29 Jan 2012

The last of the South African photos .....

These are the last of my photo from the Gauteng province and most of these landscape photos were taken out of the  car window while we were driving soo, please bear that in mind if they are slightly out of focus.....
 In the opposite direction to the Game reserve, on the other side of Johannesburg, is a totally different landscape. 

 We  took a drive out to Hartebeesport Dam

The road goes all round the Dam and then along the Dam wall and through a tunnel that goes all the way  under the mountain. 

I remember coming here and driving along this same wall and through this same tunnel when I was a very little girl and it is still here and such a good condition still!
This is a very  expensive area, with luxury homes,  mostly holiday or weekend  houses
almost everyone owns a  boat of some sort. 
 There is a snake park which is a huge tourist attraction.
Tortoises of all shapes and sizes were around the restaurant area,

 A variety of Turtles
A large family of Meercat entertained us with their cute antics  

and some larger reptiles were luckily behind glass
 The 'Flea Market',  that is what they call it, but really it was huge and a permanent structure

consisting of Huts selling a huge variety of  African curios. 

This is when you need a few thousand ££ £ or $$$ notes to indulge in an orgy of spending. 

On our way home we came across an old trading store, Tant Malie Se Winkel (Aunt Malie' s Store) established in 1921

one of the first  in the area and it has been kept immaculate and  looks like the day it was built. 
They even sell home made bread still made in the original ovens and have cool houses outside (original fridges) and dried fish and biltong (dried meat) hanging everywhere. 

 It was like walking into a time warp back to the Voortrekker days!

And another very satisfactory day ended with an exquisite African sunset!

28 Jan 2012


I have come back from my holiday  to such sad news  - the dear lady who I have taken care of for 16 months has taken a bad turn and has been given weeks to live. 
 She is  in a Nursing home  and I spend 4 to 5 hours with her ever day.  
This is so sad and I am feeling a bit lost!   
I am not supposed to get emotionally attached, but how can I do this job without caring
She is such a sweetie, not a bad bone in her body and I have grown so close to her........

22 Jan 2012

Even more Africa....

There are loads of photo's in this post, but I really didn't want to leave any out at all ......

A few days of our holiday in South Africa  was spent on a game farm owned by my Niece, her husband and his family, in the
 Dinokeng Game Reserve.  
 We stayed in a game lodge that had literally been completed a couple of days before we arrived.  It was originally an old barn that was converted into a  three bedroom lodge. 

 We were the first guests to stay and it was very luxurious and spacious. 

I  am African, and have lived in South Africa for all my life, but I never ever tire of seeing animals in the wild,  so when we went on our late afternoon game drive

 I was thrilled to see so much  - it doesn't matter how often you see animals in the wild it is always exhilarating. 

We saw so many different species of buck,

Tsessebe,  Nyala,  Impala

and a large family of Warthog (my favourite animals) 

 We also caught a glimpse of Zebra in the distance,  so exciting.

The only trouble with going on a game drive is the low branches that you have to be aware of, not just because of the danger of the branches  scratching  you  badly,  but because of the spider webs and the spiders, specifically Golden Orb Spiders,  that  land on you  - it gave me the heebie  jeebies.

The evening brought  heavy clouds and a thunder storm that you only get in Africa. 

 All the rooms of the Lodge had large French doors opening out onto the wide open veld (open fields) and luckily they were all fitted with security gates and the large windows had substantial  burglar bars, so we could leave the  door and windows open all night.
 Mostly on the Highveld the nights are a little cooler than the day and there was a cool  breeze  through the room, which made sleeping a little easier and really what better than  falling asleep to the sound of thunder and rain on the zinc roof and the Jackal' s coughing   close to the house, it was lovely.

 It was seriously hot while we were there.  The day we arrived it was 35 degrees and climbed daily until it  got to 38 - very hot indeed!

 Friday morning dawned bright, fresh  and clean after the rain so we went off  really early on another drive,  this time we saw the Zebra close up
and the three young Giraffe
 The only thing we did not see were the Lions and resident Elephants.
Such a wonderful few days

18 Jan 2012

More South African Trip ....

On the way to Warmbaths in Limpopo, just outside of Pretoria, we found a Rose Farm .... 
Ludwig's Rose Farm. 
We had to stop...
As we got out of the car the smell of roses nearly bowled us over.
I suppose it was more potent in the midday sun and 35 degrees  Celsius (96 degrees Fahrenheit) heat  and with the sprinklers on them the smell was everywhere, so beautiful. 
Wow it was amazing there were hundreds and thousands of rose species. 
The roses were all in their specific categories - Hybrid Tea Roses,
Colourscape Roses,
Miniature Roses
  Fairy Tale Roses with names like Pooh Bear and Princess Rose Blossom
 and of course some more famous names such as
Madiba ( Nelson Mandela),

Madiba's Rose

Very fitting for Madiba!
Super Bowl and Pride of England! 
There was a tea room ....
Serving cream scones and cakes.
  Also on sale were Rose Jams (delicious wish I could have brought some home!)
Rose Turkish delight and rose bushes and cut roses ....
 Ahh it was soooo beautiful!
 Only  when we drove out on the highway did we realise how large the farm is!

  It was such a great  day!

Back on the Great North road to Warmbaths to spend a couple of days near Warmsbath's at a  hotel called the Carousel. 
The Great North Road to Warmbaths
Open bushveld all the way to the Carousel
 It was really a treat my Sister-in-Love had arranged for a bit of a break and a bit of Luxury. The Carousel is a large hotel complex
The  Carousel Hotel
  with a  very large casino attached
Gates to the Hotel
The sign at at the gates of the casino promise all sorts
The sign at the entrance of the casino
 We were given a complimentary R200 each to gamble. 
I am not a gambler at all - I just can't get my head around putting,  good money, that could buy some beads or such stuff into a machine to have it swallowed up in an instantly .

I did however find a machine that had lots of lights and free games and cost a whole 20c to play. 
I  won until I had R1 900 then  lost, then won and then lost, but still came away with my R200 in tact so it was fun. 

BUT the Rose Farm was the highlight of my weekend!