2017 Has been quite a year for me especially. In 2016 Mike did a lot of solo traveling while I did a lot of work at home. I built up my blog and set the foundation for an epic 2017. Now as the year is winding down I can look back in awe of all the we have achieved and experienced. There were really some great, once in a lifetime moments and I really am proud of everything we achieved!
I thought I would share my top ten best and worst travel moments of 2017 with you, obviously starting with the highlights! It was so difficult to just choose ten which is the real indication of how much fun this year has actually been.
Hiking across a glacier in Switzerland
If you live at sea level hiking at 3466 metres above that is no joke. We spent a day high up in the Jungfrau mountain area hiking a small bit of the Aletsch Glacier to the Monchsjochhutte for a beer. It was only a 45 min hike but with our struggling lungs and slight nausea it took a bit longer. That doesn’t mean we didn’t make the most of it. We danced, made snow angels and marvelled at the bright white, frozen world around us.
Coming from a warm climate we don’t get to see a lot of snow and it was my first time being absolutely surrounded in the stuff. I felt like a kid and you seriously couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. When we eventually got to drink our ( very very expensive ) beers they tasted like the best thing in the world!
Doing a 3000km road trip to the Wild Coast
Our very first trip of the year was actually a road trip in South Africa to an area we have never ever been to before. We got a convertible Landrover Evoque and set off on one hell of an adventure. The Wild Coast was absolutely everything I imagined it would be and more. The roads were bad and there were cows everywhere but that made it the adventure that it was. We sat in awe watching waves pounding through the Hole in the wall while cows chilled next to us in the sand. We saw coast lines that looked like the wouldn’t be out of place in Hawaii and witnessed a religious ceremony on a misty beach one morning.
It was magical and memorable and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. One of my favorite memories from the trip was doing a river crossing on a dodgy pontoon with a very expensive car. It was pretty hilarious and it seemed so extremely out of place in the setting.
Swimming with wild dolphins in Mauritius
Early one morning in Mauritius we headed out to Le Morne to go swim with wild dolphins. I loved that we could observe them in their natural habitat and that no touching was allowed at all. It was insane to hear them under the water and see them dive down into the deep blue down below.
I am not a fan of deep water or swells so I was definitely having a bit of a mild panic attack! It soon went away after putting down my head and seeing them cut through the water like glistening bullets. After that we had the chance to snorkel in the beautiful lagoon with Le Morne watching over us. The whole morning was surreal and so much fun!
Conquering the Otter Trail
The Otter Trail is a bucket list hike in South Africa, and one you have to basically book a year in advance. When we got the opportunity to hike it earlier this year we jumped at the chance. I have only done one other multiple day hike so I was stressing about it a little bit. Mostly because of the river crossing which can be pretty hair raising, especially Bloukrans. I was actually having awful dreams about getting sucked out to sea while trying to cross so to say I was nervous wan an understatement.
Everything went perfectly in the end and even thought the trail was difficult it was also crazy gorgeous and exhilarating. No cell reception ( you stop checking your phone after the first day ) and a 16kg backpack were just two of the “perks” but going to sleep each night in a hut right by the beach made it all worth it.
The first night was probably the most magical and we got treated to an amazing show of bioluminescence in the crashing waves with lightening striking far out at sea.
Jumping off a Stadium in Durban
Doing crazy things is hardly my vibe and usually I leave it to Mike to jump out of planes and such. This year we got the opportunity to jump off the Biggest Swing In the World at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. I had been to the top of the stadium before so I knew it was absolutely crazy insanely high. I still have no idea why I said yes to it ( maybe pride factored in ) but al I knew was I had to do it or regret my decision forever. We had lunch before we headed to the stadium, which now in hindsight seems like a pretty stupid idea when you are about to jump off something. We also had to climb what felt like a thousand steps to the top while hooked onto a railing. Oh wait, have I told you guys I absolutely hate heights?? Then I offered to go first and all of a sudden I was standing on a small windy deck so high i couldn’t even look down.
We were being filmed so I basically had to smile and do it! Ahhhh I tried to stall and even asked the guys if they were sure everything was hooked in right and the words were hardly out and I was flying! Seriously the force took my breathe away and it was so crazy epic! I was still swining around the bottom of the stadium and I already wanted to do it again!
Sleeping in a treehouse in the bush
Spending the night in a treehouse is already epic but imagine one right on the Sabi River with Elephants roaming past and leopards calling at night. I felt like I was in some kind of African fairytale as we sat under a canopy of stars listening to the wild night noises.
I had such a good night sleep in our huge canopy bed and I don’t know if it was the fresh air or all the wine we had but I could sleep there every night! In the morning the funniest thing happened, naughty monkeys decided it was time to raid our picnic basket. They made off with some butter and sugar packets before disappearing into the trees. Mike thought he had scared them away with his shouting but in actual fact there was a very unhappy elephant in musth heading straight for us. Oh boy he was pissed and we were the ones he was directing his anger at. Tusking the ground and making one hell of a noise while giving us some major side eye. Thank goodness he soon got bored of us and we were pretty well protected in our treehouse!
Visiting The Seychelles
The Seychelles have been high on ever growing list of places to visit for ages. This year I told myself I will visit these incredible islands and I am so glad I did. I loved everything about The Seychelles and the whole trip so I cant even highlight specific moments. The views, the water, the people and the vibe. Everything just made me happy! If you want to check out what we got up to we made vlogs everyday!
Staying at The Silo Hotel
Moving a bit closer to home, we were lucky enough to stay over in the Silo Hotel in Cape Town. Its a very interesting and ultra luxurious hotel in Cape Town with rooms ranging between R12,000 to R120,000 per night! It was definitely an experience and I loved every second of it! We stayed there on a beautiful but crisp day and that evening for sunset we decided the rooftop pool would be great for some photos. I proceeded to swim in the cold up to the point were management sent someone up to see if I was ok! Anything to get that shot right? 😛
Going on a dessert safari In Qatar
Qatar really wasn’t a destination I thought I wanted to visit until we got there. I really enjoyed the vibe and how different it was to all the other places we had visited this year. One of the absolute highlights was going on a desert safari. We hit the dunes hard with some pimped up Land Cruisers and had some serious fun. As the sun was setting and casting a orange glow over everything we were speeding down dunes and screaming like we were on a rollercoaster.
When we eventually stopped at the inland sea we took some photos and watched the last bit of red dip below the horizon. It just felt so magical and special and I didn’t want the evening to end!
Sailing to the West Coast for a Catamaran holiday
My last moment and my most recent is our sailing holiday we took with my sister and her boyfriend up to Kraalbaai in Langebaan. The four of us and their two kids headed off in their brand new custom built Catamaran called Equinox and it was one crazy adventure! The weather was supposed to play with but last minute things changed and we ended up sailing for hours in huge swells and hectic wind.
Everything was crashing and shaking as we made our way up the West Coast of South Africa and I must admit I was pretty damn terrified. To fight off sea sickness we stuck an earplug in our less dominant ear so at least we weren’t throwing up all over the place. I tried to sleep or lie with a pillow over my head for most of the time while Mike lived his best life hanging of the mast and running around taking photos of the crazy waves.
When we eventually got to Kraalbaai the wind blew everyday but that didn’t stop us from heading to the beach on the Kayak everyday. We got soaked, and burnt, we hardly showered but ate like Kings. We even had people bringing us supplies so we didnt run out of food ( and drinks obviously 😛 )It was crazy fun and I slept so well in our cabin every night. Yesterday however my sister, the kids and I got someone to bring us a rental car from Langebaan and off we went leaving the boys to navigate home in the rough seas. While I am writing this that is exactly what they are still doing and will be doing for the next 6 or 7 hours!
So there you have it, 2017 all wrapped up in a post! For the last few days of this year I will be relaxing and spending time with our kittens and family. Bring on 2018 and new crazy adventures!