Category: travels

InstagramAugust
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Left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Cape Town International Airport. Taken before my flight to Durban.
  2. Sea Point, my favourite place in Cape Town. Clouds reflected in rock pool, yacht in the background.
  3. Lone girl, wrapped up in green blanket, engrossed in a novel. Mountain in the background.
  4. Spring flowers on Table Mountain.
  5. Japanese Garden, San Francisco.
  6. Selfie after a half-marathon. It would appear that I love the colour pink.
  7. Setting sun, Monterey Bay.

And it’s the end of August. And I feel like I’ve accomplished absolutely fuckall for this month. I haven’t scaled the highest peak in Africa, I haven’t run an ultra-marathon, I haven’t set any new PBs, I haven’t won a travel scholarship and I haven’t created something beautiful. The sum total of my accomplishments for this month can be summed up in four sentences:

  • I submitted my tax return forms. And got a grand total of two cents back from the government. Drinks on me.
  • I bought a coffee table. And holy crap, I am excited for its delivery! A coffee table! This kids, is what adulthood looks like. You get excited over things like a coffee table.
  • I ran one half-marathon and I didn’t even do that very well. It was a flat race and I finished in 2:05. I was also in considerable pain after the race.
  • I’ve also eaten a LOT of chocolate. Now some people might say that consuming chocolate isn’t much of an accomplishment, those people would be wrong.

 

Even though I sound disappointed in myself I am quite enjoying being back home. I’m enjoying getting back into a regular routine. I’m enjoying my evening runs with my dad. I am enjoying cooking for myself. I am enjoying nesting – buying cute, little items for my home. I am enjoying reconnecting with old friends.

 

My goals for September are:

  • Continue being awesome.
  • Make awkward conversation with members of the opposite sex.
  • Train for the Winelands Marathon.
  • Lose four kilograms. It would seem that all those pastries and chocolates have had an impact.

InstagramAugustLeft to right, top to bottom:

  1. Flower in my friend’s garden. Hashtag life goals.
  2. Always choose the window seat. View as I flew over Africa from Amsterdam. All desert sand and blue skies.
  3. Dendrobium Orchid. Conservatory of Flowers. San Francisco.
  4. Painted Heart. Union Square. San Francisco.
  5. Dahlia garden outside the Conservatory of Flowers. San Francisco. The Conservatory is free to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month.
  6. Orchid. Conservatory of Flowers. San Francisco.

Must Read

  1. Ronda Rousey’s response to people who think her body is too masculine.
  2. J.K. Rowling is awesome. Not only did she write the Harry Potter series (which I still haven’t read), but she her response to a disparaging remark on Serena William’s body, is simply perfect.
  3. Julia’s last fuckable day.
  4. Donald Trump is a dick, but Heidi Klum is unfazed by his comments on her body.

Feel free to send me any links to articles on women being awesome.

Before I subject you to my photographs of this week’s exploits, may I direct your attention to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s article on body-shaming black, female athletes?

Quote from article:

Sharapova, at 6 feet 2 and 130 pounds (Williams is 5 feet 9 and weighs 150 pounds), admits that that she wishes she could be even thinner: “I always want to be skinnier with less cellulite; I think that’s every girl’s wish.” (Is it? Should it be?)

I think it’s so sad that Sharapova worries more about her weight and cellulite, than about being awesome and kicking ass.

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IMG_4028The first two photos were taken at Monterey Bay Aquarium and the last few were taken in San Diego. 

My time in Davis, California is drawing to an end and in my spare time I’m trying to document every aspect of this little college town.

Here are some photos taken at the Arboretum, one of my favourite places in Davis. (My other favourite hangout is the Co-op, a grocery store close. There’s not much to do in Davis.)
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The photos don’t provide an accurate depiction of the Arboretum. They neglect to to highlight the pair of river otters feeding in the creek, the couples lounging on the lawn, the love locks on the bridge, the spectacular birds who won’t stay put long enough for me to snap a picture. Inconsiderate little things. How am I supposed to win the National Geographic award if they don’t stay still? 

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I’m currently reading Zadie Smith’s novel “On beauty”. I absolutely love her writing. It is so addictive that I’m already planning on purchasing her other novels. Here’s a quick extract:

“Summer left Wellington abruptly and slammed the door on the way out. The shudder sent the leaves to the ground all at once, and Zora Belsey had that strange, late-September feeling that somewhere in a small classroom with small chairs an elementary school teacher was waiting for her.”

 

I’m currently in California on a scholarship. Class is kicking my ass. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what my life is currently like.
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Food on display at Wednesday’s Davis Farmers Market.IMG_2860Sunflowers are a thing in Sacramento.
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Piano found in a park close to the university campus.
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Artichoke flowers. I tasted my first artichoke a couple of days ago. 

Class is heading to San Francisco tomorrow. That should be fun.

I spent a few days in Goreme, Turkey – visiting the Open Air Museum, hot air ballooning, going to a hamam (a Turkish bath), taking photos of so many pretty flowers, getting lost, worrying about dehydration and screaming like a little girl at the approach of a dog … I now wish that I hadn’t been so impatient to leave and see the rest of Turkey. It would have been nice to ride a horse through Rose Valley.

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Horse ranch, Goreme

Turkish tea on a yacht

Photo taken in Kaş, Turkey. 

Mosque, Cirali

Photo taken in Cirali, Turkey.

While I was in Turkey I managed to ride a hot air balloon, drink Turkish tea on a yacht, marveled at several beautiful mosques  and read two books: “Snow” by Orphan Pamuk and “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith.
I really loved Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” and have recently purchased “On beauty”. (I did NOT love “Snow” and upon completion ended up discarding the novel at the airport). I’ll try to transcribe a larger paragraph or section from “White Teeth” before I leave for Durban. Key word in that sentence is “try”.
Anyway, I’m currently reading “Kinshu” by Teru Miyamoto, who is apparently a prize-winning author in Japan. “Kinshu” consists entirely of an exchange of letters between a divorced couple.
Here’s an extract from the novel:

““She said her four sons had died in battle, but this was not entirely true. My father said that there was at least one untruth in Grandmother’s story. Three of her sons did in fact perish in battle, but the second-eldest, Kensuke, seeing his comrades die one after the other from starvation and malarial fever in Burma, walked deep into the forest and hanged himself. His death in battle had been fabricated by the military, and Grandmother learned the truth from a soldier who had been repatriated from Burma. He came to visit, carrying a small square paper box containing Kensuke’s ashes, as well as his glasses and his tattered notebook. When Grandmother heard that Kensuke had not died by an enemy bullet but by his own hand, her face turned deathly pale. Only one thing was written in his notebook: ‘I was not happy.’””

On the road to GoremePhoto taken while driving from the Kayseri Airport to Goreme. I managed to get a fairly cheap flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia via Turkish Airlines (60TL approximately R273.95).

Horses - GoremeHorse ranch close to Goreme Open Air Museum. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to ride any horses while I was in Turkey. Sad face. I guess I’m just going to have to go back.  

Dandelion, clouds, GoremeTaken while I was bundu bashing through the valleys of Goreme.

Hot air ballooning - bucket list itemHot air ballooning. Definitely a highlight.

Goreme - setting sunPhoto taken while sipping apple tea from the balcony of a Korean Restaurant in Goreme. 

And I’m back home in cold, cold Cape Town. After spending 21 glorious days in Turkey. And it was glorious.

If I were to draw up a quick list of my top 5 moments in Turkey they would:

1 Hot air ballooning

I loved how completely and utterly safe I felt floating around in a giant wicker basket. Our trip started with a short safety briefly, during which our pilot stated that under no circumstances were we to jump out during mid-flight.

I loved the heat on my back. I loved the smell of helium. I loved sound the gas makes as it rushes out of the tank, like waves crashing on rocks. I loved watching the landscape change to a burnt rust colour with the rising sun. I loved looking at ridiculous shapes of the rock formations. And then there was the people.

While floating above fairy chimneys and admiring the landscape, I met a former South African. She now lives in Geneva and works for the World Health Organisation (WHO). She told me that one of the things I have to try while I’m in Turkey, is go to a hamam. She also told me to email my CV through to her.

2 The generosity of strangers

I met so many individuals, who just treated me so gently. Guys, who bought me cups of tea while I was struggling to stay awake in the bus terminal. Guys, who helped carry my suitcase up a flight of stairs. Strangers, who invited me into their homes for breakfast and dinner.

3) Mud bath in Dalyan

Getting to the mud bath involves taking a boat cruise down a river, from which we could observe Nile River Turtles chilling in the reeds. We also managed to get an awesome glimpse of Lycian tombs from the river.

4 Spending the day on Heybelianda Island

It’s an island off the coast of Istanbul and boy, is it gorgeous. And secluded! Longer post to follow soon.

5 Fresh orange juice every damn day  

Nuff said.

Books

I have finally finished reading the novel, White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Here’s one of my favourite passages from the novel:

“It was odious to be reminder of one’s children when one is calculating the exact shade and rigidity of a nipple that could assert itself through bra and shirt.”

 

Travel

I have also been doing a bit of travelling over the last few weeks.

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Clockwork starting from the top left:

  1. I flew down to Durban to celebrate the union of two very beautiful and generous individuals. I also acted as one of the bridesmaids. Stylist: What do you want me to do with your laps? Me: Make them not look dry?
  2. I had a 13 hour layover at Doha International Airport, which meant I was privy to a free three-hour tour of the city. To qualify for the tour I had to present myself at the Doha City Tour Desk at 06:00, as the tour is offered on a first come first served basis. I did not need to make prior arrangements for a visa.
  3. In Goreme, I was lucky enough to tick one more item off my bucket list – hot air ballooning. It was a frigging awesome experience. I loved the heat of the fire on my back, the sound of hot air entering the balloon like waves crashing on rocks, and the sıght of the landscape as the sun rose. It is definitely something I’d try again.
  4. Graffiti in Istanbul.

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Photo taken in Durban

The following was written a while back …

Books

I’ve just finished reading, “Hyperbole and a half” by Allie Brosh. Allie Brosh is a blogger who talks about her dogs, her childhood and her struggle with depression. Her book (and blog) contains comics (not just words!) and “the secret to eternal happiness.” She is of course lying about the “secret to eternal happiness”.

My favourite quote from the novel is her description of depression and everyone’s optimistic suggestions for combating the disease.

“It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.”

Next up on the reading list is:

  • Snow by Orphan Pamuk (Started reading this a while ago …)
  • Kinshu: Autumn Brocade by Teru Miyamoto
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

Running

On Sunday, I ran my first race since Two Oceans Ultra – UCT Memorial 10km. I knew that no matter how tough the route I would be able to complete it in 55 minutes easily. I managed to do it in 54. I probably would have done better if I didn’t stop at the 9km mark.

Travel

I’ve yet to board my plane to Durban and I’m already plotting my 2016 adventures/bucket list.

The Comrades Marathon in Durban is definitely on my list. I’d also like to do the Oudtshoorn Marathon.

Juan and Dizzy* might be moving to the UK soon. So I’m thinking of visiting them in London and then popping over to either Rome or Paris to run a marathon.

I also need to tick off snowboarding and hiking the Fish River Canyon from my bucket list. *Sigh*