Monday, October 20, 2014

South Africa - Fall 2014

Africa, particularly South Africa, has been on my wish list forever. I thought we would go in 2013, but it got pushed into 2014.

We had a great time! Links to photos are below.

We were on a tour that included Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula, wine tasting, the Garden Route, and, of course, safari. The safari portion was at Kariega Game Reserve.

The weather was temperate. It rained one afternoon and one night, and not at all on our game drives. Our time on Table Mountain was almost completely socked in by clouds, but we still spent an hour or so walking some of the trails on the mountain.

We ate some new food: ostrich steak, springbok feuilleté, and eland. All were tasty. The springbok feuilleté was excellent.

A canal in central Amsterdam

We also had a day in Amsterdam. (Link to more photos is below.) When I started planning this trip, I thought we would fly from Mexico to South Africa via South America. But there were few such flights, and they were pretty expensive. It was cheaper to fly via Europe. In particular, given the historical ties between Holland and South Africa, KLM had reasonably-priced non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Cape Town. I used mainly frequent flyer miles to buy our tickets from Mexico to Europe.

To break up the trip, and to overcome jet lag (Victor's biggest time change ever), and because Victor had never been to Europe, I scheduled a full day in Amsterdam. We spent most of the time in the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.

More photos:

(View the photos individually to see the captions, although not every photo in the first and last groups is captioned.)

Getting Victor a tourist visa for South Africa was much more trouble than expected. First, we intentionally applied very early, but because the visa would only be good for 90 days, we had to re-apply a bit later. Worse, they insisted on direct confirmation from each hotel of our reservations! I can't imagine that South Africa has many Mexican tourists over-staying visas, so I don't know why they gave us such a hard time! Grrrr!

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