Political Views

A few of my friends strongly disagree with my politics, so, they might want to skip this post, even though it is 100% facts..

Here is a link to MANY, far more than 58, admitted, proven, False Flag attacks carried out by various govts. I suggest that you follow the links and the links within links. They lead to hundreds of examples.

I found one of the links to be redirected, so I post a better link below this main link.

My position is that Robn & I want our govt to move back toward honesty and to reduce corruption. Plus, to actually have honest elections and so much more. We require that this happen peacefully and lawfully.

President Kennedy pointed out that, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." The violent ones VERY seldom end well. Do not go that route.




Plettenberg to Aghulhas

Even more news from Robn,

I will add photos over the next few days and then remove this sentence.

From Plettenberg, on Aug 14, we headed out for Knysna (pronounced nye’s-nah) and points west. A nearby place for a hike with big trees had been recommended but when we got there, someone was sitting on a bench claiming that there was a 40R entrance fee. This we did not believe. He looked anything but official and there were no signs or other indication of restricted entrance. Plus, when we weren’t interested in paying 40R, he offered a discount and said we could pay after the walk. Perhaps we should have just ignored him, but we chose instead to simply leave.

On my trip past this area in 2011, we were watching the weather very carefully. It can turn dangerous very quickly, and it took us 4 days to get to Hout Bay. The weather was unstable and might go bad quickly. There are few places to seek shelter in this part of the world.

At Knysna, we went to the “Heads” (the entrance to the harbor) and I confirmed that, when I sailed by here in 2011, I would have been extremely uncomfortable entering that harbor which I had been told should be done only with local knowledge. They were correct. There were breaking rollers across the entire entrance. We watched a tour boat going out – shallow draft, large engined, well powered boat – which aborted twice before getting out. We read about ship wrecks there – at least one of which was denied insurance as the company decided that the wreck was deliberate. Maybe. It is a tricky entrance, on a GOOD day. Some insurance companies prefer to not pay out. Just take in.

We also read about a boat building company there that was about to close down when WWII began, because the workers all wanted to enlist. The military stopped them in time and said, we need ships!. They built 640 vessels for the Navy including wooden submarine hunters. (This surprised Dave, as he was familiar with wooden mine sweepers. Some mine are set off by the magnetic field of the ship. But, low and behold, have a look at the second link, just below.)



The company then went on to build fishing boats and yachts including winning ocean racers. So the harbor entrance was obviously passable and I could have gotten in – but I would not have done so without both local knowledge, and a great deal of nervousness. I do not regret giving it a pass – as beautiful and interesting as it is.

Evidence of a huge fire from a couple months ago (started June 7th) was everywhere. The destruction went on for many miles. There were storm force winds at the time, exacerbated by the fire itself. In many areas, just the bottoms of the trees were damaged. It looks like it was sometimes brush fire under the tall trees. Sometimes this killed the tree. Sometimes just the lower branches. The top was still green and the tree might survive.

Also, often the trunk was intact and they seem to be harvesting those somewhat blackened logs.


We continued on to Mossel Bay. This had been a planned alternate shelter if I felt that the weather window would not hold till Hout Bay. At decision time it was quite a debate but I decided to continue on and we made it all the way without incident. While in Mossel Bay, we visited a replica of the ship Bartolomeu Dias used when he came here in 1488, but I did not feel that it gave an accurate idea of what life and sailing was like back then. It seemed too POSH inside. Interesting nevertheless.

Much more interesting, for me at least, was a visit to Pinnacle Point where the development of a golf course led to the proper examination of several large caves in the area for the first time. Lots of evidence was found to indicate that humans had inhabited them 162,000 years ago – tools, ash, bones, shells. Our guide showed us lots of features of the historical record, like the period when the cave was sealed off by a huge sand dune which allowed for transparent clean seepage of flow rock. This means that the stalactites from one era were clean and shiny. While the earlier ones were sandy and gritty, due to sand and dust being blown into the open cave mouth.

The cave was sealed off at the end of the middle stone age, explaining why no evidence of late stone age habitation was found in this particular cave although it was found in other nearby caves that had not been sealed off. Thirteen caves in all. There maybe others hiding under current dunes. At the time that the caves were inhabited, the ocean was up to a couple hundred kilometers away due to lower sea levels. What archeological treasures await in caves that are now under water?

The guide was very knowledgeable and well spoken and presented a clear picture of the record – much more convincing that the one we saw near Jo’berg. Which doesn’t make the latter necessarily inaccurate, just less convincing.

While in Mossel Bay, we stayed with a well traveled lady who had broken several glass ceilings – like visiting an oil platform, when ONLY men were allowed, and had been to a very remote, and dangerous part of Victoria Falls, and working with rich Arabs to find top employees. She also had some interesting culinary experiences eating things which most people in our culture would not be able to stomach. Let’s just say bugs and worms, in countries where the locals ate them. Yet again, no shortage of interesting conversations.

We did some laundry here as it had been a while, since most airbnb’s don’t offer that option – at least not AirBnBs in our price range. South Africa must have a tiny heating bill compared to the USA. Not only do they not heat their homes and leave their doors and windows open to the fresh air in very cold weather, but they also don’t use electric clothes dryers. Fancy that! They simply hang them up on racks to dry. Zero expense. Zero carbon. (Except a bit for occasional ironing.) Just a bit of patience.

Before leaving Mossel Bay, we went to the tiny Aquarium where one can swim with the sharks – 2 of them in a tank. We declined, not because they were sharks, but because we were not interested in getting cold and wet. It had an octopus and a few other bits of sea life. Precious little other than the chance to swim with the sharks. For non mariners, however, it may very well have been quite interesting. I couldn’t say. For us, the owner was the interesting part. Alan Jardine has a fascinating life history.



Next we went to the ‘Iron and Washing Museum’! It was locked but the hours posted indicated that it should be open, so we inquired at the laundry next door and they opened it for us and got a video going for us to watch. Very interesting. They have over 640 irons! Plain flat irons, plus those for ties and hats, and socks, and various kinds of pleats, and those fancy collars. The collection showed not only the variety of specialty irons but their development from irons heated on a stove, to irons with hot coals inside to stay hot longer, to gadgets that would heat one, while another was in use and, and, and. Plus washing machines and ringers and all sorts of other items related to making and caring for clothing and even a few other items. I found it fascinating. So much effort! Of course that was for the gentry. I doubt very much that the clothing of the masses in previous centuries ever saw an iron. Contrast that to our mass production throw away wardrobes.

From Mossel Bay, we stopped next in Still Bay for a night. I had booked three nights under the impression from AirBnB’s web site that it was within walking distance of Cape Agulhas. Not. The web site includes information from Google Maps but the scale is covered up by a rectangle that offers you the chance to change language and currency. Without the scale I sometimes lose track of how much I have zoomed in and out. Since I wanted to spend time at Agulhas, we changed the booking to one night which we spent with yet another fascinating couple. We had planned to take a breather to catch up on recording memories and sorting pictures. Yeah, right. We talk and listen too much. They fed us lavish meals and told us fascinating things. Had a great time, and great food, and slept soundly. Then finally made it to the southernmost tip of South Africa.

Here we did find a place to stay without distractions as our hosts promptly took off for adventures of their own leaving us in a little self contained apartment. It’s a remodel that provides almost everything you could want in a minimalist space. On entry there is a shower to the left, a kitchen sink next to it then a half bathroom. Opposite the shower, to the right of the door, there is an under counter fridge under an L shaped counter. Under the end of the long leg of the L which stretches away from the door, is a drawer for silverware with a couple of shelves under that. They had a two burner hot plate, toaster, electric fry pan, pot, and skillet. Between the fridge and shelves is leg space with a chair on each side of the counter. Under the short, narrow leg of the L along the wall is more shelving with plates, cups, glasses. Above, on the counter, is a micro wave oven and electric kettle. Dave sat at the counter inside the L with his computer in front of him and stirred our supper on the hot plate next to him. This was the kind of efficient use of space that sailors appreciate. Behind him was the bed with night tables and a wardrobe. Only trouble was the electric fry pan was no longer non stick and the heating element was uneven. A very minor problem that far too many people in the world would love to have.

We took time out from letter writing to go down to the tip and watch the waves and visited the light house. (Twice.) So that brings me up to date. What have I left out? Oh, one thing: Somewhere I had a pizza for lunch that was so different from anything I can remember that I simply have to mention it. It was roasted beet root, butter nut squash, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin seeds! (And the usual tomato and cheese). It was GOOD. I’ve had a lot of meals lately that have not fit the usual mold, and I am enjoying the variety and the novelty.

Hope you are also enjoying life,

Robn and Dave

PE to Mossel Bay

From Robn.

Dave is adding photos over the next few days. When done, I will remove this paragraph. Enjoy.

From East London, on Aug 5/6, we continued on down to Port Elizabeth (PE), where we met a school teacher who hosted us and clarified quite a bit of South African History for us – not that I could regurgitate much of it! It is one thing to list arrival dates and battle dates which is already beyond my memory capabilities but to understand the why is what is important and at the same time probably unknowable. Just as pundits are trying to analyze how Trump came to power and are really just guessing at umpteen theories, I think the same holds true for all historical events. It is easy to say that the US joined World War Two because of the attack on Pearl Harbor but there were a great many other factors that led up to that event.

South Africa was ruled by whites made powerful by their technology, but that technology did not teach them how to get along in peace with other cultures. They apparently feared the blacks who outnumbered them and believed that total control was necessary to maintain their power and lifestyle. The US story of slavery and control over blacks is somewhat different since the numbers were so different. Blacks were not as much of a threat to the power structure as in South Africa. Revolts in the US were a threat to the wealth and the economy rather than actual life. Revolts in South Africa, due to the sheer numbers, were a higher risk to life and limb.

I find it fascinating that the result of these fears is always suppression. Suppression of rights, freedoms, and privileges of others. A drive to increase the differing living conditions. In actuality, the masses of people, not being as greedy as the haves, are generally content to put up with a great deal of inequality. The haves, I think, must recognize at some level that they are being very unfair and that eventually the have-nots will get tired of being treated unfairly and object. Yet instead of sharing a bit with them and treating them better, they clamp down all the more with sheer force of law and/or arms.

Once this cycle is set it becomes rather difficult to change. If the powers that be begin to share with the have-nots, the latter tend to remember the previous injustices and seek recompense for past behavior. They tend to not be satisfied with just a few bones tossed their way once the lines have been drawn. A great deal of turmoil could be avoided if people would simply work together in cooperation instead of people holding onto a sense of superior rights that they use to justify helping themselves to more than their share.

Enough of my soap box!

We visited with friends of mine from 2011. One helped me with visa hassles back then and the other sailed with me from PE to Hout Bay. It was good to see them again. I got to know them better this time around since last time I was so wrapped up in my own situation that I wasn’t paying near enough attention to the people around me. We also went to the Addo Elephant Park and saw a variety of wildlife. When it came to the elephants the first ones we saw were difficult to make out in the brush, but then we saw one on the far side of a brushy field. We watched for a while and then he came towards us. He would pause from time to time but was still wandering in our direction so we sat tight. Sure enough, he came up quite close. Judging by his size I would say it was a teenager. Later we saw a group of about 14 and then a family of all ages and sizes.


Above: Enroute to Addo. Low clouds in the valley.


Above: Many side roads are gravel. Often ‘corrugated’, ‘washboard’ or ‘corduroy’ type roads. This is good advice.

Greater Kudu 0809_1009

Above: Our first Addo animals, seen from a bunker. A Greater Kudu (R), and a Warthog (L).


Above: 3 Greater Kudus. One of the largest species of antelope. Bulls weigh 190–270 kg (420–600 lb), with a maximum of 315 kg (694 lb), and stand up to 160 cm (63 in) tall at the shoulder.


Above: One of the favorite pastimes at Addo is mooning the cars. A Zebra. Animals were often far away and, without a telephoto, not a good photo.


Above: This is the ‘teenager’ that began far, far away, and kept getting closer. Just wait….


Above: It decides that the bush, halfway between the elephant and the car looks tasty.

Elephant 462

Above: our best Elephant Photo, so far.


About: Getting a drink.


Above: Family getting closer to us. Some folks did not read the, “Do not hang out of your car!” sign.

Earlier at the Kragga Kamma Game Park we had seen rhinos, giraffes, a variety of members of the antelope family, wild dogs, a mongoose, ostriches, warthogs, and, and, and. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in sticking to indigenous animals.

We also went to the South End Museum which tells the story of forced re-settlements into segregated ‘homelands’ designed to ensure that the races stopped mixing. The community (one of many) had been a harmonious mix of working class people of various colors. This threatened the ruling Afrikaners and they began a policy of separating the living spaces.

We worry that America is moving in that terrible direction, with some few, but powerful people in our government promoting ethnic hatred and violence.


Of course, I had to visit the marina again for my trip down memory lane. And then we went to the Grass Roof Cafe for an organic vegan lunch. Their gardens right outside the restaurant provide their ingredients, which are also sold to the public.


We also spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get our phones to work properly and learn how to buy our data and not waste it. It was disappearing way faster than normal as companies have gotten better and better at getting your devices to do things in the background without your knowledge or permission. It is a lot more noticeable when you are paying for each Mb. We heard that someone did an experiment where he downloaded a variety of phones with different data packages, made SURE that NOTHING was running even in the background and kept track of the “data usage”. One company falsely claimed that data was being used, which is outright theft. Personally I object to the expiration of purchased minutes or data simply because a time period has elapsed and consider that theft but at least that is admitted in the description of what you purchase – this was NOT part of the contract. Am I surprised? Hardly.

(Dave here) Similarly, AirBnB has been wonderful for our trip. We have met so many great folks and seen different aspects of life in the countries that we have visited. And, for much less than a hotel. BUT, I discovered that they are skimming extra money from us. They have a clearly posted service fee that they charge for their service.

Their website says, “…we charge guests a service fee between 5% and 15% of the reservation subtotal.”
Our recent bookings are all between 12 and 13%.

Then, AirBnB, not so publicly, charges an additional 3% for converting my US$ to the host’s currency. OK, but I want to pay in the local currency, since I have a credit card that does not charge a foreign exchange fee, and I want to save the 3%. But, that is not allowed. And, they gave us a terrible exchange rate, so that we lost 8.94%, not 3%.

We have been looking into the rules and, counting charges to the Host and Guest, AirBnB gets about 36% of the money above board and, in our case, nearly 9% more as hidden fees. That is creeping toward 50%. Hmmm…. They make almost the same as the Host.


There was more to see in PE, of course, but it was time to move on, and we headed for Plettenberg. On the way we went down to the ocean at Stormsrivier and hiked to the suspension bridges. The trail was on a steep cliff side and had many sections of board walk and stairs to make it more accessible. Enough elevation change to make us old fogies short of breath. No regrets, of course, as we need the exercise and the scenery was fantastic.

From there we went to our next AirBnB. Here we stayed with a couple who brought their mask making and chocolate businesses down from Jo’berg. These are venetian style masks rather than African tribal masks and they are the only source in South Africa (or did she say the whole of Africa?). https://www.lacarlamasks.co.za The owners are as eclectic as their business – as someone else said. We had very enjoyable conversations with them. They have 3 dogs and about 3 domestic cats. The native large cats keep eating the domestic ones. We thought that they had one peacock and his half dozen hens, but we soon learned that they are wild pea fowl that think the place belongs to them along with several guinea hens. Some days there were several peacocks and lots of various birds, large and small.


Above: The front show


Above: Mooning me and, more importantly, a Pea Hen. She seemed to strut off in a huff!


Above: The tail’s normal mode. ‘Reefed’ in sailor talk.


Above: A peacock right outside our open window and door. His legs are just long enough that he walked up the stairs. They fly well enough to spend the night in a tall tree.


Above: If you actually need a good reason to not trifle with a baboon, these canine teeth might convince you. Packs of baboons are in the area, but since the humans that live here, started having human males urinate along back property line, they stay away. They have come into the house and done some damage, looking for food. But, no more.

From this base we ventured out to see more sanctuaries. Monkey Land and Birds of Eden the first day, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary the second. Most of the monkeys in Monkey Land are not indigenous to South Africa and they can not mix predatory monkeys with animals they would attack, so they limit their charges to smaller species. They claim that they do not interact with the animals (i.e. touching or hand feeding), but I’m not clear what difference it would make. Several of the monkeys were totally comfortable walking amongst us on the trails – simply ignoring us as they chased each other.

Some steal items from the guests. An iPhone and a hair clip, with the lady’s hair extension, come to mind. Not quite a toupee, but the woman was upset to loose it. One was trying to open Dave’s backpack. So much for maintaining distance!

The bird sanctuary also had many non indigenous birds of all sizes. Most of them I could not name for love nor money. Pheasants, parrots, swans, guinea hens, I am semi familiar with, but not all the truly colorful ones nor the “little brown jobs”. One guinea hen followed me around for a long time and seemed to be begging for attention. It even brushed up against me. I had difficulty resisting the temptation to pet it. They are amazing when viewed at less than arm’s length.

A small parrot, who was probably a pet before coming here flew over our heads and sought our attention. A finger held out was all the invite it needed and it flew over and climbed up onto our shoulders. Bit one of my buttons off! We did not know how to get it to leave but a pair of other birds chased him off. Later, we saw the sign saying to not allow them to land on us. Oops. Why not put the sign at the beginning of the trail?

At Jukani they have assorted cats from around the world, mostly from zoos and circuses and the like. Animals that can not live in the wild because they never learned to hunt for themselves. Joy Adamson taught Elsa to hunt for herself and was able to reintroduce her to the wild. So it can be done, but I can believe that it would not always be successful and that the animal would probably have a high risk of being killed by humans, or other predators. The number of cats and other animals needing a retirement home must be huge.

We were particularly interested in seeing Spirit, featured in the movie “The Animal Communicator” about Anna Breytenbach. I couldn’t say why – we just did. When we were on the tour, Spirit was in his shelter minding his own business. We were told that he might be more visible closer to feeding time and if we came back later in the day we could skip the tour and someone would accompany us to the viewing platform near him. We did so and he was sleeping off in the distance. He moseyed a bit closer but chose not to come close. That’s fine. A twelve minute video about Anna and Spirit is at:


The following day we went out to the World Heritage Site at Robberg Nature Preserve. Hiked for a few hours along steep trails that reminded us of the Hike near Milan a year ago. I would guess that it was about 3 plus Km or a little over 2 miles, but with a lot of elevation changes. Part of it was a long steep slope of thick soft sand and we were glad to be going downhill rather than up. I’m not sure if it qualified as a dune – which I think of as ever shifting – given the amount of bushes and the dimensions. It is maybe 6 meters across at the narrow parts and dropping from an elevation of 120 meters as near as we can guess from the map, over a distance of some 600 meters. A slope of 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 in places. Too bad we didn’t have an appropriate board and skills to slide down! We saw lots of seals but from a long ways away. We were far above them, which limited the smell a lot.


It was very good exercise, stunning scenery, good weather, a wonderful day.

I’ll take a break here before continuing. I really enjoyed Plettenberg and find it interesting that I never considered visiting it with Heidi. On the other hand, my charts do not make it look at all inviting, I had not heard of the place as a potential stop, plus it is not far from Port Elizabeth and Heidi and I needed to cover distance when we had the chance.

Cheers, Robn and Dave

Shelly Beach and Transkei

Update from Robn, written about 13 Aug

This trip to South Africa was started by the desire to visit my friend and it turned out that she lived in the same compound where we were now staying in Shelly Beach. That was convenient, and a good thing, since she is working full time including quite a bit of overtime. She had very little time to spend with us and since the locals don’t go out at night, unless they have a car, which neither she, nor we did, I’m not sure we would have ever actually been able to get together other than on her day off.

We had a good visit, but we unfortunately got more information about the South African economy than we really wanted to know. We thought things were bad in the USA – and they are – but it is worse here. The locals describe it as having gone from a first world economy to a third world economy. Minimum wage varies from job to job: I saw one figure of only 10.78R per hour! (13R equals $1) or less than a dollar an hour. My friend was making more than that, due to the nature of the job, at about 16R per hour. Even though quite a bit more than some jobs pay, it is still insufficient to live on. Next May a new national minimum wage of 20R (3500R per month) will kick in. But that doesn’t help now. Wonder what will happen to housing rents.

She wants to be self sufficient and have a place of her own so we helped with shopping for a rental. Found a place for 1500R/month with only a bedroom. Toilets/showers were a few hundred meters up a hill. Electricity for lights was extra. It was way off the main road. The same complex had another unit for 2500R with bunk beds to sleep 4 people and a derelict bathroom. No kitchen. No electricity. I believe the water was extra. These are, I gather, typical housing for the under classes – although better than the shanty towns. The difficulties of keeping a job while living in such conditions overwhelm me just thinking about it.

On the other hand for 3000R ($230) we found a really nice apartment, with bed, bath, lounge, and kitchen – furnished! Modern, middle class. Go figure! Trouble is, until she gets a raise or two, that’s just not doable. She had a fellow worker eager to share such a room with her, which would have been a great solution, but she was warned by others that she would be left holding the bag as the eager one was not likely to be working there much longer! (Plus she had an infant child to boot, which had not been mentioned.)

So we researched options to the best of our ability for a few days and then decided to go ahead with our road trip to Cape Town. We had only turned up one possible option which was far enough away to make commuting a problem. Until something came up through the grapevine, the search would need to be suspended or, at any rate, there wasn’t anything more we could do.

We traded in a 2 day rental for a 30 day rental. (Not waiting 2 days would have doubled the price of the month long rental! Why are cell phone and car rental contracts SO COMPLICATED!?!) Said our goodbyes and good lucks and on Aug 5th, we headed down the Transkei. This was a section of SA that is mostly just widely separated black residential areas. Places where families live while the bread winner is elsewhere earning money. The homes dot the hill sides along with fields full of livestock. Mostly cows, goats, sheep. Saw only 2 or 3 pigs. The only chickens we saw were being loaded into a car’s boot (trunk in America). I suspect there are more chickens that we just didn’t see.


Above: The Transkei was pretty empty most of the way, and this time of year, dry and brown.


Above: Nearing one of the few towns near the highway. Notice that the houses are generally widely spaced.

We saw almost no sign of any vegetable gardens, but maybe because it is winter. More likely because the soil doesn’t support much besides grass for livestock. No signs of any industry or commerce except for tiny bits in a couple of townships. Far far too many people with no evidence of any source of income – but as I said, the income earners are elsewhere. Further north there were lots of sugar cane fields around Durban, but not in the Transkei.

There are no fences and the livestock are sometimes on the road – usually crossing but potentially just standing! The speed limit through most of this region is 100 Kph (62.5Mph) but is often, or rather usually, exceeded – except when there is a heavy truck slowed by the hills and safe passing is not possible. Not surprisingly there is a high accident rate in the area. One man almost walked out right in front of us on the freeway!!! Happily he realized at the last hundredth of a second. A very near thing. We were going 100 kph / 62 mph.

At one point early in the day, a line of vehicles was slowed by one of these trucks. At the head of the line was a very long empty Sugar Cane truck with two long semi-trailers, followed by a Greyhound Bus, followed by a heavy equipment truck, with a couple of cars in between, then us, then a few more cars behind us. The bus recognized that it was not safe to pass so it crawled along at the speed of the Sugar Cane Truck (Don’t know why it was so slow when it was empty, but it was.) The cars recognized that passing both these long vehicles required extra passing space and also prudently waited for a passing lane that would eventual be available.

The truck slowed down even more. The entire line came to a crawl. Someone behind us decided that he could pass the entire line if it was going that slowly, and came roaring past us, accelerating as he went. Meanwhile, the lead truck was turning 90 degrees to cross the highway into a field. The passing idiot found himself facing a wall of truck across the entire highway. I do believe that would have ended his passing career if the bus driver hadn’t dove toward the ditch fast enough to give him room to pass behind the cane truck. We are glad he was watching.

It helped me to stay on my own toes and warily watch for other idiots and recognize when they might try to pass despite it being dangerous. They still managed to surprised me, but we had no personal close calls. The traffic was not actually heavy. I did my own passing but only in the passing lanes after getting stuck behind the real slow pokes. We saw 5 or 6 dead dogs and I think one dead sheep. Sheep, cows and dogs all crossing the freeway at times.

In this remote area, they had a proper divided, limited access highway much of the time, but it went right down the main street of some of the towns on the route. A few times we found ourselves in what appeared to be downtown pedestrian districts judging by the number of people wandering around on the road carrying on conversations and the like. Sort of like after a parade has just finished back home. Happily we were moving at a crawl, but still….


Above: Entering a different town/city in the Transkei.


Above: The “Expressway” goes right down Main Street and the pedestrians sometimes just wander across the street in the traffic. But, we are not going fast at that point.

We made it to East London, just as it was starting to get dark and settled into our AirBnB. The wi-fi router chose that day to give up its ghost after we grabbed a couple of e-mails, so we were unable to do much on line. Our hostess had sold the home a few days earlier and was preparing to move to the UK before Christmas. Hosting was not high on her list of desirable activities but she welcomed us anyway and we had a pleasant visit.

Next day I visited the yacht club where I had made my second landfall without Gerhard, enjoying a trip down memory lane. I was surprised at how huge East London is compared to what I had seen of it from the harbor, which was practically zilch.

Enough for now. More soon.

Cheers, Robn and Dave

27 July

Robn is also writing, so we will try not to duplicate.

In this one, I will just be filling in some gaps.

Our AirBnB choices were excellent, with the exception of one night that Robn describes later.

One BIG thing that we noticed was that most homes are somewhat fortified with tall walls, topped with pointy things and then 6 to 10 electrified wires, 2 to 4 ft higher yet. Then dogs inside the compound and bars on the windows, and heavy steel barred gates at the doors, then inner doors, with, sometimes double locks. The sign below says, “Armed response.” And, we are told the private security arrives VERY quickly. Whew!

We have been repeatedly warned to not go out on foot, after dark. In some areas, the Police are NOT your friend, and when they hear our American accent, make try to extort money by made up infractions.

Keep the doors of your car locked at ALL times. Do not have ANYTHING in the visible part of the car and keep your cell phone out of sight. (Tricky when using it to navigate.)

It reminds me of Panama, back in the ‘Bad Old Days’ in the 1980s, when 1/3 of our friends were mugged, even us.

The ZAR or South African Rand is about 13 to the dollar, which is not easy to do in one’s head, but most prices are much better than in America.

We ran into a person that seems otherwise bright, but it came out that he believes the wide spread hog wash that the Earth is actually flat and there is a conspiracy to hide that.

Before you say that he has fewer brain cells than a small stump, realize that there are hundreds of very sincere sounding web posts explaining the Flat Earth view and pretending to explain away the “MANY obvious flaws” in the idea of a spherical world.

I can only assume that the original sources of these sites are pathological liars, BUT, I think that our acquaintance was genuinely fooled. If one is gullible, weak in math and Science, and has never spent much time at the sea or a large lake, it would be easier to be fooled.

Having crossed oceans, using a sextant to find our position, having seen the Green Flash, and so on, we were not even SLIGHTLY taken in. But, it was a shock to see this unfortunate victim.

I have no theory as to WHY this is promoted so much.

Another interesting experience: We knew it was Winter, or Early Spring, here. At the first AirBnB in Johannesburg we awoke to find the weather door wide open which allowed the dogs to come and go through the locked grill door. Okay, but the temperature was only 35 F degrees = 2 Celsius! I don’t think they were wasting heat. They did not heat the building. They just managed with quilts and leftover daytime heat. The second place did the same thing! Both places provided propane heaters in our rooms to accommodate our pampered expectations. One of the things that we forgot is that Johannesburg, and much of the surrounding land is at about 1755m/5,758 feet in elevation. This, combined with sleep deprivation and jet lag caused us to tire easily, Very easily.

The days were ALL sunny and clear, which combined with the altitude to cause the very cool nights and about 70F/21C in the daytime. But, we had clothing for that, so it was OK. Also, they had heaters and hot showers.

Robn already covered most things, so I will stop here.

We are having lots of fun. As we left our suburban, non-AirBnB lodging yesterday for a walk, a medium sized monkey or smallish baboon, ran across the road, perhaps 100 ft, 30m, in front of us. I wonder what he thinks of the electric fences. This neighborhood seems MUCH more relaxed. Very few electric fences and even some walls are low. And, the second day their were several more monkeys close by on roof tops. Might justify the window bars.

Dave & Robn

Arrival in South Africa

Written about July 19,


Belated Update. We are doing well.

I think my last update, was in February. I have been having a computer problem, with the software that I use for these updates. But, I recently seem to have fixed that.

It has been so long now, that I may not remember all that is happened. But I will take a shot at it, it may not be in correct chronological order.

I spent some some time with one of our friends in Olympia. We have many interests in common, so it is always interesting to visit him. We also went to some political things in Olympia. It is our state capitol.

We also discovered this website:

There is a small fee for being a member, but it allows us to contact people who welcome us to visit them for a few days, for free. We have done it quite a few times now, and each time, the people have been very interesting, and fun to visit. One couple live in a rural area that, during our walks, seemed to have so many neighbors with often several recreational vehicles, that we suspect that there are more RVs than families, over a several mile area.

We have been to many various political rallies, marches, classes, and the like. It is encouraging that there are so many people that are finally getting fed up with the massive problems in our government. This is often nonpartisan. Huge numbers of people would like to have the vastly more cost-effective health care that we could have. Huge numbers of people are tired of having made up wars, that seem to mostly be invented to help the very rich. Pretty much everyone ought to be on board for honest, verifiable elections. But, so many people still have not seen the proof of the mess we are in.

Since our last update, a very young British friend that we knew from Trinidad, fell to her death, while on the mast of a very large sailboat, and another friend from the Seattle area died very suddenly from brain cancer. She was a Buddhist and very active in so many of the same political things that we are. We attended her Buddhist memorial service, and also the nondenominational memorial service.

Recently we have been house-sitting the house of the recently departed Seattle friend. This helps both us and the estate.

This seems like a pretty short update for so many months, but I think it covers the high spots. Now that I have my software working better, I will see if I can find time to make some posts that refer to things that occurred quite some time ago, but I think you would find interesting.

Dave & Robn