So the Cape Odysssey has come to an end - 14 days since we left home and what a lot we managed to pack in. We have traveled a lot of km in our tin can car with our ever growing suitcases....we have seen and done so much, renewed some wonderful friendships, met new people.....we are flying to Durban and our family today but here are some things we learned in the last 2 weeks:
A second language is never lost - its just hiding in there waiting for an opportunity to be used, Allan and I have been amazed at our Afrikaans....even more amazed at how much the children have picked up.....wishing here were some words we had never told them..
deep friendships endure years of separation.....they are a gift that endures.
Driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road - no problem.... keeping the indicator and windshield wipers straight....tricky....
Using sunblock really works. On the parts of the body you apply it to. If that does not include your eyelids blinking will hurt.
South African road signs are a whole form of entertainment on their own
Eating out here is cheap but the service is slow and inattentive.....the food generally great...I doubt the children will ever say "fry" when they see a "chip" again.
Water is a scare commodity - we feel bad asking for it wherever we eat....they know we are "not from here" as soon as we request it.
Hot, as in the temperature, is a relative thing....
There truly is nothing like your own bed and pillow
Elephants, ostriches, cheetahs, lemurs - all amazing creatures.......penguins too.....baboons not so much.
Car guards are a blessing and a curse.....and can be very bossy about where and how to park your car. Tipping them always a dilemma - mostly we did....
Coffee....... what to say?...... a double shot cappuccino is my new poison.....it usually has enough oomph.
Our accent confuses everyone. They think we are from "America" but in two seconds they ask "Where you from here originally".... and then we explain....
B&B's are our preferred way to travel - such interesting places and people - our one rental through AirBnB was our least favourite stay..... the others - all B&B's....all great.....
Elephant skin can graze your knees...... and riding one can stretch muscles in awkward places.
Wifi slow and hard to find in public spaces.
This nation loved Madiba.....opinion split on the current regime....mostly negative.....some way too negative....this is a land worth fighting for but engaging citizens who are so disillusioned is hard work.
Poverty is real and in your face.....it is sad and it hurts to see.
Teenagers are observant and insightful and funny - also messy....but on the whole very fun to travel with.
Driving is fast and aggressive and you feel blessed to make it out of each roundabout intact. Toll roads pop up when least expected.
Most SAfricans are helpful, friendly and hospitable and well set up for the tourists.
We have had an incredible journey so far - the next chapter starts today with a grand family reunion - the purpose for this trip...the reason we came....
We will sleep in our hometown tonight - the town Allan was born in.....we are excited.
Its busy going forward now - I hope to catch you all before Christmas but if I don't - I wish you all peace and joy as you celebrate.