WOW, what a word – and one I had never heard of until a friend of mine asked me to go! “Hey April, you like to camp, be out in the woods, hike, and you are extremely competitive – do you want to go ORIENTEERING with me this weekend?” Well without even knowing what the word meant – I said yes – because well – my friend was right – I loved all of those things and spend most of my weekends home in the woods camping and exploring – so I agreed to go….
Fall is one of the best times of the year to go camping!! Many people store their camping gear the same time their pool closes for the summer!! Not my family – we camp well into November. Camping in the fall is a perfect time to explore woods, trails and streams.
We arrived into Tambo International where we had to board commercial transportation into Cape Town International Airport, and it was really surreal. Again, it was like traveling back from the world you left to go experience the other planet “the bush” and now you’re back….. I am not kidding, I went through WITHDRAWAL! It took me a few days to get my head out of the bush and back into “civilization”! Once I was back, the adventure continued. My friend Bruita and I shared a cottage house in the lovely Mount Nelson Hotel!
The moment my parents could sign me up in a soccer league, I had cleats on my feet – I was 6 years old. I guess they figured they needed to find something to burn off some of my excess energy! There is never a time in my life growing up that I don’t remember being on a select soccer team and traveling the country. Whether it was outdoors three seasons or indoors during the winter, our family was playing soccer!
Time spent in the bush was like we had traveled into another world – so colorfully painted – and landed out in the middle of nowhere with the most magnificent creatures to observe! We would get up bright and early and be on a game drive by 6:00 am and not get back until after 1:00 pm. Breakfast and lunch were served in the bush and the sun got so hot we really needed to come in, but if I could have been one of those lazy lions I would have curled up under a tree and slept the afternoon away.
South Africa is one of the most magical places on earth! I was so fortunate to be able to spend some time there recently. I flew into Johannesburg to spend a couple of days to get over jetlag while experiencing the beautiful Westcliff hotel – which I would highly recommend. While in Joberg we lunched in local authentic restaurants, like Wandies, shopped in Sandton City and went to the local theater at night! I was having such an amazing time that when it was time to board the charter flight to Singita I was sad, but the “bush” awaited……
I’ve been on a lot of hiking tours and have learned a lot over the years. And if you read my blog on lessons learned, you know that a lot can go wrong when you go hiking, and sometimes it can be dangerous. So to help keep you safe, here are some things you should be sure to know before you go:
While hiking in Costa Rica, I thought I made a great choice, basing my decision on climate, terrain and my own personal fitness level.
The hiking tour described itself as using different types of transportation to descend into the rainforest, followed by a hike to and swimming at a waterfall. The tour lasted eight hours. Okay, I thought. No problem. I’m fit and based on the description, I can do this.
I love Canada. Absolutely adore it! And it’s no secret to anyone who knows me. I’ve visited much of the country, and believe me, there’s so much diversity in Canada you simply cannot get bored there. There are far too many areas across this great country spotted with incredible boutique properties and resorts that you can escape to. And then there’s Vancouver and the wildly popular Whistler.
I love to go fast. I work fast. I talk fast. I drive fast. See a pattern yet? So it should be no surprise that I would love jet skiing. This is one hell of a fast activity, so when the opportunity came up to go jet skiing, I was all for it.
There is something so powerful about being out in the open water, speeding along at over 40 miles-an-hour feeling the wind and water on your body.