Jay & Nicole's Adventures
Trip to Cape Town - Christmas 2002 

(click any picture to get enlargement)

During 2002 we made friends in the Pretoria 
area & life around the house had become 
very comfortable. For these reasons, we were
less enthusiastic about Nicole's annual 3-month assignment to Cape
Town; which started 
already in January.

The flowers were blooming and the 
plants were thriving.

As December began, 
so did the heat, humidity and mosquitoes; all of
which were unbearable at times.  We dreamed about the coolness of the Cape & the ocean.  We then discovered that our wine supply was running low...
... oh no! ... a trip to Cape Town must be made 
with no delay!
Diminished Wine Supply 

We enjoyed the thunderstorms, but not the hail, and not having to unplug all the electronics.

We normally plan our Cape Town route to  follow the Indian Ocean for as long as possible, since we both enjoy  playing in the water.

On this trip we decided to see a bit of the interior of the country; namely 
the diamond town of Kimberley.  After that we would head to the ocean and follow the "Garden Route" to Cape Town. 

We passed a "pink" lake  that had thousands of  flamingos on it.  

This is the biggest hole in the world; the "Big Hole" at the Kimberley diamond mine; it is now inactive.

The trip was progressing nicely and we discussed some of the trouble that we had  with the weather on previous trips (hail and rain). On this trip, so far, the weather was nice; but we could see some ominous looking clouds in the distance.  After a while we were happy to see that the dark clouds were all moving away from us.  

We had a picnic in a canyon; this stream 
filled up as we ate. 

A cop came by & told
 us to go back up, as a flash-flood was coming... 

but it was already too late, as the road was blocked by high water. 

We tried to go down the canyon to beat the water, but got blocked again. 

All we could do is park the car and watch the water rise around us.  

We made a plan to climb 
a hill in case the water 
got too much higher. 

After an hour the water stopped rising, since the flood was caused by a thunderstorm that had already passed a long time ago.  The water stayed
unusually high as it took a while for all the little streams to drain their water off.
As the water began to recede, some "4-wheel drive" vehicles started to go past. 
We followed and they slowly made a path through the mud and debris; 
we passed almost 20 bridges where the water had risen over them.  

We thought we were in the clear when we came upon a gigantic problem..... 

The water over this bridge was too high & swift to attempt a crossing. 

These typical, stubborn, South Africans would 
not admit defeat & wait.  

They cleared away the trees and rubble so that we all could escape. 

We were able to progress towards the ocean and to our hotel in the area called Wilderness.  Last April when we came through this area we viewed many Guest Houses.  That way we found a nice place and made an early booking.  The bigger guest houses were easy to get information about, either from brochures or the internet.  We, though, wanted to find smaller places that had more character ... 

 Our Guest House was a small place, situated ...

... on top of the sand dunes near Wilderness. 

The rooms were done in the modern style. 

The view was the best we have found so far, and ... 

... the beach was in great condition for swimming. 

View of the Guest House from the beach area. 

Jay suited up & heading for boogie-board action.

Floating out to the bigger
waves & maybe dolphins!

Nicole after a successful set of boogie rides. 

We visited other beaches in the general area. 

Some places had tidal pools with lots of critters.

Closer view, but you really cannot see any animals. 

Snail making "quick" exit.

Beach for shell-hunting. 

Guest House sundowner. 

We spent a week in this area, mostly hanging around the beaches.  We also took some time to look at property prices, just in case we'd like to retire in this area some day.  It's too bad we didn't buy something one year ago, as the dollar was much stronger and prices were much lower.  Now, many international people are buying up these properties for much less than they would pay in their mother-land
(about $200k for a nice beach house, but the prices are going up).

We also canoed at a local lake and took a hike to see a waterfall.  The Wilderness area has so many outdoor things to offer... we will just have to visit again! 

Hike along stream. 

Small waterfall.

Bigger waterfall. 

Wilderness Lake; on
which we canoed. 

A steam train full of tourists, crossing near us.

Old train painted like 
  a South African flag.  

After a relaxing time in Wilderness, we continued our trip.  We completed the drive to Cape Town without any further hassles.  The trip was quite adventurous and will make for nice discussions with friends and family; hopefully the trip back will be less exciting!  

We then began looking forward to spending 
three months in the Cape Town area ... 

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