#nomadgorillas. - Can you say spoiling?
Not only Travelinsure and Hi-Tec SA, but the legendary Cape Union Mart got behind the #nomadgorillas team too by supplying each of us with a very neat backpack. Best kit for all that we carried on that hike. Here are some pics from the main day, although they were used from start to finish and will remain firm fixtures on all future travel. Of that I am sure.
At Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before departure. This the indicator that 7m must be allowed between us and gorillas. My K-Way bag packed and ready. What a colour too!
Our porters on the Gorilla Trek walking ahead with our bags. Just love flying the SA brand.
Walking into the forest.
Coming down the mountain. Part of the #nomadgorillas team looking particularly pleased with ourselves. With Joseph C Lawrence, Kelly Berold and Chris Karsten.
A household name ever expanding into our lives with their expansive range, do have a look at their website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you Penny at Cape Union Mart, what a pleasure to collaborate with you!
#nomadgorillas. - I’m not known to wear practical shoes. I’m better at barefoot or non-shoes. You know, those pretty little things that hold the sole to your foot with a strap so thin its barely visible. Those. I like those. And boots, Wellington boots on the farm and fancy boots for out and about in winter.
Problem is this found me ill equipped for gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. I do own a good pair of trainers, but they don’t have the traction for climbing or hiking and there would be slipping and sliding.
To the rescue HiTec SA who generously sponsored the #nomadgorillas team a pair of hiking shoes each. I visited the factor shop in Montagu Gardens to learn more about their range and the options available to me. The salesman talked me through the ladies range, persuading me towards this pair, which was just perfect!
Light, waterproof, good traction and specific to the task, their grip saved me from many a fall as I clambered through the thick vegetation of the rain forest. They are also incredibly comfortable and after a full day of hiking I was happy to keep them on just a little longer.
We bonded on that climb and my feet are delighted to know that I have learnt the value of good shoes. Attractive and versatile too and they got plenty of use just moving around the area. Thank you Hi-Tec for the comfort and style, practical functionality and for inspiring me to tackle many more hiking trips now that I have the shoes for it.
Details: Online Store. Website.
Absolute beauties with a purpose.
Hiking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Resting up after a five hour gorilla trek.
The #nomadgorillas team just as we were coming down from our time with the Gorillas. All smiles and gratitude for the ease and functionality of our shoes! Thank you Hi-Tec SA - you’ve got me swayed towards happier feet and many more hikes in mine.
#nomadgorillas. - I’m a great believer in the idea that the more organised I am, the less likely it is I’ll need any of the contingency plans set in place. Which makes me a pretty sorted traveller.
I keep a credit card and some cash separate, have a copy of my passport stashed away, leave next of kin’s names easy to find, provide loved ones with a copy of my routing and details of the places I am staying at and check in regularly. And I ALWAYS take out travel insurance.
No, these measure do not detract from the freedom and fun of my experience. I simply take an hour of my time before each trip, in return for peace of mind. That means that if I fall up the stairs whilst eating gelato in remote Umbria, the gorgeous Italian that rescues me, will know how best to take care of me. A good deal really!
That in mind, when I was contact by Natalie Toweel of TravelInsure last year about working together, I knew that the opportunity would arise. It did - with #nomadgorillas, a rather brave and wondrous adventure I was booked on.
Travelinsure agreed to sponsor three of us for the two week trip with Nomad Tours & Adventures viz. myself, Liz Broadley and Chris Karsten with comprehensive travel insurance. Generous to the fault and providing us with peace of mind and the security blanket we needed.
The service was outstanding, the communication best and I would like nothing more than to recommend Travelinsure for your travel insurance. I am certainly hoping to align myself to them on all my future travels. A little bit about the company:
Travelinsure Travel Insurance was the first company in South Africa to introduce a comprehensive system where you can quote and buy travel insurance online enabling us to supply low cost, high quality, travel insurance cover.
They were also the first travel insurance company in South Africa to become carbon neutral. Every time you buy a policy a percentage of the purchase goes towards sustainable projects in Mozambique which offset any of the carbon we expend in providing you with a travel insurance policy.
Travelinsure offers 8 different products ranging from Students (16-30 years) to Seniors (70-80 years old inclusive); Budget to Leisure to Business; Africa & Asia as well as cover for visitors to South Africa. There is a discounted rate for groups of 10 or more people travelling together.
On a number of the policy types they offer Frequent Traveller Insurance. This is ideal if you travel often in a year. Instead of buying travel insurance every time you travel, you just buy the Frequent Traveller insurance once and you are covered. There are no restrictions on the number of trips that you make in and out of the country. It also saves you time and money. The only restriction is that each time you leave South Africa, the maximum period of your cover is 90 days.
Thank you Natalie and team for all. What a delight to work with you. Follow Travelinsure on their Facebook page or contact Natalie by mail. This is a company that you’ll want to contact when next travelling.
ps. Pleased to report that we are all home sans incident. There. You see. I was organised and I never needed it. But if I did - Travelinsure had me covered!
Nieu Bethesda. - After a full day of getting to know the locals, we headed up to the lookout point overlooking the valley, the village below and the Compassberg Mountain in the distance.
We lit a fire for comfort despite the warm weather and cracked open a bottle of bubbly to be enjoyed with some local cheese. A contemplative moment. The sense of belonging. The desire to live here. At least for a few months a year.
Thank you all in Nieu Bethesda for accommodating us, for your time and generosity. We will continue to spread the Karoo love!
Chris and Jeffrey, who we had the pleasure of meeting at the guest house.
And to my travel companions too. Above, Eden and I.
Nieu Bethesda. - A graveyard holds the history and sentiment of a town, the hope and the heartache. The heart and the soul. It was good to visit this one in the evening light and see the grave of Helen Martin's parents, as well as the one assumed to be hers. Yet isn't. Helen was cremated and her ashes scattered in the Camel Yard of the Owl House.
My guide was Director of the Owl House, the very charming and beautiful Huldah van Wyk.
Nieu Bethesda. - The video filmed on my GoPro Hero3+ to support my written words, a bit of a prelude to the main short-film. Which #WOHZA made possible. Travel hero.
Nieu Bethesda. - I’ve always said I couldn’t live more than half an hour from a fabulous coffee shop, a reasonable requirement with the desire for proper coffee ever on the increase. To quote Terry Winship of The Ibis Lounge - ‘Life is too short to drink bad coffee.' My kinda girl!
Offering more than 20 types of hand selected coffees, served exactly as your whim will have it, this local hot spot is evident to the change in local travel that is bringing the hip and the cool, off the beaten track for heart felt exploration. Yet they wouldn’t want to compromise on quality or miss out on a fab cappuccino.
Which is where Terry comes into play. Having spent a year travelling around the world with her 10 yrs old daughter Indygo, they settled in Nieu Bethesda with the express purpose of serving wonderful food and excellent coffee. A strong local following has them open seven days a week from 8am-8pm, offering burgers, pitas, steaks, pasta and curry.
'Coffee aficionados get their fix with a choice of cappuccino, latte, Americano, mocha or espresso – the range is selected from around the world, strong and bitter, sweet medium and mild aromatic roasts to suit nearly every taste.'
Meats are sourced locally and served with organic veggies from the garden, with their Slow Sundays that offer guests a slow roast every Sunday from 1pm even popular.
Sticking to their slogan - Shop. Eat. Sleep - the Karoo-themed gift shop has a variety of handmade South African artisan goods. As well as pottery, clothing, art, soap, t-shirts, sweets, glassware, etc. The Tutu dolls are the best!
I will be returning in March for a weekend in one of their beautiful rooms and will post more thereafter. Always good to have a treat to look forward to.
Contact Terry to be put on her mailing list for talks and events, from stargazing to gorilla trekking, this is a place that ever inspires. Terry Winship. Email: info@TheIbisLounge.co.za Tel: 082 442 3174