Day 670 – Photos up

I’ve uploaded some photos on Flickr. I’ve spared you the portraits, the people and the drunken antics and given you some different Table Mountain beauty instead.

Pop along and have a look.

I’m not sure if everyone there was having one on one conversations about living in Cape Town while we were up on the mountain, but I had several. And the general consensus was that while living in South Arica certainly has its challenges, we’re very lucky to live in our little bubble in the south west corner and so privileged to live here and to be able to enjoy experiences like our overnight trip. Having a national park on my doorstep isn’t a new thing for me: I’ve had it when living in Sheffield and Newcastle, and while I don’t use it as much as I might, living in Cape Town has reminded me how much I missed the opportunity to get out and about while living in Oxford (ironic since that is arguably the least urban – and certainly the smallest – place I’ve ever lived).

Anyway, as you might have gathered by the posts on our brief overnighter, we had a pretty amazing time, and it’s reaffirmed my project to get fit again so I can do more trips up the mountain.

Day 654 – Mini Road Trip

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN YESTERDAY, because…

We’re off on a mini road trip (MRT) today. Because it has been so hot in Cape town, we’ve decided to head inland, where the temperatures are… I… hang on… oh… oh crap.
I think we might have read this wrong. Apparently it gets even hotter inland.

Seriaas?!? Even hotter than this, today (which was yesterday, as I said)?

We might die.

Yeah, I’m not quite sure what we were thinking. But we are staying on a wine and olive farm and there are pubs and bars very nearby. We’ll make the best of it by drinking cold beer, sitting by the pool and doing our best impressions of crispy bacon.

We will survive.

The only possible relief from this temperature-related nastiness might be the rain forecast for tomorrow (which is today, because see above). But who wants epic thunderstorms if you’re going to get crushing humidity and 38C?

Me. I want that.

Because at least it’s a step down from the what they’re seeing out there today (which – thankfully – as mentioned above, was yesterday):

Ah Jesus…

Watch out on Instagram for updates (possibly including some from the local medical services).

Day 642 – Nerd

I sometimes think that my hobbies make me slightly nerdy: Science, quizzing, photography, lighthouses, birds, Geoguessr, Only Connect etc.

And that’s because they do. And that’s fine: it’s a badge that I wear with pride.
But this guy beats me hands down:

And if you think that’s true, just look in the comments on that video to see that there are many others out there who beat him hands down.

A fun little video, with an important bit of advice that I’d certainly never considered:

You must always include Belsize Park.

Right. Now we know.

Day 629, part 2 – Red list lifted

I’m still mildly bemused by the exceptionalism shown to the UK regarding the recent travel red list. (I mean, I’m not really, we know that everyone loves to hate the Brits, but still…)

Sure, you can say that it was unscientific, unjustified or whatever (as if those are the only arguments that count here), but no-one seems to be chastising Chile or Italy or Oman or Singapore or the UAE or Panama or Uzbekistan or Canada or (weirdly) Rwanda (I know, right?) for stopping incoming Saffas and visitors to SA from… well… coming in.

And now that the UK (at the time of writing) has opened up again, while many of the the other countries (and there are almost 70 of them!) are still banning travel from SA, there still seems to be this latent whining at the UK, rather than any outrage at or pressure on other countries to follow their lead.

Odd.

We now know a lot more about Omicron – and while the news (tentatively) seems to be pretty good – when the UK and everyone else added SA to their red list, no-one had any idea how nasty or otherwise it might be (it didn’t even have a name back then!), and the UK had detected no cases there. What I wrote a couple of weeks ago still stands:

That “more information” did become available, and the UK has acted timeously on it. Of course I’m sorry that SA lost out on tourism business for three weeks. I know it’s crap. The last 2 years have been crap for all of us. Omicron was out of anyone’s control (and it’s still wildly out of everyone’s control!), and there will be other variants in the future which will probably result in new restrictions and limiting travel. It’s not anyone’s fault.

I know how much the tourist industry needs a good season right now, but as far as I’m aware, the UK (or anywhere else for that matter) has no obligation to send a quota number of tourists here each year. And I’m not a business person, but to me, seemingly relying on a single nation to prop up your tourist industry seems like a worryingly risky approach.

If this was really just about the tourist thing and the stigma of being on a red list, then it does seem as if local social media and news sites should move on now from their… er… “unjustified, unscientific and irrational” stance, and start pressurising the likes of Aruba, Gabon and Kuwait (oh, and “Germany, the US, France and the Netherlands”, obviously) to allow travellers from SA back into their countries rather than pointlessly continuing to chastise the UK.

Really weird that that’s not happening.