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
Sunday (13 January)
Woke up when it was still dark out and started to drive. We had breakfast around nine at a lovely little tea garden at the Little Church in Van Reenen. We chose this as our breakfast spot because it is dog friendly. We got to Ramsgate around two. We unpacked and had some coffee. We went for a short drive to the main beach. Only after walking the beach with Gabi, did we see the no dogs sign. Nobody complained though, but it was pretty quiet. Gabi was exhausted and spend the most of the remainder of the day sleeping. Until she saw a ginger cat. I had no problem falling asleep.
Our fir morning waking up in the holiday flat.Woke up early, around six. After breakfast we drove to the beach and went for an exploratory walk. Gabi enjoyed running and sniffing on the beach. We play fetch, but their was no treats so we had to catch her every time to get the ball. Then went home for the parents to change into their swimsuits. We went back to the beach to swim. Gabi had a long run at what seemed like full speed. She didn’t seem to like the waves, but had no problem running through streams and puddles. She tried to jump up a rock that is 5 foot high by the looks of it, but didn’t quite make it. She then was exhausted and ran to the parking area to find our car. We went back to the flat for lunch and rest. Gabi was exhausted Early afternoon I took her out side (in the street) for a walk. I didn’t get far before I saw something in the road. At first I thought it was a cat, but then it stood on its hind legs and I could see. It was a monkey. Then I saw more of them at the side of the road, in the vegetation. I wondered if we should just turn around, but I foolishly decided to carry on. When we got closer to the corner, the monkeys didn’t seem like they would run the other way so I picked Gabi up in my arms. The one monkey, a male, wasn’t intimidated by Gabi’s new height and followed us up the street. I would stomp my feet and say NO, but he’d just pause and then keep following us. Eventually we reached a house where there were some workmen were outside and the monkey went up a tree. We continued up the road until the next intersection and then we turned around. There were no sign of the primates on our way back. However, later, when my parents returned from the mall and the monkeys got in to the apartment building’s yard when they drove through the gate. Everyone went inside and closed their doors while the monkeys raided the trash. The next time I took Gabi out they were gone. Gabi kept bugging me to go outside. There are so many things to sniff and there is a ginger cat she seems to be itching to chase. It’s different here than at home, because here we’re not on the ground floor with a private garden. I don’t always know if Gabi’s just being silly or if she has to potty.
An overcast and breezy day.We drove to Trafalgar and had a nice walk on the beach. Gabi had a blast running back and forth between me and my parents. On the way back we stopped at a farm stall and took a chance by carrying Gabi with us. The owner, who has a Jack Russel, loved Gabi and said we could put her down on the ground. When we got back to the flat Gabi was exhausted. Not too exhausted however to want to go chase the cat down the hall. We had dinner at the Crayfish Inn. They were kind enough to allow Gabi in. It was still early and we were the only patrons. The floor was cold and hard and I didn’t bring Gabi’s sleeping bag so she was standing under the table the whole time. They even brought her a bowl of water.
We went for a walk at the beach. We played fetch and Gabi buried the ball. We forgot to get it and the ball got left behind. A rainy afternoon. Gabi she figured out she could go through the safety door and she ran out and went to bark at the ginger cat. I had to go and pick her up. Later when it cleared up, my parents went to swim at the main beach while Gabi and I walked to our beach.
A drizzly morning. We went to our beach for a short walk and to look for Gabi’s ball, but it was gone.
A very humid day. We drove to Trafalgar again for our morning walk. In the afternoon my dad and I went to swim at the main beach of Ramsgate, while my mother who was tired stayed at home with Gabi. It is a nice flat swimming beach without rocks underfoot between the flagged area. Gabi was ecstatic when we got home. However she darted out when we opened the safety door to go bark at the ginger cat who was lying on his welcome mat. I went to pick up Gabi and the cat’s owner came outside to get her. Naughty Gabi. It was raining pretty hard this evening. I think it’s going to be an early night.