I've been away.- Out of Africa 1.

You may have noticed, I've not been around for a while.  At least I hope you noticed.
On January 9th we left Southampton on the Queen Mary 2, bound for CapeTown, a 19 day journey away.  This would be followed by ten days, in South Africa and Zimbabwe, before flying home.

I decided to break my blog into 3 sections.  The first part shows a little of the traditional style of the Queen Mary. Rather than a cruise ship, she is an ocean going liner. The difference in the layout of the ship is noticeable. Most of the public rooms - theatres etc - are in the centre of the ship rather than at the aft or stern. Did you notice my sailing terms!!  Its the pointy bit and the blunt bit for those uninitiated. The ship still likes to have much of the old style grandeur, missing from many others. The steamer chairs were put out every day, once the weather was fine and the restaurant was very elegant.

She is a very steady and smooth ship as her ballast is engineered differently -- don't ask, I haven't a clue!  Her lower decks have sheltered balconies. I imagine you could need these is rough seas, should you choose to actually go out on a balcony at such times!

Three days into the voyage we stopped at Madeira, a place I love and Tenerife. I can't tell you much about Tenerife. I don't know the island and we had torrential rain while there, so I still don't know it.

Eight days of sailing later, we stopped at Walvis Bay, Namibia. This was a place I never expected to visit.  I't's beautiful in a strange way. This county is mainly desert, the Namib desert, which means Vast Place, and it certainly is. We went off on a trip to see the desert. It was intriguing and amazing.

One of our first stops was Dune 7. It is one of the highest in Namibia and and is simply called 7 as it is the seventh dune that was encountered on a trade route.  Many people try to climb it. It is very steep and the sand soft, needless to say I didn't get very far! My legs are too short - that's my excuse!

These plants, the Welwitshia, which survive in the desert, are known as living fossils. I asked our guide how long our footprints would last on the sand. He said at least five years maybe ten!

One of the places to visit, in the desert, is Moon Valley. It has been used to represent the moon's landscape in many films 
We visited the local and colourful town Swakopmund, where Spring Boks are a different sort of hazard on the golf course!

On my next blog, I'll be visiting Cape Town and Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe side.


  1. Wow, that's amazing! My mom sailed on the Queen Mary from New York to England right after my dad left for Vietnam--she brought back her full set of wedding china. :) Can't wait to see more of your blog.

  2. How wonderful. She sailed on the original Queen Mary then. I imagine this was a very stately ship. This ship has been permanently moored at Long Beach, California since going out of service in about 1967. Has your family ever been to visit it?

  3. Thought I'd commented on this, but maybe didn't press the right button somewhere. The ship looks beautiful - very "Titanic"

  4. At least it stayed afloat!! There were no icebergs in this part of the Atlantic! :D


Meet Paul Smith

I 'm delighted to introduce the multi-talented Paul Smith to you.  Many Yorkshire writers (born or living here) are now familiar w...