Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back to South Africa for the third time in 14 months

The view from my private terrace this morning

Good morning from a truly beautiful place in beautiful South Africa, living a Travelife.

It's my third trip to South Africa in 14 months, which must mean I like this country a lot.

Scroll down to read more...



HAPPY MEMORIES OF A FIRST TRIP

I visited South Africa for the first time two years ago, you see, and my memories of that happy trip were so vivid that I simply wanted to go back again.

That's me at the famous La Colombe on my first trip

The second trip was just two months ago, when I visited the Northern Cape region and did a little bit of Cape Town in just under two weeks.

That, too, was a really fantastic trip.


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So much so that in prompted me to return to South Africa again in a matter of months -- if not weeks.

That's me, getting a private cooking lesson
in the kitchen of the Oppenheimer villa in Northern Cape
on my second trip

AN AMAZING THIRD TRIP

This time, everything just fell into place for this third trip.

Someone was free for two weeks and wanted to go to South Africa, and I was game to revisit some places I'd spent too little time in before, and to discover new ones as well.


Of course, all the planning was left to me, as no one can plan better. Truly.

So I booked everything remaining that I still wanted to experience in South Africa.

A NEVER-ENDING BUCKET LIST

On board the beautiful Blue Train,
from Pretoria to Cape Town

The list is endless actually, which leaves room for many other trips in the future; but for now, I certainly ticked off quite a lot of things on my bucket list.

In Johannesurg, I was able to see so many other things that I'd missed on my first visit.

That's me at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg...
I was also able to eat at a restaurant I like, at the Saxon Hotel, again.

So it was a mixture of new and old.

BACK IN TIME, AND BACK TO CAPE TOWN
VIA THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE TRAIN




Then we went on the Blue Train, which is a journey of over 1600 kilometers from Pretoria to Cape Town.

I usually fly to Cape Town.

But for this third trip, I decided to arrive in very grand style via the lavish and elegant Blue Train.



THE WESTERN CAPE BY CAR

In Cape Town, we rented a car for 10 days, and we're doing a very nice tour of the Cape Winelands as well as of the Garden Route.


Of course I've booked some of the loveliest hotels on the planet.

A REAL FOODIE TRIP

For food, we're doing a mixture of some restaurants I've already been to before, as well as a couple of new ones.

It's a real foodie trip, with lots of wine thrown in, as this companion's really into wine.



Last night, for instance, we had dinner at Rust en Vrede, one of South Africa's top restaurants that was once #15 in the list of best restaurants in the world.


I'd been here before, on my first trip, but we'd gone for lunch and sat outdoors having grilled steaks and boutique wines.

THE FULL-BLOWN RUST EN VREDE EXPERIENCE



That had been very nice, but I still wanted to experience the real Rust en Vrede gourmet evening.

Boy, what a meal we had last night. I'm so glad I returned to this magical and truly delicious restaurant.

More later, as I have a breakfast with a view and lunch at another of South Africa's best restaurants -- one I've never been to, this time -- coming up in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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