We spent 2 nights in a cabin in the forest. The Hazel Cottage (where we stayed) is dog friendly. It’s really beautiful there. There was a TV (though it was probably just SABC because there was only an antenna), but we didn’t even care to check what channels they had.
Hartenbos (Mossel Bay)
We slept here for 3 nights. We didn’t have much of a view from this flat but it was walking distance from the beach and restaurants. Gabi enjoyed the beach. The last time we went to the beach, she ran up a dune and her nail got a bit bloody again. So I put another bandage on. Our last day at Hartenbos was rainy so we drove out to some of the small towns in the area. There was some construction on the road to Still Bay so we spend a lot of time just sitting in the car, waiting.
The Road Back Home
We slept at the same place at Gariep Dam for one night (that we slept over on the way to our vacation destinations). It was icy cold when we got there. I watched some of the sunrise through the window/back door. The moon was still visible around 7 am when I stepped outside.
We hit the road back to Pretoria at 8 am and was home yesterday (Saturday) around 4 pm after being away for about 2 weeks. Gabi seems Happy to be back home again. Though, it’s a bit cold a rainy at the moment.
Took Gabi on a morning walk. She enjoyed the walk and manage quite well, despite the bandaged back foot.
We left her at the house while we went to the beach, since the bandage has still have to stay on.
There was a bosbokkie eating hibiscus flowers outside the house today.
Day 9 (Last day at Brenton-on-Sea)
We went for another morning walk. We went to the beach after lunch. I tied a bag around Gabi’s bandaged foot. She had a blast. She is exhausted.
Today was our last day at Brenton-on-Sea. It is probably also the last day we’ll have WiFi before we get home. Apart from Gabi’s foot we had a lovely stay. This is a beautiful house with a stunning view and the owner is very friendly and accommodating.
Gabi was tearing at her bandage and the vet said it could come off today. So I cut it off and put some iodine ointment on her nail. It still looks a bit raw. Will probably have to cover her paw if she goes to the beach or something.
We left home at 5 am. Gabi and I sat in the back of the car. My parents sat in the front. We arrived at our first stop over, at Gariep Dam, in the afternoon.
There is a blesbuck, named Elliot, who lives in the camp. We went for a hike in the Karoo bushes. The stars were really bright and you could clearly see the milky way.
We hit the road again and stopped to look at the Gariep Dam from above.
We traveled a few hours more and arrived at our second stop, Bo Kouga Mountain Retreat, Uniondale. We had to travel about 21km on a dirt road. It was isolated, in the mountains and lovely. Their water comes from a spring in the mountains. Gabi really enjoyed watching the chickens from the porch. There were also goats. The stars were bright. The cabin we stayed in is dog-friendly and has a fenced yard.
We spend another day at Bo Kouga. Soon after break fast, we went for a hike up the hill, to the waterfall. It is really beautiful. Wild proteas flower everywhere. Gabi was exhausted and I had to carry her the last stretch on the way back to camp. Later that afternoon grandpaw wanted to go for another hike, but Gabi wasn’t having it. It was a cloudy night. The stars were not so bright.
Day 4 (Yesterday)
We got up early and packed the car. After breakfast we hit the dirt road again. We reached our destination before noon. We had lunch first because we couldn’t check in yet.
We arrived back at the holiday house about half an hour early, but the woman check us in. She is very pleasant and friendly. While she was showing us the house, I made the mistake of letting Gabi off the leash. She pooped on the doormat. Embarrassing. She ran down the stairs to the garden. She ran into the downstairs flat where the owner and her daughter is staying.
We went for a walk on the beach. It was a bit cold but Gabi loved it.
We came back and one of the nails of her back foot caught somewhere and the nail broke. I bandaged her foot. She is feeling sorry for herself. Understandably. She’s hopping around on 3 legs and can’t climb the steps. So I carry her.
That the end of this month Gabi and I will be joining my parents in a holiday in the Garden Route (Western Cape, South Africa). The last time I visited this beautiful part of our country was before I had Gabi.
I’ve only been on holiday with Gabi once before. We went down to KwaZulu -Natal coast a few years ago. Gabi had a blast running on the beach and playing in puddles. There probably will be no swimming this time around, since the waters of the Cape is A LOT colder. She is quite good in the car and doesn’t get travel sickness. The drive down to the Cape is a much longer trip, but we will be sleeping over along the way.
We went for an off-lead walk this morning and Gabi loved it. She was so excited when I stopped at the park, she started whimpering. I also did some routine things like brushing her teeth, which she didn’t love so much.
It is important to be prepared when you travel with dogs. We have booked pet-friendly accommodation, I’ve added the contact details for vets in the places we’re visiting and I’ll also get a list of dog-friendly restaurants where we can eat.
We are counting the days until we can go to the sea!
Saturday 19 January
Had to buy dog food since we were running low. The store ony had one brand of dogfood (a local one) but they had a variant we had sampled before, so that’s what I took. Gabi has been with me for 11 months, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year.
We went to the beach at Trafalgar. Gabi and I walked and explored while the parents were on the main no-dogs beach. Gabi ran out of sight while I dropped a baggy in the trash. I called her and she ran to me. She was soon followed by a couple with a Whippet and a Jack Russel. They fawned over Gabi and we chatted for a while.
We went to Margate which is right next to Ramsgate. We were at the main beach where Gabi couldn’t go. So I walked with her a bit a long the promenade and town. I took a different path back and found a part of “no-mans-land” beach separated from the main beach by a small stream. I took Gabi down to the stream and let her of leash for a while. On our way back to the stream a lovely blonde lady came up to me to check if Gabi is an iggy. She and her husband has two iggies at home. We decided to have lunch at home and then go to dinner after our late afternoon walk. We had a walk at the boat beach and then went to Flavour’s Restaurant. The restaurant turned out to be pretty smart, but even though we showed up in shorts and flip-flops they were friendly and accommodating. They were even kind enough to allow Gabi, since we would be sitting out side. I had two starters which were beautifully presently and looked like something from a cooking magazine. The portions were classic sized (not over-sized) and nobody even had to consider a doggy bag as everyone was able to finish and have room for desert. The meals were quite pricey (not a dining on a budget option), but the service and the food were excellent. After dinner we went back to the flat to pack our bags.
Woke at six and after coffee and packing the last stuff we hit the road home. Had Steers (South African fast-food burger chain) for a late breakfast. Dad shared some of his second hamburger patty(it was Whacky Wednesday) with Gabi. We sat outside at a stone table under a tree (and not in the Steers seating).
We beat the afternoon rush hour traffic, between Joburg and Pretoria, home. Gabi was glad to be home and rolled aroud on my bed as soon as she got in the house. At first she would lie on her sleeping bag and not in her bed, but everything has gone back to normal now
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my U.S. readers. While this is an American holiday, it is still important for me as a South African to give thanks. Gratitude is important for the spirit and should really be practice on a daily basis all though it s all to often forgotten. Yes, by me. If you can list just 3 things you are thankful for each day, even in the darkest times, you will find the list grows. Even though last night was pretty rough, this morning I could manage ^ things.
Today I am thankful for:
GABI! of course Gabi. My little girl gives me so much love. She teaches me about patience and nurturing.
MY PARENTS. Although they frustrate the hell out of me sometimes, their love and support
TECHNOLOGY Although we can be to reliant on modern conveniences it makes staying in touch so much easier and brings information to our finger tips.
RUNNING WATER & ELECTRICITY at home (even when the water at times seem dubious) is a blessing when so many people in my own country and around the world have to carry water in buckets and use fire hazards for cooking and light.
Even though I feel my degree is useless most off the time. Even though I feel stupid and incompetent so much of the time. Even though I type using the hunt-and-peck method and have to look down at the keyboard… Being able to read and write makes life so much easier.
The real life dog friends who go to the park with us… and the blog and Facebook friends who love and support Gabi and share pictures, stories and advice.