These are the stories of my travels.
King’s Day. It’s as if Dutch people get an extra sparkle in their eye when they talk about it. And after experiencing my first one ever, I kind of get it. I say ‘experiencing’, but more on that later. But wasn’t it always Queen’s Day? Why yes. I’m glad you asked. Up until three years ago, the Dutch would celebrate the birthday of their queen mother Beatrix on 30 April (though this is actually previous queen Juliana’s birthday). But now there’s King Willem-Alexander and they’ve renamed and moved Kings Day to his actual...read more
Day 7, 15 November Halfway into our trip and I feel the need to spend some time alone, and to be honest, reflecting on and talking to God. Mostly about how amazing it is to be here. So I drag myself out of bed and down to the beach, which fortunately isn’t far at all. I’m in time to watch the sunrise. I walk in the opposite direction to yesterday, passing resort after resort, empty deck chairs spilling out onto the sand, warming up for another day of tourist life. It’s serene and fresh with that typical cool morning air. With the sun up...read more
Again I was sad that we couldn’t stay and spend the day at the beach and get a lunch and surf lesson for a mere R50, but at least we would arrive at Madwaleni that evening and stay put for three nights. The owner of Coffee Shack kindly drew us a map and after scoping out our rental car, assured us we’d be fine to take the 45 minute drive to Hole in the Wall, as long as we ‘drove slowly’. I was keen to see it. You really don’t want to get home and say ‘no, we didn’t go’. But just to be safe, Gen and I hiked up the dirt road...read more
In September 2015, my flatmate/friend Gen and I packed our less-than-20kg-Kulula-regulation bags and set off on a road trip adventure that started in Durban and ultimately lead us to Madwaleni rural hospital. My sister Danielle has been doing her com-serve year there as a qualified Speech Therapist and apart from the obvious reasons of wanting to visit your immediate family, Gen and I longed to see and experience the rural lifestyle she and other friends of ours have had for the past couple of years. The Wild Coast was also generally...read more
Day 6, 14 November We’re a little sad to leave Ko Tao this morning. She’s been good to us. As have the kind folks at Davy Jones Locker. I really do highly recommend them – so helpful, friendly, professional and personal. Han and Debbie have bought our ferry tickets at a travel agent in the adjacent road and I’m hanging around watching some bored masseuses play volleyball and a slightly mangy street cat enjoying the morning sun. DJL organise a lift to the pier for us, but it’s a long wait before the ferry to Ko Samui leaves. Debbie...read more
Day 5, 13 November It’s dive day and that is an exciting prospect. We have breakfast at the New Heaven Café – honey and mango shakes with pancakes. It’s just across the (dirt) road from Davy Jones Locker (DJL) and we report for our Discover Scuba Diving course promptly at 10am. A lovely Irish girl named Fiona is our instructor and it starts with a few basic theory points before we strap on the tanks and descend into the adjacent pool. I’ve never done this before and while the idea of caving is my worst claustrophobic nightmare,...read more