed, were not permitted.

 

After seeing the Cathedral, we had a bit of a wander around the City Center, followed by a pint at The Chough. A chough is a type of bird – I learn something new every day.

Then, unfortunately, it was time to head back to the rail station!

July 30, 2011

NYC Cycle Routes: City to Piermont via 9W or HHD


Another route I often enjoyed in my NYC days was from home to Piermont. One can go via 9W or Henry Hudson Drive (HHD), and I’ve mapped both for you with the HHD bit in purple.  
In the city, I tended to use Riverside Drive, rather than the greenways to get to the GWB because it was faster and I don’t always have enough fear for my own good. (I took the Manhattan Bridge with the cars once on my bike. I can assure you this was not wise.) Taking Riverside Drive is totally OK, though. I wouldn’t suggest anything intense on here.

Anyway, as before: look at the underlying googlemap, as I’ve left notes on the markers to help.

Any suggestions/ amendments, let me know!

 

July 18, 2011

NYC Cycle Routes: My Brooklyn Route


This is a pretty fun route that I’ve shared with a number of people, and I’ve finally gotten around to mapping it. I plan to map out a few more in the coming weeks, as else, I might start forgetting them. (I left New York in December 2007)

I think this is a ride best done in the early morning, as then you avoid, the heat (if summer), traffic, and hoardes of tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge who don’t understand that they belong on the side of the bridge that doesn’t have a picture of a person with wheels on it. Also, the Ocean Parkway bit has quite a few synagogues, so you may want to avoid timing your rides for temple time, as the service roads have a lot more cars then.

Do look at the underlying googlemap, as I’ve left notes on the markers to help.

Any suggestions/ additions are welcome, just let me know!

July 4, 2011

Walking in Search of US Presidents in London


In honor of Independence Day, Darren suggested we go on a walk around London in search of statues of former American Presidents.

Thus, off we went! (The map includes our route and markers for each statue.)


 

We kicked off the walk at Great Portland Street tube stop, right next to Regent’s Park and a statue of JFK. This Statue was funded by Sunday Telegraph readers, each allowed to donate no more than £1. The statue cost £50,000.

JFK at Regent's Park

From JFK, we headed South into Mayfair to the US Embassy and Grosvenor Square, which is really the Powerball of presidential statue spotting in London. The Square is home to three of them: FDR, Eisenhower, and as of today, Reagan.

FDR in Grosvenor Square

Ike in Grosvenor Square

Reagan in Grosvenor Square

We then headed back to Bond Street to visit FDR & Churchill.

Churchill & FDR on Bond Street

Walking South through Green Park and through Victoria, we found  Lincoln, across from Westminster Abbey.

Lincoln near Parliament

Wrapping it up, we visited Washington, a gift from the Commonwealth of Virginia,  in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.

Washington at the National Gallery

June 14, 2011

Regents Canal Towpath


Where to go...

Darren and I recently took advantage of a sunny day to head over to the Regents Canal Towpath and Little Venice (where Regent’s Canal meets the Grand Union canal)  for a bit of a walk.

The map covers our route once we arrived at the path and just the bit that we followed. In its entirety, it runs from Limehouse  to Paddington. You can walk along the route, or you can take a boat.

Built in the early 19th century and whose design was guided by the architect, John Nash of Brighton Pavillion fame, the canal paths were used heavily to transport goods until the 1960’s.

Some pictures! (and evidence that my camera has been neglected for a while!)

You can visit the London Zoo from the path and see the warthogs!

View of the path heading West

Someone's shack along the path.

One of the Canal Boats available for rides.

There are many houseboats moored along the walk as you get closer to Little Venice.

A view of Maida Vale's Little Venice