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  • Day9

    Just a quick post to say that we arrived safely back in Scotland. Greeted at the airport by James's parents with tea and bacon sandwiches!
    Landed on UK soil 364 days and 23 3/4 hours from the time we lifted off - talk about pushing a years trip to the limit!

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  • Day6

    Our last full day today and the weather has decided to help us acclimatise to UK with gusts of cold wind making our bus shake and a heavy downpour in the evening. We chose to sit up top on one of the 'hop on hop off' sightseeing buses for the day so got to see downtown, shanty towns, huge houses and the coastal suburbs. The wind was whipping the sea as though a helicopter was hovering above it and we couldn't see table mountain all day as it was covered in the 'table cloth', as the locals say. Having an apartment also meant we could have friends around for a swim and food which was a really relaxed last evening.Read more

  • Day5

    We had a day walking around the city, looking at the colourful houses of a once poor area called Bo Cap. There are some impressive buildings around, many surrounded by some bad 1960's town planning and architecture. After coffee with a beaded giraffe we met up with friends for lunch at the world's best coffee shop! It was steampunk style decore with an amazing selection of coffee blends. We finished the day with more sightseeing before getting the ridiculously cheap uber taxi journey (a must at night) to The Bombay Bicycle Cafe for dinner and more good byes. We ended up continuing our farewells well into the early hours of the morning!Read more

  • Day4

    Started the day with a swim in the indoor heated pool then met up with friends and went on a 45 minute boat ride to Robben Island, where alot of political prisoners were held for years. This included Nelson Mandela who was held here for 15 years in a room alone with three blankets, no glass in the windows and only shorts and tee-shirt to wear. We had a guided tour around the prison by an ex-serving prisoner called Sparks who served 7 of his 15 year sentence before they were all released. He had to live with the same conditions as Mandela, because he was black, but in a large room that was shared amongst 60 inmates as they were not political leaders. They had three showers and two toilets to share amongst them but only had water for three days a week. Punishment was given for not folding the three blankets correctly that they had as a bed, or if they didn't wash in time. They spent most of the time locked up, then working in the mine. Sundays they were locked up for 23 hours and given 30 minutes to play rugby and 30 minutes to pray. We then had abus tour of the island where we got to 'find penguins' again as we saw some both resting and swimming. Later we had a late lunch and a look around the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, a very attractive tourist part of the city.Read more

  • Day3

    A group of us decided it was time for a little exercise so we walked up Table Mountain rather than take the gondola. It was a very rewarding way to get to the top as it was a steep rocky path up through the gorge with rewarding views all around when we got there. It was not as flat at the top as I would of expected so made for interesting walking about. We had views towards the Cape of Good Hope, the Indian Ocean on one side and the Atlantic Ocean and city on the other. As time was getting on we all took the gondola down, quite different from the ones we use at home. They each hold 65 passengers and the inside of it rotates so you get a view all around. It was lovely to have our own space, bedroom, bathroom, tv... for the first time in 75 days, as we are now staying in a 2 bed apartment with another couple from our trip for our last four nights.Read more

  • Day3

    We had planned on going on a wine tour for the day with the group but decided against it since Lou had been sick the previous day so spent the day around this beautiful town. There are so many bars, restaurants and coffee shops so had to sample some of them. We got invited into a coffee shop's roasting room to see how they roast their beans daily. The town has 12,000 students at a university there and is quite lively. The houses, shops and cafes give it a lovely European feel but are much cheaper than any where in Europe. Once our group were back we had a transfer to Cape Town for our official last night of our 75 night tour. The majority of us went out and had a really nice meal in a local restaurant before staying in a hostel directly in the shadow of Table Mountain.Read more

  • Day1

    We had a 4.30 start to get packed up, have breakfast and say our final farewell to Chui and our driver Often, who has been amazing on the whole trip. A hired big bus and a short while later we had crossed the boarder into South Africa. We have loved our time in Namibia and would like to return one day to explore it more in a 4x4 by ourselves. We then took all day, until 6pm, to reach Stellenbosch, in the south of the country about 1 hour away from Cape Town. Not ideal when Lou spent the whole time feeling nauseous from our first illness in nearly 18 months of travel. On the up side we managed to see some of the DH World Champs on tv when we got there, something that's not shown on tv at home! James enjoyed a meal out at one of the many bars in town with sone of the crew.Read more

  • Day13

    We were at Fish River Canyon early this morning after a 5.30am start and walked from one view point to the next as the path winds its way along a small part of the edge of it. It is the second largest canyon in the world and has a double layer with the Fish River at the the bottom of the gorge. This is just another fine example of the scenery that Namibia has to offer ans a great place to eat beans on toast for breakfast too! It wasn't too long a drive to get to our final destination for the day, the Orange River, on our final journey in Chui, the big yellow truck. The rock formations on the hills and mountains was more impressive than before although we were very surprised to come around a corner and find huge vineyards in the midd of the dusty desert. We had to do the third and final truck clean in the heat of the afternoon but could at least cool off in the pool afterwards. A bit of a treat to be camping on grass after many nights sleeping on sand, dust and stones (it's the small things!).Read more

  • Day12

    We left in the dark and walked up the 150m Dune 45 to see sunrise. We were walking up the ridge with the sun rising on one side and the moon setting on the other. It was nice to have breakfast ready for us at the bottom of the dune. After that we had a long driving day, not getting to camp until nearly 6 o'clock, but the views continued to be very dramatic with lots of orix to see and truck trivia to keep our brains active. We camped by Naute Dam, enjoying our last campfire of this trip.Read more

  • Day11

    On the way to our camp at Sesriem we passed through only one very small settlement called Solitaire. It oddly had a collection of old used cars, great for photo opportunities. Past Sesriem we continued on to Sossusvlei where we went on a very hot, ruggid 5km midday walk across the dunes to get to Dead Vlei, a large ephemeral pan set amongst 200m red sand dunes. The tress have died many years ago from too much clay in the sand but will never really rot because of the dry climate. It was quite a site to see amongst the red dunes. After camp was set up we went to Sesriem Canyon to see the sun set, so after a walk through it we set on top of the truck for sun downers over looking the canyon.Read more

  • Day10

    We left Swakomund at lunch and drove to a camp in the middle of nowhere. The stunning scenery was constantly changing from flat desert to gorges with unusual rock formations. On the way we passed the Tropic of Capricorn and had to get the obligatory photograph. The last time we crossed it we were on the west coast of Australia just over three months ago. At camp we could hear the zebra running around while sat by the campfire and saw the moon rise red.Read more

  • Day10

    Two hour trip out to the dunes again, this time on 250cc quad bikes. They were super fun racing through the amazing dunes, flat out through the fantastic wave shapes and drifting loose corners. James got an official warning for power sliding too much, but still continued when the guide was out of sight! Great fun with some of the guys off the truck.