Saturday, January 26, 2013

South Africa, Africa - December 2012

- per Macey's travel journal (my added notes)

Dec 4, 2012
Tonight we went to the airport in a taxi. The driver was really nice. (They didn't send 2 taxis like we ordered, so the driver called a taxi friend who came and got us all to the airport in time!)We got off at the airport and got on an airplane. Then at like 10:15pm we got onto another airplane after waiting for about 3 hours! Everyone was so tired. (We had a lay-over in Doha)

Dec 5
We fell asleep on the airplane. Then when we woke up the kids had breakfast. The grownups had to wait until later. Most of the grownups were asleep anyways.
A few hours later we got off the plane and into the airport. Let the adventures begin!
We met Donavine and Jordan, then we got into our own car. (Friends)
We drove to a place to eat (Spurs in a mall) then we went home. Donavine's house is so cool!
At about 2pm we went to a farm that only had cows and chickens. We fed the cows and then went to their store and got some things.
We went to another grocery store and then back home. (We went to a pharmacy to buy the anti-malaria medicine - quite a fiasco to us, apparently not to the kids!)
We got ready for mtg, went there, got back, went to sleep. (The people of the home invited us to stay for "tea and biscuits" - such sweet fellowship)

Dec 6
Today we woke up and had breakfast, then we went to an amusement park and zoo put together. (The kids got up at dawn because of the 2 hour time difference, and Donavine cooked us a wonderful South African breakfast) Donavine picked up a girl named Ashley. (Ashley's family came up later) Jolee Julia, and Matthew went to the arcade while everyone else, besides my mom and dad, went to the water park. (Too cold for us!) We also had gone to play golf, play on a playground, and look at animals before we went swimming. Finally, we went and ate and went to bed. (Actually, we drove 1.5 hours back home. The weather was rainy, but the scenery was nice. We drove through some really poor shanty towns getting to the Sun City entertainment center that make you glad for the roof over your head. The bars. wires, and fences on the properties are amazing, and the German Shepherds in the yards. People are constantly waking down the highway, looking for rides. We had to show the car key to the security guard when we left Sun City to show that we didn't hot-wire the car!)

Donavine and the kids at Sun City
Hailey King's son, Jordan, Jolee, and Julia
Macey and Ashley

 Julia and Donavine

Mini golf
Dec 7
Today we went to Kruger National Park. It took us 4 hours to get there! (Actually, we drove to a lodge called Kruger Lodge in Hayzview outside of the park. The scenery was breath-taking -
banana farms, macadamia nut plantations, tree farms, citrus trees, cows roaming the side of the road - and soooo green!)
When we got there, we played and relaxed. Later we went to supper. It was pretty good.
We saw monkeys and deer this afternoon. We saw deer babies and monkey babies.
Then we went home and watched TV. Soon we went to bed.

Dec 8
Today we went on a safari. We saw lots of animals, zebra, deer, things that look like and might be related to deer, monkeys, giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, birds and a rare Rhino. We were out there for 8 hours. When we got to the gate, there was a souvenir shop. I got a drum made out of giraffe skin. We went home, had supper, watched TV, had ice cream, went to bed. (Chris grilled some wonderful fillets for dinner! Julia and Mom stayed at the Lodge and had a great Mommy and Me day!)

Hiking around the Lodge near the river

Yea for playgrounds!

Lunch with Mom!

wart hog

 snack time

Dec 9
Today we went and looked at places. God's Window was one of them. I don't know the names of the other places. (Blyde's River Canyon, waterfalls) God's window was okay. We climbed a million stairs and then over a thousand rocks and when we got to the top, we were really high. It was pretty cool! (I don't think she counted very accurately - a bit exaggerated!)
After that we went down to the market thing at the bottom of the sight. (A flea market) I got 2 animals made out of metallic (malachite) - they are sooo pretty! (We all got some cool souvenirs)
We drove back to our lodge and went swimming. The water was soooo dirty! (From the rain).
We jumped on a trampoline, and played on a playground. Then Matthew and I played chess. We never finished it. Then we got dressed (changed clothes) and went to a restaurant and had dinner.(in town - Galitos - an experience - we where quite the odd ones there! They served spicy grilled chicken and we tried some South African side dishes) We went to bed. (We seemed to stay on Dubai time - so we were up by 7am and pooped by 9pm)




Chicken at Galitos
Jolee wanted a picture of us sharing a milkshake!
 Dec 10
Today we went sight-seeing again. We went to a waterfall. (We went into Hayzview and had breakfast at a bakery. Then we went to schedule a night safari, but they were booked. So we decided to go sight-seeing. We drove west to Bridal Veil Falls and hiked to the base. It was beautiful, and we were covered in mud by the time we got back!) After that we went to some stores. Timothy, Matthew, Julia, Jolee and I all got some kind of animal. Katelin got a a hairband somewhere, and Mom got some people. (We went to several stores and flea markets that day) Then we went to the grocery store and then back home. We watched TV, had ice cream (after dinner) and went to bed.

Dec 11
Today it was raining and we watched TV. We went outside, 1. Mom told us too 2. All the shows were for babies.
The rain finally stopped and we got a popsicle and started walking. We went to the play place and Timothy and I played chess. (We went to the Hippo pond and saw their heads when they came up for air. And a croc!)


Then we went into the restaurant and had juice, tea, and scones. (Tea time)
Next we went to a place that you could go on a night safari! (Kruger Park - different entrance gate than they went to on the day safari. They drove through the park on their own during the day, but you had to go with a guide at night) We got ready and then we drove off! We saw elephants, lots of birds, impalas, hippos, and a spotted hyena. But we didn't see any of the cat species. At 8pm we headed home. We had dinner, ice cream (did they really eat that much ice cream??!) and went to bed. (Chris talked with a park ranger who told him they have a terrible time with Asian Rhino Poachers. Chris saw a group of armed rangers heading off. The rangers shoot first - take no prisoners. The poaching is getting to be a huge problem. 40 poachers and lots of rhinos had been killed this year so far.)
Matthew enjoying the night safari

 African buffalo

 Dec 12
Today we went to the airport. It took us 4 hours to get there! (We left early for our 2pm flight out of Johannesburg. We even got stopped for speeding! The officer wanted us to drive to the station and pay the fine. After assuring him we loved South Africa and would drive slower, and did not have time to go to the police station, he let us off!) We went through customs and finally got on the plane. (Our luggage and passports were checked too many times, and they made the boys throw out their water guns - 2 very unhappy boys!) We all watched movies until we fell asleep, but the only ones who fell asleep were Jolee, Julia, and Matthew. (It was too early yet to sleep - esp with so many movie choices!) After 8 hours on an airplane, we got off and sat down to wait for our next plane to Dubai. (lay over in Doha - 2 am by the time we boarded again - we were all too sleepy then!)
When we got off, we got our luggage, got on a taxi, and went home. (We were soooo tired. We slept from 6am until 11, and were pretty good after that. It was a wonderful trip to a new continent. Lots of new things to see, taste, and do - and lots of green! So different than Dubai.)


No comments:

Post a Comment