Thursday, June 25, 2009

Off to London

Well I have left Africa and arrived in London, got in late last night. Last I wrote Eric and I were about to go to Botswana to meet up with his friend Sean. We were in the capital Gaborone for three days and it was a lot of fun. It rained a lot of the time there, so we didn't do that much out doors, but I liked the town a lot. Sean is there studying for the summer so we got to hang out with him and some of his classmates, we went out one night which was a lot of fun. We also checked out some of the local museums and went to a village that wasn't to far away. After Gaborone we drove back to Joberg, returned the rental car and hopped onto our flight to Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe! I wasn't sure what Zimbabwe was going to be like since they have had a lot of trouble there lately, but in Vic Falls town it seems very safe. They really only take US dollars there now which is a pain, but other then that, and it being pretty empty, it was a nice town. The falls were amazing! I couldn't believe how much water was coming down every second, it was crazyness. And just standing somewhat near them was like being in a rain storm! So much water. We also crossed the border to Zambia and saw the falls from that side, where the views are maybe not quite as good but you can get much closers which is fun. We also rafted the Zambezi, the first time i'd ever been rafting, so much fun. The water was very high still so only the haft day trip was open, but I thought it was great. And Eric went bungee jumping! That was crazy, but he seemed to enjoy it.

After a quick three days in Zimbabwe we flew back to Joberg so eric could get his flight back home. The Zimbabwe airport gave us hand written plane tickets, haha, i'd never seen that before. Back in Joberg we did a tour of the Cradle of Humankind, which is a cave were they have found lot of old human remains and stuff like that. It was a good tour but way over priced for what it was so we were a bit grumpy after that. Oh well. Afer Eric left i took the bus to Durban which is on the east coast. I still had 5 days before my flight and it seemed like the most interesting city that I could get to in one day. I really liked it, but i was there during a huge rugby game so it was packed! Like every room full everywhere I called, so i was luck to find a dorm eventually. It was a fun few days hanging out on the beach, and I went to this water park with a girl I met at the hostel. The only bad thing was that once I got to London I realized that someone had stolen all of my credit card numbers. I think it was from the hostel which I locked up my money belt in their safe while I was at the beach. I still have the card but all of them have been used in Durban in the last few days so I had to cancel them. A bit of a pain, but luckily nothing else was taken and I can get them replaced. So now I'm in London at Pieter's family's house and my parents arrive tomorrow!

Old Pictures

I know these are quite old, but I never got a chance to put them up while in Africa.
My sister arrived in Thailand. This is in Ayutthya.

Squeezed on a motorbike with Erica!

Then we met up with Pieter in Hua Hin.

At the beach in Hua Hin!

The view from our beach hut on the island of Koh Tao.

Anjali and Pieter, Koh Tao.

Me, Koh Tao.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

All over Africa

Well I've been a lot of places since I last updated from Nelspruit. We went to Mozambique for a few days which was great. Driving was a bit crazy, in the cities there were people everywhere on the streets, but outside of there cities it was really empty. We went to Xai-Xai beach which was really beautiful, but a bit cold for swimming. The beach was completely empty tho which was fun. I guess it gets crowded during the holidays, but it was fun to basically have a whole beach to ourselves. After that we went to the capital Maputo, stopping at another beach on the way down that was equally empty. Maputo was cool, we had some good Indian food and went to an art museum. The food so far in Africa has been alright, but not great for vegetarian options. Lots of french fries and cheese sandwiches so it was nice to find some good Indian. The art museum had some crazy art in it, but unfortunately the power went out in the middle so we couldn't see all of it. Oh well, we left and that gave us time to check out a huge market which is always fun.

Next we crossed the border into Swaziland, which is a tiny country. We basically drove across the whole place in about two hours. Its a cool place tho, very rural and desert like. We went to a cultural village and saw how the Swazi people used to live and also saw some really fun traditional dancing. The dancing was possibly made better by there being about 100 Swazi highschoolers there who got really into the dancing. It was quite entertaining. On our way out of the country back to the South African coast we ran into tons to road construction, but eventually we made it to the coast at St Lucia. There we did some more animal park driving stuff and saw rhinos, hippos and lots of different types of deer. We also went to another beautiful beach full of awesome shells that I ran around collecting. Then we took an afternoon boat tour and saw so many hippos, it was great. The boat tho broke down at the end of the tour and another boat had to come rescue us, haha, but it all worked out.

Then we slowly made our way back to Joberg to pick up a bag that had been left at the hostel in Maputo. A nice guy was coming this way anyways and brought it with him, that way we didn't have to go all the way back. On the way we stopped in Ladysmith (the place the band Ladysmith Black Mumbasa is from) and Kestell. Kestell is on the edge of the Drakensberg mountains and we were going to do some hiking but it rained and snowed all day so that didn't work out too well and we could stay any longer to wait out the storm. We picked up the bag today and tomorrow we head to Gaborone, in Botswana for a few days to hang out with a friend of Eric's which should be fun. Some of my later plans have changed a little bit, I'm heading to London on June 24th now. My parents are going to meet me there and we plan to go to France for a few days as well as traveling some in the Uk, which should be nice. My trip is almost half way over, its crazy how fast time goes, but the last five months have been great!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat pictures.

Angkor Wat just after Sunrise

Bayon, one of the other temples.

Look at the awesome faces up close.

Yay elephant statues!

Tree roots taking over the temples.