Our Cruise was Cancelled. Now what?

I had planned to see out my last birthday in my 40’s over the Indian Ocean. I had booked a cruise to nowhere for my son and I but covid killed those plans. The cruise was cancelled. I still feel an urge to do something different though I think I feel a road trip coming on…

My Ideal Road trip

Phew, I would probaly need to break it down into about 3 or 4 trips to see everything I would love to see with my son. Where to start…hmmm…probably the garden route which runs through the Eastern Cape Coast and ends in the Western Cape. I would probably make it a 2 week long trip so that we can sleep over in numerous towns and have the opportunity to explore some of the towns along the way. There are a number of museums like the literary museum in Makhado (ex-Grahamstown) and we can take a day trip to at least one game reserve. I have yet to visit the Cango Caves (it would require a slight detour) or Koffee Bay which is said to be very beautiful. And of course stop at Cape Agulhas which is the home of the southernmost point of Africa. If you keen to explore the route further, I found this website that has lots of great information

Cape Agulhas
The Cango Caves

A road trip closer to home

I live in beautiful Durban and am fortunate that I am only a 2-3 hour drive fron the Drakensberg mountains and have the beach on my doorstep. The Midlands Meander is a wonderful trip to make and it starts in Hilton which is an hour away. It is dotted with a number of little industries and shops. You can find anything on the route from breweries to cheese making to arts and crafts. There are awesome hiking trails and other adventure-based activities. Gourmet food is also pretty easy to find. There is the Fernhill Hotel as an example, which also happens to be a training school for chefs. One of my favourite spots to visit is the Nelson Mandela capture site. Taking ‘the long walk to freedom’ is an awesome experience. Whenever I have been there, the air has been still and there is absolute silence. It ‘s a humbling experience. The sculpture also just blows my mind and there is also a museum on site.

My dad and my son doing the long walk to freedom in 2013
My son and I in front of the Nelson Mandela sculpture in 2013.

If there is one good thing that the pandemic has created, it is an awareness of all the places there are to visit and explore right on our doorsteps. I love road trips so I am definitely going to plan one. I actually can’t wait!

What are some of your favourite spots in South Africa or in the country in which you live? I would love to hear to about them and possibly add them to my bucket list😊

Thanks for reading. Stay safe!

Quote of the day: Sunday

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”

___Maya Angelou

African landscape painted orange by the setting sun
Quote by Maya Angelou. Image from Canva. Created by Grounded African

Quote of the day: Wednesday

“A lot of wisdom is just realizing the long-term consequences of your actions. The longer term you’re willing to look, the wiser you’re going to seem to everybody around you.”

___Naval Ravikant

Giraffes at sunset
Quote by Naval Ravikant. Image from Canva. Created by Grounded African

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

Next month is Plastic free July. I challenge you to #Choosetorefuse for the month of July. In this post I share some tips to get you started.

Not too long ago, we had quite the downpour in Durban. Other than the expected aftermath like a flooding and landslides, these downpours are also bringing to light a not too new but concerning phenomenon…a blanket of plastic in the harbour and along the coastline. Not only is it unsightly but also devastating to aquatic life. And it’s all because we don’t recycle the plastics we do buy and we haven’t yet adopted the habit of not buying single-use plastics where we can avoid it.

Did you know:

  • Every time you buy and use recycled plastic, you are playing your part in reducing the amount of plastic that goes to landfill or ends up in the ocean . Easy Peasy right?
  • The other side of the coin is that used plastic is needed for recycling so that’s where your other job comes in. Recycle your used plastics. Here’s the catch though, it needs to be clean or it can’t be recycled so please clean your recyclables. I usable place them with the dirty dishes and wash them when I am done with my dishes. Once they are dry, I chuck them in the recycling. See, still easy peasy.

Don’t know where to take your recycling? Plastics SA has a great tool on their website that tells you where the nearest recycling facility for your plastic and a host of other stuff that you didn’t even know you could recycle, can be found. Click on this link to find out more

Challenge time!

Next month is the Plastic Free July. I am taking up the challenge to #choosetorefuse to buy single-use plastic and I challenge you to do the same. I’ve done a bit of homework on how to make the swop, after all, success is 90% preparation they say. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Sip on something cool

Ditch the plastic straws already! Those paper straws that the restaurants give us drive me insane as they always get too soggy before you get to the end of your drink. So I will be investing in metal or bamboo straws. Yes, they can be a bit expensive but in the end, the number of aquatic animal’s lives that you save will be worth it. You can purchase the straws at most stores these days. Here are links to some of them in South Africa: Faithful to Nature, Mr Price Home. @Home, YuppieChef,

Make shopping stylish

There is just no excuse to still be caught dead with a “checkers” in this day and age. Even Checkers themselves offer to pay you to buy and re-use their bags. Their stronger bags are made from recycled plastic and cost R3. You then get 50c back every time you use the bag at Checkers or Shoprite. While they might not be stylish for the runway anytime soon, doing your bit to save the planet definitely makes you cool.

I think that just about every retailer now offers reusable bags but my favourite place to buy them is Woolworths. They come in different colours (so can you can match them to your outfit if you so choose), shapes, fabrics/substrates and sizes and there is even a cooler bag shopping bag! My favourite favourite is the little shopper which I keep in my bag for any incidental shopping I need to do. Isn’t it the cutest little thing! They are not cheap at R34.99 but I am sure will get a lot of milage out of them so I am not too stressed about the price.

closed, heart-shaped Woolworths re-usable black shopping bag
Woolworths re-useable shopper which opens out into an average sized shopper.

Fashionably Hydrated

This is one that I am terribly guilty of. I keep buying bottled water when I know I shouldn’t. Thankfully I have gotten into the habit of refilling my glass bottle at work but on weekends I keep reaching for the plastic 🤦‍♀️. I highly recommend this as well. It’s definitely cheaper alternative to buying water all the time anyway. There are also a number of glass and steel bottles alternatives out there that are definitely way cooler than plastic. These are just some of the store/websites that sell some really cool stuff to help keep you hydrated without breaking the planet: Steely bottles, Yuppiechef, @home, Typo and most other stores. While I was looking at water bottles, i cam across this really cool activated charcoal water filter on @home’s website. It’s called a Kuro-bo water filter and you find it here. Usage instructions are really simple. You can find them here

Caffeinated Style

I don’t know about you but I am a cappuccino a day kinds gal. Of course, each of those take-away cups comes with a plastic lid. Since I won’t be giving up my cuppa anytime soon, it’s time to find an eco-friendly alternative. Each of the stores already mentioned also have fashionable alternatives for your daily takeaway cup.

These are just a few changes that we can make daily to reduce our impact on the environment. I plan on sharing more of these more regularly as there are so many small changes that we can make that will contribute to making a big positive impact on our planet earth. There is also evidence that, were efforts have been made to help the earth and ecosystem heal themselves, healing and rejuvenation is actually taking place. Did you know that the hole in the ozone layer is closing due to changes implemented since the 80’s/90’s? We can make a difference people but we must start today.

I look forward to hearing how you are doing with the challenge over the month of July and I will share my ups and downs as well. By the way, none of the links here are affiliate links so there is no money in it for me just the joy of knowing that we are having a positive impact on our planet. Good luck with it! I’ll leave you with this quote by Jane Goodall

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall
Boats on a calm sea near rocks lit by a golden setting sun.  Quote by Jane goodall

Quote of the day: Saturday

“I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.”

Thabo Mbeki

Happy Africa Day!!

Quote of the day: Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen”  

___Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

Women blowing magical dust
Image: Canva
Magic Is believing in yourself…
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