Monday, February 1, 2010

Home Again and the Last Week

I think I have the Jet Lag thing beat… at least I hope I have figured out the solution, (at least for me)!!! Out of four 22+ plus hour flights (not including all the layover times), only the first flight in July, left me dragging for 2 days. The other 3 I have only needed the next regular 8 hours of sleep to be caught up.


Now that I am home, I have collected m y dog, said hello to the cat, gone through the mail, checked the bills and the difference from what I told the auto pay to pay and the actual bills. Didn’t do too badly! Emptied the contents of my suitcases around the house… literally, clothes, toiletries and shoes all put away-check, put the Gifts and artifacts on the dining room table-check, sewing and books in the studio-check, fabric and other sewing notions in a bag for bee-check. I made a quick stop at the grocery for some food. The refrigerator is on the blink. Not much in there to spoil, mostly condiments, so the mayo’s will have to go. It is cool in there, just not cold. The freezer part is fine. The motor that blows the really cold air into the fridge part is not working. Should be all taken care of by mid week, I have a call into the repair guy. Mean while there is a fridge in the garage that I am using for cold keep. But it is cold enough in the garage to just use the garage!

My last week in South Africa, was interesting and just kept right on going!!! (remember you can click on a photo for a larger view).

Our friends, Fanie and Elmarie loaned us one of their cars while they were visiting with us at New Years, so on Friday January 22nd we left at a bit after noon for the Pretoria/Johannesburg area about a 5-6 hour drive. DH said that we could make a stop back at the quilt shop I found between Christmas and New Years, (with Elmarie). So we did, I spent about 30 minutes in a frenzy, spent much more but I have some orange giraffes….and a few other bits and pieces. We made it to Jo’burg at about 6:30 and unloaded the car.

One of our big disappointments was the box I shipped at the beginning of December did not get there in time for Christmas. It had our gifts for our friends, Fanie, Elmarie and the kids. We put a trace on it and it was found and delivered to us, 3 weeks late. I got the gifts wrapped and they came with us to Jo’burg. So we had our friends Christmas in January. Fanie and Elmarie gave us, at Christmas in Darkest Africa, some really neat authentic leather South African Bush hats. We wore them a lot, since it was hot!!! And you really need the shade when it’s that hot.

We stayed overnight and the next morning we left early for a drive to the east of Jo’burg, with plans to stop and have breakfast in a neat little town called Dullstroom. It is a very nice and quaint village of art, galleries and fun shops. We didn’t get to shop in all of them, but we did do some damage in one or two. Breakfast was delicious!!! I had sweet pancakes… Crepes filled with a dark chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream and some hot French press coffee. What a way to start the day!!! DH had the savory pancakes… Crepes filled with Bobotie, (a traditional South African dish), and the same coffee.

We took a road trip toward the East from Jo'burg, for a wonderful day of stopping and seeing all kinds of sights and sounds in the South African countryside… Fanie and Elmarie showed us some wonderful rolling (almost mountainous) hills, some very quaint villages and towns.  DH liked some of them enought to consider moving there permanently... do you think maybe the fishing might have something to do with it?










We stopped in a little village called Pilgrims Rest, where we saw some native ladies doing some bead work on a porch.

We also stopped at a waterfall, and a place where the water carved some holes in the surrounding stone while tumbling down a ravine, called Bourke’s Lucky Pots.







We also stopped at a place called Gods Window, and it surely must be. What a view. It was hazy, for us, but stunning none the less. I’d like to go back and visit on a really clear day. It was mentioned that maybe we should come back in the morning for the sunrise. After getting up at 3:30 to see the one in Lesotho… I was not so eager!!!

Our path ended for the day at a place on the Sabie River (click the link to see the accomodation), for the night. It is a camp resort where you stay in a tent. Not the canvas tents of old, but the new fashioned vinyl tent with screens, electricity and plumbing. It was truly relaxing listening to the river flow past all night.

The next day we made our way back toward Jo’burg, the long way with breakfast again in Dullstroom, but at a different place- misake, food was not as good. Just outside of Dullstroom is a bird sanctuary, where birds are rehabilitated or used in a breeding program. Most had been handled by humans when very young and imprinted, so are not able to be wild. We stayed for the bird program, where they were brought out and flown for us. There were only 4 birds in the show, but what a show. We saw a Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Tawny Eagle and an Owl really close. The falcon was flown using a lure and he had it zipping in right over our heads, the same with the owl!!! He flew these 2 birds so we could experience, the noise difference of wind through the feathers of those 2 birds in flight. My camera battery was dead, so I didn’t get any pictures of the show, and damn if I’m not a bit upset, (we didn’t have the correct converter for the outlet with us to charge the battery). I have plans to go back!!! DH really liked the signs about what some of the birds ate… can you guess what had him interested?

We finished our drive with a quick run up to Pretoria and shown the city center, where we would be spending the next few days. The Capital of Pretoria is an amazing structure and the gardens are wonderful. I’d love to spend some time just looking at the flowers. (no camera no photos)

We then collected our stuff from Fanie & Elmaries home, and drove back to Pretoria. DH had some business to conduct at the US Embassy. I spent my part of my days sitting on the verandah of the hotel reading a book -which after traipsing around South Africa for 5 weeks was a welcome change of pace.

Next post… the Give Away-



As always- MORE later!

4 comments:

angela said...

Welcome back to the snow today!!

Becky said...

Yea! Glad you made it back safe and sound! As usual, great pictures!!

Wolfie said...

Ohhh that lion picture is beyond fantastic. Glad to hear that you made it back safe and sound and managed to beat the jet lag. Give Axel a big kiss from the Swedish gals :-)

Karen S said...

I love that lion cub -- he'll go far with that attitude!

Doesn't the camera always die at the most inopportune moments? At least it worked for the lions.

So whose kids would you feed to the birds? LOL!