Monday, 31 January 2011


 As of Saturday afternoon our cabin looked like this, we literally could hardly move but we are so pleased to be home that we weren't too bothered except that the boys wanted the lego out.
We have made some progress, but there is still stuff around the floor which is gradually being re-homed in a cupboard. We have asked the boys not to play lego until we have the floor clear and vacuumed. Josh was so excited to be re-united with some of the lego that he said 'don't worry Mum, I'll vacuum so I can play lego', so he got out the toy vacuum cleaner, pushed it around in about a square foot of space and then set down the lego ready to play. I love four year olds.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

we're home!!

It really happened. We moved back to the ship today. And it is good to be home.

We have nothing but respect and thanks for the team on board who have been working flat out to try and get things ready for us. We have been welcomed back by balloons, an ice cream party and lots of people willing to help move our bags on board. Our brimming-at-the-seams landrover was unloaded in literally a couple of minutes with our bags brought up to our cabin (much to my relief as Tommy has been sick the last couple of days and has been pretty wiped out) - thanks everyone!

From what we hear there was still no power to our deck first thing today, but by the time we got here it was on and we could plug in the fans! Somehow despite the cabin being over 30 degrees we have made a good dent in unpacking the twenty something bags and boxes lying around our cabin floor. It is going to take a little longer to get it all done and cleaned, but that will have to wait - the shower calls -in our very own bathroom, and then tomorrow might just be our last day out in Durban so we plan to get out and enjoy it :-)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

danger apparantly everywhere

 We went for a walk one day in the iSamgaliso Wetland Nature Reserve. At the start there was a sign saying that they were not responsible if we were to encounter hippos, crocodiles and leopards. Later there was this sign- warning us of elephants, rhino and buffalo as well, at which point we decided to turn back and return in a car!
 This one was on one of the houses in the street where we were staying, really friendly neighbours by the sound of it!
These were the signs in the Easten Shores Game Reserve that we walked past as we went to have a picnic. We did see rhino and buffalo that day but not during our lunch fortunately but once we were driving back. They seemed pretty happy to eat grass and not us.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


We're back at the college campus for those of you who thought we would be back on the ship by now and have a new 'issue' - mould. Yesterday we had to scrub the boys school bags before they went back to school. We have had to scrub our suitcases and bags before we can pack things in them as they are all mouldy. I think the pushchair will have to be thrown away, fortunately Josh is too big for it now anyway, but it still seems a waste that we can't pass it on to someone else. So far today I have mouldy shoes, shin pads, school caps and I haven't even dared look in our wardrobes yet for fear of what I might find and how long it might take me to sort out. This morning I am scrubbing a box of wooden train track to try and make it safe for the pre-school to use, they want to play with it as their toys have all gone back to the ship along with the rest of the schools supplies. Sounds like a fun morning.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

dung beetles and butterflies

 Dung beetles are enormous, and in the area we went they are highly valued. The tourist brochures all have a little section about how you should give way to them and not run them over. It seems they are very useful to have around as you can read here
This was one that we managed not to run over, so I got out of the car and watched it roll a big ball of dung across the road backwards. Quite amazing!
 For anyone who is not really appreciating pictures of dung beetles and dung balls there were plenty of butterflies everywhere - the problem with butterflies is that they don't ever stay still long enough to be photographed.
These ones were in the car park, there were so many of them that it was possible to photograph some of them!

Monday, 17 January 2011

i don't like boats but...

...the opportunity to go on one to get up close and personal with hippos and crocodiles was too good to miss. We went up the St Lucia estuary on a small tour boat, watching hippos wallowing near the shores, mum and baby hippos walking down the banks and splashing into the water, birds making their homes in the reeds and finally a couple of crocs swimming by.
 The first hippo sighting was of a few hippos submerged in the water, then from no-where these ones appeared and plopped down into the water to join them.
 Further down the river there was a bunch of maybe 20 hippos just hanging around doing pretty much nothing, then a bunch more strolled down just as we were watching.
 There is something cute about baby animals, even fat ugly hippo baby animals!
 Yep, we were really there, watching them swim about.
 We got to hold a hippos tooth, which coupled with the knowledge that they can be incredibly dangerous made us grateful for the boat around us!


Summer decided to finally arrive, along with Sarah and Sam's parents and sister Amy. So did a much needed break away not that far away from the college campus really, but far enough to be away from the non flushing toilets, unreliable water supply and being woken in the morning by the communal corridor chorus. We headed up to St Lucia Wetlands and then stopped at the coast on the way back. So over the next few days we'll try and give you a glimpse of what we have been up to and some of the random photos that were taken. There were plenty of bugs, flowers, butterflies and the like to keep certain ones of us happy. Following our slightly untraditional Christmas here we had a British Christmas dinner together as a family, sitting outside in the sun-shine with our paper hats on. We BBQ'd, flew kites, strolled around many nature reserves, watched the sunset on the beach and had a couple of special days out as our Christmas presents to each other. One was a game drive, the other a boat ride on the river amongst the hippos and crocodiles! Today Tommy is back at work, school starts on Wednesday so life is sort of getting back to normal. Sadly we are not back on the Ship yet, but watch this space, hopefully just a few more weeks (we hope, I can't tell you how much!).