The Travel Thread

The main forum where you can talk about the festival - from the line-ups to camping advice and everything in between. Also forum for generally chatting and talking about things.
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JC!
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Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:14 am

Fred__Elliott wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:17 pm
Go to Lucca, rent bikes and cycle on top of the walls that surround the city. stop, have lunch, a bottle of red wine and do it again half pissed. Best afternoon you'll spend there
Lucca is a beautiful city. Had to stay there for work years back. My crappy hotel looked out onto the square, where one night Neil Young played - pretty amazing

Montecarlo nearby is beautiful too, up in the hills

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i_ate_cats
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Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:40 pm

Anyone ever been to Seattle?

Heading for work soon, have a day to myself. Thinking breweries and subpop store... Any other tips welcome.

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enemies/friends
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:46 pm

Is that where the Amazon shop is?

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Phierstarter
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:38 pm

Heh, shop. Yes.

If i was going i would be looking for Holy Mountain and Fremont brewpubs.
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i_ate_cats
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:05 am

Phierstarter wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:38 pm
If i was going i would be looking for Holy Mountain and Fremont brewpubs.
Nice one.

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i_ate_cats
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:10 am

enemies/friends wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:46 pm
Is that where the Amazon shop is?
They have also just opened The Spheres, very cool building. Will be visiting.
https://www.seattlespheres.com/

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JC!
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Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:45 am

i_ate_cats wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:40 pm
Anyone ever been to Seattle?

Heading for work soon, have a day to myself. Thinking breweries and subpop store... Any other tips welcome.
my memory of seattle was staying across the road from a strip joint that did amateur tuesdays.

unfortunately we weren't there on a tues. nor were we 21

cool city thoooo

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Dick Jones
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Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:02 pm

What like an open mic night for strippers? Sounds amazing.

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JC!
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Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:21 pm

yeah, i guess so? i'm sure it's actually very grim

less coyote ugly, more ugly coyotes

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Phierstarter
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Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:10 pm

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enemies/friends
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Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:50 am

Cape Town and rural South Africa is pretty spectacular. Some mountain roads so steep our little hire car really struggled to make it over the top but the views are something else. Drove 450km through basically the desert yesterday. Went over or past at least 30 rivers if which only 2 had any sign of having any water. The rest were absolutely bone dry.

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Phierstarter
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Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:01 am

Can't wait. Any tips?
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Phierstarter
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Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:05 am

Day zero has been pushed ahead to July i see. But the plan for after won't work smoothly.
Did you get vaccinated? I need to sort that out soon.
It's not necessary, but i'm not taking my chances with Kruger.
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enemies/friends
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Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:18 pm

When do you head off? If it's after the weekend I'll give a fuller run down of what all we've been at and tips when I get home. Did it do any vaccinations but I knew we were mostly staying in the western cape so just brought some mosquito spray and the other usual vaccinations I'd had were enough.

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Phierstarter
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Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:55 pm

Not until late April so plenty of time. Enjoy your weekend!
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enemies/friends
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:12 pm

So back home and all now and slowly getting over the post holiday blues.

Would say that South Africa has now gone to the top of my list of holidays so far - even allowing for recency bias. Cape Town as a city probably slides in second favourite behind Melbourne of all the cities I've visited. It would actually be top except for one issue that kind of clouds the trip.

So what we did -

5 days in Cape Town to start out. Hiked up Table Mountain (a very, very difficult hike in parts). Got lucky that we got a really clear day with little wind at the top. We also went up via the Cable Car another time. It's definitely worth getting to the top for the views:
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Visited Robben Island - tour led by a former inmate. Very interesting. Got quite a bit of political insight from this which was interesting in comparing how things have gone there to how they're going here in NI in a similar enough timescale.

Took a trip down to Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point which is where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet and you can actually see the different colours of the two seas where they meet

Watched a sunset from Signal Hill in Cape Town

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Visited a few of the apartheid museums and also spent some time in one of the Townships which were really interesting - every house had a sky dish despite being made out of corrugated iron and not having a proper flushing toilet. A lot also had Solar hot water systems built into the roof so basically getting free hot water.

Spent the next 5 days out driving round the Garden Route so stopped off in loads of little places. Drove a total of about 1200KM out and back round to Cape Town. Spent a couple of nights in Oudtshoorn where we mostly chilled by our pool and visited some pretty cool caves (The Cango Caves)
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Next day we drove down to stay at Botlierskop Game Reserve and TBH this was easily the highlight of the trip for me. We paid a fairly hefty sum of money for it and when I was booking it I have to admit I was a bit dubious but it was worth every penny and more. We arrived and were met at the door, car taken away, bags sent to our tent and we met with our host who talked us through the itinerary for the stay. Had breakfast, lunch and a 7 course dinner included along with 4 safari drives although I swapped one of those for a bush walk instead.

We managed to see all but the lions, though they spent ages hunting for the lions for us. No complaints - saw all sorts of other stuff:
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And our "tent" was epic:
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And the absolute highlight of the trip. During the night I woke up about 4am or so and thought I could hear noises outside. A few minutes later Emma woke up as well and she agreed there was some kind of noise. So I went over and opened the doors to the balcony and there were 2 rhino standing at the bottom of those steps. about 7 or 8 feet away casually munching away on the grass. And they kept doing so while we sat and watched them for about ten minutes. Absolutely surreal.

We then drove back to Cape Town for one final night staying down on the Waterfront which is pretty cool. Big things to note - restaurants and food is so so so cheap. We went to 2 different 5* hotels (The Silo and the 12 Apostles) and at both of them I had steak while Emma had different things. At both we had starter, main course, desert and at least one beer/wine each and in both the final bill came to under £40 in total. Petrol is also quite cheap and comes in around 80pence a litre. The roads are fantastic. Much much better than a lot of Irish rural roads. Driver are also very friendly - if they see you approaching them quickly they'll move into the hard shoulder to let you past and also appreciate it if you do similar.

Anyway, so the one thing I mentioned at the start that knocks Cape Town was the people who come up to you in the streets asking for money. Some of them were grand, you said no and they left. Others were persistent to the point of being intimidating/scary. We had one guy who tried to sell us a painting. I politely declined and he followed us for over 5 minutes. It was early evening and we were in a part of the city near the business district so not many people were about. Thankfully we found a shop after that 5 minutes but he was genuinely getting very frightening.

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Phierstarter
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:04 pm

Beautiful, i cannot wait. It's going to be life-changing.
Our plan is 3 nights near the Waterfront, probably a Cape of Good Hope + nature reserve visit, and Table Mountain but i get quite anxious with heights.
Then AfrikaBurn, which judging from Nowhere festival is going to be an overwhelming experience in and of itself.
One night in Knysna which looks beautiful (did you go that far?), then a couple in Port Elizabeth, Durban, and Joburg...which i'm quite cautious of, sobriety is key.
6 nights in 3 different Kruger camps before Joburg and Paris again on the return :)

Shame the distances are so vast. We're confined to a bus (for the Garden Route), excluding Kruger where we'll have a car.

Missing Berlin on the 1st of May would normally be a shame, but lol, whatevs.
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enemies/friends
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:16 pm

Had Knysna down as the furthest point we'd probably be able to get out to but we spent the extra night in Oudtshoorn which meant we didn't get quite that far out. We did spend some time in Mossel Bay which was beautiful also. They had shark diving cages and i was very tempted but the price put me off in the end.

In hindsight the one thing I'd have done differently is probably flown home from Port Elizabeth rather than go back to Cape Town so that we could have spent a bit more time going to places like Knysna and maybe Addo.

I think I'll definitely be back and more than likely will do Kruger if we are back in the country. The distances are absolute mind bending, even when you're flying over the continent it takes hours upon hours

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LordPercy
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:57 am

That sounds pretty class.

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Phierstarter
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:48 pm

The thing about the Atlantic/Indian ocean colours though...really? Oceans don't have borders :D
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