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Hello darlings,

Rosie and Darryn- found you

Welcome back. I’m kicking off my November post with the details of the amazing photo shoot hubby and I did with Lynda J, a friend, fellow actress, and talented all-round awesome person. We did our shoot last weekend, and if you’re ever looking for a photographer for events, weddings, birthdays, baby pics, or what have you, in Cape Town, definitely keep her in mind.

As light is important, we met at 08:30 in a secluded little grove near Tokai forest. There was a light breeze, the trees were illuminated by the gentle glow of the rising sun, and hubby and I gave our suggested poses list a final glance before climbing out the car and meeting Lynda in the field. I sadly didn’t think to take some of my own snaps of the setting before we started, but below, you can see some of the pics Lynda took of us (they were all gorgeous, but these are my favourites).

Rosie and Darryn intertwined hearts

Rosie and Darryn in the field

Rosie and Darryn wishes in the wind

Some of you may have noticed, I’m wearing 3 different outfits, and I can say that quick changes in the theatre are a breeze compared to doing so in public. You can’t see it in the pictures, but there were people walking dogs, joggers, and even an entire family who wandered past us, so if you do a photo shoot with clothing changes, take a fairly large towel, and save your dress (if you’re wearing one) for last (or first) as pants are easy to slip on underneath.

Rosie and Darryn- just hanging out

Rosie and Darryn- you've got my heart

Rosie and Darryn laughter in the sunshine

Rosie and Darryn hello there

Rosie and Darryn kissing

Lynda perfectly captured the free-spirited fun that Darryn and I share. The quirkiness, trust, and above all – love, was beautifully translated into all the photo’s taken with her. If you’re in the area, and are looking for a wedding photographer, someone to take your portrait photo, and make you feel at ease, Lynda is definitely your gal. 

Hmm, following on from this post, I may do a list of photography poses and props at some point, so keep your eyes peeled. ;0)

Ja ne until next time.

Xxx

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Tenikwa Welcome sign

Hello lovelies,

As promised, here is the breakdown of our Saturday:

Our early wake up at 05:30 meant that as we drove from Knysna through to Plettenberg Bay just after 06:00, for our Cheetah Walk at Teniqua Wildlife Sanctuary and Animal Hospital at 07:00, we were surrounded by dark grey clouds, as dawn struggled to take hold of the sky. When we arrived at Teniqua and parked, the sun finally burst through the clouds and bathed the building in light as we entered. I remember thinking that it was a glorious way to first lay eyes on this incredible place (which I highly recommend you visit if you’re touring the Garden Route).

We were warmly greeted and ushered through to the restaurant side of Tenikwa, for some much needed coffee and were entertained by the Marabou Storks at the adjacent pond, as we filled our bloodstream with caffeine. Splitting into 2 groups – one of 6 and one of 2 – Lauren and Dylan went off first to start their walk with  Duma, the largest and most dominant cheetah on-site. Before I give a quick rundown of our groups walk with Thandi and Chaka (the two sibling cheetahs) I must give you the lowdown on the cheetah walks at Tenikwa:

Cheetah Walks are part of the cheetah enrichment programme at Tenikwa, as it gives the cheetahs exercise, a chance to mark their territories, and to give visitors the opportunity to encounter these beautiful felines up close. The term ‘walk the cheetah’ is a bit misleading, as we were only allowed to take the split lead (visitors hold one leash while Tenikwa guides the other) after we were acknowledge that we were to follow the cheetahs lead, and not set our own pace.

The cheetahs set the pace, stopping, running, spraying, sniffing, and frolicking as they would as if they were in the wild  (so be prepared to jog if they sprint, and let go of the lead if they run). We were all warned not to look directly into their eyes, as this is a sign of a challenge in the wild, and that’s a challenge a human certainly won’t win if it should come down to a dominance match.

Thandi posing

Mandy Freeman, wife and co-creator of Tenikwa (her husband Len Freeman is the other co-owner, which you can read more about) came with on our group of 6’s walk with Thandi and Chaka. As we each took turns with the leads, I got to chat with her for a good long while, and she was patient and put up with my endless questions, as I tried to desperately memorize her informative and passionate answers. I was thrilled when I got to take Thandi’s lead alongside Msizi, the guide. She glanced up at me, and I felt a lightning bold of adrenaline and joy, (surprisingly, no fear) when her tawny eyes met mine, I had an overwhelming urge to stretch out my arms and hug her, but that likely wouldn’t have gone over well, so I resisted. She held my gaze as she lazily yawned and continued on wards, leaving me with a thudding heart as I walked alongside her, the overview warning of not looking into their eyes ringing in my mind. It seemed I wasn’t a threat after all, and was filled with delight as she sniffed at various bushes and trees as we continued on our trail. Msizi chatted easily with me, explaining certain behaviours. He noted that if Thandi had been in the wild, any cubs she may have had would likely have died. When I quizzed him as to why, he replied that it was because she was missing the tell-tale white tail-tip that female cheetahs have. In the wild, cheetah cubs follow the white tail-tip of their mother through the long grass, and without this guiding tip, the cubs would get lost and starve to death. I was saddened as I began to think of how many cheetah cubs die in the wild when mothers lack this normal genetic trait like Thandi does, which is due to the cheetah’s dwindling population being forced to inbreed.

Posing with Mzisi and Thandi

I quickly cheered again as Thandi flopped over to pose for photographs, and when she started to purr, as I reverently stroked her soft fur. The sound was loud and reverberated throughout my entire body, giving me a heart-warming glow that is hard to describe (actually, remember what falling in love feels like? Yup, that was the feeling)!

After the indescribably personal walk with the cheetah siblings we went back to their enclosure to watch them enjoy their breakfast, before they gracefully slunk off further into their enclosure for a well-deserved nap.

Thandi and Chaka resting

You can read my thoughts about the Tenikwa Wildlife Centre and Animal Hospital here, but needless to say it was informative, heart-wrenching, inspiring, and definitely made an impact on each of us. I have a full appreciation of the hard work and passion the Tenikwa staff have for the animals in their care, and a deeper understanding of why my father once considered becoming a game ranger.

A big thank you to Lara Mostert, from Birds of Eden and Monkeyland, as well as Stephanie Shobree for being superstars and helping our content team organise our itinerary so we could fit everything in, and still remain on-time.

Keep reading about our Saturday adventures, and let me know what you think about Tenikwa Wildlife Center and cheetah walks!

Until next time,
Daughter of Dreams

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Forest Canopy

Hello lovely people,

As promised, here is a ‘quick’ overview of our recent contents team trip to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

Perregrine Restaurant interior

Overview of Itinerary and our trip

Friday

– Hubby and I left home at 06:00 and set out to Grabouw, our first stop along the way. We were going to meet up with Peter and Dani to get some warm food and a caffeine fix at Peregrine Farm Stall, before we started our 4 1/2 hour drive to Knysna.

Breakfast

The drive from our house to Sir Louwrie’s Pass flew by, but as we ascended into the fog covered peak, the rain started bucketing down, to the point where we could hardly see the road, let alone the dangerous edges of the mountain pass. We were lucky to have a truck in front of us which blocked most of the rain, but the slow crawl up and over was nerve-wracking to say the least. After a warm welcome and some great food, we headed out onto the road.

After 2 hours on the road passing farms, sheep, cows, valleys, mountains, watching the various shades of green and yellow landscapes drift past in succession, we arrived at our halfway point: the town of Riversdale  which is home to a jail from the 1800s called the Ou Tronk.

Where it once held prisoners, it now holds a wonderland of antiques, arts and crafts. It’s intriguing to wander through it, and view a beautiful courtyard with lollypop trees, antiques, store rooms and nicknacks.

Kings Gift1 (Darryn)

We finally reached Knysna and made our way to the beautiful cabin in the woods (Kings Gift).

mitchells gropu shot

From there, we raced into town to grab a bite to eat, before we began our Mitchell’s Brewery Tour and Tasting. Dave McRae, our host, tour guide, brew master, and beer aficionado, gave us the low down on how they craft their various beers and took us for a walk through the brewery. The tour was informative and entertaining, and once it ended, it was time to taste the fruit of the hardworking craft brewers. Round after round of beer was served to us by Dave and his lovely daughter Sandy, who certainly has her father’s quick smile and good sense of humour. The craft beers left me with impressions of bitter, sweet, malty, rich, creamy, sparkling, and definitely tasty! In no particular order, the beers we tasted were:

Michells-Brewery-by-Des clinking glasses

  • The Forester’s Lager which was my second favourite beer, was refreshing and slightly sweet.
  • The Bosun’s Bitter was good, but a bit too bitter for my liking, though my hubby and the other males with us quite enjoyed it.
  • The 90 Shilling Ale was also good, and Dave informed us that it’s often the drink chosen by those who are entering the Knysna Marathon (held during the Oyster Festival period) to carbo-load on.
  • Milk & Honey Ale was a dark-coloured ale that carried a faint scent of milk and honey, and left a slightly sweet taste behind.
  • The Mitchell’s Cider was the clear winner for me (yes, I’m aware it’s not a beer) as it was bubbly, carried the taste and scent of apples, and I could easily see myself drinking it at a braai with friends, or at a cocktail do.
  • The Raven Stout was my 3rd favourite, as (and please nobody shoot me) it reminded me a fair bit of Guinness, being both creamy, rich, and filling.
  • Old Wobbly Lager: I found hard to make my mind about this one, as there was nothing inherently wrong with it’s colour, taste, or scent, but I think perhaps because the alcohol content in it was rather high, it was one of my lowest rated tastings (do try it though, as you may like it).
  • Finally, there was Milkwood, which is a 1/2 Forester’s Lager, and 1/2  Bosun’s Bitter mixture. Though this one was unfortunately unavailable during our tasting, it’s a clear winner for the locals.

Mitchell's Brewery best photo

Our Whale Watching tour with Springtide Charters had to unfortunately be pushed back to Sunday morning, as when evening fell the lagoon waters were a bit too choppy to navigate safely out the harbour.  Instead, Evelyn (wife and co-owner of Springtide Charters) popped down to Mitchell’s so I could interview her while the others made merry inside with the local crowd.

She was a vivacious, bubbly person, who easily switched between making jokes, stating facts, and earnestly talking about conservation efforts of both the lagoon, and local schools, that I quickly fell under her spell and even today I remain in awe of her conversational prowess. A half hour later, with a notebook full of information, I bid her adieu, and headed back inside for my glass of Sparkling Mitchell’s Cider, and mingle with the ‘honorary members’ of Mitchell’s. The small crowd of locals who gathered at Mitchell’s most Friday nights were funny, interesting, and quick to engage us in conversation. As the stars came up we headed back to the cabins for an evening braai to replenish ourselves, before we all retreated to our separate bedrooms to try and sleep before our early morning start on Saturday .

Click to read about our Saturday adventures of walking with cheetahs! ^_^

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Hello from the back seat (Dani and Peter in front, Hubby and I in the back)

Hello from the back seat (Dani and Peter in front, Hubby and I in the back)

Gosh, this is starting to become a bit of a trend with me, isn’t it? What with sporadic posts every five months? 🙂

Some news from my end is that I’m back from the most amazing weekend trip ever – in which our company content team and partners headed up to Knysna for the weekend! We got to do a brewery tour and tasting, walk Cheetah’s at sunrise, visit Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, walk, feed and touch Elephants, and then ended off our Saturday of crazed rushing by have supper at the most amazing restaurant in Knysna!

All the details about the where and what’s at will be showing up here in text and pictures in the next week (our company blog is doing a Knysna week so all first-hand stories will appear there first), but for now, I’d like to tell you about a fantastic website my friend Lauren found (who by the way, is a competition guru) .

The website is called WinStuff  which basically says it all. The long description is that they’re a website with a current list of competitions offered by all kinds of suppliers and companies around South Africa (electronics, getaways, lifestyle and beauty, etc)!!! If you’ve never heard of them, do yourself a favour and head on over there now – all you have to do is answer brief surveys in exchange for an entry (it takes under 1 minute)!

Apart from that, things are well, hubby’s moved jobs to a new company up the road from my work, meaning we’re saving on petrol and driving time daily (plus, I get to do lunches with him again, yay!)

In the meantime, check out my Flickr account for some pics from the trip, and I’ll be back soon to fill you in on the incredible experience we had!

Ja ne till next time. ^_~

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The brilliant performers from "Eat Your Heart Out"Hi all,

Gosh the weather is miserable in Cape Town today! Rain, wind, and I wouldn’t be surprised if snow followed again some times this week … can I get a brr!!!

So last night was the opening performance of “Eat Your Heart Out”, which coincidentally happens to be my debut to the Theatre world, after being absent from the stage for eight years, (yes, my last performance was in high school … and putting a time frame to that has made me feel very, very old! :p). It was a roaring success, despite a few small hitches which shall not be named, in order to prevent any jinxes, and whatnot during the week of our run.

My fellow thespians are brilliant, and the list of them includes my long-time friend Wayne, sweet and innocent Michaela, humorous Rudy, hysterically funny Daniel and Jana; positive Rebecca, sage Paul and Tobey, jack-of-all-trades Gareth, and of course our wonderful director Tom. Sue, Jabu, and Claire have all been invaluable as well, assisting with costumes, lines, and everything else under the sun! Without them, things would have fallen apart very quickly!

Tonight’s going to be our second performance so keep your fingers crossed for us folks, we’re at the Masque until Saturday, 18th of August!

Until next time,

Daughter of Dreams

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Looking up at the MSC Melody from the dock.

So, finally! Here are some pictures from our incredible cruise to Namibia. During our time on board, I felt very much like a socialite, meeting interesting new people, spending quiet moments with my husband, doing lunches and suppers with my mom-in-law and her boyfriend, and finally, getting some much needed R&R.

My wonderful father, since his officers are in the harbour, drove all the way down to the far pier to wave me goodbye (the crew had stopped letting people go ashore after we checked in, so I never got a chance to give him a goodbye hug), but waving madly to him as the ship took us further from shore, was very special, and a couple of kind gents even gave me a bit of a boost so I could properly see him and be seen (thank you amazing strangers, I got to have a Marilyn Monroe-esque moment)!

Leaving Cape Town Harbour

How would I describe the cruise? Well, in a word, an all-in-one first-class hotel and entertainment venue on water!

Our first day was one of exploration. After our check-in and finding our cabin, we grabbed our lifejackets, poured some coffee, and then hunkered down in our mess hall  to chat as we awaited the lifeboat drill (2 floors up from our cabin, with steep, steep stairs – it was a great glutes and thigh tone!). We arrived as the waiters cleared away the lunch buffet and removed the silver chaffing dishes (yes, I waitressed and know their name from numerous times I had to haul them out filled with food, and clear them away back in my days in America). The wait staff removing them was slightly regrettable, as it was an already warm day, so the boiling water below which heated the food filled the air with steam and added to the indoor humidity. After the drill, we could take our ease, which we did.

Every indoors waiting for the life boat drill to begin

033

As our days were filled with sunshine, we spent time participating in games, drinking jewel-coloured cocktails, and I even got to spend 2 – 3 hours a day lazing on the sundeck with a book (bliss!). Surprisingly, I have learnt that despite a healthy childhood on the boats in the harbour, seasickness can strike without warning when out on the ocean. Don’t worry, it wasn’t the gross up-heaving  your probably imagining, thank goodness! It was more of a bone-deep tiredness that suddenly struck after I decided to skip a day of seasickness pills. In hindsight, that was stupid, but on the other hand, I adjusted fairly well after a long nap in our cosy cabin! 😉

I also got to enjoy a soothing Balinese massage by a wonderful therapist. She only gets to visit her family and children once a year, the rest of the time she’s a beauty therapist on MSC. She regaled me with stories of her homeland, and I have added Bali onto my list of destinations that I hope to one day explore.

Alright, enough blathering on about our time on board, and onto the pictures!

Our endless hallway

The above hallway was one of many, and they all seemed endless.

Passengers lazing about on deck.

Passengers relaxing on the sun deck. I became one of them shortly after this photograph was taken.

Hubby in front of the giant swimming pool that was soon filled with adults and children enjoying the warm water.

Passengers relaxing on deck.

This was taken on our second day aboard, and in that short time span, everyone seemed to had found a little niche to relax and socialise in.

Friendly waiter in one of the numerous dining rooms - this was the more formal lunch room.

One of the lovely lunch-time waiters in the more formal dining room.

Orchid center piece.

The formal lunch dining room had beautiful orchid center pieces (one of my top 3 favourite flowers).

Churning water. You can laugh if you want, but it was mesmerising!

The more informal lunch dining area, indoor pool (out of sight on the left), and one the far end, a cocktail bar known as muster station B. 🙂

The Casino

The casino was always busy throughout the day and most of the night. I won a goodly amount on the slot machines which almost entirely covered my massage! 🙂 Thanks to my Granny Loraine who gave me advice about casinos long ago. She said only play with what you bring in, and don’t spend any of your winnings. It’s a rule I’ve stuck to on the few odd times I’ve gambled, and amazingly, almost always walked out with more then I came in with!

Seagulls as we near Walvis Bay.

There were some seagulls floating out at sea as we neared to Walvis Bay.

Entering Walvis Harbor

Heading into Walvis Bay.

Hubby finishing his coffee.

Awesome hubby finishing up his cup of Joe before we head to shore.

In the rental car heading into town.

In the rental car heading into town. The small palm trees lining the wide roads were a pleasant surprise.

Desert meets the ocean

The desert meeting the ocean. Having grown up around greenery and mountains the flat desert landscape was quite surreal to me.

Golden sand and steely ocean

I love the contrast of the beige desert (though beach is likely more appropriate) meeting the steel-coloured ocean.

A sign in town

A bar sign in Swakopmund – so cute! It was quite a German town, but I could make out what most of the signs said, thanks to being fluent in Afrikaans. 🙂

Cafe Anton

Darryn’s mom used to come here often when she lived in Namibia, so we decided to stop in for some coffee and brunch.

George and mom.

George, moms boyfriend, and mom.

On the way to Dune 7

Almost at Dune 7!

The ever-shifting Dune 7 in it's full majesty.

The ever-shifting Dune 7 in it’s full majesty. It’s enormous!

 Me, posing in front of Dune 7.

Posing in front of dune 7 – I was quite surprised at the sudden pops of green in the landscape after only seeing miles of sand.

Some brave souls attempting to ascend Dune 7.

Some brave souls attempting to ascend Dune 7. I did attempt it, but was foolish enough to only bring sandles. Three steps in and the boiling sand caused me to quickly re-think my original gung-ho approach. If you ever head here, bring takkies (aka sneakers for those of you who are international).

Walvis Bay hospital.

Walvis Bay hospital, where my hubby was born. Below, he’s posing in front of it.

Where Darryns childhood home used to be.

Where the house was that Di lived while in Walvis, and the home that Darryn grew up in. Sadly, it was bulldozed several years ago to build seaside residences and holiday cottages.

Mollusks on the rocks.

Mollusks of some sort I assume on the nearby rocks. We then visited the local M.O.T.H.S club (Military Order of  The tin Hats) as mom and George are both members of the Southern Suburbs one in Cape town. We had a drink, a quick tour of the facilities, and then headed back to the ship. Below is a photograph from our MOTHS club tour. On board, after all the walking we’d done, I grabbed a quick shower before heading off to get a massage!

Moths club painting.

Later that night, we attended the captains dinner, which was a very grande affair. I have a few professional photographs from that night I must try and upload here at some point. I wore my new black and cream cocktail dress, and Darryn looked very dapper in his suit. We drank a welcome cocktail, ate a lovely supper, and caught a show (image shown below). After the show we sat on deck under the stars for several hours talking and recounting the last few days adventures. It was early (or late) morning when we finally headed indoors. We snuck into the empty theatre up the hall from our cabin, sang my husband a ballad on the empty stage (I’m an amateur actress, so how on earth could I pass up that opportunity).

MSC Melody show

The next morning we awoke and caught the last serving of breakfast (phew) before heading up to the deck. Table mountain was a brief blur over the horizon, and I was both happy and sad that we were almost home.

Heading towards Cape Town.

I had already packed, so hubby headed back to the cabin to finish up on his, I headed to one of my favourite spots on the ship. The below photograph doesn’t do it justice, but I fell in love with this little nook as soon as I discovered it. It reminded me so much of the one on board Tau’s ship the Solaris (from the Mysterious Cities of Gold, my favourite childhood show). Despite it being a throughfare from deck to deck, there were never too may people and with my iPod playing soft lounge music in my ears, I spent several hours alone thinking. While here over the course of two days, I spotted six seals throughout our voyage, watched seagulls diving into the ocean depths, and just stared out at the endless horizon on display pondering all kinds of things.

My favourite nook on board the MSC Melody

I headed back to try and get some photos of Cape Town, though my camera was on it’s last bar, it pulled through and I got a few nice shots. I won’t include them all here, but I’ll end of with a few last pictures. Also, a seal popped up to say hi, but I only caught him as he dived … ah well, practice makes perfect 🙂

Table Mountain and signal hill with yacht. You can see the flat top of table Mountain, the CBD, and the yacht is closer to us

Signal hill looming over Greenpoint Stadium

Breakers along the harbour

The friendly seal I almost captured looking up at us

Wind swept well wishes to all! :)

Ja ne till next time.

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