Monday, June 04, 2007

All Blacks V France

I know I haven't put up a new blog in a while, but not much has been happening lately. But the All Blacks were in town on Friday night with the first game of their international season. Turned out to be an easy win over a somewhat understrength French side.

They really like there pre-match buildup down here with fireworks and a dance performance involving about 100 people. The match itself was pretty good even if it was one sided. The All Blacks almost scored a try in the first minute, but it took them another 35 minutes before they finally got one, and then added another before half time to put their superiority on the score board.

In the second half the French were really struggling to match the fitness of the All Blacks, and at one stage the game was heald up for a few minutes while 4 French players received treatment for injuries.

Almost a full house of 41,500 at Eden Park, which will host the Rugby World Cup final in 2011 (with some renovations and extra capacity).

Haka - France Anthem - New Zealand Anthem

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mossel Bay

This is the beach at Mossel Bay on the Garden Route. It is technically the indian ocean as it is east of Cape Agulhas (the southern most point of Africa). The waves can be big at times, and body boarding is very popular.

Not too far off shore is a rock with a seal colony on it which attracks the sharks, so it was not advised to go swimming infront of the house where I stayed, but about a km up the beach was perfectly safe. Check out my photos site to see the shark that was caught by a guy fishing infront of the house.

Helicopter Flight & Castle of Good Hope

You can take a scenic flight around Cape Town & Table Mountain in a Huey helicopter, or if you're feeling more adventurous (like me) you can take the Combat Simulation flight. The helicopter used has been traced back to the Vietnam war when it was in active service. The flight can only be described as a rollercoaster ride without tracks. There was fog covering the beach, so the pilot couldn't take us along a few meters above the waves.

I also visited the castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, which was originally built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679 to defend the port from the British. It is a national monument since 1936, and was the regional headquarters for the South African army, but now it houses the castle military museum and is used for official ceremonies.

Check out these links for some videos from Cape Town.

Table Mountain / Flight 1 / Flight 2 / Flight 3 / Flight 4

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cape Town & Table Mountain

Cape Town is a huge city (population nearly 3 million) with a huge mountain right in the middle. Table mountain is an impressive sight, and can't be missed no matter where you are in the city.

The main city center is all hustle and bustle with various markets (some indoor, some outdoor) on the go every weekday. These markets start up before 8am, and finish up at 6pm. All the usual fast food outlets are here too.

A small bit away from the city center is the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. This is a combination of shopping malls, hotels & restaurants, as well as being the departure point for the Robben Island ferry, and many scenic helicopter flights. Anyone who plans to travel here be warned, that at peak times, the Robben Island ferry can be booked out for upto 3 or 4 days. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a ticket.

Heading to South Africa

While queing for check in at Auckland, I was asked to go to the Qantas First Class check in area. Unfortunatley, my luck wasn't that good, I wasn't being upgraded. Then, just as everyone was taking their seats on the plane, there was a security alert and everybody in the airport had to be screened again. Eventually we got going about an hour behind schedule. Next, during the flight to Sydney, the cabin crew asked if there was a doctor on the flight. Someone wasn't feeling too good which resulted in a quarantine officer coming on the plan for an inspection at Sydney.

The flight to Jo'burg was long and uneventful. The passport check at Jo'burg took forever, and I only had about 20 mins to spare before my connecting to flight to Cape Town. By the time I got to the hotel in Cape Town I was ready to sleep for a long time.