Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear ....ag man, everybody reading this

Now i realise that i told you guys that I wouldn't be doing one of these for some time to come. But I've had the most awesome news....so I have to share it. And since I'm super excited I'm having trouble being all creative and stuff.......so here goes......Little miss Ruby received her acceptance letter today:)

I'm doing my Masters in Forensic auditing y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dear MSC Melody

Oh my word.......where does one begin??? I have no words to explain this amazing experience. Sun, sea, zodiac rides, sexy Italian sailors, food, food, food, cocktails, beaches, 5 star treatment, gorgeous sunsets, even more amazing sunrises, dancing until the sun comes up and great company......what more could a girl possibly ask for?? Not much really:)

I'm not going to go into the details of the trip...there is just too much and too little blog space. So, I've decided to tell the story with the help of a couple of pictures. We hardly slept at all the entire time we were on the boat. Opting rather to dance either under the stars or in the club. Luckily, none of our little group of friends suffered from motion sickness.......this obviously enhanced the experience:)

The food was superb! And I swear it felt as if we were eating the whole time. The day started with breakfast buffet, then a "Late risers" buffet, then teatime, then a lunch buffet, then "High tea" and then a 7 course dinner.....which was quite a fancy affair.

Everybody came back weighing ever so slightly more than when we actually went on board......I suppose it could be blamed on the combination of food and cocktails. But that's what new year exercising regimes are for right?

The sailors were mostly Italian and definitely lived up to their reputation....*wink wink*. My "Stolen Kiss" happened to be the "Pilot" of the ship, and was brave enough to smuggle me onto the captain's bridge on the last morning to watch the sunrise from there...it was absolutely amazing!!! And believe it or not, I still chat to him on a regular basis...or whenever he has access to the Internet.

We came back with heavy hearts, tanned bodies and a million pictures and memories. Here are a couple of pictures to wet your appetite:)

And we're off!!!!

Smart Casual Dinner the first evening

On the Portuguese Islands.....gorgeous!

Still on the island...just check how far the cruise ship is....about a 10min zodiac ride

Beautiful sunset after an awesome day on the Island

The girlies on our second night....dinner is a fancy affair y'all!

Deck party!!!!!!!

Still having fun at the deck party:)

We ensured there were enough life boats for everyone

A stolen kiss...........

Sunrise from the Captain's bridge on the morning of our arrival back in Durban



Friday, January 9, 2009

Dear people of Ponta

Thank you so much for inviting us into your humble surroundings. Those brief days stolen on Mozambican beaches and philandering around on quads will forever be one of the most memorable trips of my life.

We left Pretoria at about half past 11 Friday night. All 4 of us were super excited. We were traveling to Moz with a double cab bakkie towing a 6m trailer containing two rather large quad bikes and a smaller trailer containing a jetski. Miss Gym Bunny finally fell asleep at about 2 in the morning, but being the little insomniac I am, I stayed awake throughout, keeping the guys awake with animated stories and listening wide eyed to their stories of Moz and the time both of them spent in the police force.

By 6 o'clock Saturday morning we had reached Pongola, and here we stopped for a well deserved Wimpy breakfast..yumm! We then set off for the last part of our journey to Cosi bay, where we were to cross the border. Once the border post was in sight, the guys drove the whole rig off the road and started undoing all the ropes and unloading our bags from the bakkie. Miss Gym Bunny(MGB) and I were quite confused about this, and after much banter we discovered that we were leaving the bakkie and the big trailer behind...we will be entering into Moz with only the 2 quadbikes, the larger one of the two will be towing the small trailer with the jetski and our bags strapped to it. Whooooop! Super exciting stuff.

Now granted, your little town of Ponta do Ouro isn't all that far from the border, only about 15km, but it might as well have been in a totally different world. Great was my surprise when I discovered that the road actually disappeared the moment we went through the border post. Suddenly it was grass, trees and a couple of sandy tracks leading well....all over the place. When I asked A how on earth he knew where we were going he responded by pointing in a general north eastern direction and said that we were heading in that direction, and will be following whichever track seemed least likely to get us stuck in the sand.

Upon reaching your town, bout 10 in the morning, we were hot and dirty and sat down for a well deserved R&R at Fernando's. R&R being the local drink of choice, mozambican rum and rasberry. We then offloaded the jetski and the bags and I had my first proper quad biking lessons....super exciting:)

We explored large parts of the surrounding areas that day, had a quick swim in the ocean and attempted to do the jetski thing, but the sea was slightly rough, so we ended up going on a long quading adventure instead. We came back super dirty, tired, sunburnt and ravenous! Yummy yummy mozambican prawns!!!!!!

Sunday morning we woke up quite early...probably had something to do with all the fresh air. Drove down to the beach bar for breakfast, took the jetski out for a spin...scary and fun, hung around in an ocean so super still that we hardly moved and then we started on our Elephant park adventure. Normally tourists aren't allowed to enter the official Elephant park on quad bikes. But as A has special concession from the Mozambican government because he regularly brings tours there, we were able to experience the vastness of Africa with nothing more than a silly little quad bike to remind us of the civilised world. The experience was totally unreal, and there is no way that I'll be able to put it into words. It's scary and thrilling and exciting all at the same time. We saw tons of wildlife, and even came across a crocodile, a good 500m from the closest water. We actually mistook it for a log and only discovered it was a crocodile when we were a mere 5m away....scary stuff I tell you!

We travelled a total fo 90km through the park that day. So by the time we were heading back we were once again tired and extremely dirty. About 15km away from your little piece of civilisation some form of poisonous insect flew into me. Now you have to understand, we were travelling at about 60km/h. I felt the impact and as i tried to brush it off my shirt it stung me both in my side and on my hand. My hand was swollen to twice its size within seconds and the red line of poison traveling up my arm and my side was clearly visible. The pain was almost unbearable and despite myself I was crying and just a tad hysterical. We were 15km away from civilisation, if Ponta, no offence intended, could really be labelled civilisation, we were traveling on quad bikes and we had absolutley nothing with us with which to treat the poisoning. We raced back to Ponta at record breaking speed, despite the fact that I only had one hand to hold on with and managed to obtain a strong anti-histamine as well as some sort of balm to put on the actual stings. I still have the marks, 2 months later, and I suffered for a couple of days, but I survived.......even though I scared the crap out of A, C and MGB.

It was with a touch of sadness that we packed up on Monday morning. Restrapping all the bags to the small trailer along with the jetski, saying goodbye to the ocean, waving at the locals and looking back once more at the rural little town that stole our hearts. The 15km trip back to the border was over in no time, and as soon as we crossed the border we were reunited with our double cab and trailer. The trip home felt a lot longer, mostly because we were tired, sunburnt and sad at the prospect of having to come back to the big city.

Thank you people of Ponta, for one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Thank you A and C for sponsoring the whole trip. I came back with the exact amount of money I left with. I didn't have to pay for one single meal, drink or drop of fuel. And thank you my dear dear MGB for inviting me along on this adventure.........our already growing friendship has now firmly been cemented.

The rig we drove to Cosi bay - double cab, 6m trailer with 2 quads & small trailer with jet ski

This is how we went over the border and into Moz!

R&R's and Fernando's bar

Fernando of Fernando's bar standing proudly in his little establishment

This is pretty much Ponta - Fernando's bar is on the right hand side

Erm...this is the highway....I swear!

Quad biking......whoooop!

The croc - we were a whole 5m away!!! scary stuff....plus the thing was gigantic

Posing in Fishmonger to the entertainment of the locals....

Playing around on the jet ski



Dear readers.....again

Due to reasons completely out of my control I've been unable to access my blogger account since I came back from Moz. Since then it's been one mad rush after another......finishing deadlines at work, getting ready for my cruise, actually going on the cruise, going to the Eastern Cape and finally, coming back to work.

The thing is, my sweet little USB modem decided to tell me to go screw myself, and I haven't had a chance to get it fixed...until now. Vodacom was nice enough to just exchange it for a new one, since it was still under warranty. So here I am in all my glory, and I promise that this will be the last letter addressed to "dear readers" for quite a while.

Hope you're all ready to be flooded with tons and tons of letters. Happy 2009!!!!