‘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.
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.
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.
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…
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!