Hump day confessions

I see these posts on other blogs sometimes and thought I’d give it a go…..

Confession no. 1:  I’ve got my head in the sand about winter. Pretending it isn’t around the corner by wearing dresses and sandals most days at work. I bought myself a lovely cardigan but I refuse to do more than look at it when I open the cupboard in the morning.  Not ready to pack away my floral dresses just yet.

Confession no. 2:  I have always done my own nails and had them short but now have discovered gel overlays.  Oh my word – what took me so long to try this?  And I haven’t done anything to my nails so they have grown quite long.

Confession no. 3:  due to having long nails for the first time in years I’m battling to type at times but I feel this is a small sacrifice for pretty nails.

Confession no. 4:  My parents moved last year and are 2 hours away. We are closer now and more in contact than when they lived 5 minutes away.  I grew up in a house which was often filled with visitors and a doorbell that never stopped ringing.  Only as an adult (and after realising I’m an introvert) did I realise why I felt it was sometimes invasive.  It is not that I am anti-social – it is was just that we seemed to be the household that everyone my parents knew felt they could just rock up and park off at.  My parents are amazing hosts but I feel that they were sometimes taken advantage of and it upset me.

Now when we visit we actually get to have a conversation with them instead of watching them run around after everyone, getting them eats and something to drink.  A conversation gets to be about my parents, sister and us.  Not a visitor.  Not who needs more coffee.  When I tell my parents something these days they have the time to hear and take in what I’m saying.  They have made amazing friends – I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few but nobody falls through their doorway from sunrise to sunset expecting to be fed and entertained.  Everyone respects their time and space.

Confession 5:  I have always refused to have a doorbell.  This could be linked to the above.

Confession 6:  I’m often shocked at how much tea I drink! I start off the day with good intentions to match each cup of tea with a glass of water but seldom does this happen. Sometimes I’ve had 3 cups of tea before 9:00am.

Confession 7:  I detest throwing things away in the belief that I’ll need that random piece of paper/receipt/post-it/ reminder one day.  This means I’ve still got my work diary from 2006.

Confession 8:  On Monday hubby and I were supposed to start our week off with a super healthy dinner.  I was going to make a grocery list.  We were going to go to the supermarket.  But then we found ourselves at our favourite restaurant and that was that.

Confession 9:  I cannot get the most recent episode of “This is Us” out of my head.  It was the Superbowl Sunday episode and I knew we were going to find out how Jack died but it was just so incredibly sad.  I ate alot of ice-cream while I watched it with a wet face.

Confession 10:  we are out of ice-cream.

Well that felt good.  What would you like to get off your chest?

xx

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Sentence a day: March

I saw this on Lindsay’s blog  http://theflynnigans.com/   and decided to give it a try.  It is a month in your life, summed up in a sentence (or two).

So this was my March:

Thursday 1st March 2018: Drove myself around today – I’m determined to get this driving thing sorted!

Friday 2nd March 2018: Went to the movies after work and watched “50 Shades Freed” and then to a favourite restaurant for dinner.

Saturday 3rd March 2018: Went to get Mark’s Leopard photo printed and framed.

Sunday 4th March 2018: Had a quiet day pottering around.

Monday 5th March 2018: Busy day at work.

Tuesday 6th March 2018: Had dinner out – couldn’t be bothered to cook!

Wednesday 7th March 2018: Really bad mood has been following me around. Not cool.

Thursday 8th March 2018: Is it Friday yet?

Friday 9th March 2018: Gin and Tonic after work

Saturday 10th March 2018: Went to Langebaan and booked myself a pedicure and manicure at a Spa.

Sunday 11th March 2018: Breakfast at Fraiche Ayres, then shopping, cut Mark’s hair, planted some cacti (water-wise!), Mark put up the Leopard picture in our bedroom and I did laundry.

Monday 12th March 2018: Woke up with a scratchy throat which got worse as the day went by. Bought ice-cream after work which was so soothing.

Tuesday 13th March 2018: Why is it one always gets ill at the worst times?

Wednesday 14th March 2018: Stayed home and slept loads. Ate toast and had tea and felt more human by the end of the day.

Thursday 15th March 2018: Wellness day at work.

Friday 16th March 2018: The cough that wouldn’t go away.

Saturday 17th March 2018: Feeling better! Went to our friends beautiful wedding and it was such a stunning day.

Sunday 18th March 2018: Had breakfast out and then went for a drive to Langebaan.

Monday 19th March 2018: Feel like a bus has flattened me – cough back and feeling awful.

Tuesday 20th March 2018: So glad tomorrow is a public holiday.

Wednesday 21st March 2018: Had breakfast out and then took a long drive enjoying the warm weather.

Thursday 22nd March 2018: Decided to book a night in Langebaan and was so glad that I could get a spa appointment.

Friday 23rd March 2018: Weekend!!! Packed and got ready for tomorrow.

Saturday 24th March 2018: Up super early and on the road. Went to West Coast National Park and drove around. Breakfast at Ginja Beanz and then I had my spa appointment. Tried gel overlays for the first time and then had 30 minutes reflexology. Booked in, did some grocery shopping and had pizza for dinner.

Sunday 25th March 2018: Mark went to West Coast National Park and I read in bed with some tea. Checked out and went to have breakfast before going home.

Monday 26th March 2018: Busy day followed by grocery shopping.  Delicious dinner and ice-cream for dessert.

Tuesday 27th March 2018: Training at work.

Wednesday 28th March 2018: Cleaned after work and then had dinner out as our reward

Thursday 29th March 2018: super busy day at work. So glad 4 day weekend is here.

Friday 30th March 2018: Up super early and on the road before 5:00am. Got to Wilderness in time for a late breakfast at Flava. Went to Knysna and took pictures. Checked into our B&B and went to Cocomos for drinks. Afterwards went to Pomodoro for dinner. Their pizzas are delicious.

Saturday 31st March 2018: Went to the market in Sedgefield – so many great stalls!  Had a chilled afternoon, then went back to Cocomos for drinks and I had delicious chili poppers. There was a great band playing – Coffee Addicts – and we enjoyed their music. Went to Pomodoro for pizza and walked back to the B&B. Cannot believe March is over.

xx

Hello Friday

It was a 4 day week yet it felt longer.  What is up with shorter weeks that do that?  I usually post this at lunchtime but today got away from me and it is now early Friday evening and the weekend has arrived!  Supper is on the stove and there is dessert in the freezer and I cannot wait to get on the couch with Mark and Masterchef!

Each Friday there is a link up with the fabulous Peaceful Posse.  Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth    http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ host this amazing Friday link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend.  My list this week:

  • An amazing time up the Garden Route over the long weekend.

Left Cape Town super early and had breakfast at Flava before driving to Knysna.  The weather there on Friday was sunny and even though the rest of the weekend was cloudy (we stayed in Wilderness both nights) we had such an amazing time.  Drinks at Cocomos in the afternoon and dinner at Pomodoro.   Visited the market in Sedgefield which was fun.  Also drove past Buffelsbaai (last pic).  Then repeated the drinks at Cocomos and dinner at Pomodoro.  Seriously the pizzas are SO GOOD.  This was probably my favourite Easter weekend.

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  • Fun with Instax pics. Photos that print instantly are so much fun 🙂
  • Trying a vitamin as I’m over feeling SO tired all the time.
  • Hot cross buns. With cheese. Yum.
  • Mark got a new bike – looking forward to going for a cycle soon.
  • Horrendous headache that lasted most of Thursday is gone. Hubby’s earache is better.
  • Soothing hand cream. My hands are so dry with using hand sanitiser at work.
  • Life in Pieces – I love this show so much.  I’m still laughing at the cauliflower rice episode.
  • Re-reading “Rachels Holiday” by Marian Keyes and enjoying it all over again.
  • Watching Masterchef Australia.

We have a fun weekend planned.  We are making the most of the last bit of warm weather – the mornings are already chilly 😦  So we are visiting one of our favourite places tomorrow.

What are your plans for this weekend?  Whatever you have planned – enjoy!

xx

April mantras and goals

As I type this the Easter weekend is over and it is back to work.  I’ve given my mantras a bit of thought for this month and they are:

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My OLW for 2018 is release and I’ve done a rather crappy job of it so far.  I’m really, really annoyed that I let nasty comments in and set up residence rent-free in my head.  I’m cross with myself for letting someone get to me and bring out the worst in meAnd I’m like this because of some throw away comment this person (who ironically didn’t give two thoughts about it afterwards) said to me.  I couldn’t rise above the hurt and be the better person, I had to vent to those near and dear to me and all it has done is let this other person win.  She’ll always be the way she is and I need to accept this and distance myself (in a polite way).  It gets tricky because sometimes rude people like to hide behind the “didn’t mean it like that way” excuse and still expect to see you for dinners and other get togethers.  And then you are the difficult one because you’d rather swim with a shark than see them.  And it isn’t an old friend or a random person you can easily avoid.

Sometimes being a good person is difficult.  I’m dissapointed in someone who I gave more credit to over the years because I thought we mutually respected each other.  I looked at endless dinners and group holidays with rose tinted glasses – focused on the positives and swallowed down irritations.  But late last year this person was beyond rude and I couldn’t find an excuse to justify her behaviour.  I spent days telling myself “she didn’t mean it like that” and “she is going through stuff, try keep that in mind”  But you know what?  Loads of people go through things and don’t turn nasty or take it out on their relatives and in-laws.  They are able to remain polite and show gratitude when those around them do nice things for them.  Not insult them.  Make stupid comments to belittle them.  Then deny it before they think they can justify it.

Anyway, on to goals.  My March goals were:

  • Sort linen cupboard.  Seriously. Well I have 2 more shelves to organise so that is something.
  • Learn to say no more often.  Yes.  I put my foot down on something and am pleased.  What gets to me is when you say no and then get asked again.  Before now, I’d feel bad and then give in but I didn’t.  I just spelled it out clearer.  And the answer was still NO.
  • Continue water conserving efforts.  It is a mindset which is a part of daily life these days.  Even when I’m in a non-drought area I’m still saving water.
  • Blog at least 8 times and include our Sun City holiday and a post on the drought in Cape Town.  Blogged 9 times and included both posts.  https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/our-sun-city-holiday/                               https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/the-drought-in-cape-town/
  • Plan a spontaneous day trip or weekend away  Had a great time in Langebaan.  Decided just days before to go!
  • Go to gym more often  This is a big no.  Had flu which took a few weeks to get over.  I feel like this is a valid excuse not to go running as often as I’d like.
  • Read 3 books  Read 4!

Not bad!

April goals are as follows:

  • Finish last 2 shelves of linen cupboard
  • Sort bathroom cupboard out
  • Go to gym.
  • Read 3 books
  • Live out my OLW for the year. Stop making excuses and just release!
  • Decide on a blog name – new blog is getting there – just need to make a final decision on the name.
  • Go for a cycle.  I lost my cycling confidence a bit and need to get it back.
  • Drive more often. Definitely a trend here with wheels and I.

 

xx

The drought in Cape Town

As you may know I live in Cape Town in South Africa.  What you may not know is that we are having a terrible drought at the moment and conserving water has become of utmost importance.

For some time now we’ve been hearing about Day Zero which is when the taps are expected to run dry and we’ll have to queue for water.  This has been a massive worry for quite some time and we heard the other day that if we continue our water conserving efforts here in Cape Town, this will pushed out for the rest of the year.

So what are we doing at the moment?

From 1st February this year we have been limited to 50 litres per person per day.

Scary fact: some toilets use as much as 9 litres per flush. One laundry cycle (depending on your washing machine and the wash cycle selected) can use up more than the daily allowance in one wash!

So how do we get by on 50 litres per day?

We collect every drop of water used indoors (washing machine water, dishwashing water, the water used to wash hands and shower etc and save it in buckets.  Then we re-use this grey water around the home.  We’ve been flushing our toilets this way for a while now.  You’d be surprised how quickly you can fill a bucket with used water.  Simply doing the dishes can fill a bucket with ease.

We have to shower for less than 90 seconds – doable if you turn off the water between soaping and applying shampoo.

The days of soaking in a bubble bath are long forgotten memories. Sadly this was my way of relaxing after work. The tub, a cup of tea (or glass of wine depending on the day I’ve had) and me.   Now it is just me and my wine.

In our office at work we have no water to the taps in the bathrooms. So we spray our hands with sanitiser. The first thing I do everyday when I get home is wash my hands. I cannot tell you how good it feels. My hands are quite dry from the sanitiser (I buy wipes sometimes) and I do worry about the spread of germs.  There is water to the loos but this is for when it is necessary if you get my drift.  The phrase ‘If it is yellow, let it mellow’ was funny in “Meet the Fockers” but a reality for us here in Cape Town at the moment.  It is amazing how quickly we got into the routine (it did feel odd at first not flushing but now it is the norm).  We use a spray inside the toilet which neutralises the urine smell and this works well.

This whole experience has been an eye opener. Something that so many take for granted and use with free abandon has become precious and the need to conserve this commodity is on everyone’s minds.  At work we exchange ideas of how we are saving at home.  On FB there are groups with advice.  There is a lot of information out there and we need to just keep at this.  There are plans for water desalination plants but these are expensive and it take time.

When hubby and I are away in a place without water restrictions one of the first things we look forward to is a shower where we don’t have to count the seconds.  And yet we never linger long because the water saving mindset is always there.  We had to remind ourselves to flush when we were at Sun City last month instead of filling buckets with gray water.  Sounds crazy but it was such a treat!  It is amazing how quickly you can get into a routine.

We just hope this one doesn’t have to last forever.

xx

The weekend that was

Some weekends are just so awesome that they need a recap!  This past one was just what I needed.  Hubby and I discussed a spontaneous getaway on Wednesday when we had our day off.  We have plans for the Easter weekend and we wondered if we could get accomodation so late for this past Saturday night.  Well we were in luck!  I even managed to get a spa appointment for Saturday morning at the perfect time – after breakfast and before check in.

We drove early on Saturday morning.  Drove through West Coast National Park and as you can see the weather wasn’t great.  However it did make for some interesting photos – I loved the clouds!

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We had breakfast at Ginja Beanz – a favourite of ours in Langebaan.

Their tramezzini’s are delicious with great combinations to choose from and we had a leisurely breakfast before I went to the spa for my appointment.  I am loving Zest Spa at the moment – third time I’ve visited them and I always feel welcome and relaxed when I arrive.  I tried gel overlays for the first time and then had 30 minutes of reflexology – absolute bliss!  Usually I go for a spa manicure and pedicure but I felt like trying something new.

We checked in at the Langebaan Country Estate, quickly did some grocery shopping and had a relaxing afternoon.  There was rugby on which enjoyed with a few drinks and snacks.  The apartment we stayed in was so comfortable and had everything we needed.

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Usually we braai when we are there but we decided to have pizza for dinner instead.  Very lazy but super tasty!

Sunday morning bright and early Mark went to West Coast National Park to take photos and got caught in a drizzle instead of spotting birds unfortunately!  I stayed in bed with a cup of tea and my book.

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Had to take a pic in this adorable vehicle!

Afterwards we packed up, checked out and went to have breakfast at a restaurant on the Golf Estate.

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This was the view from the restaurant – so stunning – even on a cloudy day.

This morning when the alarm went off I spent a few minutes just remembering the weekend and I definitely started my Monday feeling relaxed.

xx

Hooray for Friday!

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It was a 4 day week here in South Africa with Wednesday being a Public Holiday.  Even with a shorter week I still feel in desperate need of a weekend.  Been fighting the flu and each time I think I’m over it, the cough returns!

Anyway it is Friday which means linking up with the fabulous Peaceful Posse.  Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ host this amazing Friday link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend.  My list this week:

  • Going to a beautiful wedding on Saturday.   It was a stunning day and everyone looked amazing.  We sat at the loveliest table and had such a wonderful time.  Here is a fun pic taken before the reception started.

Wedding pic

  • Dinner out on Tuesday. Had delicious burgers and a relaxing evening knowing the next day was a public holiday
  • A wonderful day off on Wednesday.  We slept late, had a leisurely breakfast, went for a long drive and had a relaxing afternoon. Weather was stunning.
  • Gin and Tonic
  • Being on target with my reading goals this year so far.
  • Working for a wonderful boss who is always available to talk about any work concerns.
  • Pay day today
  • My hair is finally starting to grow.  After my October haircut I thought it would be in a short bob forever.
  • Getting a spa appointment for tomorrow – left it for the last minute but still got the time I requested
  • My new blog……..won’t say more now but I’m revamping my humble blog and the new one should be up and running soon.

What is on your gratitude list right now?

xx

Book review: Surprise me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise me

Dan and Sylvie have been together for 10 years and live a happy but predictable life.  They have twin daughters, comfortable jobs and life plods along pleasantly.  On a visit to the Dr they are told they are very healthy and can expect to live over 60 more years.

This good news however fills them with panic.  They find themselves asking if they want to be together for over 6 more decades.  So Sylvie comes up with a plan to surprise each other and ends up with more than she bargained for.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books.  From the shopaholic series to her stand alone books – I’ve read most of them and enjoyed each one.  So I was excited to see there was a new one out and I had high expectations for “Surprise me”.  Unfortunately this was my least favourite book of hers.

I found Sylvie to be odd from the start.  She’s lived a priveledged life but carries around huge daddy issues.  When she finds out she’s got a long and healthy life ahead of her, she panics.  Seriously, who takes health for granted?  What a First World “problem” to have!  I felt sorry for her husband from early on in the book.  There is a surprise of note – quite a shocker – towards the end but it does little to save the story.

It isn’t often I regret buying a book but this was one of those times.

xx

My OLW recap

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I wrote about my OLW (One Little Word) for 2018 at the beginning of the year.

https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/my-word-for-2018/

I chose the word release and I’ve realised that while I had the best intentions, I haven’t been very good at putting my OLW into practice everyday.

Old habits surfaced not long after the countdown on New Years Eve. I reminded myself that it was a daily exercise and that it needs to be practiced regularly to become a habit. So this is what I’ve done so far.

  •  I’ve put the ‘unfollow’ and ‘mute’ options on FB and Twitter into good use. Those that just want to fill my timeline with negativity (as well as those that just want to clog it with endless brag posts) are getting an unfollow.  A few weeks ago I logged onto FB and could feel my blood pressure rise at a smug share of an article guaranteed to get a reaction.

I just sat there asking myself why are you wasting your time (and data) on this rubbish?? Unfollow! So I did.

  • I’ve stopped visiting websites that don’t bring joy. I’m over pretending various entertainment websites are adding anything to my life. Same with a few magazines which I used to enjoy reading. I feel like some articles are meant to add insecurity not happiness – and I’m over that. I don’t care who wore what better. Knowing how someone snubbed someone else in Hollywood is not going to add anything to my day, never mind my life. I prefer spending time catching up on the blogs or reading a book.
  • Releasing clutter. Often I hang onto something because I’m a sentimental old bat and cannot part with stuff. So I’ve accumulated a lot of unnecessary things because someone special gave me something decades ago. You know how it goes.   So I started with the kitchen cupboards and am pleased with my efforts so far.  The other day I tackled a shelf in the linen cupboard. I’m getting there.
  • Realising that there are a couple of people in my life who will never change but I don’t need to let them get to me.  Ignore, ignore, ignore.  Then repeat.  I refuse to downplay something awesome because some people are incapable of being happy for others. Hubby and I have distanced ourselves from two toxic people who think that they can take-take-take and give nothing but rudeness in return. Don’t need that in our lives and spelling that out last week was very enjoyable.

Did you choose a OLW for 2018? If so, how is it going as you put it into practice?

xx

Our Sun City holiday

Last month Mark and I went to one of our favourite places – Sun City!  We love going there because it has so much to see and do.  We flew up one Saturday morning and checked into a B & B in Rustenberg.  This way we could add 2 days to our holiday.  We drove to Pilanesberg National Park on the Saturday and got some great sightings before we left to go have dinner.

The view from the balcony at the B & B was so beautiful – the garden was stunning.

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Early Sunday morning, Mark drove back to Pilanesberg and I had a lie in and a leisurely breakfast (I knew we were returning in the afternoon so I chilled out).  The weather was warm but not uncomfortably hot and that afternoon we spent hours driving around the Park which was instant relaxation for me.  I always feel like I leave stress behind when I’m in nature.

We checked out the next day and drove to Sun City.  Had breakfast at the Lost City Golf Course (I love their restaurant) and walked around before check in.  Did some grocery shopping and that evening we had a braai and lovely evening in our comfortable apartment.  I love a good braai and on holiday they just taste better!

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We visited the park throughout the week and enjoyed some amazing sightings.  Hubby got some awesome photos which obviously my humble phone camera cannot capture but here are a few of my snaps!

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Elephants.  We were amazed at how close some got and a couple of times had to reverse to get out of their way!

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Giraffes – so graceful and elegant!

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Warthogs who had enjoyed fun in some mud!

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Loads of Zebras

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Black-backed Jackals

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Beautiful Lionness.  This was a breathtaking sighting as we were the only car at one stage just watching this Lionness walk and call for her pride.  She walked around our car and was in no hurry to go anywhere.

The sighting of the holiday was on our second last day.  We had hoped to see a Leopard the entire time but during each visit to the Park we tried to not get our hopes up.

Well inbetween a drizzly Thursday afternoon as we drove along with fresh optimism and hope, Mark spotted movement under a tree.  He slowed down and there she was!  A beautiful Leopard who walked in front of the car, stopped to look at me in the passenger side and then walked into some long grass.  It was over in seconds but an amazing experience.  Mark managed to get a stunning photo that he printed and has put up at home – everytime I look at this beautiful Leopard picture I’m transported back to the afternoon and I’m speechless all over again.  They are elusive and not easily spotted.  Seeing one is such a treat and this was our second sighting in two trips.

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A new addition to Sun City was the Forest of Lights which we visited one night.  It was beautiful and tranquil walking through the stunning lights.

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This was on the way to the Valley of the Waves.  You can see the towers of the Palace sticking out.

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We enjoyed a couple of breakfasts (and scones and tea in the afternoon) at Gary Player Golf Club throughout the week.

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One evening after spending the afternoon in the Park we drove back to the apartment to find a pack of Mongeese running around outside!

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The week flew by and when we checked out on the Friday I was sorry to leave.  Pilanesberg National Park is one of my favourite places and I’m missing it already.

xx