September 5, 2016

After an early morning yoga session in the company of a school of about 50 dolphins frolicking in the bay, I overhear Bulungula Lodge manager Dali, speaking to a guest he is expecting. It is 7 am and the young man had just arrived in Elliotdale on the overnight bus from Johannesburg.

Elliotdale is less than two hours away from the lodge, but Felix only ended up checking in after 4 pm. To raucous laughter, later in the...

August 30, 2016

On the BRICS road for 10 days, packing up in Nieu Bethesda and heading to Port Elizabeth, I receive a WhatsApp from a friend in Johannesburg saying she had a dinner invitation for me at our next stop. 

The chicken potjie we'd had at The Karoo Lamb the night before was divine and as close to home-cooking as you can get, but the prospect of dinner at her "PE mom's home" would be a welcome treat. 

Indeed.

Th...

August 26, 2016

When South Africa won the bid to co-host the Square Kilometer Array project it was described as an achievement for the country and the continent as a whole. It is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with its hub 80km outside Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.

Members of the small Karoo town were understandably hesitant about the development of this project on their doorstep, but some are...

We bid farewell to Charl and Jennifer at breakfast. On Ernest’s recommendations, we drive down to the village to buy a picnic at Kuiervreugde, the local padstal/café/post office/gossip platform and head towards the main park gate, 17 kilometers further up a dirt track from Kamieskroon.

We have been told this is a poor year for blossoms, owing to the enduring drought. Yet from the moment we enter the Namakwa National P...

The kids and I wake up leisurely but Leanne is already running through the hillsides surrounding Elands Bay and snatching photos of our picturesque lodge, Vensterklip, posing on the reedy shores of the Verloren vlei.

We swallow a hearty breakfast and head on towards Pikanierskloof. Our route meanders lazily right along the Verloren vlei for miles. It’s a wide, shallow, swampy, reedy stream and its soft beauty offers a...

August 22, 2016

We wake up to a gorgeous cloud-domed sky after a night of stormy rainfall. We heard the muffled sounds of raindrops pummeling the roof our warm little cottage throughout the night and felt quite relieved for the upgrade to Bos Huisie after the tinge of disappointment at missing out on the night in a reed hut. We head up the hill, across the West Coast highway for a hearty breakfast at the !Kwha ttu restaurant, run by...

August 21, 2016

After a morning of frantic last-minute packing, we finally load the boot of the Subaru Outback with our luggage under a torrential downpour and lock the front door of our Mowbray house around 13h00. Earlier in the morning, our future tenants, Tobias and Claire, who will move in next week, came to pick up Flash, our beloved dog. He will remain in their care during our trip. There were some teary goodbyes but both Guy...

August 16, 2016

We've had a couple of farewells before (to say the least), which always included lots of dancing, late nights and the hangover that goes with it the next day. Those were fun, don't get me wrong, but also didn't allow for any meaningful conversation with our nearest and dearest.

This time, with two kids in tow and lots still to do before we leave, we decided to have an open house from 9 in the morning, until 9 at night...

A childhood friend has just spent two weeks in China with her husband and two children. When we caught up over the weekend to share tips for our trip, she animatedly regaled us with stories from their travels, which started out with having to buy their six-year old-son and three-year-old daughter an entirely new wardrobe.

​​They'd arrived in China and after waiting what seemed an eternity for all their luggage, reali...

I started running in Mexico City four months after giving birth to my younger son, who is now nearly five years old. Friends I'd met at a university Spanish class raved about the infectious running culture in the sprawling city and because I'd been looking to lose the excess baby weight, I signed up for my first 5km race (without training).

I thought it would probably be enough to turn me off the sport fore...

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© by Leanne & Guillaume de Bassompierre.