Its different on the other side of the wall.

After Marrakesh our next stop was the Medina of Essaouira, another city surrounded by a wall. There is a very good bus trip to Essaouira from Marrakesh provided by SupraTours.. It is inexpensive and comfortable on a luxury tour bus. The Moroccan views going by the window keep you entertained.

Essaouira is on the ocean so we expected to do some beach time.  The city has a reputation to be a little more laid back than Marrakesh. We stayed in a Riad which is the Moroccan type of Bed and Breakfast.

Click here for a Essaouira Photo slideshow.

Our African visit to Morocco and South Africa completed our avoidance of the northern hemisphere (more…)

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We arranged a bus trip to  Essaouira next.

Mossel Bay to Kalk Bay to Cape Town to Johannesburg

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What a great country to spend an USA winter in!

Ann cleans up my act.

We begrudgingly left Kruger National Park for it was a great time. We would wake up at 4:30 in the morning so we could be at the camp gate opening at 5:30. We would come back to the camp for an early afternoon breakfast then go back out for more game sightings until the gate closing at 6:00. We thought the gate closing was too early because the animals just were starting to get active after hiding from the day’s sun.

We were the only guests at the White River retreat just outside the park. This was a stopover on the way to Port Elizabeth for we spent all morning in KNP spotting a leopard. On the way were many Africans walking on the road. Mini buses were everywhere stopping for people and darting back into the traffic. As in Thailand on 2 lane roads, if you are driving slowly you are expected to ride on the road shoulder so the middle of the road can become available for passing. You have to also watch for this on oncoming traffic. This is new driving skill that has to be acquired in South Africa.


He just keeps on munching

We were the third car in the line waiting for the big bull elephant to get off the road so we could get back to the Satara camp before the camp gates were closed for the night.  As we have seen in previous days in the park, the bull is often the last family member to cross the road.  This one decided to walk up the road awhile and stop and graze on the roadside grass.  I think they like to do this to just show their superiority.  The park recommends to give elephants 30 meters of space.  To pass this one would leave about 3 meters max.  We had all turned our car engines off and were waiting for him to move on which they eventually do.  Out from behind came the quiet murmur of a car creeping along passing us all at a barely moving pace. It looked like he was moving as slowly and quietly as possible (more…)

The only way across the river in town is by ferry.

Port Campbell is about half way from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island. The Great Ocean Drive changed from twisting hilly roads hugging the coast to a flat straight away through remote salt flats and ponds along a sand dune shoreline. Gas stations at remote intersections had signs “last fuel for x amount of miles”. In four hours we reached a resort town of Robe, where all the tourists had gone home. There we changed our next stay from Adelaide to Normansville because of the distance to the Kangaroo Island ferry was 2 and half hours compared to 20 minutes for Normansville. Luckily we did for our stay was on a golf course condo where at sundown a pack of kangaroos grazed and hopped their way up the course to the condo. Golfers stopped (more…)

Federation Square at sunset

It was a good relaxing morning after watching the Federer/Murray final the night before.  We had the whole day to get ready for the trip out on the Great Ocean Drive. We slowly woke asking each other why Murray couldn’t bring his Nadal game against Federer? Why was he slowly working his way into giving Federer problems, we surmised that Federer had a lot to do with it. Perhaps if Murray could have converted a set point in the third set, it could have been a turning point for him. Ten days of the Australian Open tennis and it was time to switch gears to ocean life. We started listing things to get. We checked our reservations for our car to make sure it was an automatic, for shifting a manual with the left hand and clutching with the left foot (more…)