After such an amazing and busy time through to the UK, 2012 started very slowly for us. We celebrated Nick’s birthday in the traditional South African way having a braai with Michelle, Kelvin and Lola. Although a bit chillier than previous years, it was still great to stand around the fire having a few beers and enjoying the company.
|Kelvin and Nick starting the braai|
|Michelle, Lola and Kelvin|
|Lola and one of her Christmas prezzie's|
Having decided it was too expensive to tour on our bikes at the moment, we decided to put them into storage. This was a very very sad day for us…but at least we know that they are safe and not out in the harsh elements while we continue our travels…and they will be ready to go when we are ready for them!
|Taking the panniers off and emptying the tanks|
|Trapped at the back of the unit.|
|Tight squeeze out!!!|
|Everything fitting snug!|
|Too sad for words...|
|Nick and Lola|
We moved onto the Isle of Wight, an island south of the UK, where we spent nearly four weeks enjoying being on the coast and living in a mobile home. We could hardly believe that even in the chilly weather there were still tents in the campsite we stayed in!! Some people just don’t feel the cold…but us on the other hand had our heaters cranked up high throughout most of the day!
We explored the very quiet towns of East/West Cowes (due to the island being a seasonal spot) and through to the main city Newport enjoying the clear, cool days. The island is covered in traditional UK housing, close buildings with their chimneys which remind Teeny of the ‘Mary poppins’ movie, and very often she busted into song…. “chimchiminey chimchiminey chim chim charoo” Even the seagulls flying around the centre of town brought back the part “feed the birds, tuppens a bag…”,
|Lots of cruiseliners leave from Southhampton, including the world famous Titanic|
|Countryside in the middle of the Isle of Wight|
|Opening to the Medina River and West Cowes|
|Lots of sailing around the island|
|Red Jet passenger ferry on the left and Red Funnel car and goods ferry on the right|
|Wildlife on the Isle of Wight|
|Promenade: Egypt esplanade|
|Our mobile home|
For a bit of a change we went through to Southampton to explore the city world famous for the place where the Titanic left from. The city itself has such a strong history with beautiful churches and reminants of the stone walls built around the city to secure it from piracy in the 1600’s. While in Southhampton we took the ferry across to Hythe to apply for a new schegnen visa at the Dutch embassy for Nick. Hythe has the longest pier with a working train on it from over 100years ago!
We celebrated Teeny’s birthday at an Italian restaurant in Southampton. The main reason we went there was to use the 10% discount coupon we had found at our hotel, but were super stoked when we arrived to find out that the restaurant has a special where you can eat for free on your birthday!!! Delicious Italian starter, main and dessert, coupled with a bottle of wine were an excellent way to celebrate the day!
|Southhampton high street|
|Hamble Marina (just outside Southhampton)|
|Ancient walls around Southhampton|
|Replica of a boat used to transport supplies in them days|
|Dinner in the ETAP Hotel|
|Call from home for my Bday!|
|oh yeah...free starter, main and ....|
As Nick had submitted his Schengen application we needed to play the waiting game before we could go any further so we went back to the Isle of Wight and through to a tourist spot known as ‘The Needles’. Three large rocks jut out of the ocean on the west coast and form a point out to sea. The beach was like no other we had seen, completely covered with stones of all different colours. The island is also actually known to be one of the places where the most dinosaur fossils have been found, and even today you can go during summer time and join in the hunt for fossils.
|Yes it was very Fresh!|
|Picnic on the beach :)|
|Chalk white rock!!|
|Our only experience with snow so far!! and it melted by the time it hit the floor...damn!|
We left the Isle of Wight mid February and went back to Brad in London (thank you!). It was amazing how out of place we felt after having stayed on the quiet island for so long. We battled along dodging the hoards of people walking with a purpose and aggressively to get somewhere. Our last week in London was great, we had a curry at Durbs in London, partied it up at the Wandle with the other Saffa’s, had a delicious pork roast weber with great friends and spent the day planning our journey through Europe and on to some hot weather in Palma de Mallorca!
|Michelle, Teeny and Wendy|
|Yummy roast pork lunch|