Sunday, November 14, 2010

AND SO ON ....

You know when it’s just not your day !!

After skulking off to our room at the Hotel Safari (or rather sulking off to our room) after our Namibian plans got stalwarted .. We decided to relax and give it another go later in the afternoon. I started working on my blog and my husband watched the rugby. The first indication that something was wrong was when he got up to get dressed and skied across the room like a champion only to fall flat on his butt ... in 8 inches of water !! There had been an accident with a water tank two rooms down from ours and the rooms and corridors were ankle deep !

Immediate evacuation with a huge amount of action and noise from the Hotel staff and Management – and we are now in another room which I have to say is much nicer than the one we were in originally ..


Always on the lookout for a good adventure (well, I am anyway), my husband and I decided to make a weekend out of a business trip I had to make to Windhoek. Armed with nothing more than a general idea that we could have some lovely German Food and perhaps see a little more of another country we set out on Friday evening and landed in Windhoek. Let me stop anyone thinking of engaging in something like this right now – certainly if you are thinking of heading for Namibia.For a country that is a Tourist Mecca, where every second advert from the minute you arrive in the customs hall advertises tempting tourists experiences, to the never ending flow of safari vehicles and tourists – the locals are appallingly informed about their own country and in fact their own city. They are delightfully free with as much information you could wish for – all of it WRONG !!

Never arrive here unless you have everything completely tied up and pre- booked.

• Do not try and fly to Swakopmund over a weekend – there are no flights!!

• Do not try and drive to Swakopmund ( a three hour journey) over a weekend as no one will hire you a car in case you steal it – something the Avis Lady was very happy to tell us when we enquired. Why you only want to steal one of their cars on a Saturday or a Sunday is a mystery to me.

• Do not try and catch a shuttle to Swakopmund over a weekend – the tourist information bureau where you book the tickets is closed and no one can give you any information other than it goes and comes back – Oh yes and it left three minutes ago and we think they are still in the area but they are not answering their cell phone and the number on their flyer is obsolete

• Do not ask any hotel receptionist to help you do anything than actually check you into the Hotel – they are willing and polite but have no idea where anything is, what time anything opens or how to get there

• Do not ask a Hotel receptionist to book you on a local guided tour of anything – mountains, cheetah feeding etc – even though the brochure is on their desk in the Hotel. In fact don’t even open a brochure, the information is completely obscure and times are all incorrect – Yes we can take you on a game drive but you have to sit at the Farm restaurant for three hours before the game drive actually leaves – Why exactly ???

• Do not book a tour to a game farm - you have to pay a fortune for the transfer to get you there and then have to pay a double fortune for the tour itself – something they all forget to mention (along with the three hour wait ...)

• Do not try and find a German Restaurant unless you know its name – no amount of frustrated web research can discover where these hidden jewels are, despite the fact they are mentioned in every guide book, brochure and local literature. Apparently on the Dining Out Website there are only four restaurants in the whole of Windhoek (not so)

In a fit of frustration we fell into the lovely Zoo Restaurant situated in the immaculately maintained gardens in the City Centre to revive ourselves with a cup of tea (The English recommend this when things get tough) and the Russian owner summed it up in one “Welcome to Disney Land “

Oh well – tomorrows’ another day!


Sometimes my job has some great perks (the emphasis here is on “sometimes”) and this past week has been one of them. Dear friends of ours have just refurbished their houseboat and we were invited on The Phillipa’s maiden voyage (sans refurb) to check out all the facilities and see what still needed to be tweaked. Now, I sell houseboats all the time, big, small, expensive, and not so expensive but I had never been on one or even been near one, so this was an ideal opportunity to work out what all the hype was about– and I have to tell you – I am a total convert – I just LOVED it !!

All in the name of work, meant we had to spend a week on Lake Kariba, sailing around the Matusadonna shoreline, game viewing, eating, fishing, eating, sleeping, reading, drinking and eating – so you can see why it was so tough.

The Phillipa is a lovely spacious boat with four gorgeous cabins with all the trimmings on the bottom deck and ample space on the deck above for a bar, lounge and dining area, plus a lot of space for sleeping if the cabins became too hot. The top deck is not glassed in or air-con’d but looking at the other boats we passed, this was an advantage in the end as we appeared to have a lot more space to just chill out. Fully crewed, cold beers and three tender-boats to take out the insatiable fisher-people (I never got off the houseboat) was just the most ideal way to have a wonderfully relaxing holiday and I really hope I get a chance to do this again – often ...

Glorious food, outstanding company, good fishing even if Karen Hodgson dropped the biggest fish of the week overboard when she tried to show me (I somehow got the blame for that one?)

Just another day in Africa!

Contact Co-ordinating Zimbabwe for reservations


Tiffany, Dayne’s gorgeous girlfriend has finally turned 21 and
they came down from Victoria Falls to celebrate the occassion with family and friends. Dayne wanted to surprise her with a lovely special evening and tasked me with the job of finding the right venue for classy drinks and snacks. Now for a town with a restaurant, coffee shop or cafe on every corner (I am not exaggerating here) this turned out to be surprisingly difficult. For a small evening celebration there are not a lot of places that are either small enough to feel comfortable or open in the evening.

However the lovely Pembroke Place stepped up to the plate and really did us proud.

I have to point out that Pembroke Place is not the actual name of the restaurant, but since its opening, over a year ago, if you talk about “going to Pembroke Place” everyone knows you mean the restaurant and the actual name has blended into the background and even I don’t know what it’s called.. Anyway Sam Webster and her husband Dean (owner, manager, chef and waiter), have managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat when it comes to catering. The setting is stunning. A huge – and I mean huge – granite kopje dominates the restaurant with beautiful gardens, shady trees and emerald green lawns – a definite plus in water-rationed Bulawayo.

Set up on the veranda, Sam sent out platters of snacks – miniature cheesies, baby burgers (Dean’s secret recipe) and crispy potato wedges – piquant dips, olives and feta cheese and traditional biltong – and lots of it !! Drinks served from the bar kept the party going and even though we departed at a decent hour, I am told the youngsters kept it going until the wee hours. Even after all that, Sam arrived at work the next morning looking as fresh as a daisy and ready for another busy day in the kitchen.

This is one couple who deserve to make a success of their business and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this venue for anyone looking for a special event big or small.