2014 – THE YEAR THAT WAS
By the end of 2013 we had found a small cottage to rent on the banks of the Lephalala River, contained within a 700 hectare private game farm, in the Waterberg region -3hrs drive north of Johannesburg.
Even with this idyllic spot to live in we continued to spend a great deal of time packing and unpacking the boot of our car in our almost constant travels around South Africa.
A list of small towns and off beat locations were explored and enjoyed. Beautiful sunsets were toasted in remote areas. A host of self-catering accommodations were variously recommended, or not as the case may be.
One of our highlights during this time were our visits with wild meerkats -the absolutely cutest creatures you could hope to come across.
An additional highlight was spending time with family: Mike and Hope plus their two delightful young boys, George and Edward, in Trawal.
A pause was taken in Oudtshoorn, enabling Tony to begin his training towards a series of qualifications, which ultimately will allow him to become a flight instructor. No sooner than Tony began this, his time away from South Africa with SAFAIR took a sharp upturn with trips to Brussels, Ethiopia, Juba, South Sudan and Uganda.
The absolute highlight of this portion of the ‘year-that-was’ is captured in a completely innocuous photo in the centre of the above set of images, showing Tony standing beside the car on the side of the road. While driving on the March 1st 2014, we had received a phone call from Greg (eldest son) sharing the news that his wife Megan was newly pregnant. What delightful news, and we had to pull over to fully enjoy this very happy moment. We were soooo thrilled until it dawned on us that it meant we were to be grandparents ! At which point we went into denial, mixed with pride …a somewhat confusing time!
Whilst away from our newly rented cottage we were informed that several dams in the area had burst causing the Lephalala River to rise to one brick below coming over the patio into the cottage. Fortunately it subsided before causing any interior mess. Phew!
A total of +/- 8,000 kilometres was covered driving around South Africa in the first 4 months of this year.
Our bikes became a fixture on the back of the car wherever we travelled and whenever possible Tony and I spent our time on our bikes riding and exploring as much of South Africa as possible. A great way to enjoy this country.
Then May 3rd 2014 was another absolute highlight for the ‘year-that-was': we all gathered in the little beach holiday resort location of Kasouga on the coast of South Africa to celebrate the marriage of Mark (middle son) and Lindi. There is always something wonderful about attending weddings and this was no exception.
What a perfect day: lots of laughs, many tears, and a great party. Lindi looked stunningly gorgeous. What a fabulous day and a truly enjoyable week.
A total of +/- 6000km travelled in the second 4 months of 2014
And the final part of the ‘year-that-was’ has been spent biking – or falling off the bike in my case. (And yes stitches were required in my fat lip) !
Tony has managed to achieve Level 3 Instructors Qualification and has started on Level 2.
October and November were spent in New Zealand with some great family time for me, and flights to Antarctica for Tony. We managed to squeeze in some touring for ourselves, as well as visiting with friends.
Singapore was also added on to both ends of the New Zealand trip allowing time to catch with some wonderful friends, and experience all that Singapore has to offer all over again. And we totally enjoyed it !!
And November 1st became yet another highlight of the ‘year-that-was’ when Claire Eleanor was born in New York, to Greg and Megan. So we are officially now grandparents to the cutest little girl ever!!
After 4 days back in South Africa here we now are in Uganda for Christmas and New Year.
Well that’s a brief look at our ‘year-that-was’.
Goodness knows what 2015 is going to bring –certainly a visit from our granddaughter in March which is certainly going to be a highlight of the coming year.