The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Just an update

On Thursday morning, we drove from Oudtshoorn to Ladismith. Once again, we had the highway pretty much to ourselves. We had no idea where we would end up for the night. Sometimes that strategy pays off, and sometimes it doesn't!

This time, things worked out pretty good!

It was a nice drive and a beautiful day.

Heading towards the mountains.

Even though there are some 50 million people in South Africa, there isn't much of a traffic problem because many of them can't afford a car. And even if they could afford a car, the gasoline is expensive too. Strangely, the roads are in overall great condition.

We had to go through a mountain pass.

Looking back at where we drove through.

Nice roadside viewing and picnic area. Our little rental car has done just fine!

99 kms (60 miles) from Oudtshoorn to Ladismith.

Ladismith is a pretty little town. One of the reasons we came here was because I had read about a 12 km hike in the mountains near here to a place called "Stanley's Light" Really interesting story about that and we're going to tell you about it tomorrow.

So, we pulled into town and found an old little self catering cottage that was for rent. Asked if we could see it, and after a quick look at the interior we knew almost right away that it would be above our budget. Very nicely done up on the inside! The guy wanted R450 ($47.70) per night. I explained that we really liked the cottage, but the price was above our budget and so we would have to look around town to see what else there was. He said the best he could do was R400 ($42.40) per night, and went on to explain about cleaning and costs and everything. I offered him R1000 ($106) for three nights. And he accepted my offer! 

Very plain on the outside, but very nice on the inside. Sorry, no interior pics yet!

We went and wandered around and did some grocery shopping. Still on the hunt for gluten free bread, we spotted a health food shop. The lady there said she didn't have bread, but she had the flour and would get her daughter to bake us a loaf if we wanted!

We wanted! What kind of service is that?! Wow!

The Ladismith Town Hall.

Nice mountain views from Ladismith.

Yesterday was an overcast day and it rained most of the afternoon. We did go for a walk in the morning to pick up our bread. Cost was R40 ($4.24) and it was still warm when we picked it up. Sure beats rice cakes!

The Otto Hager Church.

Funny story about this church. The church above was built in 1874. But in the 1940's it was deemed to be unstable and the congregation built a new church. Shortly after the new church was built, a huge storm went through the area and blew the whole roof off the new church. The old church was undamaged.

It received some minor repairs over the years and is currently used as the local tourism bureau, with a small museum inside.

View from the front porch of the old church.

Wide sidewalks and tree lined streets.

Back at the cottage, Ruth spotted this pretty marico sunbird.

And I promised to update you all about our little fundraising activity. If you missed yesterday's post, you can read about it here.

So far, after only one day, we have collected $565 in donations from twenty different donors! Thank you all so very much! We're going to keep the link up until Monday morning, or $1,000, whichever comes first. So if you want to help out with anything you can afford, we are totally grateful!


15 comments:

  1. A good deal with the cottage, enjoy your time there.

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    1. We are really happy with our little cottage, we could easily live in something this size.

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  2. Love the story about the bread....talk about customer service at it's best!!!

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    1. The lady there was great, definitely great customer service. It tasted nice too, not quite as good as the one I bake but still good. We are having the last of it with some bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. :-)

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  3. Made a small donation, thanks for bringing this Mexican Family's story to us. I would much rather help out someone where you know what kind of difference it will make in their life versus a large corporate charity with tons of overhead. Please give an update in the coming months on this family. Cheers!

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    1. Forgot to say, that is likely the most expensive loaf of bread you ever purchased, but also the best tasting after not having access to gluten free bread for so long. Enjoy your toast!

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    2. Thank you so much Cheapchick! We agree with you on those large charity organizations, we would also rather give money to someone that needs it and where 100% of that money goes to that need.

      Nope, that wasn't really expensive at all compared to most gluten free breads that we have seen for sell in Canada and the United States, it's actually one of the reasons that I make my own bread. This loaf was very reasonably priced and it was fresh homemade bread to boot!

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  4. Hi there, if you can get hold of the gluten free flour this is a recipe that might work for you if you can bear to part with some beer!
    It's Australia beer damper and takes no time to prove.
    Warm oern to 200C
    Rough quantities are 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and a can of beer. Mix dry ingredients together then stir in the beer until it forms a dough. Form into a nice shape and put onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins then reduce to 180C until cooked and hollow sounding.
    East to vary by adding onions, herbs, garlic etc.
    Now if you don't have an oven then wrap in a few sheets of foil and cook on the coals of an open fire.
    The beauty is that fact it is so quick to do.

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    1. Thanks for the recipe Glen, I am not a beer lover so I am not sure if I will make it or not. Also beer isn't suppose to be gluten free, although Kevin and done quite a bit of research into this and has found that this isn't necessarily the case in all beer. We might do an experiment on this, an then write a post about it. Should he prove that some regular beers are gluten free then I might just give the recipe a try.

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  5. tried to donate via visa, but kept asking for state but all it had was canadian provinces.
    will have sam try paypal later, he has the account

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    1. Thank you for trying Donna we appreciate it.

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  6. Hope you make it to the $1000. And, thanks for today's post and photos. I'd love to know if you try the recipe from Steve and Glen. It sounds great; I'm sure it wouldn't be as light as a yeast dough but the flavor - Mmmmm.
    The story about the custom-baked bread reminded me of a funny food story in Provence, France severe years ago. I decided I wanted to roast a turkey for Christmas but the turkeys in or outdoor market maxed out at about 4 pounds and I'd invited about 12 guests. A French neighbor took me to a neighboring town to a butcher's house/store. I asked if he had any turkeys to sell. "Yes," said he, "How many kilos would you like?" I was a little confused, but told him I'd like enough for serving 12 adults. He said, "Good, come back in two hours." I walked out not knowing what I was getting into. When I returned a couple of hours later, he brought out this magnificent fresh turkey, weighing about 10 kilos (22 pounds). He explained that he'd killed and dressed the turkey during the two-hour pause! It was, without a doubt, the best turkey I've ever eaten! He and his children raised turkeys and only slaughtered them when they knew it would be the right one for that customer!

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    1. If we don't make it Mary-Pat we will be very close to it and we will be making up whatever is short so they will get the full amount no matter what.

      You know that you can try out this recipe too, all you have to do is use regular flour.

      Yep, that is what you call a nice fresh turkey. Sue hope it tasted great!

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  7. I love the beautiful pictues and the towns that you all visit. The cottage has a interesting look on the outside. I would not have guessed that it was for rent. I like the way you got it for R1000. Interesting how high prices are when people spot a tourist! Nice town and pictures!

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    1. Thanks Randy!

      As for the little cottage Kevin found this little place on line and that would have been the only way we would have known it was for rent because there was no sign up saying that there were any cottages for rent. It was a really pretty cottage, very clean and quite nice inside. The owner knew he was getting a deal because it wasn't costing him anything extra for the third night (at this time of year it would only rent for the two nights over the weekend) except for a little bit of electricity, so we both got a good deal out of it.

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