Travelling Tuesday: Strand, South Africa

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is going grrreat! Hero Hub’s folks are still here and we went down to the Strand beachfront yesterday, so his Dad could buy a pellet gun, and the Bear could have a little swim. Strand (Afrikaans for “Beach”) is the next town over from Gordon’s Bay, if you’re headed towards Cape Town. So we were at die strand at Strand. 🙂

I took a few quick shots of the market, and lots at the beach. Hope you approve.

Here’s hubs and his folks haggling for the pellet gun. I didn’t want to get too close because our nice camera might’ve made them decide we could afford to pay more.

See the bit of mountain in the background? That’s the same set of mountains you see in lots of the pics in Gordon’s Bay. Does that help orientate you?  Good, you know where we are. Let’s press on.

This is something we haven’t quite figured out yet.

Where does this stuff come from? Why is it so cheap? Yes, that’s Oil of Olay…Centrum…Head and Shoulders…??? It doesn’t feel right to buy this stuff here, knowing that it is very likely that the people who worked hard to create these products will not be getting a cut. That’s our guess anyway.

Would you like to see a little more “marketing?”

Where do these things come from? These girls are selling them too…

Where else can you buy a leather belt, fake crocs, an Australian flag and an Arsenal (Emirates) soccer jersey, all in one store?

And just a few doors down you can get a Hannah Montana backpack! Hot!

Okay. So I was mistaken. I actually took a lot of pictures in the market. And now I need to make lunch for every body. I woke up this morning dreaming about making proper southern biscuits. (For my British and South African friends, I don’t mean something like cookies–they’re more like scones or rolls).  And so I need to get started because we’re having some for lunch! Will you forgive me if we pick up the Strand Travelling Tuesday with a Part Two next week? I took some pretty pictures and it’ll be worth the wait, I’m sure!


Travelling Tuesday: Pringle Bay & Surrogate Grandparents

There’s some great stuff happening in our neck of the woods! The gift heard ’round the world should finally arrive this afternoon, and I’m looking forward to posting pictures and sharing the backstory of how the Lord came through when it finally gets here! In the meantime this Travelling Tuesday I thought I’d share a few shots from our visit with our dear friends, the Youngs, who are in town from Scotland right now.

Rob is originally from South Africa, Brenda is originally from Scotland, and they ministered here in South Africa for many moons before the Lord called them to Scotland, to plant a church (the church that Mark and I were a part of!) They’re a great couple! They did a bit of our premarital counseling and were kind of like surrogate grandparents for the Bear when we lived in Edinburgh. 🙂 We miss them very much!

We went out to visit them in Pringle Bay on Friday and a few lovely shots were of course captured along the way! Pringle Bay is not too far down the road, and it boasts a beautiful and interesting rock feature that I am sorry to say I didn’t get pictures of, called Hangklip, which translated from Afrikaans I think basically means “Hanging Rock.” It’s a big rock face that basically looks like it’s going to fall in the sea. Alas! I wasn’t thinking of you, was I?

However, Hangklip kind of looks like the mountain in the background in this picture but bigger. (Forgive me?)


It was kind of windy, the sand was blowing a little, and the water was WAY chilly, so we decided against the bear going for a swim. We only let him get in up to his knees, and just briefly. It was not enough! Hero Hubs tried to console him…


But for a while he was kind of inconsolable. He likes to swim.

I Wanna Swim

You can just tell Rob & Brenda are great from this shot. Don’t you want to be their friend, too?

The Youngs

Eventually the Bear cheered up. (Yay!)

Cheer Up

And I saved my favourite shot for last. As always. I think this could be in a magazine!


HH’s shirt is wet because the Bear managed from that brief stint in the water to splash…and his shorts got wet. 🙂

The days are obviously still warm and sunny in our neck of the woods. Albeit wi-n-n-ndy. It was great to see Rob & Brenda. And another slice of South Africa! Hope you enjoyed it, and that you’re enjoying your adventure this Tuesday!


Travelling Tuesday: Fires & Fowls

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is going well so far. In our neck of the woods, more specifically in the Cape region, there are lots of fires going on… Apparently in at least seven different places at the moment. Don’t worry, none of them are very near us, and we live on a harbour, so I think we’re safe. But I was hoping to catch a few shots for you that might demonstrate the strange haziness floating around today.

Most of the fires burning right now are regular occurrences in this area. They clear the bush and open up seeds that give new fynbos the opportunity to grow. They do unfortunately also destroy homes and businesses in the process. (Some of our friends lost everything they owned, except their car and fortunately their dog, a few years ago when a fire on the nearby mountains sent an ember or two in the direction of their thatched roof.)

You’ve probably heard it pointed out before that some of the most amazing trees — like the ginormous sequoias on the west coast in the US, are the result of forest fires. The pods their seeds are held inside only open under immense pressure — the heat of a forest fire. I think that speaks volumes about life in general, but this is Travelling Tuesday, so I’ll keep it light and leave you to think about it.  On to the pictures.

You may recall the picture from our balcony, which I shared just after we moved in… (click here to see it — sorry, I couldn’t find it in my photo library!) This is the view from our balcony today:

Hazy Day

You may also remember a picture of a fisherman, where you can see the mountains on the Cape peninsula in the distance:


This is the same spot today… The mountains have disappeared!

Which way did day go, George?

On my way to grab these TT shots to share with you, I discovered a guinea fowl Mom and Pops with their wee chicks and had to take photos. If you’re not familiar with guinea fowl, they’re a bit of a ninnymuggins type of bird (but don’t think I’m getting too proud — sheep are not very bright and the Lord compares us with sheep all the time!) They only fly for short distances, have a really awkward run, and are notoriously good at running out into the road to do damage to your car. If you want to try to eat one, you put it in a stewing pot with a brick, and let it stew and stew for ages. Then you take the guinea fowl out of the pot and eat the brick.

They’re not so pretty when they’re all growed up, but they are adorable as little chicks:


I rather like polka dots, so despite the funny blue heads, I still think the grown-ups are pretty. But mostly if admired from a distance. I kinda felt like this one was telling me to go away!

Get Outta Heeuh

But they’re so cute I needed a few more shots!

Sweet Chicks

Fire and fowl… That’s a slice of life ’round these parts today. 🙂 I hope things are well with you, and that the road rises to meet you wherever your journey takes you next!

Travelling Tuesday: Welcome to Beautiful Hermanus

With a friend visiting we took a quick road trip to a beautiful village called Hermanus a little further up the coast last week. It is really stunning and one of my favourite places to visit. Were it a wee bit closer to an international airport, I’d prefer to live there over anywhere else in SA, methinks! It has stunning views with mountains tumbling into the sea, there are opportunities to see whales up close and personal at the right time of year, and it just has such a relaxed, great feel to it.

Mark took this shot from our hotel room last year. We stayed in Hermanus when we were visiting Mark’s family in South Africa last Christmas (as in Christmas 2008). Who wouldn’t like this view every morning?


Along the way to sunny Hermanus, we stopped for a view of Turtle Rock. Well, I have named him Turtle Rock. Mark thinks he looks like Sid the Sloth from Ice Age. We are waiting for Sarah Wood and Rory Macdonald to settle the debate for us. Sarah, Rory, if you please…

Turtle Rock

Scott was kind enough to take a moment to pet Turtle Rock. I doubt he gets many visitors.

Pet Turtle Rock

Another cool thing about Hermanus is these interesting little creatures (and you know I love interesting little creatures) called Dassies, or Rock Hyraxes. Apparently their nearest relative, in terms of their genetic make-up, is the elephant. Coulda fooled me…I think looks like a Nutria from Lake Mattamuskeet! (Sorry that was really eastern North Carolinian. It’s getting late.)


If you do decide to come for a visit to Hermanus, just beware…the Dassies can get up to mischief. You don’t want to explain the birds and the bees to your kids any sooner than necessary.

Rock Hyraxes

I hope that made you laugh. Now back to the real reason Hermanus is great — here’s one more slice of how beautiful it is!

The Cliffs

There are paths to walk around these beautiful cliffs that line a lot of the coast of Hermanus. At the right time of year, the whales actually come into the harbour, just to the left of those rocks (to mate, actually — what kind of post is this turning out to be?) but you can stand right there and see them up close!

So that’s one of my favourite travelling spots in this neck of the woods. Beautiful, hey? Happy Trails — I hope the road rises to meet you wherever your journey takes you next!

Travelling Tuesday: Close to Home in GB… with History!

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is going great, dear ones! We went for a walk on the beach Saturday morning. The sun was high and shiny, the water cool and inviting, and the Bear more than willing to be a superstar photo subject. The pictures were too cute not to share. My apologies if you feel like you’ve seen too much Bear so far this week. We’ll move on tomorrow! 🙂

Enter said beach, stage left. And the Bear, desperately hoping a beach walk is on the agenda. Somebody preez open dis gate!! he seemed to say.

Beach, preez?

Here’s a good shot of a bit of the area where we live. A lot of the houses nearby are amazing, huge beach houses that people only live in one month out of the year. It’s kinda sad!

Close to Home

See the rounded windows with balconies in the background? Our apartment is in the complex through the entrance underneath. We would love to take care of one of those houses while the people are away, though! 🙂

Chilly Toes

The Bear decided that even if it’s chilly, walking in the water ain’t so bad! Yes, I can see his hair is scruffy and a cut is in order! Leave me alone about it, I’m not ready!

See the “GB” with an anchor spelled out of white rocks in the background of this next shot? (It’s rather faint). It’s in honour of General Louis Botha, a steady fighter of the Brits in the Second Boer War. (You might remember me telling you before that the Boer Wars were similar to the American War for Independence aka the American Revolution, except the British won. There’s a little more SA history for you in some other posts here and here if you’re interested.) Anyway, years later, Botha visited London seeking assistance for the rebuilding of South Africa after the wars and Winston Churchill remembered him as the man who captured him in a Boer ambush of a British armoured train! He eventually became the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, the forerunner to the modern state we know as the Republic of South Africa. He was seen as the leader of the Boers for many years after the wars, so it was a good thing he had a mind to make peace. The Naval Station in Gordon’s Bay was originally named for General Botha, thus the letters on the hillside. How’s that for a history lesson from a blurry mountainside in the back of a photo?

And this is the excitement of seeing an airplane go by!!


Hope you’re having a great Travelling Tuesday, and the road rises to meet you wherever your journey takes you next!