Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday 27th May 2016...back 'HOME"!!!!

So we go back to yesterday morning and I had my fruit and yogurt on the patio of my small apartment with this as my view!!

Showered, shaved and in my new shirt ready to leave for the airport!!
Said goodbye to my wonderful hosts Mo and Elred and took the car back to the drop off centre at the airport...this car the same as the one in New Zealand and Australia served me really well..I put on many miles and all trouble free.
I walked to the departure terminal and I had nearly 4 hours to wait for my flight and I saw a long line at Economy check in..I was not sure if I could check in this early for my flight and I did not feel like getting in line and being told no so I walked to the first class check in there were no passengers there and just a man behind the desk....I told him I was not line jumping but asked him the question about the big line and my late flight and he told me I would have to come back after 1.30pm and then he said where are you going and I told him he hit the computer and told me that i had very little time in J'Burg to make my connection and then he said give me a minute.....he looked on line and told me he could put me on an earlier flight leaving in one hour and I said that would be great and asked for an aisle seat in the exit row, they have extra leg room and he said no problem.....he even checked my suitcase all the way to London!!!
The flight was just under 2 hours and uneventful with this nice view
My next flight to Dubai and then onto London was with Emirates so I went to their check in and and asked if it was possible to have an aisle seat in the exit row and again I got lucky with both flights....I really did not have to wait long before I boarded and I got the seat I wanted but not only that the flight was full except for one empty seat was just happened to be next to me so I had an aisle seat, extra leg room and no one next to me!!!!
This is really a classy airline and they had a camera mounted somewhere either on the nose or the cock pit because on the screens we saw the aircraft barreling down the run way and lifting off, very cool!!!
The 8 hour flight was not a problem I am a bit of a seasoned traveler and I had all needed in a small bag under my seat I did watch a great movie which I recommend called Fathers and daughters starring Russel Crowe and a most delightful 8 year old girl who was beautiful and very talented and the movie was a gripping encounter of real life proportions!!!
The food was good and plentiful as were the top ups on water and juice and 8 hours later at 5.15am this morning my first touch down in Dubai...went through an immigration inspection  and then had 90 minutes before my next flight...we were held in a restricted area so I could not get out to take some photos only this inside the terminal
So I boarded my third flight and I do not know how long this run of mine can continue the exact same seating situation aisle seat, exit row and an empty seat next to me.....This plane was huge and I asked how many passengers it could hold and was told 517..just incredible.....again good food I do not sleep on planes so i spent a bit if time walking and stretching and really the time went quite quickly and I was landing in London!!!!!!
Jane and Malc were there waiting for me and great to see them both again it has been nearly two years since I was last in England.....
J & M are travelling with their caravan as on Monday they drive to Dover and then across the channel to visit France for a I had booked an airbnb stay 4 miles from where they were parked in a trailer park.....They dropped me off at the house and I met Heidi, my hostess, the room is small but lovely and has all I need....
I had a shower and a cup of tea and Janet and Malc came back for me and we drove to their trailer or caravan as they call they over here...
So I not only name my own stuff but I do it for other people and the caravan brand is a Stellar, so when we traveled together to Europe 4 years ago I named the Caravan Stella!!!
Another tradition started by my Mum and continued by Janet is that when ever i come home always there are a batch of Wingies waiting for me and no surprise to me that Janet had made a dozen and I guarentee they will not last long!!!
Tea and a Wingie..
The sun was shining and we sat out and caught up a little what is nice now after getting dark for me in South Africa before 6 pm is that it is light till 9.30 pm.
Janet made a delicious supper
She knows I love Yorkshire pudding!!!
My lovely family!!!

It was a great reunion!!!!
After dinner and sitting and relaxing I hit the wall and not sleeping for over 24 hours caught up to Malc drove me back to the house and now after sorting my case I am ready for bed!!!!

So another adventure begins in my home Country and starting with a huge soccer game tomorrow afternoon ..we are all going to the 90000 capacity National Stadium to watch what is being billed as the richest soccer game ever played and my Brother's team Hull are playing ironically the team from my home town Sheffield a huge day and Malc and Janet, their two sons Mark and Andy and Mark's son little Tom are coming to...I say Little Tom he will soon be 12 years old and I look forward to seeing them all!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday 25th May last full day in South Africa!!!

Hard to believe I arrived on 28th March and now time to leave...I am sure in days to come I shall  tell you about me feelings for this country but it has been a wonderful time for me and I have to mention Sonja and Delwin they invited me into their home and lives without knowing me and treated me like I was the King of England thank you so much not only for the 7 days of animal spotting but also the route you designed for me to arrive in Cape Town.....the very slight fears I had of getting Malaria and being unsafe here were completely unfounded and all I found were kind, caring and lovely people!!!
I shall not forget the Victoria Falls ever!!!  I shall never look at, read about, watch on TV or anything remotely connected to Elephants without reliving my inter action with "MY" elephant..the Great white shark cage diving was a bit unnerving but nothing compares to the "thrill" of abseiling down Table Mountain!!!
So for my last day after doing the girls things, food and walks, I put on my new hiking shoes and set out for a beach walk..come along, no comments necessary enjoy the last walk with me!!!!

 Let me see if I can still use the knowledge that Delwin gave me about identifying tracks..
 I think this track is from a youngish handsome man in his early 60's with graying hair at the temples he is travelling in a left direction in his new New Balance comfy hiking shoes!!!!!  How did I do???

It was a great start to the day and as you can see just a glorious day..on the way home I stopped in town at the local Barber shop and got a good 60 Rand hair cut...what do you think??
 Came home and started my house hold chores and two hours later the house looked great, I did a load of laundry, cut the grass and packed up my stuff..Sue was due to arrive back around 6.30 pm....I spent the rest of the afternoon watching a thrilling tennis match from Paris!!!!
As I was waiting for Sue to come I received an e mail from her telling me that I could leave as she would would be a little while and to put the key outside...this is not the way I would have ended the house sit but that was her choice so I never got to see her to tell her about stuff and about the dogs being a lot of work.
I then left the house and drove to the great little apartment that I stayed in two weeks ago, it is very new and wonderfully laid out, the kind owners Mo and Elred invited into their home for tea and a chat, I enjoyed that thanks!!
Had a real nice shower and going to try and get an early night....
It will be a couple of days before I blog again.....
My itinerary is I leave Cape Town at 4pm tomorrow afternoon and 2 hours to J'Burg, with a 90 minute lay over and then an 8 hour flight to Dubai with a 2 hour lay over and then a 7 hour flight putting me in London at 12.30 pm on Friday afternoon where Janet and Malc are picking me up!!!!

Thanks South Africa!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday 24th May what do you do when rain stops you from playing tennis !!!!

Of course you watch tennis on TV!!!!!
I always thought that Vancouver Island weather was unpredictable and could change in an instant but this Cape weather beats that..from this morning we have had sunny clear skies, torrential downpours, gloomy low clouds you name it we had my last game of tennis here was rained out and I did not even go to the club and I am sorry I missed saying good bye to the guys they were all very kind to me and I had some great sets......Did some laundry and some sorting out as tomorrow is my last day at the house here, Sue comes back tomorrow evening and then I go the the apartment I stayed in two weeks ago close to the airport and I fly out on Thursday.
Late afternoon I took my new hiking shoes back to the store..I had worn them around the house and they were just not right..they gladly refunded my money and then as luck would have it on the way home I found a Croc store and bought myself a pair of real Crocs...I know they are the ugliest shoes ever but they are so comfortable and next to the store was a small sports and I went in and guess what he had????
Water resistance New Balance hiking shoes and in my size, a great price and now I am a happy camper or I should say a happy hiker!!!
Just a quiet evening at home with my girls!!!

It is not very often that I get a bit miffed but I did this evening and I am going to tell you about it, perhaps miffed is not the right word BUT if in another life I was the Manager of the Manchester United soccer club, which happens to be the richest and most prestigious club in the world, this is what I would do...

but first you need to know what I am talking about...

Remember on Saturday evening I was watching a soccer game on TV and the power went out??
That game was the  Cup Final, similar in standards to the Super Bowl or the World Series in the States...anyway one of teams playing was Manchester was a great game played before 90000 fans at the stadium in London where incidentally I shall be attending this Saturday with my family.....back to the game....The score was tied 1 - 1 after regulation time so they go into a 30 minute overtime and that is when the power went out.
On Sunday when everything was restored at the house I knew from the news that Manchester United had scored a goal in overtime to win the game and the famous cup!!!
It was not till this evening that a saw a high light reel of the winning goal.
I must say it was really a wonderful goal one of the best and with 3 minutes left on the clock sealed the here is where I get mad....the scorer of the goal was jubilant as well he should have been probably the best goal of his career and as soon as it goes into the net he dashes to the corner of the field taking his team jersey off and throwing it on the ground and then proceeds to accept the accolades of his team mates and the fans!!!
Is it just me but does any one else see how dis-respectful that action  of throwing his shirt to the ground was???
I was always told it is not the name of the back of the shirt that counts(meaning your name) but the name on the front(the team name)!!
So if I was the manager of the team I would call him into the office after a while and the celebrations have died down..I would have told him how proud I was that he scored a fantastic goal which gave our team the victory and then I would tell him the act of throwing away his shirt will never happen again or you will not play for my team again.  Then I would put him on a plane for Los Angeles and tell him to spend 24 hours with Wayne Gretzky(if you do not know this name please Google him) and you will come back a humbled and better man!!

OK I feel better now....

My hot bath calls!!!
Yashi Kochi!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday 23rd May 2016...Hop on Hop off!!!!

Today although cloudy and a bit cooler was my day to do the Hop on bus tour and I drove about 30 minutes towards Cape Town where I could parked the car and got on the bus
 As you can see it was not busy but it did get more passengers further along the route
As the weather was not great I decided to fore go the walking tour at 11 am and do the the three bus routes instead.....the first one is by the coastal road
 This is the oldest working lighthouse in South Africa!!
 Neat how I managed to get the bird in the shot of the light!!!
Then it was down town

I really think it is great the kids are in uniform and I love that the girls all have their hair braided reminds me of SMA!!
 One of the colorful down town markets..

This photo above is an area called District is worth a Google to read the sad history of this area and the people that lived it is mainly all weeds and grass and only a few minutes out of the down town core!!

 Very colorful flower and fruit stalls!!

This is the hospital where Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant!!
It is a shame the weather did not allow the walking tours to go ahead I would have enjoyed those but the weather turned really ugly on the way home..
 It went from clear blue sky in these shots
 to this a few minutes later!!
You will be happy to note that I shall not be writing this week "I settled in to watch a live soccer game"  No matches forecast so what can I do?????

Of course the French Open started yesterday so watching tennis instead!!!!
Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday 22nd May 2016....WELL that was some 24 hours!!!!

Long post and you will see why as you read on....
Somethings tells me today is some sort of special day but I cannot for the life of me think why!!!
Anyway I think you need the usual liquid refreshment and a comfy seat!!!
We have to go back to Saturday morning and I woke up feeling good but just a tad lazy so I spent the morning on the front deck reading, watching the horizons, thinking(I know dangerous) and making some final plans for the next few days......
After taking the girls for a nice long walk I came home and decided to go to the Mall, how often do you hear a guy saying that????
The prices here are so reasonable I took the opportunity to buy some shaving and toothpaste stuff...
Back home relaxed and then at 5 pm went down to the local wharf as I had booked a 2 hour moon lit kayak paddle...

There were 5 girls and myself plus the owner ...the boats were doubles so I partnered with a lady called Vanessa and I gave her the option of front or back and she wanted the back and away we went...

It was so nice to be out on the water you get a totally different perspective and also get to see this submarine..

The sky was lovely but the moon did not come up till later due to some clouds so these are not good shots..

We managed to stay afloat and keep dry..

It was a great time and the sea and kayaks are always important to me.
I was back home in time for the FA Cup Final from the stadium where I shall be next was a great game that went into overtime and just as the overtime was to commence off went the POWER!!!!!!!  It was after 9 pm so totally dark!!!
I found some candles and lit them and looked out the window at the neighborhood and my house was the only one in the dark!!!!
I went into the garage and found the fuse come on people you have to be impressed I know what a fuse box is!!!!!!!
They all looked OK but there is a computerized box next to the fuse box.....I did not know what to do as I had no phone no Internet so I went next door and introduced myself and asked if there is any thing different here about the power and the lady told me yes it is pay as you go!!!!!
She showed me her box and the read out of the output she had left and she told me I could go to the corner store about 7 blocks away and buy more power...I thanked her and got in the car and went down and spoke to the owner of the store she was very helpful but told me I needed the card with the number on to get a renewal.....back to the house and look around no card...and I thought maybe the number is the owner's cell number which I had...back to the that didn't work so she took me in the rear of the store and showed me her box and where the serial number was.....back to the house...are you still following this????
Absolutely no serial number on my box but being the ex detective I did see a small receipt stuck behind the fuse box that had numbers on....back to the store with this and the lady said great..she then asked how much power did I want and I said I have no idea give me 200 Rand worth so she entered it in the machine gave me the receipt and showed me the numbers I needed to punch in and I gave her my credit card..she looked at me and said sorry it is only cash for the power've got it back to the house for my cash and back to the store but I only had 120 Rand in cash so got a new receipt and away I go finally I hope for the last time from the store.....
Punched in the numbers and right away the power comes back on...almost...I mean some of the lights did come on but the fridge, micro, TV Internet bed side lamp no power...I looked at the fuse box it was after 11pm by now and thought to heck I am going to I did.

Now we are into Sunday and I got up did the girls walks and food and back downstairs to the fuse box and saw two main green switches were down and they should be up..but they would not stay up.....I called a friend of the owner and Sue came around with her neighbor Basil who took a look and realized there was a problem with those switches which he fixed right away.hit the switches they stayed up and all is back to NORMAL!!!!!!Thank you Sue, Basil and next door lady!!!
After a while I packed up and went in the car to here for the afternoon...

These few shots are on the spectacular drive to the park

I paid my 125 Rand entrance fee and this is what I saw first!!
not sure what the little brown animal on the left is..I bet Delwin will know!!
Just enjoy the views they are picture postcard perfect!!!

The hike was about 5 km and just so delightful!!!
Yes I built that myself!!!
So in this shot above you can see if you look closely the first lighthouse halfway down the cliff it was considered too close to the ocean and rocks so they built the second one on the cliff top!!

After the hike I drove through the park and you have to wonder what is happening here obviously I got here just after the tour bus!!

Now you know

and eventually no one behind the sign
A pretty wild coast line
I just love this shot it is close to the entrance to the park!!!  The colors, the sky and the tree!!!

I took a different route home and again lovely scenery!!
It was a lovely outing!!!

Had a light meal a lovely long hot bath and now settled down to Watch live England V Turkey!!!!

I think I figured out what is special about the day!!!!!

My 68th Birthday and yes the cake was delicious!!!
Thanks for this above from P & J and this from my "Used to be favorite niece!!!!"

Yashi Kochi!!!