Dune 7 – Climbing the highest sand dune in the Namib desert

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I like a challenge, so the more reviews on TripAdvisor said the climb up Dune 7 was not easy, the more I wanted to do it! Three days into our Walvis Bay trip, we decided to brave the climb. I’ve always been intrigued by deserts hence my choice of Namibia as a holiday destination. Dune 7 is the highest sand dune in the Namib desert and one of the highest in the world. 

At the peak of Dune 7

All the reviews said to try and climb early morning or around sunset when the sand is not so hot but we are just not morning people. So by the time we got to Dune 7, the sun was blazing.

From the shadows you can tell the sun has been up for a while

It’s a short drive (~6 km) to Dune 7 from Walvis Bay. You drive on C14 as if going to Windhoek and you’ll see the signs for ‘Dune 7’ along the way. 

Welcome to Dune 7

The road is tarred and you only drive on untarred road for like 200 m to get to the parking bay. Small cars can make it. 

Before the climb

As you get there you don’t need to ask which dune it is! It stands there towering over all the other dunes. We got to the dune around 9 am and there was no one up there but the many footprints on the sand suggested that many had come and gone. Some footsprints stopped midway, so if we couldn’t make it to the top, we wouldn’t be the first. 

At the top. The world looked much smaller below

We parked under one of the many palm trees at the bottom, took off our shoes and went for it. We decided to just climb up vertically instead of going the longer route. We wanted to just suffer once and get it over with. The climb was HARD! It’s not for the faint hearted! The sun suddenly felt too hot, the sand was burning our bare feet and for every 2 steps forward the sand took us 1.5 steps back. We made a couple of stops on the way to photograph our self-inflicted anguish. More than once we decided ‘maybe we should just climb down, the sand is too hot!’

Then about midway, Lovemore decided he had done enough climbing and I should climb to the top alone. He said he would just stay where he was and wait and take pictures. So I climbed on.

Me at the top of Dune 7

I remember asking if the sand wouldn’t scald the skin off my feet and Lovemore saying ‘no, just keep climbing, you’ll be fine’ so I was reassured. Then maybe after another 10 or so minutes, I reached the top! I felt so triumphant! The whole climb took me a whooping 23 minutes (Yes, I timed myself).

The climb up dune 7

Then Lovemore decided he’ll come up as well.

Adventures are much better when shared with someone else

The top was a lot flatter, so walking to the peak of the dune wasn’t so bad. The sand was even cooler up there. 

10 minutes later, Lovemore joined me.

After our well deserved rest, we took in the views. Wow! The world suddenly seemed so minute, on every side you could see endless masses of sand. The people at the bottom, who had arrived after us, as well as the trees, looked so tiny and from a distance we could see cars looking so small on the road. It was just us 2 up there and it was serene and there was this calmness about the atmosphere. Even the sun didn’t feel so hot anymore. We moved to the next dune and felt like we could do ‘dune hopping’ all afternoon, we didn’t want to go back down. We had managed to conquer the largest sand dune in the Namib desert! 

The great desert

There wasn’t much life to see, it’s a desert after all. We spotted a gecko and a lizard and both ran away too quickly before I could photograph them. We also saw a locust/grasshopper. 

One of the few signs of life we saw in the desert

When we finally decided to go down, we thought to take the longer way just so we could see the views from that side and so we could have used both routes. The sand started burning again in no time and we ran all the way down, shouting hurried ‘hellos’ to some people who were climbing up and lying to them that ‘you almost there’. Running down was easy, the soft sand held our feet in place so that we wouldn’t roll over but was smooth enough to allow for an effortless run. In less than a minute we were back at the bottom! It had taken 23 minutes to climb up and just sub 1 minute to get down!

That triumphant jump when you’ve just come down Dune 7

We then sat eating Simba chips at the picnic area, shaded by palm trees, looking up Dune 7 and marvelling at our super climbing powers. 

There’s many picnic spots at Dune 7

There’s bathrooms at the foot of the dunes and besides the sand and dust in them, they are usable. 

One of the bathrooms at Dune 7

TIPS

1. If you really can, go early morning or at sunset. The sand is really hot and coupled with your fatigue you’ll feel defeated. We were told we were lucky it wasn’t windy, it’s hard to climb with sand beating you up and threatening to blind you. So check the weather.

2. Wear shades/sunglasses. The glare is a bit much and they will also protect your eyes from flying sand.

Cap. Check. Shades. Check

3. Climb barefooted. Otherwise the sand will fill up your shoes and I assume that’s uncomfortable.

4. Carry water on your climb up. You will need it.

5. Wear a hat or cap and breathable clothing. For me, a tshirt and running pants work. But I realised that most people wore long pants and long tshirts, to protect themselves from the sun. You may want to put on sunscreen as well.

6. Carry a camera or phone. We need proof you made it up there! ‘Bragging rights.’ 

7. Have a little picnic when you get back down, even if it’s just Simba chips, to admire the dune from the bottom. You look at it differently after you’ve climbed it. 

8. Take your time, pace yourself. You can do it!

Cruising the Indian Ocean on the MSC Sinfonia

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So I recently went on the MSC Sinfonia for a 3 night, 4 day cruise from Durban to Cape Town. Meaning we left Cape Town, went to Durban just so we could come back to Cape Town. Sounds silly when people say it out loud but it was hella fun! Imagine endless food, entertainment around the clock, heated pools, jacuzzis,  standing on a deck looking at endless stretches of water aah the life! And when you tired of it all, you can lie back on a sun bed and have a waiter bring you a virgin strawberry dauquiri. Heaven.

It wasn’t my first time on a cruise ship but it was my first time cruising with MSC. 

Cabin

We got an ocean view cabin. Meaning we got to watch the ocean through our cabin window. The room was beautiful, it’s amazing what they can do with that small space. A shack-sized space is enough to fit a 5* bedroom (Ok maybe 4*). 

Food

Like all cruises, they serve buffet type meals with all types of breads and croissants, eggs (boiled, scrambled,  sunny side up), sausages, beans, cereals (different), fruits, yoghurt, coffee & juice. For lunch and dinner they served many different dishes and desserts. In between meals, they served snacks such as pizza slices, burgers, chips and fruits (I didn’t even know those were snacks! I have them ad main meals). You could never hunger in this land of milk and honey!

If you don’t want to mingle with the crowd, you can go to the fancy restaurants on board and pay up. Frankly the food there is a bit overpriced, but maybe that’s just me. There’s many bars selling all sorts of hard and soft drinks. You can purchase vouchers or charge the drinks against your card. Alcohol ain’t free 🙂 

Booking

All you need is a credit card, that’s all. The easiest payment method is online. We paid for our trip over the phone, as in we called an MSC agent, went through the booking process (provided the agent with ID number, D.O.B, address) and gave him my credit card details and they emailed us proof of payment. DONE.

Embarkation

To get into the ship, there’s a few protocol to observe. 1) Drop off your check in bag airport style, so it can be scanned and stuff. They will scan your tickets at this point and tag your bags. 2) Your tickets will be scanned to verify their validity. 3) Your photo will be taken which you can get later on for a high fee. 4) Your passport will be checked to make sure it’s really you, for local cruises, an ID book works as well. 5) You enter the ship and have your photo taken for your room card. After this step you are free to roam around and do whatever you want. The ship is all yours. Your cabin usually won’t be ready by the time you get onboard so you have to wait a little while. Later in the afternoon or evening, you will find your bag outside your cabin door.

Cruise card

So your card serves as your room key, your ID and your credit card. You can buy whatever you want against your cruise card. Then you’ll be billed on your credit card (They have your details from the time you made the booking). 

Cruise facilities and entertainment  

Most of the cruise facilities are available for use by guests.  These  include the gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi, tennis courts, sun beds etc.

A program is delivered daily to your cabin with all the entertainment lined up for the next day. Other facilities such as the spa, casino and thermal suite are available at a cost. 

Board games, rackets & tennis balls, soccer ball, basket ball, fools ball, table tennis bat and balls, playing cards etc are all available for free on board.  Speak to reception for information on where to get them.  

Dress code

You can pretty much wear whatever you want. In restaurants though, you may not wear bikinis or swimsuits or walk bare footed. You need to cover up. For some shows, they may request that you dress smart casual, but you get to ditacte what that means. If shorts, a vest and gladiators are smart casual in your head, who’s to say it’s not? 

So all you have to do really is have fun, and go to every corner of the ship and take pictures. 

Wake up early to watch the sun rise or make sure you outside to watch the sunset over the water. It’s beautiful.

What to pack

  • Swimwear for the jacuzzi and pool.
  •  Flip flops for the pool side and for when you really don’t want to wear shoes but don’t want to walk around bare footed either. 
  • Toiletries. In your bathroom, only liquid soap, shampoo, toilet paper and towels are provided so carry your own toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, face wash etc.
  • Jacket/jersey as the evenings can get a little cold
  • Sunscreen if you want to sun bath
  • Gym clothes if you intend to go to the gym or play sport on board.

    TIPS 

    1. Budget for extra expenses on the cruise such as drinks, photos (optional), service charge/mandatory tips (15% on everything you buy onboard), spa (optional), fancy foods (if you want some fine dining), casino, wifi. Also budget for transfer costs to and from the port.

    2. Carry a change of clothes in your handbag incase your luggage is delayed but you want a change of clothes.

    3. If you suffer from sea sickness like yours truly, carry your own tablets or a sea sickness patch. Tablets are also available free of charge on board, ask reception for some if you feel a bit sick. 

    4. Attend as many shows as you can, especially the evening ones as they are pretty good and go win some money in the casino.

    So will I be doing a cruise again? Yes, definitely 

    Chiang Mai, Thailand….Trekking up mountains and making friends with elephants

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    We arrived in Chiang Mai around 10 am on the overnight train from Bangkok. The train had been very clean and comfortable, the berths and bedding were large enough and clean enough. 

    We woke up well rested. From Chiang Mai station to Chiang Mai Inn (Our little inn) we walked, Lovemore thought we should take a cab but I thought we should walk so we walked. I kinda underestimated the distance (totally my fault) and we ended up walking about 5 km. But it was all good because we are used to walking long distances and we were not in a hurry plus it counted as sightseeing.

    The inn was decent enough except for the shower pressure! The water trickled at a painfully slow rate making it a total nightmare to take a shower!

    We spent the day sightseeing, we’d seen more than enough temples in Bangkok but we visited some more anyway. We walked to the river, to the gate, around the town and just took everything in at a chilled pace. 

    Chiang Mai, the city, is not that big and it’s not that busy, plus it’s super cheap, the cheapest part of Thailand we went to. It’s quaint and not buzzing with tourists and for once we could walk around without someone trying to sell us something! It was a breath of fresh air.

    Chiang Mai Night Market

    So Thailand is full of all types of markets! Day markets, night markets, weekend markets, you name it! They are everywhere and contrary to what tourists think, they are not cheap (by Thailand standards). They are targeted at tourists so why would they be cheap? But of course compared to South African and Zimbabwean shops they are stupid cheap, besides, it’s fun to just shop around for everything you want (and don’t want) under one roof.

    On our first evening we walked to the night market. We first had pizza from pizza hut and although it translated to like R300 we didn’t care, our stomachs needed a break from all the spices and rice. 

     That pizza must be the best I ever had!

    We didn’t buy anything on that night, we just observed and looked for things to buy on our last day and watched how negotiating is done. The  market is quote large, theres the outside section with stalls on the side of roads and as you walk further in, you enter a large building with many stalls inside. On the side of Pizza hut, there’s a food market with many vendors selling all kinds of foods amd there was a live band playing. We learnt a few things from walking around and talking to people.

    1. In Thailand, avoid buying wooden and ceramic souvenirs (very popular in Chiang Mai market), they will cost you quite a bit and then crack when you get back to Africa due to the temperature and humidity changes.

    2. Don’t buy your things the first time you go there (except if you pressed for time), first go and get a feel of the market and see how negotiating works. Then return another day and haggle like a pro.

    3. All the labels you’ll find there are fake. No matter how good they look, they are still fake. Surely you don’t expect to buy a Louis Vuitton for R400 or a Rolex for R500, do you?

    4. Only in Thailand can you buy a very good fake Louis Vuiton or a Rolex, with a cop standing next to you. It’s totally legal and some vendors will tell you ‘it’s fake, but genuine’ but most will lie and tell you it’s the real deal. So if you don’t know what sets the real deal apart from an imitation, you could fall for the trap. 

    It’s interesting to watch people negotiating and buying things they probably don’t need. We left for our inn around midnight and walked all the way. It’s totally safe.

    Trekking to the Hill Tribes

    We booked a 2 day, 1 night trekking tour with Trek Chiang Mai. We were picked up at 9 am in a Thai-type taxi and joined 5 other people; 2 from Denmark, 2 from Ireland, 1 from Egypt.

    We drove for like 2 hours out of town seeing nothing but large trees.

    First stop was the Orchids and butterfly farm. It was beautiful but I’m not really a fan of butterflies. They look good but that’s just about it. So we just took silly pictures to pass the time.

    We then drove for like 30 minutes to the local market at Shan village, a thai ethnic group. We bought snacks and debated on whether we should buy roasted scorpions or not. 

    After a while of looking around at the fascinating goods on sale, we drove off to an elephant camp where we had lunch of noodles with chicken and vegetables.

    Then after lunch, the real fun began. We went elephant riding, I shared my elephant with Lovemore. After a nice slow ride through the river and into the forest,  we returned and bathed our elephant, laughing as it sprayed water on us with its trunk, then we fed the elephant and thanked it for a good ride. I think me and elephant really bonded, I need to go back and visit him. 

    It was sad to leave Elephant behind but we had a lot of hiking to do.

    The sun was scorching hot or maybe it was just me heating up from all the hiking. We hiked for like 1 hour 30 minutes. I was so tired and my small back pack felt like it had bricks inside, Lovemore had to put it in his back pack and carry it.

    Mental Note: Playing with elephants before a hike is bad, it drains you!

    We made a stop at a waterfall where we soaked into the water. I just took off my shoes and got in with my shorts and tshirt, I didn’t have the energy to disrobe (Had a swim suit underneath). The sun was burning anyway so I knew I’d dry as soon as I got out. Boy was I wrong! 

    Then there was more hiking, steeper this time, and my clothes were not drying and they felt so heavy, just dragging me down. I just soldiered on and our friendly guide, Tom, who’d become my bff, kept waiting for me. Tom didn’t look like he had walked a metre! He wasn’t sweating! He was wearing flip flops! He wasn’t breathing like he’d drop down dead any minute like the rest of us! He just walked as if on flat ground!!! Just before sunset we made it to the top of the mountain, to the Lahu village. We were shown to our lodgings and we dumped our back packs and went to watch the sunset, all tiredness forgotten.

    This place was so serene. No network, no electricity, no stress, just nature, beautiful nature. We walked around the village greeting the locals who didn’t understand a word we said but smiled at us anyway.

    We had candle lit dinner of egg fried rice with an option of chicken or tofu and lots of vegetables and a drink of our choice. Our guide cooked really good.

     We then all sat around a bon fire under the stars answering questions about Africa.  The way I spoke about how great and magnificent Africa was (the Egyptian backed me) you’d swear I was trying to sell Africa to the Europeans! We spoke late into the night and decided to go to bed way after midnight. We played with a flash light and the go pro, taking silly pictures as usual.

    The sleeping arrangement was hostel/domitory style. It was just a pick a bed (extra thin mattress), make the bed, let down the mosquito net and sleep.  The beds and blankets were Asian size so Lovemore had 2 choices, either to fold himself to fit or to sleep with his legs dangling and he wasn’t happy with either choice.

    We woke up to a breakfast of bread and eggs. Then we just brushed our teeth and were off. We took a different path down and after about 2 hours of walking we came to a large, beautiful waterfall flowing down into a river. 

    We all bathed (if we can call standing under a stream of water bathing), we spent sometime at the waterfall with some people swimming, some ‘bathing’ and me chatting with my bff, the guide. Then we descended a further 30 minutes, coming down to a camp of sorts.  We did whitewater rafting for like 45 minutes (now that was fun!). Then we did bamboo rafting for another 45 minutes. With bamboo rafting you sleep on bamboo sticks and someone rows you around the water. Lovemore and I shared a bamboo float and we just lay back and talked about how coming to Thailand was such a great idea. It was so serene with an occasional ‘Sawasdee’ from someone on the river bank or an elephant trumpeting from a distance. Pure bliss.

    Then it was lunch time. We had chicken fried noodles, rested a bit then we were off back to town. 30 minutes into the ride home, 2 of the guys started complaining about nausea and stomach cramps but we just said they were tired and they would be fine. By the time we got to Chiang Mai (around 17h30) everyone was sick except Lovemore, Ahmad (the Egyptian) and myself. We got to our Inn and rook an hour long nap and got up to an email from Ahmad saying he too had fallen sick. That’s when I got worried but we felt just fine so we went to the night market to get food and to buy everything we had spotted on our first night as we would leave the next evening. My favourite things that I bought were my cat-bag and my elephant cup. 

    I bought a couple of things I didn’t really need as well like boobs-shaped soaps which I thought were funny at the time until they started melting the next day and had to throw them away with Lovemore laughing at me.

    We went back to our inn early that evening, around 10 pm, to pack. We got to our room and i just felt light headed. Then that’s when I too fell sick. I thought I was dying because the pain just rushed in attacking me from all angles. My stomach cramped so bad, my joints felt weak, my head was pounding, I wanted to throw up but couldn’t, the nausea was killing me, my throat felt so dry. I just felt terrible. Food poisoning is horrible! I self medicated being careful not to overdose, drank a cartoon of milk, drank a rehydrant and then lay on the bed groaning in agony for hours and drinking water till I fell asleep around 3 am.

    What do you know! Miracles do happen. I woke up at 7 the next morning feeling as good as rain!

    Thai cooking classes

    We had a cooking class scheduled and they picked us up at 9. I felt a bit tired but the pain was gone. I just made sure to stay well hydrated.

    We spent the rest of the day learning to make Thai dishes and eating them, dessert was my personal favourite. I made black sticky rice and Lovemore made sticky mango rice and I ate both.

    Coconut must be the staple food of Thailand. They use it everything!

    After class, around 4 pm, we were dropped off at the train station and waited for our 6 pm train. It was already there, so we boarded and just chilled.

    I’d spent the whole day waiting for my food poisoning to return but thankfully it never did. Lovemore was the only member of our trekking group that survived the food poisoning!

    Of all the places we visited in Thailand, Chiang Mai was the most authentic and the cheapest. For a true Thai feel, go up to Chiang Mai.

    Tips

    1. Book your train in advance especially in peak season. 

    2. If you going to trek, make sure it’s not the first time you’ve ever hiked and have a good pair of shoes.  Unless you are Tom, our guide, flip flops won’t cut it.

    3. If your stomach is oversensitive you might want to carry your own dried food. It might make your backpack heavier but I guess it’s better than risking falling sick 

    4. There isn’t much to see on top of the mountains, for an African it’s just like going to the rural areas so don’t expect much. But the trip there is worth it.

    5. If you not into elephants, water rafting, canoeing, butterflies and hiking then skip the trekking.

    6. Unlike hiking up Mount Everest, you don’t get a porter, so keep your back pack light. Leave your big bag in the hotel. Pay for the extra night even though you won’t be there, so you can leave your luggage.

    7. There a left luggage room at Chiang Mai train station if you want to leave your bags and wonder around while waiting for your train.

    8. If you decide to go trekking, wear a swim suit underneath so you can just take off your clothes when you get to waterfalls. 

    9. Have fun! Be happy! Do as much  as you can and see as much as you can! Just have fun. 

    A cruise stopover in the Bahamas – A little taste of the Caribbean

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    I will forever cherish the Bahamas because that’s where the next chapter of my life began. That’s where my sun-and-stars got down on 1 knee and proposed. That’s where the white gold ring with the sparkling diamond and pink gold ribbons married my finger till death or amputation do them apart. That’s where it all began. Birthmark.

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    We sailed to the Bahamas aboard the Norwegian Sky from Miami, Florida. I’ll skip the cruise part for another post and just talk about the Bahamas, Nassau to be precise.

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    We docked at Nassau port and excitedly scurried off the cruise liner. I know it’s not fair for me to judge the whole island based on a cruise stopover but you know what they say about first impressions!

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    There were many massive cruise liner in the turquoise waters. We stopped for pictures and then we were off to explore ‘The Bahamas’.

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    After like 50 m we came to the ‘gateway’ and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I thought to myself ‘Is this it?’. It looked old and battered, the buildings looked like they could use some real TLC, there were people everywhere trying to sell you things you don’t need, there were cab drivers trying to take you to all these supposedly nice places! It was chaos. It was totally run down! This couldn’t be the Bahamas! I was confused, that’s not what the pictures said 😦 .

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    Maybe it’s only bad here, you know how Chris Brown said ‘It could get ugly before it gets beautiful’ maybe if we walk further in, this frog would turn into a prince. No, there was no prince to be found around the port, just more indoor and street markets selling the same ol’ stuff. It reminded me of Small Street in Johannesburg.

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    I was wearing my Zulu beads and people came up with all sorts of assumptions about their meaning. (Is asking that hard?) Trying to comment on them in the hope of enticing me to buy somethings from them and ignorantly insulting me in the process. And the one stupid guy who asked where we were from and I said ‘Zimbabwe’ and had to explain (yes it’s a country, next to South Africa, no we not dying of poverty idiot and no I don’t know Jimmy from Nigeria, no these beads are not from the Masai tribe! What do you mean how did we get here??). Then after pointing out that Africa was actually a continent with 54 countries and over 3000 tribes, and that we didn’t all know each other, we moved on. Came across a nice soldier and we had a great chat.

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    Ok, we decided, let’s take a cab and get out of here. We haggled down the obviously overpriced taxi fare and settled to pay $12 ($6 pp) for the trip to Paradise Island. It was just like a kilometre away! And they’d made us pay $12! Talk about daylight robbery! We passed a toll gate and entered a whole new world! A more Bahamas-like Bahamas. This was more like it. I approved. Even the air smelled different, fresher! How such contradicting world’s could be just a kilometre apart beats me but again I live in Cape Town I should understand.

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    We decided a trip to the Caribbean would be incomplete without rum. So we tried everything rum, from rum cake to rum chocolate to rum rum. Captain Jack Sparrow would have been so proud or upset that we finished the rum!

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    And what do you know! The Bahamas is beautiful after all. Atlantis on Paradise Island was fit for the god of sea! Poseidon must have really taken his time creating it! It was picture perfect complete with sugar sand beaches, turquoise waters, a stunning aquarium, a casino and a water park [We didn’t have time to enjoy the water park (negative), but now we have an excuse to go back (positive)].

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    As a day visitor you have to purchase a day-pass. The pass that allows you access to almost everything cost $135 pp (R1800) which is a bit steep and access excluding the water park was $69 pp (R880).

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    After you done with Atlantis (not that you can ever be done, but you need to leave at some point) you exit to a yatch filled area and cute but overpriced shops.

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    Going back, we decided to walk now that we knew where we were going. We walked over a bridge looking far into nothingness on the left and into ships on the right.

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    As we approached our destination we walked past what seemed like deserted buildings and closed down shops. There were not many people in sight and we just wandered around off the beaten path.

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    Later back in our cabin on the boat, we found a note that had been left by the cleaning staff. It was a WARNING that Nassau was listed as a ‘High crime zone by the US govenment’ following numerous attacks of all kinds on tourists. The warning strongly advised against walking around the island alone. And we had done just that! Thankfully nothing had happened to us, probably because we looked like the locals 🙂

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    I still can’t get over how under developed some parts of the Bahamas are though! I’ll gladly go to the Bahamas again and stay longer to really get to know it, a day wasn’t quite enough. Maybe next time we will even hop on a carriage for a sight seeing tour.

    Then it was back on the boat for me and my muggle with Cuban cigars and turquoise waters in the back drop and blue skies with feathery clouds above and jacuzzis and endless parties.

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    Swiss Alps (Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe) – A trip so expensive but oh! So worth it!

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    My little dream of Switzerland! I’d never seen a country so perfect! Everything about Switzerland was just gooder than good. The boats, the still waters, the cleanliness, the chocolates, the classy buildings with a touch of history, the flawless transport system, the vibe, the food, did I mention the chocolates? Everything seemed to be effortlessly in place! It was my little piece of heaven, and the Lindt factory in Zurich was the cherry on top! It was so perfect you could forgive it’s expensiveness (Because it’s stupid expensive)! Continue reading

    Weekend getaways from Cape Town 

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    The city can easily get overwhelming and boring and sometimes you just need to “escape the city”. There’s so many places just outside Cape Town you can drive to for the weekend. In this post I only write about the places I have been to. Unlike most people, we usually leave the city in search for adventure rather than for peace. I can sit on my balcony and watch the sun set over the waterfront and RELAX. I don’t need to get away for that. Adventure is what I love.

    Continue reading