Water, Sun, & Sand

Our braai Sunday night was delicious. There were mixed reviews on the ostrich kabobs, but no one can deny the meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful. 🙂 Monday morning at Backpackers’ Paradise was cold! Gerard said 3c in fact, which is about 37f. We found our way to the main lodge to sit by the fire (with the 3 cats who reside there!) as we woke up and waited for breakfast. Toast, eggs, and fruit filled our bellies, and we set out in the minibus around 8:30.

We drove back through the Klein Karoo, which means “little land of thirst.” We went past the ostrich farms, through the hop valley, and over the Outeniqua Mountains. We drove through the city of George and back to Wilderness. Our first stop was at the Kaaimansrivier to do some kayaking. Thankfully the sun was out and it had warmed up! Gerard guided us along this calm, shallow river to a secret waterfall and past a sandy beach. We saw the waves of the Indian Ocean crashing in the distance. Aside from some bumper boats and splashing, it was a fairly tame paddle. 🙂 The kayak guy said most South Africans have not seen the waterfall that we visited, so we felt special!

We piled back in the minibus and headed to a Spar Market to purchase our lunch items. We drove a couple of minutes to Wilderness Beach, and we picnicked in the sand as we watched the waves. The Indian Ocean here is very blue and the sand is quite gold. Most of us got at least our feet in the water, and some got their whole selves wet! It was a fun time together, relaxing in the sun and admiring the beauty around us.

As I write this, we are on our way back to Cape Town, some 5 hours from here. Gerard got us some snacks of “Nik Naks” (like Cheetos) and “Jelly Tots” (think Dots), and the students have requested an ice cream comfort stop in awhile. 🙂 Our first stop was along the road at an ostrich farm. It was fun to get an up-close look at these amazing creatures! We made a couple more comfort stops, as well as an incredible sunset stop with Table Bay and the back of Table Mountain in full view!

On the home front, the family is on their long layover in Frankfurt, Germany. It was an extra stressful departure yesterday as the new South African regulation of carrying original birth certificates for minors was not known to us. Reed learned of it in PDX and was able to get our kids’ originals, but my sister is traveling with copies. Oliver from VAC said they should suffice just fine, and he acknowledged it is a ridiculous new rule when birth certificates were verified in order to obtain the kids’ passports! Anyway, fingers (& toes) crossed they will have an easy-going passport control agent in Johannesburg tomorrow!

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