Joined April 2018 Message
  • Day16

    The Queen Day 2 Departing Cape Town

    April 24, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Our first day on the Queen is in Cape Town port. After a good nights sleep in a very comfortable bed, we headed off to breakfast and then off the ship into town. Our objective was to meet people from the Iziko Museum to have a look at some Hamilton Ross items in Bertram House.
    Back to the V&A for some last minute shopping then bus to the cruise terminal, clear immigration and on board and ready to leave. Lifeboat drill at 4:30 then the ship is easing out from the dock. A quick race up stairs to watch Cape Town and the mountains behind slowly leave us behind. A great sight to see!!
    Dinner in the Lido Buffet, a quick quiz game in the English Pup bar then off to sleep.
    Disappointed that the Hamilton Ross paintings have been removed from Bertram House. The lady who showed us around though has given me her contact details and I will be able to get a digital copy once they have been retrieved from archives. I get the feeling historical records are being mismanaged a bit in SA.
    It was wonderful though to leave Cape Town by ship knowing that our Great great grandfather had done the same as crew and Captain of his own vessels. Looking back towards Table Mountain and Signal Hill it is truly a moving and beautiful view. So many sailors must have marvelled at it's uniqueness before heading either east or west into the great oceans. How brave and amazing they were. I of coarse disgraced myself by feeling queasy within a few hours.
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  • Day15

    Catching the Queen

    April 23, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Today we join the ship to England.
    Up early for a nice breakfast then packing to get out of the room.
    Taking the opportunity to catch up on the blog while we wait to go to the ship. Not much of a day for wandering around outside, a bit damp. Last night we woke up around 1am and checked the QE position on the seascanner. She was just rounding the Cape of Good Hope. We could hear the foghorns from the harbour-they blow all night while there is fog. It was so amazing to think of all the shipping that has passed these waters, including Great great great grandfather Richard Hamilton Allen who skippered the Hamilton Ross sailing ship and was also the North Wharf master here in Cape Town. Quite a wonderful realization.
    Ship boarding was straight forward and well organised. On board and in our cabin by 3pm. Verrry comfortable. Found the restaurant for a late lunch then off to the laundrette to do a couple of loads of washing.
    A late dinner at the buffet then off to bed. No fun and games tonight.
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  • Day14

    Cape Town Day 2

    April 22, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    The travel has started to catch up to us so we had a sleep in and a slow start to the day. After breakfast we Ubered down to the bus and went out to the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. These are the best gardens we have ever seen,an absolute delight. We Ubered back to the V&A via the San Souci girls school which was the Hamilton Ross estate and where he died . It is in a very lovely part of Cape Town, leafy and elegant homes all with a beautiful mountain backdrop. What a place this is!!!. Picked up some dinner then an early night.Read more

  • Day13

    Cape Town Day 1

    April 21, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Breakfast was followed by a walk down to the V&A Waterfront to catch the tourist hop on off bus. First stop was in the city where we visted St Georges Cathedral where Hamilton Ross was meant to have a commerative plaque. We could not find it. Then a walk up through the Company Gardens to the Mount Nelson Hotel which is on the site of a property owned by Hamilton Ross.
    Back on the bus we travelled to Hout Bay. This is a fishing port and tourist spot out of the city. Had a great lunch there entertained by the resident seals and then on to Camps Bay where we joined the trendies for a seaside promenade. It's a wonderful cliff drive but a bit close to the edge for my(Lou) liking. Finally back to home for an early night.
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  • Day12

    Drive to Cape Town

    April 20, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    After breakfast we hit the road again for the last 180km into Cape Town.
    Stopped at a little town for a nice lunch. The road into Cape Town is spectacular as it winds through rocky mountains with vineyards in the valleys between. The GPS took us neatly to our new B&B Braeside Manor in Green Point.
    After checking in to another delightful room we dropped the car off at Budget in town then walked back to the B&B.
    Finished off the day walking up to Grimbsby Tce to try and find where Louise's great great grandmother, Magdalena Allen lived in the 19 th century. Found a possibilty but cannot be sure as the numbers have changed. It was a terrace house though and the right street.
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  • Day11

    Drive to Montagu

    April 19, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    After another lovely breakfast we packed up and hit the road to Cape Town. Taking the longer scenic route, our overnight stop was at the town of Montagu. This is a great drive if you can avoid the crazy drivers and overloaded trucks on the road. We stayed at Airlies B&B in Montagu where we were the only guests and had the whole place to ourselves. Dinner was at the Montagu Hotel which was of art deco design throughout including all the furniture. Unfortunately the food was pretty ordinary.Read more

  • Day10

    Knysna Day 3

    April 18, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Today we put the car away and went for a walk down the hill into Knysna Town. Visited the old gaol museum and Thesen Island.
    The museum had a very good display of the old history of the area. On the way we met a Norwegian couple staying at the B&B whose ancestors were the original owners of the mansion.
    Had a nice lunch inluding local oysters at 34 South restaurant and then did the long walk back up the hill to home.
    After a rest we took the car for a spin over to Brenton on Sea. Great views back over the harbour to town.
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  • Day9

    Knysna Day 2 - Trip to Storms River.

    April 17, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Started our day (8th wedding anniversary) with a delightful breakfast in the garden ar Falcons View B&B. Decided to travel down to Storms River which is a national park area with a deep river ravine straddled by a suspension bridge. It was a pretty hard walk to the bridge but worth it as the ocean thunders all around the entrance and then mellows as it enters the ravine entrance. Lots of German tourists about who looked in poor shape for the walk but to their credit, soldiered on. Returning to Knysna we stopped for a refreshing strawberry, mint and lime cocktail at the Plettenberg hotel. Another vast and beautiful view. Sadly, like most of the Australian East coast the level of ugly developments in this part of the Garden Route is disappointing. Surprised and unhappy to see quite a few shanty towns as we drove along. The Africans resourcefully build little huts from timber offcuts and whatever offers protection from the elements. It's a pretty poor state of affairs for some of these folk. Tonight Mr T and Moi are having a special meal at our B& B which is apparently renowned for same!!!!Read more

  • Day8

    Knysna Day 1

    April 16, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Today we left George for Knysna. First a trip into town to see St Mark's Cathedral where Louise's great great grandparents were married and a trip to the mall for sonne lunch supplies.
    Then a drive along the 5 Passes Road to Knysna with a side trip to a national park. A nice drive but not quite as good as it was made out to be.
    Arriving in Knysna we went straight to our B&B the Falcons View Manor. This is a beautiful old mansion set high on the hill overlooking Knysna and the bay. Spectacular views and a great room.
    After booking in went for drive out to the heads. Caught the sunset and views of the entry into the bay. Tea was at an amazing seafood restaurant down by the bay. Very cheap by our standards and very tasty!!.
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  • Day7

    Trip to George

    April 15, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Today we sadly left the lodge and made our journey to George. We arranged an early transfer to the car at the park gate only to find the battery was flat. Luckily we got it started with the help of the manager and some passing locals. After some light hearted ribbing about ball tampering we were on our way. The trip to Joburg was ok except fot the local driving which can only be described as reckless.
    The flight to George was late leaving but smooth until landing as George was fogged in. We got down but could easily have been diverted to Capet Town.
    Picked up our hire car and had a foggy drive to the b&b. Chinese in town for tea. Very cheap
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