We are finally getting back with another blog update from the end of 2019. We will share some pics, videos, and stories from an awesome November and December.
Our friend Anita flew from Canada to Dubai to meet us (yay Anita!). She joined us there for a gong show of a birthday brunch for Lisa and then we went to South Africa. Later in December, we flew to Thailand for New Years.
All that and more in this update.
Enjoy. And remember, you can scroll over the pics to see captions and click to enlarge them if you wish.
We had quite a group of close friends join us for the weekend in Dubai for Lisa's birthday brunch at the end of November. As mentioned, our friend Anita flew in from Canada. We loved spending time with her in Dubai and giving her a bit of a taste of "our new home".
Brunch, as expected, was a complete gong show as you can see from the pics and video.
Jeff had to fly home Saturday to work Sunday so Lisa and Anita took advantage of the Dubai time to tour around, see the sights, and also do a desert trip where they surfed the sand dunes, rode camels, and had a BBQ and drinks in the desert.
Jeff flew back to Dubai Sunday after work and met the girls at the airport to fly off to Johannesburg, South Africa.
THANK YOU ANITA for coming to visit!!
After landing in Johannesburg early Monday morning, we took a short flight to Kruger Park, landing at Skukuza airport.
We were picked up by our safari guide and on the way to our lodge we saw giraffes and 6 lions right along the side of the road....even before we got to our camp.
We checked into Notten's Bush Camp and had breakfast. What an amazing lodge. We would stay there again for sure. The food was incredible and top shelf alcohol was included but it was the top-level service that made the experience. Great place!
They also warn you about walking out late at night without a flashlight - we did see a hyena walking through the camp - see the pics below.
The game drives were fantastic, seeing all the big animals we were looking for and even seeing a leopard catch an impala and run it up the tree so the nearby hyena couldn't get any of it. So cool...check the video!
We also took a break one day between morning and afternoon game drives to go golfing at Skukuza Golf Course. We saw warthogs there (pumbas) and many hippos in the waterholes.
This was another amazing safari. We were so happy to share the experience with Anita, as her wild trip continued.
Off to Capetown for a week!
We stayed at an Airbnb in Camp's Bay, a very cool area of Cape Town with a nice beach and many bars and restaurants.
Cape Town is right up there with one of the most beautiful cities we have ever seen. It actually reminded us a lot of Vancouver. There are so many things to do here - nice waterfront, great beaches, amazing restaurants & bars, safaris, shark diving, and so many touristy areas to visit. It is tough to beat the scenery around Cape Town!
Also, some kick ass wine tasting tours!
- Hop On Hop Off Wine Tram in Franschhoek - an incredible day with beautiful scenery
- Constantia Valley wine area
- Table Mountain
- V&A Waterfront - a beautiful area along the harbour - great views, lots of shopping, restaurants, bars, and some great canal boat rides to enjoy!
- Bo Kaap is a former township on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre. It has beautiful colourful homes and is quite multicultural (56% muslim).- Oranjezicht City Fram Market - a great market with lots of food and a nice beer garden
- Boulder's Beach - so cool to see penguins out in the wild and enjoying a gorgeous day
- Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope - at the southernmost tip of Africa
- Chapman's Peak Drive - one of the most scenic ocean drives you can take
- A reminder of where we are - check out the pic below of the bench saying "Whites Only". It wasn't too long ago when this was acceptable!
- Diamond Tour - pretty cool to see diamond cutting & polishing in action
Codfather - pick your fish, they weight it and cook it for you
Hussar Grill - incredible steak house ... had to go twice since Lisa passed out the first time!
Biltong - is a dried, cured meat originating in South African countries using various types of meats
We really enjoyed our time in Cape Town and area, as you will see by the pics below...
This flat topped mountain overlooks Cape Town and can be seen from everywhere! It is 3km from side to side and 1086m (3563 ft) tall.
Amazing views from the top of it and a great place to enjoy some beers!
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope
We took a bus to the southernmost tip of Africa to enjoy some awesome views and a nice hike along the cliffs.
This is a very cool beach in Simon's Town where you can see tons of penguins hanging out in the wild. You could even swim in the water with them but apparently it is pretty cold!
We took the Hop On Hop Off Wine Tram in Franschhoek - an incredible day with beautiful scenery as you will see. What a cool way to do some wine tasting. The day definitely got out of control!
We did another wine tour in the Constantia Valley wine area near Cape Town. Another fantastic time!
South African wine is so good...and no hangovers!
Christmas Season in Bahrain & Saudi
Here are a few pics from the Christmas season in Bahrain, where we spent a few weekends with friends. We also hosted a huge Christmas dinner at our home in Saudi. Great times that make it feel festive!
New Years in Thailand
We took a few days off over New Years to go to Thailand, spending our time in Phuket.
We were here in 2018 and loved it - a great getaway for a few days.
We went for dinner with Rhonda, a Canadian who worked with Jeff in Saudi. She now lives part-time in Phuket and part-time in Kelowna back in Canada. It was great to catch up!
New Years was a wild time in Phuket but our highlight was the boat trip for a day outing to Freedom Beach...beautiful!
We have planned out a bit of our 2020 leaves and are happy to hear we have some friends already planned to meet us for a few of them...
March - Vienna, Austria & Budapest, Hungary
May - Lisa will head home to Ontario and I will meet her a week after. We will spend some time in Calgary and Edmonton and then a few days in London, UK on the way back
July - Cyprus
August - have a vacation booked but no plans yet (most likely Europe somewhere)
September - Oktoberfest in Munich
November - have a vacation booked but no plans yet
February/March 2021 - T&A21 ....we will be there for this one. So sad to be missing the T&A gang this year, as they are off to Costa Rica in a week or so.
Hope you enjoyed some of the stories and pics.
Will leave you with a couple really cool pics of the recent eclipse - these are some shots someone took out in the desert. Awesome!
Stay safe everyone....see you soon!
All posts are updated by Jeff & Lisa