Out for a lakeside walk in Valea Morilor Park in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 4, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Relaxing by the seaside

We spent the weekend relaxing. Sure, we did some walking on the beach and around the complex here at Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve, but for the most part we just relaxed and stared at the waves coming in!

It's not really a "nature reserve"...we would almost call it a nature resort!

It's a large chunk of property that borders the ocean. And most of that property really is a nature reserve. But part of the coast is a series of 70 private beach homes. Our couchsurfing host Leoni had her home built here about six years ago. Some residents live here, but given the location only 70 kms (44 miles) north of Cape Town, many residents only use these homes as weekend or holiday properties.

Each home is different, but they have to comply with certain standards.

There is a community clubhouse and swimming pool. And tennis courts.

You can walk for miles in either direction and not see a soul. 

Inland, there are walking trails and lots of paths that are suitable for biking. It's actually 4 kms (2.4 miles) back to the main road, so that in itself makes for a nice short bike ride. There's a small farm shop up on the main highway in case you need any last minute items.

We spotted this little tortoise on one of our walks.

And some pretty wildflowers.

On Saturday night, Leoni and her friend Netty took off to Cape Town to watch a soccer match. Ruth and I had bought some ostrich steaks for dinner! We cooked them up on the braai (bbq) and they were delicious! You would expect it to be like chicken, but it tastes more like red meat.

Ostrich steaks low in fat, high in protein!

 And, they only cost R52 ($5.50) for five small steaks. We ate two and a half of them for dinner, and then used the other two and a half cut up on a salad for lunch. Delicious again. Bet you've never had ostrich salad before!

We had a gorgeous sunset Saturday evening!

Now for something completely different.

We're going shark cage diving. Yep. With the great white sharks. Tuesday morning, we head out on a boat to an area that is a famous feeding grounds for great white sharks. And we go in the water with them. 

Despite the fact that you are safe in a cage, I'm actually a little nervous (and excited) about this. Call us crazy, but it's going to make for an interesting blog post on Wednesday!

Photo courtesy of White Shark Diving Company.



38 comments:

  1. you really lucked out with this couchsurfing host, beautiful place. cant wait to see the shark diving pics

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    1. Yes, we sure did. The house was beautiful, Leoni and Nettie were fantastic and the area was so peaceful, we really enjoyed taking some time to just relax.

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  2. There is no cage big or strong enough for me to go into the water with sharks! But I will have a look at you guys doing it. Have fun.

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    1. I am sure you will enjoy the pictures and you may just change your mind after Kevin writes the blog!

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  3. Mmmmm.......... Sharks!!! Not sure about that one!
    Beautiful place you are staying, the beach looks wonderful.

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    1. We can't wait until to tell you all about it.

      The beach was lovely and hardly a sole on it. Not a swimming beach though!

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  4. Crazy you are! I don't think I could do it and I don't have any fear of sharks. Can't wait to read about it!

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    1. Maybe we will change your mind after we write about our experience!

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  5. Well, best of luck with that whole Shark/cage combination. Hopefully there WILL be a Wednesday post.

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    1. Looks like there will be a Wednesday post!

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  6. Like the Ostrich steaks. And the beautiful beach and homes.

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    1. The steaks were very tasty and we would certainly have them again.

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  7. What a great beach! Is the water warm?

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    1. No it would have been quite cold. This is the Atlantic and apparently it is cold from the water flowing up from the Antarctic, the India Ocean will be much warmer.

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  8. Hope that cage is really strong, don't want you tasting like red meat to a great white shark! :cO

    Looking forward to this new adventure, what will you come up with next?!!!

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    1. The cage is very strong, they told us that it is made with the best plastic from in China!

      We're always on the look out for some new and interesting things, so you just never know.

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  9. Couch Surfing can sure put you in some beautiful places, bonus with ostrich braai. And even though I don't want to shark dive I look forward to hearing about and looking at your photos.

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    1. We love couchsurfing, we always have interesting hosts who all like to either travel or meet travelers and although you have an idea of what your accommodations will be it is always a surprise.

      We are looking forward to reporting to everyone on our shark cage diving experience.

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  10. Another thing I would rather watch and not participate. But take lots of photos and hope things go well (for you, not the sharks!)
    Be sure they are fed first.... then at least they don't see you as food?

    Stay safe!!!

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    1. Don't worry there will be lots of photos.

      Believe it or not, sharks don't really like humans much, they prefer seals or penguins!

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  11. Yep, I have dined on both ostrich and shark... of the two I prefer ostrich...

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    1. We've never had shark before and from what we hear it tastes much like tuna and we don't like tuna.

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    2. I assume you aren't confusing Tuna from a can with Tuna filets... if you are you should really try Tuna Steaks... Tastes like a cross between pork and beef to me

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    3. Have to admit that I don't think we have ever had tuna steaks before, maybe we will have to try them sometime.

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  12. Ostrich maybe... (tastes like chicken?)

    but shark swimming??? NO WAY NO HOW NOT ME!


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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    1. Nope, doesn't taste anything like chicken although you would think it would?! It tastes more like beef or some type of red meat.

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  13. We have always wanted to do a caged white shark dive. I don't know if I would have the nerve, if the opportunity every came up.....but probably! Have fun. I assume you have an underwater camera and iwll be taking some pictures..

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    1. If you get the chance to do it Karen and Al, we highly recommend that you should. Nope, we don't have an underwater camera but we still got some great pictures!

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  14. Like so many other readers I doubt I'd willingly get inside a cage to get up close and personal with a shark, but then I would never bungee jump either. Can't wait for your post, of course! ;-)

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    1. Getting into the cage and watching the sharks was much easier than the bungee jumping. I know that John would do it and I am sure you would too after you hear about our experience.

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  15. What a beautiful area? That would be my choice of location to live.

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    1. Contessa, I know you would love it here!

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  16. Hi Ruth and Kevin
    Hope you guys are good!
    Re your snake sighting, I checked with the conservationist / ranger (yes we have such a thing here at Jakkals, as opposed to a resort manager ... haha), and he confirmed it is a mole snake. As confirmed by Mr Google: "Though not venomous, they can cause severe bite wounds. Despite this, they are said to make good pets when sufficiently settled..." Haha - not that we would be allowed to do have them as pets here. Or kill them! Yes, it is a wildlife area...
    BTW - Jakkals isn't my "beach house". I don't have a house in the city, or a flat, only friends' couches. Jakkalsfontein is my home, 30 min away from shops and the closest robots, and many evenings only buck and ostriches and wild cats for company. This is true of about a third of the houses here.
    Cheers and enjoy the rest!
    Leoni

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    1. Thank you Leoni for checking and that just confirms the info our couchsurfing host, Greg said. He also said that it was a mole snake and that they apparently make great pets. I think it snake would be much happy there in your reserve than in someone's aquarium at home so we just left him be.

      Our mistake on the "beach" house but to us any house on the beach is a beach house whether you live in it full time or not, having said that you are very lucky to live in yours full time and to be able to enjoy all that peace and quiet and lovely beach. Thank you so much for hosting us and I hope that our paths will cross once again.

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    2. All good. Here in SA a "beach house" is a very specific concept. Guess something like a weekend lake cabin in Canada. Hope the weather in Hermanus is equally gorgeous as it is here now. Don;t miss the full moon coming over the Hermanus mountains. Lovely to see from Voelklip Beach.
      Cheers, Leoni

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    3. The weather was perfect in Hermanus. We saw the moon coming over the mountains but it wasn't quite full, if we had stayed one more night I think it would have been.

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  17. Nature resort???? Aren't those places usually clothing optional??? Wow, you guys really are stepping out there aren't you. LOL
    Doug B.

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    1. Doug that is a Naturist Resort not Nature Resort ;)! And no that wouldn't be us but we have stayed at a clothing optional beach in Mexico. The key words here are "clothing optional" and our clothing stayed on!!!

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