Saturday, September 14, 2017
On our way to South Africa, Katie and I had an eight-hour layover in London. Accounting for the time it took to get through customs, the train ride into and out of the city, and the time we were sitting at the airport waiting for our flight, we had a total of about 3 hours to wander around the city - and we did everything. Taking the trains, we were able to get to all the cool places in the city and see all the important landmarks. Since I had been to London before, it was pretty easy for us to wing-it and to go to all of the cool places in the city. Since every minute was important, having a little prior knowledge (like what to see and how to use the trains) was really helpful!
It was like a mini-vacation. It really helped to get out of the airport and go sightseeing around the town. I think if we hadn't gone into the city, it would have made the second flight feel so much longer, so we were both glad we got out of the airport and enjoyed our pre-vacation.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Boulders Beach and Cape Point
On our first full day, Katherine and I went to Boulders Beach in Simons Town. We originally were going to take the ferry to Robben Island, but the Ferry was canceled because of high winds. A ferry sank the previous day because of the winds, so it's probably good it was canceled since the winds were expected to be just as bad today. We were able to reschedule the Robben Island ferry, so we switched up our plans a little.
After we went down to Simmons town to see the penguins at Boulders Beach, we headed to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. The views were unbelievable and I don't think the camera does justice to how gorgeous the scenery was along the shore.
Saturday, September 17, 2017
Saturday, September 18, 2017
Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch, Chapman's Peak, and Signal Hill
On our last full day in Cape Town, Katherine and I went to one of the New7Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain. The thing that makes Table Mountain so cool is that you get spectacular views of the city and coast from so high up. The Mountains in Cape Town were not like the mountains I'm used to in Colorado. The Mountains were only a single range that let you view an amazingly large amount without more mountains blocking your view (like most of our hikes in the mountains in Colorado). Even though mountains aren't anything special to us, this one was.
After Table Mountain, Katherine and I decided to go to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. I figured it would be cool to see some South African flowers. The garden was really cool, and even had a tree canopy walkway, which was really unique!
From The Botanical Gardens, we decided to go on a scenic drive to Chapman's Peak. Chapman's Peak looks over Hoot Bay and had some stunning views of the coast.
Last but not least, we went up to Signal Hill. Just another spot where we could see a lot and got some fantastic panorama views.
Saturday, September 19, 2017
Garden Route Game Lodge Day 1
Saturday, September 20, 2017
Garden Route Day 2
Today was our second day on safari at Garden Route Game Lodge. We had 2 safari game drives, one in the morning, and one in the evening. In between, we walked around the fenced-off part of the lodge looking for birds, and we also went over to the reptile center to learn about the reptiles in South Africa.
Saturday, September 21, 2017
Garden Route Day 3 and Sanbona Day 1
Today was our last day at Garden Route Game Lodge. We were okay with that because we went right from Garden Route to Sanbona. Sanbona is one of the largest private game reserves in all of South Africa. It was a bit pricier, which is why we didn't go there all 4 days, but the 2 days at Garden Route and 2 days at Sanbona seemed to be perfect.
Saturday, September 22, 2017
Sanbona Day 2
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Sanbona and Hermanus
Today was our last day at Sanbona. We got up and went on our last safari. In the afternoon, we drove to Hermanus to do some whale watching. Unfortunately, the winds were too strong, so we weren't able to get on a boat to find the whales. Instead, we went to a recommended viewing point to see if we could spot some whales on our own. Unfortunately, we didn't spot any.
Saturday, September 24, 2017
Cradle of Humankind
We flew out early in the morning from Cape Town to Johannesburg. As soon as we landed, we got a car and headed to the Cradle of Humankind where we learned a lot about humans history on this earth and saw the caves where archaeologists found the oldest human remains. It was a lot different than any other caves that Katherine and I have been to. Most caves we go to in the States are about the features in the caves, where this tour was all about the fossils found in the cave. The other difference is most caves tell you to strictly not touch anything and stay on the path, but this cave had very little rules on what you could touch, which is good because I like touching things.
Saturday, September 26, 2017
London Layover Part 2
Sunday, September 30, 2017
Even though we were still jet-lagged and I had more than enough photos to edit from our trip to South Africa, I wanted to go up into the mountains to take some photos of the changing aspen trees. There are only a few weekends that the trees are golden and we were at the end of that window. We woke up and go to Rocky Mountain National Park early so we could get a parking spot at one of the hiking trails. Our intent was to hike to Alberta Falls since we saw a lot of aspens when we hiked it in June, but we couldn't get a parking spot. We pulled off on the side of the road wherever we could and I took photos. There were more than enough spots for me to take photos and I'm happy with the way they turned out.