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November 2016 On the Luce

November 2016 On the Luce

‘Tis the season of frosty mornings, roaring fires, mulled wine and Christmas shopping. The best thing about going away for two weeks in November is that I missed all the cold, wet weather and the slow Christmas build up and arrived back just in time for the good bit – the parties and the food. I’ve dosed myself up on Seychelles sunshine to get through the winter, and might well have a new favourite country in South Africa. Here’s all that and more with the latest travel and blog news On the Luce in November.

November on the road

Our first stop was the island of Mahé in the Seychelles. The Seychelles are one of those places you imagine being like walking into a postcard – and they didn’t disappoint. The whole coast of the island is one palm-fringed, white sand, turquoise sea beach after another. And even the beaches with the swanky five-star resorts on are still open to the public. The island’s only 16 miles by 10 miles so we hired a car and drove all around the coast and up into the jungle-covered hills. The only trouble in paradise is the prices. Almost everything has to be imported so we had to ration our £12 cocktails on the beach and trade restaurant meals for pasta cooked back in our apartment. But it was definitely worth it for a few days of those views.

Mahé Island in the Seychelles

Beaches, island views and a pricey but delicious pina colada in the Seychelles

Then it was onto South Africa, a country that’s been number one on my wishlist for far too long – and is now one of my favourite places. We started in gorgeous (but crazily windy) Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen. While we were there we took a boozy trip into the Winelands and headed down the Cape to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. Then it was on by overnight train up to Johannesburg for our safari in a private game reserve on the edge of Kruger. Our lodge only had a few rooms so we were joined by a group of Brazilian guys (nicknamed the ‘Big Five’) who were even worse at getting up at 5am than I was (that might be the £5 bottles of wine!). But it was worth the early starts to see giraffes, zebras, hippos and buffalo in the wild, as well as a rare black rhino and – right in the last minutes of our final game drive – a lion.

South Africa travels

Cape Town’s Camps Bay and Muizenberg, the train across the Karoo and our last-minute lion

November on the blog

This month I’ve been posting about my trip to North Wales, with a review of the lovely Larder at Wern Manor, and a road trip around Snowdonia which has to be one of the most scenic driving routes in Wales. There was also a preview of what I had planned for my time in South Africa. And a Christmas gift guide with 24 great, affordable present ideas for travel lovers, whether they’re on the road or more of an armchair traveller. Coming up next month are my top Canada road trip moments, a festive foodie visit to Abergavenny and my annual travel review. Then expect lots from the Seychelles and South Africa in the New Year.

You might also have noticed that On the Luce has had a pre-Christmas facelift. My faithful old design had been running for nearly three years so it was time for a bit of a spruce up. I’ve now got a new logo, improved navigation and even more photos – I hope you like it! Another change coming up is that this will be the last of my monthly round ups published on the blog. As of the end of December they’ll become my new monthly newsletter, so if you like them then do please sign up for the mailing list below.

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What’s coming up in December?

Christmas is coming! But before then I have a couple of trips around the UK planned. I’m off to Leeds for Ice Lolly’s Blog on the Beach blogger event and to Birmingham for glühwein and bratwurst at their German Christmas market. Then I’ll be back home in Cheltenham for the Christmas period with lots of eating, drinking and lazing by the fire planned – and an empty diary to fill with 2017 travel plans…

Winter leaf

A frosty morning in Abergavenny

Where is your December taking you?

Big thanks to PurpleParking.com who sorted us out with their Meet & Greet parking at Heathrow for our South Africa trip, much appreciated after 18 hours flying and some major sleep deprivation!

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Bama
    December 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I have been dreaming to go to South Africa for far too long as well, but conflicting reports on the security issues keep me from being entirely sure about planning a trip there. Most blogs I’ve read say that in general South Africa is no more dangerous than any big city elsewhere in the world — there are safe parts as well as areas which are rather dodgy. However a friend of a friend said who’s a South African said that the country was so unsafe. I wonder how you found it on your visit.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

      A lot of people seem to have concerns around safety so we were a but wary but can honestly say I didn’t feel unsafe at all. We were quite cautious but especially in Cape Town it felt no different to London or any big city – we walked everywhere and took our cameras without any problem.

  • Reply
    Heyjude
    December 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Sounds as if you had a great South African experience Lucy. And you saw ‘my’ gorgeous beach huts too! Wish I was in CT right now away from this cold weather, but actually December is a horrible month there as it is full of tourists and school kids and students… 😀

    (I know, we are also tourists… )

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 2, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Loved your beach huts! What you can’t see from the photo is that although it was a gorgeous sunny day it was ridiculously windy – I was wearing a fleece and a scarf and got sandblasted along the way.

  • Reply
    Noelle
    December 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Muizenberg is so beautiful! I’m glad you enjoyed it and Cape Town.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 2, 2016 at 9:57 am

      So pretty – as soon as I saw it I said it was Cape Town’s most Instagrammable spot!

  • Reply
    Need Another Holiday (@holidayaddict23)
    December 1, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Loving the new look! Very classy. Such a great mon the of travel, too. Sounds like South Africa was everything you hoped! I can’t make blog at the beach so will miss you! Bit hopefully next year we’ll cross paths at another event – be lovely to see you Enjoy the Birmingham markets!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 2, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Thank you – I spent about three weeks fiddling about with a theme I bought trying and failing to get it to look how I wanted it then gave up and bought this one and had it sorted in a day! Sorry to miss you at Blog on the Beach – hopefully catch up soon though, and have a lovely Christmas.

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Journey & Camera
    December 2, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I’m loving the new look of the blog, Lucy! And it certainly sounds like you had one amazing November – I can’t wait to read more about your travels to the Seychelles and South Africa, because I have feeling I’m going to need some sunny pictures to survive this winter! 😉 Hope you have a great December!

  • Reply
    Bama
    December 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I’m really glad to hear that. I guess I really should start planning a trip to South Africa then.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 2, 2016 at 10:30 am

      You should! I’ve got lots of posts to come in the New Year about the places we visited but any questions just let me know.

  • Reply
    Bama
    December 2, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Thanks Lucy. Really looking forward to your posts!

  • Reply
    Heyjude
    December 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Oh, yes that wind is notorious in the Cape – mornings are the best for the beach. Even worse are the northern beaches like Melkbosstrand – you get a proper sandblast there!

  • Reply
    thebritishberliner
    December 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    ‘Love your new look. Very clean! Even though I haven’t commented for a while, I’ve still been following and reading what you’re up to.

    I look forward to winter and the new year lol!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 6, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thanks so much – and lovely to hear from you! Have a lovely Christmas and New Year too.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Burrington
    December 6, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I was just admiring your new look. Love it! Clean and crisp but in no way boring. Like the new colour palette too. Very sophisticated!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 7, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Thank you. I knew exactly what I wanted bit couldn’t find a theme that did it all so have been teaching myself CSS which made it a bit of a slow process!

  • Reply
    abitofculture
    December 7, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Looking forward to your thoughts and photos from Abergavenny. I’ve been there a few times and ate at the Angel once. Lamb’s not in my top 3 meats, but I thought I’d have to try it when in Wales and my roast lamb did not disappoint!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      December 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Post coming up later today! Really enjoyed it though, the food was great – it’s really not far from me wither so I’m going to have to go back and try a roast next time.

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