As I look up all I can see is metal staircases, stretching up seemingly right up towards the sky. I’m in the middle of one of them, gripping so hard my knuckles are going white, as I re-clip my carabiners onto the next chain. Click one. Click two. Phew…safe.
Via ferrata is not for the faint of heart – it’s an experience that requires a bit of a head for heights, arguably to a greater extent than “proper” climbing. Some via ferrata have a great deal of exposure, and falling off is really not the best idea, despite being protected along the way.
Continue reading “Don’t look down! My first via ferrata”
Every step I take up the steep winding steps sends shooting pains up my knees and thighs, and the worst thing is I know it will hurt twice as much on the way down. But I can’t help laughing at the crippled predicament I’m in, that we’re all in.
Slowly we shuffle up the staircase, wincing every time we put weight on our tortured limbs, all the time wide ecstatic smiles dancing on our faces. We made it to the top of North Africa yesterday!!! What’s a few extra flights of stairs?
Continue reading “Addiction to adventure: in love with the pain”
Biltong is possibly one of the most famous foods in South Africa and the most versatile snack for those who don’t shy away from some pure meaty goodness. It is meat cured in marinade and spices and presented in a huge variety of ways – dried sausage, fillet slices, long strings of spicy meats, you name it. It is made from almost any meat you can think of: along with the usual beef and even chicken, you can find crocodile, ostrich, springbok, kudu and a huge variety of other game.
I would recommend pairing it with the second thing you absolutely must try in South Africa – a LOT of it.
Continue reading “The five things you must try in South Africa”
Long haul flights are exhausting and often very uncomfortable, but preparing for the journey can make it go so much more smoothly.
If you are not a very experienced traveller though, you may forget the journey does not just end as soon as you land in the airport. Often, there is a lengthy bus or car ride after, and then all the settling down and unpacking once you reach your destination.
I learnt about the importance of planning ahead the hard way when I flew to Cape Town.
Continue reading “The most important piece of advice for long haul flights”
Here in the UK, wine drinking is usually reserved to the evening (unless you’re a financial journalist at a boozy Friday lunch, of course), but in South Africa wine tastings are more of an afternoon affair. In fact, the first vineyard we went to was not even open past 4.30pm, except on Thursdays and Fridays, when it closes at 6pm.
Durbanville Hills Wine, which was to be my first mid-afternoon wine tasting experience in the land of the grape, is just 20 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town, in a flat valley surrounded by acres and acres of greenery. Turning up without a reservation can be a little hit and miss, as it is so busy during the South African summer period (October-February), but we managed to find some comfy seats with a view of the luxurious vineyards.
Continue reading “Why South Africa makes you an alcoholic”