Diary entry from Turkey

Brief history.. In 2009, I au paired for a family that had a 48ft yacht inTurkey. The marina had upgraded resulting in an increase in levies. This brought about my trip abroad.

My personal diary entry on the 7th of November 2009:

Double days catch up. Yesterday we woke up really early to take photos of a small bay Ekincik nicknamed ‘My Marina’ before setting out on a guided tour in a charter boat. While taking photo’s of our beautiful surroundings, we had a not so beautiful poser flexing his muscles on the jetty before his morning swim.

The men inTurkey are unreal; they do anything to impress foreign women with blond hair, blue eyes and an above average figure…

This goes for babies with blond hair and blue eyes too. Sean (the baby I was looking after) is still a biggest highlight and boy did he have a paparazzi episode this morning. So many people took photos of him this morning again.

Thank goodness the charter boat arrived before the paparazzi got out of control.

Overcast but pleasant we set out for our days adventure. Our first stop was this hole in this rock called Cleopatra Cove that we could swim through. Legend had it that you’ll be married within in the year of swimming through (still not married – phew!).

We then continued along the coast until we arrived at an estuary that would then take us upstream through Dalyan. The estuary was famous for turtles laying eggs along the beaches. Further up river we passed ancient ruins of roman origin and tombs carved in mountains once made for Kings. The smaller ‘holes’ below the kings tombs were for the children of the royal family that died of malaria.

Our end destination was a sulfur mud bath. The mud was so slimy and the sulfur bath stank like rotten eggs. Kicking myself for not doing it properly (was only partially covered in mud).

We then headed back to Ray of Light (the yacht) and sailed till 10pm where we ended up in another small bay. Was slightly sea sick and exhausted because the previous night I slept on the deck.

Today everyone slept in late excluding me and Sean. We sailed the whole day. I took the helm for 30 seconds and nearly stuffed up big time. Never want to be left at that again. We had two bites on the hooks and caught one very beautiful male bull Dorado.

We now anchored in another small bay, Bozuk Buku, for the night.

Swimming out of Cleopatra Cove

An old Church (Sean and I)

Tombs carved in the mountain for Kings

Enjoying the sulfur bath after our mud bath.

Male Bull Dorado being reeled in

Early morning boat cruise for Sean 🙂

~ written by Kaitlyn Rogers

The great trek from Coffee Bay to Lubanzi….stretching boundries and pushing the limits.


How do you put into words, an experience that truly changed your life and how you look at things?  Something that you can always look back on when you feel that you are unable to do something, and know that you did that even whilst it felt impossible?  I will try, because I would like to be able to look back on this when the memories start to fade.

When Kim & I started planning our road trip from Durban to Cape Town, she mentioned that getting a shuttle between Coffee Bay, Wild Lubanzi and Bulungula would be more effort than it was worth, as we would have to drive all the way back to Umtata first, and then get a lift out again, so we should rather walk it, which would be about a 4 hour hike each day.  I was very sceptical about this, as besides the fact that I never exercise, I had sprained my ankle just over a month prior to that that was by no means healed yet, so I didn’t know how I would cope.  I decided, however, to have the mindset that I was going to push the boundries and try new things and so decided to go for it.  I would only draw the line at jumping off a bridge or out of a plane!

Coffee Bay was beautiful and I was just blown away by the seemingly never ending coastline and beautiful beaches!  One downfall though was that it was incredibly hot so I wondered how I was going to manage this walk in this extreme heat.  Anyways, not deterred by the challenges, I woke up the next morning and loaded up with a big breakfast.  Kim told me to get a decent amount of water, but for some reason I thought this was a strange request because I really didn’t think that I was going to get that thirsty!  Little did I know…

We set off just after 10am with our guide Silas, and 4 other hikers from the backpackers.  Once we got to the top of the first hill I was totally out of breath and grabbed the water and drank almost half the bottle!  I was a little shell shocked at this point as the harsh reality of what I was about to do hit me.  However, once we continued, the views and what we saw in front of us was just so unbelievably beautiful that it really had a way of distracting me from being tired and my muscles aching.  I also had Kim who was being really motivating and encouraging, so, to my surprise, I actually started to really enjoy myself!  (Yes, this was a shock, as I was doing strenuous exercise!)

We continued to hike for another hour or so when we got to a beach.  I was pretty amped to take a dip in the ocean, as it was very hot!!  The ocean in the Eastern Cape is quite a bit warmer than in Cape Town, so the swim was very refreshing!!  After our swim, Silas told us not to put our shoes back on, as there would be a part of the hike in about 5 minutes where we would have to swim as there would be no path to walk on.  When we got to the spot where we had to jump into the ocean, I was a little nervous, and as luck would have it, when I jumped in, the current picked up and I got sent in a bit of a circle.  One of the other hikers grabbed my hand and lifted me out of the water.

We continued on and got to a very steep hill, which took me almost 15 minutes to get up, with everyone else waiting at the top of the hill for me (embarrassing!).  I think what was tougher than the tiredness, was being so incredibly thirsty and only having warm, not so tasty water to drink.  One of the other hikers was snacking on Pringles and offering them around but I couldn’t even think of eating when I was so thirsty.  We were applying sunblock to ourselves about every half an hour but I was still aware that I was burning pretty badly!  Not too much we could do about it.

About two hours into the walk I really felt like I had reached the limits of my fitness levels, but I was very determined to push ahead and complete the hike, at least until The-Hole-In-The-Wall.  With Kim’s encouragement, I pushed ahead until we walked to the top of yet another hill, just over 4 hours into the hike.  When I got to the top, I saw a big village in front of me.  Silas told us that this was the village of the Hole-In-The-Wall and that we were almost at the end.  At this point I got a little teary, as I couldn’t believe I had made it this far.  It may not be a huge achievement to some, but I was pretty stoked with myself for making it this far, as besides the Argus Cycle Tour in 2004, this was the hardest I had ever pushed myself to complete something.  I had proven to myself, by myself, that anything was possible and that sometimes you really should try and stretch the boundries and push yourself further than you think you can go.

I finally got to the Hole-In-The-Wall, which was spectacular, though not quite as much as some of the things which I had seen on the actual hike!!  I finally got my wish for an ice-cold coke granted and had 2 hours to kill before my lift to Wild Lubanzi Backpackers would arrive, so I had a nice long swim in the pool at The-Hole-In-The-Wall Hotel and chilled on the lawn.  2 very nice backpackers from Wild Lubanzi came to pick me up at 6pm and drove me to the lodge where I met up with Kim again.  She cooked us a delicious hearty dinner which went down very well after the days walking!!  I went to bed with a big smile on my face because of what I had achieved that day.  Thanks Kim for making it possible and showing me how do to prove to myself that anything is possible!!

The View of the Rolling Coastline

Australia Day at Bohemian Lofts Backpackers!

We love having get togethers and fun events for our guests at Bohemian Lofts Backpackers, so whilst we might not be in Australia, we didn’t see a reason to pass up an opourtunity for some fun!!  As luck would have it, I was having a friend down from Australia, arriving on 26 January, Australia Day!  She was kind enough to bring some Vegemite with her, a firm Australian favourite!  So with the help of my friend Bel, we made lamingtons, Vegemite on toast and fairy bread, which is bread with butter and, as we call them, ‘hundreds and thousands’.  The crowds were a little slow to trickle in, but once everyone heard the goings-on from the kitchen, they came to check it out and ended up staying.  We enjoyed the treats and some good conversation, and afterwards we headed down to one of the local restaurants called Trench Town.  We left the treats on the table and when we came back, they were all gone!!

We all had a really good evening and I think celebrating Australia Day will definately become a tradition at Bohemian Lofts Backpackers!

Yummy Australian Treats!

My Big Road Trip: Umzumbe to Coffee Bay

Umzumbe to Coffee Bay…..

I spent the first night of my whirlwindDurbantoCape Towntrip at a lovely backpackers called Mantis & Moon backpackers.  The rooms are located in and amoungst the trees, some of them even in tree houses so it has a lovely magical feel to it.  I was a little creeped out by some of the bugs but none-the-less was pretty excited about having the experience of staying here.  I headed to the bar and got myself a nice cocktail to get started with.

The next morning I set my alarm for bright and early to catch the BazBus that would take us on the 6 hour journey to Coffee Bay.  The drive was really scenic and we had a very funny and friendly driver, John.   Shortly after out lunch stop, we passed the border betweenKwazulu-Nataland theEastern Cape provinces.  It was interesting how the scenery changed almost immediately from tropical trees to hundreds of little rondawel huts.  The BazBus then dropped us in Umtata where we waited for the shuttle to Coffee Bay.  The road from Umtata to CoffeeBay is rather wonky, but so scenic!!

Once we got toCoffeeBaywe were immediately greeted by a very friendly member of staff who showed us around the place and then gave us a welcome drink.  We were told about a full moon party which would be happening that night and a beach day the next day so it was obvious that they are always organizing fun things for guests to do.  We headed to our room to chill a bit and settle in before re-joining the group for the Full Moon Party.  We were taken to the top of a hill which had the most breathtaking views.  Here we were given free mussels and vodka-sprites.

The next morning I woke up very early as I was very hot!  I went to the outdoor communal area to find that Coffee Shack had an awesome breakfast menu.  So 2 fried eggs, some bacon, and baked beans later, I was very full and ready to start the big hike to Hole-in-the-Wall!

The View from the Full Moon Party

The Border of the Eastern Cape

My Room at Mantis & Moon Backpackers

Garden Route Road Trip!

So this weekend I departed on my first travel adventure since Australia, and it was goooood to be back on the road!!  A friend from the UK was here to visit and so we headed off down the garden route towards our first stop, Mossel Bay.  Even though the drive was quite long (5 hours), it didn’t feel quite as long as I was enjoying finally being in my car on a long journey again!!

Mossel Bay was fantastic!  We were staying in a beachfront apartment with the most amazing views.  When we got into Mossel Bay, we met my friends Amy and Michelle at a local bar.  It had swings for chairs!!  We had a cocktails here before heading to another bar called Cafe Havana which was good fun with its very chilled vibe.

On Sunday morning we woke up and had a very relaxing coffee on the balcony before heading for a walk along the beach front and down to the cave where we could feed the dassies and watch the waves crash against the rocks.  We then got in our cars to leave for the drive from coastal Mossel Bay to inland Oudtshoorn.  The drive there goes over a pass which had the most amazing views.  They were so great we even stopped for a while to take some pictures and take in the views.  Once getting into Oudtshoorn, we went to the Safari Ostrich Farm to do the tour.  Here we learnt more about the ostriches and were given an oppourtunity to ride them.

We had lunch at Amy’s super generous mums’ house before going to see what turned out to be the highlight of the trip for me, the Cango Caves.  The whole time being there, I was just so amazed that I get to see something like this in my lifetime.  It is just fantastic!!  We then had sundowners at a restaurant which was right on a dam where you could view some wildlife.  The weather was absolutely perfect!!  We ended off the day with a traditional South African ”braai”.

On Monday we spent the morning at The Cango Wildlife Ranch where we got to see a great assortment of wildlife, which was amazing!!  After having lunch at a local restaurant, we got back in my car to continue our roadtrip.  A five and a half hour drive got us to the whale watching town of Hermanus, just after sunset.  I was, however, silly enough to lock my keys in my car!!  Thankfully I had just joined roadside assistance with the AA, and they came to my rescue to open my car.  Our journey back to Cape Town was via the Cape Wine Region, heading to Stellenbosch and Paarl where we did some cheese and wine tasting.

It was truly great to have had the oppourtunity to have another travel adventure, and this time in my own car.  Can’t wait for the next one!!