Natasha Nel

Joined June 2018
  • Day33

    Home

    July 26, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    After 31 days we are home.
    We met Charl at his work yesterday in the afternoon after saying good bye to Suzette and a few other family and friends. Traffic from Pretoria to the airport was very heavy to we had planned to leave pretty around 4:30pm but the good byes made us a little late. Nevertheless we meet it to the airport at 6:30pm with plenty of time to check in and get a little dinner with Charl before heading to our gate.

    The flight was almost full but we were seated right t the back of the plane and there was a few empty seats around us. The flight was not delayed and we took off on time (around 9:15pm). With strong tail winds we made it back to Perth about 20mins early landing just after 1200. Natasha was able to get a little sleep on the flight but I was not so by the time we landed I had been awake for over 24hrs and was feeling it too.

    Both our parents were at the airport waiting for us. No issues getting through customs and immigration so it was nice and fast.

    Over all the trip was great. We saw and did many great things and I met lots of Natasha's extended family and friends. Now we just have to adjust out of holiday mood back into normal life.
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  • Day31

    Drawing to a close

    July 24, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Wow the month has gone so fast and has been so full. After a wonderful time at Dikololo over the weekend.
    On the way back to Pretoria we stopped in to see Nadia at her factory. Then stopped home to unload the car before going to meet Charl at his work.
    Charl took us to Menlyn Shopping Centre to see if we could find a replacement sweater for Natasha as the dogs decided to eat one of hers. Unfortunately we had no luck finding one 😢
    For dinner Ouma Rina invited us over for soup so Natasha and I headed there after the shopping whilst Charl come home.

    Today we took Luna back to the vet for a checkup of the wound on her foot. Vet said it is healing well but needs more time. Natasha also went for a hair cut while I finished off packing my bags and doing the washing.

    In the evening we took a drive to a butcher shop called Kings Meat Deli that have game meats, as well as normal meats, where I got some steaks and fillets of Eland, Kudu, Ostrich and blesbok which we cooked over a coal braai. The different meats tasted great!
    Some of the other meats were cut into huge portions. You can get small, medium, large, Xlarge or MAN SIZE! Check out the 1.1kg T-bone below for only $13.20. The meat prices here were very good.
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  • Day28

    Sun City and Pilanesberg

    July 21, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Yesterday we pack up our bags and headed north west to a holiday park called Dikololo which we are staying at for the weekend. It is a holiday club type of place with lots of little units in the bush. It is about 1 and a half hours drive from Pretoria. We are staying in a little 6 sleeper unit with Charl and Suzette.

    Today Natasha and I took a drive to Sun City which is a large casino resort (much bigger than Crown) on the edge of Pilanesberg national park, located about 1 and a half hours further west of where we are staying in Dikololo. We had a walk around the casino and hotel before getting lunch. After lunch we headed back to the car to take a self drive tour through the national park.

    The park is much smaller than Kruger national park but has all the same animals. Straight inside the gate, next to the road was a herd of about 40 Rooibok impala. They did not seem at all fussed about the car or us taking photos. We had a great time driving around the bumpy dirt road of the park seeing many animal including rhinos, Wilder beast, hippos, zebra, meerkats and various types of other Boks. I was very impressed with the little Suzuki Jimny we were driving. It looks the bumps well and was easy to drive. I did feel for many of the other small cars out there like the Getz's and i10s as well as the many nice BMWs, Mercedes and Lexus sports coupes that were getting beaten by the rocks and dirt.
    All up we did about 350kms of driving today of which half was on dirt track and the rest on potholed roads. But I'm sure we could have spent many more hour driving around the park. We only got back to our accommodation after 7pm in time for dinner.
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  • Day25

    Exploring Pretoria

    July 18, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    This week Charl had to return to work meanwhile we were given the keys to Ariza's old car to go exploring.

    After sleeping in on Monday we went to a local gun accessory shop to find a holster for one of my guns. They did not have any in stock but had some on order arriving today. We then headed off to visit one of Natasha's old teachers which she was very close to, Ouma Tinnie. Natasha had a great catch up with her over coffee and many photo albums. By 4pm we were getting very hungry as we had not had lunch yet so we detoured to a large shopping center called Kolonnade where we had fish and chips for lunch before walking around all the shops. On the way home we drove past Natasha old house and where she used to work. Unfortunately it was dark now so it was hard to see everything.

    Tuesday we were up early as we had booked into a safari tour and close encounter with cub lions and a Cheetah. We also got to feed giraffes which was cool.
    After the safari we drove a short way to visit Natasha's step sister Nadia who had a stone factory and she showed us all around and explained the making process. Tuesday night we met with Nadia and her brother William for dinner at a great Italian restaurant near home.

    Today Natasha took one of the dogs to the vet as she had a wound on her back leg that was infected. While I was sleeping and doing some washing.
    When they returned we went to get lunch at a near by tea garden before heading to pick up my new holster.
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  • Day22

    Party house

    July 15, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Wow, hosting 2 parties in someone else's house is hard work.

    Yesterday we had some of Natasha school friends for a braai (I thought it was lunch but we did not start cooking until after 4pm.....). It was great to meet Natasha's school friends may of which she had not seen in over 5 years. We ended up staying up very late sitting around the fire chatting.

    This morning Natasha was up early cooking for today's lunch with some more family. We had a wonderful afternoon meeting family eating and drinking.
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  • Day20

    Arrived in Pretoria

    July 13, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    After an early start andlong drive from the farm on Wednesday we arrived to Charl's place in Pretoria around 4:30pm and quickly unpacked the car before heading to Aunty Suzette's daughters 30th birthday (no time for a shower or change of clothes mind you). Natasha and I were both tired after the long day so we did not stay long.

    Thursday we we finished unpacking stuff from the car and then Charl took us out to show us around Pretoria. We visited Hartbeestoop and went up the cable car to the top which showed great views over the Dam and surrounding suburbs. We then went to Jasmyn to the big markets and book shop which are in inside an old Dutch windmill. It was much like Fremantle markets but much cheaper.

    Today we are doing a big clean up for the weekend when we are hosting many friends and family for lunch for Natasha to see and catch up.
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  • Day18

    Farm stay

    July 11, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We arrived safely in Orania on Sunday afternoon. Orania is quite unique in the fact it only has white people living there. A few blacks and coloured people live near by and help work on the farms but they rarely come into town.

    The farm we stayed on is owned by Natasha's aunty Esmien, uncle Dissie and cousin Derius. The farm produces many different grains including corn, maze, alfalfa, and soy and is about 600 hectares. They have been working the farm since 1987 but built the large homestead in 2000.
    They had many "toys" there including multiple John Deer tracks and harvesters of different sizes, bikes, 4x4 camper vans and Utes.
    Whilst we were staying here we got to go out and see how the harvested the corn and plowed the land for the next crop.

    They also own a 200hectare game park with a nice cottage on it which we went to on Monday and I went out for a hunt with Charl and Dissie but unfortunately the rain came in and the animals were all in hiding. So we returned to the cottage and had a nice fire going and just enjoyed the afternoon.
    Tuesday Derius took Charl and myself out again but on the main farm this time and I was able to shoot my first springbok. Charl and I took the springbok to the local butcher who cut it up into steaks, chops and roasts for us.
    Meanwhile Natasha was having a girls day with Esmien in town and came to meet us while we waited for the meat to be ready.

    Last night we started packing up as we needed to hit the road early to make the 9hr drive to Pretoria. This morning we were up before 7 to finish packing and load into the car. We said our goodbyes and departed the house at 8:30.
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  • Day15

    On the road

    July 8, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Yesterday we left Betty's bay to head towards Natasha's Aunty's farm in Orania, near Hopetown. We stopped last night at a large town called Beauford West which is about half way to the farm, about 560kms from Betty's bay.
    We stopped at a few places along the way, a famous wine and brandy tasting (Barrydale distillery). Then Diesel and Cream Cafe for lunch. This place was cool, step up as old dinner style with lots of old signs, motorcycles and cars, fuel pumps and vending machines.
    The road from lunch to Beaufort West was through the mountains. Huge cut outs through the rock for the road, it dwarfed the car and made us feel very small. The road then opened up to the Small Karoo.
    Karoo is SA type of desert, not much out here apart from sand, rock and small shrubs.

    Today we were up early to hit the road. We want to arrive around lunch time. We won't be stopping much today
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  • Day12

    Betty's bay

    July 5, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Today we packed up the apartment in the Strand and loaded everything into the ute. It was a tight squeeze to fit everything in but we managed. Natasha and I met with Jodine for waffles after we packed our bags while Charl attended a meeting.
    We left the Strand around 12.30 heading south east along to coast. We were lucky enough to spot a whale as we drove along the coast, it is currently breeding season but this was the first we have seen.

    Betty's bay is known for a penguin sanctuary which occupies an old whaling port which no longer stands. There is many penguins out today which was nice to see. It is very windy here but that is because we are right on the beach front (with penguins on our door step).

    We are staying in a very nice holiday house owned by one of Charl's work colleagues. It is a beautiful big house. We had a braai (wood BBQ) for dinner of lamb chops, boerewors (beef sausages) and toasted sandwiches with salad and mash potatoes.
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  • Day11

    More sight seeing.

    July 4, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Yesterday we slept in until 9.30ish (by "we" I mean "I", the others were up early still) and then we headed out to Wellington, a small town about an hours drive away. Wellington is known for their leather works. We visited a popular leather factory called 'redemption leather' where Charl got a few things and Natasha and I both got a pair of sandals. On the way back we stopped in to see ouma Iza again and check up to see how our electric blanket was going. The blanket was a great success, she said it works great.
    But in bigger news, I found iced coffee!! It's not as good Masters but it's better then nothing.

    Today we got up early and drove into Capetown city to do the hop on and off Red bus tour. The tour is on a red double decker bus which drives all around the city, surrounding tourist attractions and along the west coast. It makes for a great day out and you learn lots with the onboard commentary. We stopped at the botanical gardens which was huge! It sits at the foot of the mountains with many streams running through. We had lunch there before getting back on the bus to complete the circuit. We are now heading back to see ouma for perhaps the last time this trip and then back into the waterfront to go on the Ferris wheel at sunset or when dark to see the city lights.
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