Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gorgeous Goa



We went to Goa for the Thanksgiving weekend, right at the end of November.  We went almost as far south as you can go to Palolem - around an hour and a half's drive from the airport.  We stayed at Ciaran's which is right on the beach and is a real oasis of green.


The beach itself was often quite empty and blissfully quiet.  We spent a lot of our days simply wandering up and down it, stopping every so often for a cold coffee or for a happy hour cocktail.






One thing I remember about being in Goa from our first year in India is the sunsets - they were absolutely glorious.  The sunrises were pretty good too!




Goa was so colourful - in so many ways.  And such a short plane journey from Mumbai too.  We will be back!



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Yoga, Meditation and Rain in November


At the end of November a group of 10 teachers went for the day to the SMART Ecopark for a day of yoga and meditation.  It was truly wonderful!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mariepskop


On our last full day in South Africa we went to Mariepskop, in the Drakensberg Mountains.  On a clear day from the top of the Mariepskop (around 2000 m above sea level) you can see Maputo and the Indian Ocean.  Drakensberg means "Dragon".


We picnicked by a river and the young people (Claire's children and Nat) had a great time swinging on a rope and jumping into the river.



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blyde River Canyon

Back in Hoedspruit again we went on a couple of day trips with Claire and her kids.  One trip was to the Blyde River Canyon, around 40 minutes away from where she lives.



The Three Rondavels


The largest "green" canyon on Earth


The "Happy" River (Blyde)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Big Five


Everyone who goes on safari wants to see the "Big 5"!  We were really lucky in that we saw them all:  elephants, Cape buffalo, leopard, lions and both white and black rhino.







Monday, November 9, 2015

Kruger National Park


From Johannesburg, Sharon, Andrew, Diana, Robert, Nat (Sharon's son) and myself drove north to Hoedspruit, at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg mountains.  We visited Sharon's friends there and then the following day we set off on Safari.

Blue wildebeast

In total we spent around 2 and a half days in Kruger National Park.  We spent 2 nights in lodges in the park itself which meant we could do both sunrise and sunset safaris.  We saw a huge number of animals.


We would stop for breakfast in lunch in various lodge restaurants which mostly had amazing view of the nature and wildlife in the park.


The waterholes were great places to spot wildlife.  Here there is a hyena approaching an impala.

Hippos in the water

 
There were lots of zebras and giraffes - it was great to be so close to them.

 


Impala are known as the McDonalds of the park - everyone snacks on them!





Friday, November 6, 2015

Johannesburg and Learning2


My first visit to South Africa was to the American International School of Johannesburg for Learning2, where I was a Learning2 Leader.  The school is quite a way out of the city.  I stayed in a great hotel and really enjoyed being there - the school campus was really beautiful.  The conference was small and had a really friendly feel.  I am certainly blessed to be able to travel for my job.