Monday, June 23, 2014

AFRICA Zambia y Botswana

Experiences of Travel Center of La Jolla.

Delicious and Healthy Biltong

Our first day in Joburg we pulled off the Chilangazo. I met the guys at breakfast and after a round of mimosas we went off to see the city. We went to Melrose Arche which was completely different from when I had gone back in 2007. Much more civilized but more boring. We were unimpressed except for the First Light beer and Biltong. 

Bagatelle a la Soweto
Video: Fabayian inParty Mode
We hired a taxi and slowly it became a tour of the real africa in Soweto. He took us to his local bars that were packed In the middle of the day. Think Bagatelle except all black people with buckets of beers or boxed wine on the tables. We had a great time and laughed  ourselves silly till we got to the hotel. The Fairlawns by the way is a beautiful hotel. This one and The Saxon are the top notch ones of the city. Shower. Dinner. Tan tan. 
...and of course the World Cup

First 2 days in Zambia at the Chichele Presidential lodge were full of more laughter jokes and good times. 
I LOVE Zambia

We arrived pretty exhausted as after all those connections, we still had about a 2 hr drive to the Lodge. In this area all lodges have to go through the same ordeal as infrastructure still hasn't built up with the new demand.  I'm sure more landing strips will come soon.

hi ho hi ho its off to Chichile Lodge We Go!
 Yoli the boys and I were making up our own fun as the sightings were not very eventful. After meeting up with the 2nd car for the sundowner by the happy hippos it turned dark and cold quite quickly.

Look how happy he is :)

African Sunsets

We went "lampareando" back to the lodge where're we continued the party till the sunrise. After an hr sleep we were off to our walking safari which wasn't the best idea after a long day/night out and the beating sun.

what are you looking for?
We survived and headed back to the lodge for some beautyrest. The boys quickly became friends with all the staff and soon we were all catching up with all the World Cup matches. After lunch John, our guide came in to tell us the news of a LEOPARD sighting.

Sunsets, drinks and Leopards
 Mosu's for the road and what a site. We could have stayed for hours hearing the leopard chew through the bones of her freshly killed Kudu. Below her, a hyena kept circling for any leftovers. Amazing amazing wow wow.
The Video is way better! Leopard Lunch
Probably Best Picture Award
Waiting for Left Overs

What better way to finish this long day by watching the big African sunset met with Champagne in another exciting sundowner. Oh but there was at the managers room to watch Mexico vs Brazil. Some of the guides met with us and joined our mini Mexican support group which ended in an amazing match 0-0.

                        Following day was a 2 plane ride and short drive to arrive at Sussi&Chuma.

I travel well

Handsome Fellow

My Boys :)

Beautiful lodge, also part of Sanctuary right in the Zambezi River. In all honesty I never liked recommending this destination because I thought it would be boring and overly touristic as most properties are lodge vs tent. I was completely wrong. I checked into bungalow 11 and I just wanted to stay and stare for hours. Breathtaking scenery. The next morning the boys decided to take matters into their own hands. After breakfast in their luxurious Chuma II 2 bedroom villa we were off to one of the most memorable days I've had yet. It started with a take off into the Zambian Sky and after experiencing an Angels Kiss, the adventure became more of a spiritual encounter.
The Three Amigos

Flying over the immense falls, the beauty was so captivating it felt **illuminating **
Heart pounding quickly feeling full of love we were all just as excited to continue to our next adventure of Bungee jumping.

Crazy Fabian Flying like an Eagle
My body automatically goes into a state of shock when I recall that moment of utter fear and weakness. The thought of free falling 111 meters on a bridge divided by Zambia and Zimbabwe was excitement nervousness fear doubt will power and so many more adjectives to explain the amount of emotions you feel when tied  up with towels and a cord.
Zimbabwe/Zambian Vic Falls Bungee
Although I chickened out, the boys maintained their manhood and jumped like eagles into the wind. If you have the guts to do it, then do it!
No way in hell I could do this...but I tried
After our adrenaline push we went to walk the falls where we took tons of pictures and got soaking wet in 5 seconds on the bridge.

Amazing Experience

Later that afternoon after lunch and a siesta we went canoeing down river each with our own guide. It was our version of working out for a whopping 30 minutes. Elijah had the fishing boats and bar ready to go and about 5 minutes into fishing Fabian reeled In a yellow bream beauty.
Proud Fisherman
Aint she a Beauty
I bet you don't see that every day
2 minutes after that Eddie brought in a tiger fish. Me, not so lucky but I enjoyed basking In their glow.

Caught Him right in the Eye of the Tiger
An amazing sunset and a candle lit dinner by the fireplace. I was happy. Verry happy
This is how I fish
Next morning we asked out trusted Elijah to take us to the Rhinos. They were spotted and after the shpeal of walk in a single file line and what ever you do don't run. No problem. We trekked off into the hills with an armed guard and there we saw 3 rhinos chomping away. Took some pics and after our happy encounter the rhinos started fighting. These animals are massive and could trample any of us in a second. Hearts start pounding again and these rhino start running all ways. Once the guard crouched down and got his gun ready we knew we had to book it ASAP. They always tell you this crap of do t run and walk in a line...that's crap. You run. 
We're alive. So we made it.
White Rhino
Video : Rhino Fight before we Ran

Next stop: Botswana
This trek was a short ride to the river. A quick stamp in the passport and some hoove and mouth sceptic cleanse through the border and we arrived to Chobe Chilwero.
Our Cleanse into Botswana
Beautiful lodge with very friendly staff on the border the of the Chobe National Park. Unfortunatly for this reason I didn't enjoy it as much. National parks have too many rules, no off roads, tons of cars packed with ppl like sardines. It was a horrible site to see. Only good thing is the abundance of animals and we were lucky to see 2 lioness with their cubs.
Sun was setting though and with the rules we had to leave the park. We were safari'd out.

Showered up, had some tequila and enjoyed the night with more World Cup and partying. Next morning was painful but thanks to our massages and facials we were feeling better later on. We had to meet out group for a sundowner cruise on the river.
Beautiful Scenery of Botwana Botswana
Smile Boys
Not as exciting as a game drive but beautiful. Ellies, hippos and crocs harmoniously together. Bring your big camera here as the pictures were by far the best!!

How's that for a shot?
Later that evening was the famous Zebra Dance performed by the staff. It was great to see them jumping and dancing and be proud of their heritage.

Ghana vs Germany 2-2
Bed time.

Today was a slow day of transit and resting. 7 days in the bush can be exhausting. Arrived to One & Only Cape Town . I see white people. Our trio was slowly falling apart but we managed to rally and watch USA beat Portugal at a local bar. Fun. Bed. 
One and Only Cape Town

Today we did what I love. Wine & Food. First we stopped at Spier and had some fantastic whites but ended up getting their blend.

Should hold another 10 years  but I doubt I will wait that long. We then proceeded to the beautiful Graff Estates that doubled as a Relais Chateux hotel. Great views from every angle, modern but classical. The food was exceptional as well. We harassed the chef for the smoked hake recipe which I will stalk him till the end of time.  Delaire Graff Estate
Delaire Graff

Yummy Meals
For dessert we went to Tokara. Brand new very modern winery just acoss the road. Fabian and I bought a case of this as well. 
Tokara Wines

The rest of the day we relaxed and had dinner at Nobu at the hotel. Nothing great Unfortunatly but we did see Mexico beat Croatia 3-1. Woohoo!!

Oh yes - He smelled afterward

The epic culmination of our trip had arrived-  Great White Shark Diving!! It's crazy to see these 3-5 meter beasts in their environment separated  only by the best of Chinese plastics. Wet suits on and courage all bottled up in to the cage we went.
Crazy Crazy
Video to Prove It: Shark Dive Video

We started with one shark and in the end I believe there were 6. Crazy fun but smelling like fish chum for hours afterwards was painful! I managed to rinse off but even with that it was a quite perfumed ride back. Note to self: pack towels with you and good music as the drive is 2 1/2hrs each way.

That night was our last night and it was go big to go home. Dinner was in Camps Bay at The Godfather. Best seafood in town and only the freshest fish available grilled to perfection. No menus or fancy sauces. You pick what you see and voila. We had delicious langoustines followed by king lip and sea bream?

Boys deciding on the meal

Serious Deliciousness

Cape Town by Night

Egal was nice enough to take us to Caprice for a drink then Our taxi guide Andrew picked us up and took us to what looked like make out point with incredible view of the city.
The night raged on at Asoka on Long Street. I can't believe this place was so awesome for a Tuesday night. Beautiful people everywhere and the champagne and drinks started flowing.

Since we wanted to keep the party going we went back to the hotel till departure time at 11am. Till death do us part. 

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