At this point, South Africa has less than 70 confirmed cases of Covid-19, so it’s a week or so behind the US, which is a week or so behind Europe. But the government has announced some pretty severe travel restrictions, so that should help slow the spread. There are still some things we are trying to get confirmation on (cancelation of visas, etc). On the bright side of things, South Africa seems to be always prepared for some sort of crisis. Most recently it’s been electricity shortages, water shortages, etc. South Africa has been able to somehow navigate those, so I’m hopeful the nation will be able to navigate Covid-19 as well.
My main concern at this point is all the folks living in the townships/informal settlements. They already have little to no sanitation, social distancing is not an option for them due to proximity, and access to healthcare is limited at best. In all likelihood, once the virus gets in there a lot of people will become sick and likely die.
P has been ordered to work from home for the next few weeks. We are stockpiling food so that we won’t have to go out when things get bad. But this does make me miss our American sized fridge and stocked pantry. We have made plans to combine resources and shelter in place with friends if it gets really bad. And in the event all-out anarchy happens, P’s employer will evacuate us. So, we are very much taking a plan for the worst, hope for the best approach to this. I guess reading “The Stand” and watching “The Walking Dead” did teach me a few things.
I’m more concerned for our friends and family in The States at this point. Thankfully most folks are taking this seriously and doing all they can to prepare. At this point none of my family and friends have been diagnosed with the virus that I know of, so that’s a relief.
Please check in on your loved ones to ensure they are ok.
Last weekend we took a trip to a national park on the west coast with some friends. Even though it was close to Cape Town it was a park we hadn’t been to yet. The wildflowers were in certainly in bloom. Unfortunately, it was partially overcast and some of the flowers closed up early, I guess that’s a thing. After driving around for a bit we hit the restaurant. The food while not gourmet, was decent. The highlight of this was sharing the frosting from carrot cake with some birds.
During the few weeks that the flowers are in high bloom, a neighboring private property opens to the public. Head over to our instagram page for more pictures.
I can’t think of any other place on Earth that has as much breathtaking natural beauty near a major city as Cape Town. From Table Mountain to the Sea, to the parks, it’s truly astonishing. For as much as Cape Town and South Africa have going for them, it’s a shame that they continue to shoot themselves in the foot with violence and corruption.
In preparation for the upcoming Safari, I’ve been busy updating the site to version 2.0. It should look pretty similar, but be smoother and faster. If you notice any issues I may have missed in my testing please let me know.
So, this post is a little late… but guess what? We’ve moved!!!
We are now in a quieter and less touristy neighborhood. We are still pretty close to the CBD (Central Business District). In fact, we have some pretty cool views of the city from here.
The new home is overall a vast improvement over the previous place. I think a key piece of that is that the new place is only 5 or 6 years old. The owners have constructed a home that has won awards for how earth friendly it is.
The water is from a “borehole” (aka a well) and is filtered and treated several times before it hits the faucets. The owner has had the water tested a few times and proudly let us know that the testing agency accused him of bringing in spring water. I will say that the water tastes pretty great.
We have solar panels that power the entire house, any extra power is sold back to the utility. Given the current state of nationwide rolling blackouts, I’m very happy to be on Solar power. The owners have enough battery capacity to run the house for 48 hours in the event it is needed.
But the really cool thing is how the house is heated and cooled. There are water pipes running through the walls and floors that provide radiant heating and cooling. This is the same water that eventually makes it to the faucets, so it’s always moving. While the house stays pretty comfortable, we did pick up some fans to provide air movement.
The only downside is that shops aren’t quite as walkable as they were before, but overall, we are in a much better place. (The jacuzzi certainly doesn’t hurt)
We recently took a family trip to Germany. Can you imagine 14 days with 25 assorted in-laws, friends of in-laws, and in-laws to be? Throw in a tour bus and several 90f/ 30c degree days and you’ve got the ingredients for “fun”. YIKES!!!! Thankfully through sheer force of will (and away time), everyone survived.
This was our first time in northern Germany. While sitting on our tour bus I was amazed at how much the landscape resembled Wisconsin and Minnesota. I’m going to go out a limb and assume that is why those states have a large portion of German immigrants. It made me a little homesick while providing a sense of comfort.
Our tour was guided by Christian Tours. If you are looking for a tour of Martin Luther’s stomping grounds I highly recommend them. Our tour took us through the following cities: Hamburg, Travemünde, Lübeck, Walsrode, Hanover, Celle, Weimar, Eisenach, Erfurt, Leipzig, Wittenberg, Torgau, and finally Berlin. We saw the horrors of war and populism, the beauty of simple things, and walked cobblestone streets that were in use 200 years before Columbus sailed (that’s 1292 for those that don’t know).
My favorite part of the trip was the lack of water restrictions. I took long showers, soaked in a tub, let the water get warm before jumping in the shower. I couldn’t bring myself to break the ‘yellow let it mellow’ rule though.
All in all, it was a great trip that exceeded my expectations. I got to spend time with my favorite in-laws, drink some really good beers, and see a beautiful country.
Check out Instagram for some photos from the trip.
Wow! it’s been 4 months since we arrived in Cape Town. I guess it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun. So it’s time for a quick update.
Even though it’s been four months there are still moments when we forget we are in South Africa. I think part of that is how western a city Cape Town is. A friend has described it as “Africa-lite”. I have to agree that they are pretty spot on.
So far we’ve only been able to a small amount of sight seeing, we are planning on doing a lot more. At the top of our bucket list is to do a safari. We also want to see Victoria Falls and Namibia
So far we have taken two trips to Cape Point. The first trip was cut a little short due to a badly sprained ankle. I wore proper shoes and watched where I was walking to ensure trip 2 wasn’t terminated prematurely. We’ve also taken a few trips to the Winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and had some really good wines. Pinotage is a South African varietal we’ve enjoyed.
We’ve seen some of the African wildlife such as: ostriches, penguins, seals, baboons, dassie, and Kudu.
We hope to go on further adventures and see some more of Africa shortly. As we are entering into winter hopefully we’ll have more opportunities. But we know how quickly time flies.
Until next time enjoy these pictures from Cape Point.