Carol and Don Barkin

New York - USA

22 April 2011

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Carol and Don arrived in Port Elizabeth. They travelled to Lemon Tree Lane guesthouse where they took some rest before going for dinner to Whickerwoods restaurant. Thereafter it was a case of obtaining a good nights sleep so as to beat their jetlag after the long flight from New York to Port Elizabeth so as to prepare for their next 9 days of touring.


23 April 2011 

Safari

Addo National park

Schotia Game reserve

 

 

On this day Carol and Don went to Addo Elephant Park as well as Schotia game reserve where they spent close on to 12 hours on safari seeing many animals over 3 game drives. The following pictures were taken by Don and Carol while on safari.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildebeest in the background

 

 

Lion in background

 

 

Lion in background

 

 

 

Warthog

 

Pride of lions

On returning from the game farms I met them at Lemon Tree Lane where we became acquainted and had a good nights rest in preparation for the rest of of our tour.

 

 


24 April 2011 

Travel to Knysna

Surprise meeting with Jessica at Bramon

21st birthday

Drive to Overmeer

Firefly

 

On this day we were simply going to take a slow drive from Port Elizabeth to our next port of call viz Knysna however I had other secretive plans for Don and Carol. JJ

Carol and Don's granddaughter Jessica was busy doing a semester abroad at the University of Cape Town and I knew that she was spending a weekend on the Garden Route so I organized that she meet us in surprise fashion at Bramon Wine farm near Plettenberg Bay where we all enjoyed a surprise birthday lunch to celebrate Jessica 21st birthday on the day. Wow what an emotional and wonderful experience this turned out to be.

 

The Barkins meet their granddaughter Jessica in a huge surprise type fashion

 

 

 

 

Please click here to watch Jessica performing sabrage to celebrate her 21st birthday

 

 

Jessica's wonderful friends joined us for her 21st party.
Emily Ritchings, Honora Einhorn, Ben Scott, Catie Czajkowski and the birthday girl.

 

 

Group congrats to Jessica

 

 

 

In the vineyards of Bramon before enjoying a fantastic tapas lunch

 

Happy grandparents and granddaughter on a very special day

 

 

Carol and Jessica having fun

 

We never noticed that Don slipped away from the table after our main course. What he went to do was organize for a candle for his granddaughter to placed on our dessert for Jessica to blow out in celebration of her day. The below pictures tell the whole story.

 

 

 

Unfortunately all good things come to an end hence we had to say goodbye to Jessica and her friends whereafter we continued our journey to Knysna. We arrived at Overmeer guesthouse just after sunset where we checked in, took a short break and then moved on to Firefly restaurant. At Firefly we had enjoyed a fantastic meal as well as delightful company of Dell, the owner of Firefly and some of her other patrons in the wonderful little cosy restaurant.

 

Carol and Don enjoying dinner at Firefly

 

What an amazing day!!!

 

A BIG THANK YOU
 to the Bramon restaurant management and staff
for going out of their way to make Jessica's 21st party such a great success.

 


25 April 2011

( Today our touring really begins!!! )

Knysna

Belvedere Estate

The Heads

Yachting on the Knysna lagoon

Daniela's

 

We started our day with a visit to Belvedere Estate and ended off atop of the Western head overlooking Knysna

 

Don and carol enjoying themselves on a yacht cruise we took on the Knysna estuary

 

 

 

Carol catching 40 winks while on our yacht ride.

 

Enjoying oysters after our yacht ride on the Knysna estuary,.

 

 

Enjoying the views from the Knysna Heads

 

Enjoying a wonderful dinner at Daniela's in the evening

 

 


26 April 2011

Travel to Oudtshoorn

 

While travelling from Knysna to Oudtshoorn we stopped in at Sedgefield and enjoyed a boerewors roll. (South African sausage roll)
Both Carol and Don were addicted at the first bite.
JJ

 

 

Watching Jo-Ann make paper out of elephant dung at Scarab Papers in Sedgefield

 

We stopped in at Botha and Barnard near to The Wilderness where we had fun looking at the local furniture that is manufactured in the region

 

Having great fun in the amazing "The Antique shop" in George

 

 

Don thoroughly enjoying a Don Pedro at the Spur Restaurant in George.

 

From George we drive to Mooiplaas (Beautiful farm) just outside Oudtshoorn where we would be spending our next 2 nights. We enjoyed a great ostrich dinner on Mooiplaas before enjoying a good nights rest.

 

 


27 April 2011

Ostrich tour

Swartberge 
(Black mountains)

Jemimas

 

Don and Carol enjoying the wonderful garden and fabulous Karoo view from Mooiplaas guest farm
(Please use your browser keys to view this panoramic photo)

 

 

With Koos (ostrich tourguide) before going on an ostrich tour of the farm

 

Ostriches, ostriches ostriches + the Barkins from Long Island USA. JJ

 

Enjoying peppermint crisp cake before crossing the Swartberg mountains

 

Having fun on the Swartberg mountains

 

 

At the top of the mountain where it had been snowing the night before

 

 

We stopped in for a delightful lunch in Prince Albert at the Albert Country store where we met Fred the Basset hound

 

We returned to Oudtshoorn via Meiringspoort and De Rust.

 

After taking a short break on Mooiplaas we moved on to Jemimas for a wonderful dinner evening

 


 

28 April 2011

Ostrich Co-op

Botlierkop

Cape Vaccas

 

We packed up at Mooiplaas and travelled to the Ostrich Co-Op where Don and Carol purchased some ostrich products

 

Buying ostrich leatherware

 

 

Visiting the old shul in the CP Nel museum

 

Going on safari on Botlierskop game farm

 

Viewing the rhinos on Botlierskop

 

Rhino and horse viewing on Botlierskop

 

Don enjoying the bontebok on the gamefarm

 

Beware giraffe ahead! JJ

 

Rhino

 

Bontebok

 

Eland
The largest and heaviest antelope in Africa

 

Giraffe

 

Zebra

 

Wildebeest (Gnu)

 

After our safari on Botlierskop we moved onto Cape Vaccas where we enjoyed a great chicken dinner cooked for us by Katrina.


 

 

 

29 April 2011

Rest day at Cape Vaccas

 

On this day we simply took it very easy in the wonderful Cape Vaccas surroundings. In the evening Katrina cooked us a fantastic fish and potatoes meal. Amazing ay to end a very restful day.

 

 


30 April 2011

Travel from Cape Vaccas to Cape Town

 

 

With Pieter and Katrien outside the Cape Vaccas cottage

 

Please use your browser keys to view this panoramic photo taken at Cape Vaccas

 

Outside of the Cape Vaccas cottage

 

We met Heila de Beer who presented us with her needlepoint work at La Belle Alliance in Swellendam while travelling back to Cape Town.

On arrival in Cape Town we travelled to 70 Loader Street where Carol and Dons cottage was located. We met up with Jessica and visited Saigon for a great local such type meal prepared for us by Yoshi 


1 May 2011

Cape Peninsula tour

 

We started our day with an ascent of Table Mountain

 

Doing the Table Mountain shuffle

 

Carol atop of Table Mountain with dassies (rock Hyraxes) in the background (bottom left hand corner of picture)

 

Jessica at the penguin colony on Boulders Beach

 

At the penguin colony

 

 

At Kommetjie Beach watching the best surfers in Cape Town in action

 

Jessica on Chapmans Peak at Sunset

 

Sunset on Chapmans Peak

 

We returned to the city where we went for a traditional Cape dinner Gold restaurant.

 


 

2 May 2011

Winelands tour

Visit Kayamandi


We started our day with breakfast at the Newport Deli

 

In the "arty" area of Graaf winefarm near to Stellenbosch

 

Enjoying a winetasting at the Graaf winefarm

 

On the Graaf winefarm enjoying the spectacular view

 

Having lunch with Lily in her Kayamandi home

 

Listening attentively to Lily telling us her life story

 

Jessica found a young friend in Vonella - Lily's granddaughter.

 

A group photo of all in Lily's kitchen next to her famous stove

 

Having fun with the kids in Zone J

 

Please click here to see a video of Jessica having fun with the kids in Zone J

 

After our visit to Kayamandi we returned to Cape Town where we went for dinner to Soho restaurant before we rather sorrowfully had to bade each other farewell.

 


Traveling with Carol and Don was a very, very special experience for me. What a fantastic tour this turned out to be.  My tour with Carol and Don was not as if I was an employed 3rd party to tour them through the Garden Route and Cape Town; it was an experience of truly becoming a strong friendly group travelling through some of the most amazing parts of South Africa and enjoying it all in unison. We had an incredible time together not only enjoying the Garden Route and Cape Town but also sharing thoughts and ideas with regard to so many subjects. Opportunities to travel with with such a fabulous "go with the flow" type couple do not come around every day and once I recognized this I simply joined the flow.  Jessica's joining us for parts of our journey also added so much to our travels in that she simply slotted in with our plans and enjoyed not only viewing the countryside but also spending quality time with her grandparents. All these factors made our journey so enjoyable for me and I suspect for Carol, Don and Jessica too. I can only hope that my path will cross with the Barkin's again and if so I cant wait for this to happen.

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE TOURING EXPERIENCE THIS TOUR WAS FOR ALL.

A HUGE THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING
DON, CAROL AND JESSICA.

To the wonderful New Yorkers who referred the Barkins to me, Audrey & Irv Cohen (Feb 2009), HUGE THANKS for doing so.


Received on 11 May 2011

 

Dear Selwyn,

I am just starting to feel normal again. It was very hard for us too to 
say goodbye. We had a wonderful time in South Africa. It was a great 
experience and the people are wonderful. Needless to say you were an excellent tour guide and a very good friend while we were there. I saw Audrey Monday and she was very excited to hear about our trip and was so happy that we were so pleased about the trip.

We couldn't say enough great things about South Africa and Cape Town. 
People in the US who haven't been there are all very curious to hear about it 
and some are very surprised to hear how modern it is and how good the food 
is. I guess most of us don't know enough about South Africa and it is good 
to learn.

We hope we meet up with you again someday in the future.

Just a point of information for you, in Cape Town the international and 
national building at the airport are the same building. We had to do the vat 
before we went through security and we could not get US currency until we 
landed in Johannesburg because we were not leaving the country yet. If we 
were leaving the country from Cape Town we could have. Anyway we had 
enough time to cash in our VAT in Johannesburg on our way to the next flight. 
We thought this would be good for you to know.

Fondly,

Carol and Don
*

P.S. we looked over the itinerary and pictures they are great.