Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hostel Preparedness Kit

As Returning Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), we don't have a lot of money to spend on our trip. Accommodation is a huge expense when traveling, so we have opted to stay in dormitories at hostels in Europe and Africa.

Each hostel has it's own pros and cons, and you can read reviews about plenty of them on Some of the reviews are actually pretty funny!

Regardless of which hostel you stay at, the PCV part of us means we always travel prepared. So in case you find yourself staying at hostels on your travels, be sure to bring the following, just in case:

- A chitenje or some sort of quick-drying towel, since most hostels do not provide them
- A bar of soap, since most do not provide soap to wash your hands in the bathroom
- A roll of toilet paper, just in case
- Ear plugs
- Something to put over your eyes to sleep, like a bandanna, for when your roommates want the light on way too late
- flip flops for the showers
- instant coffee and powdered milk, since most hostels provide some sort of hot water facilities

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

COS trippn' 5th stop: Jo'burg...again

Back in Jo'burg. We stayed in a different area than the first time...still not our fave place. 

Abortion stickers still abound.

The hostel we were supposed to stay at cancelled our reservation without informing us and sent us to another hostel... thankfully they had room. We even got a room to ourselves, which was nice...even though it smelled like thousands of cigarettes have been smoked in that room's life.
There's Stacy in her cave bed.

Lucky was a bird they had there. He & I had a great time together! I taught him 2 different whistles that he would whistle when he wanted my attention. He also could say, "Lucky is a pretty boy". I loved him. He was my fave part of Jo'burg.

As you can see, we were happy to leave. Don't think we'll be back anytime soon.

Bye Africa! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

COS trippn': Africa - Our own "Big 5"

We decided to make our own "Big 5" list that was specific & personal to our time in Southern Africa.

Here they are in order of occurrence:

Jackass Penguins at Boulder's Beach near Cape Town

Seals in Walvis Bay 

 Flamingos in Walvis Bay

Camels in Swakop 😂

Warthogs in Vic Falls

COS trippn' 4th stop: Vic Falls - game drive

The game drive we did was another highlight of our trip for me. We saw 4/5 of the "Big 5" animals - giraffes, zebras, rhinos, & water buffalo. The only one we didn't see were lions, but we got to walk with lions, so that makes up for it. 😊

Friday, September 2, 2016

COS trippn' 4th stop: Victoria Falls

We went to Vic Falls during the dry season, but even so, the Falls fell & we're still amazing! We actually first went to the Falls during the moonbow, so it was at night during the full moon and we got to see a phenomenon not found a lot of places in the world: a lunar rainbow, or moonbow. It was so beautiful! After my eyes adjusted I could actually see the different colors of the rainbow in it! 

The white cloud-like thing is the spray from the Falls. We could feel it from the top! 

During the wet season, the falls cover the whole cliff!

On our way out we came across a monkey & her baby! They were so calm and didn't care that people were right next to them taking pictures!

After we left we went to a restaurant called The Lookout Cafe that was built on a cliff (& part of it hanging over the cliff) that looked out over the gorge. I actually felt a little dizzy looking over the edge. 

COS trippn' 4th stop: Vic Falls - Sunset Cruise

Another tour we did was a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. We saw wildlife and were served snacks (including croc) & unlimited drinks. 

Speaking of croc, the first animal we saw was a croc. 😃 ...sorry we ate your sister

COS trippn' 4th stop: Vic Falls - Elephant riding

They have a ton of activities you can do in Victoria Falls, including riding an elephant.

The elephants are so big that even when they crouch down, you have to use steps to get up.

Our elephant was named Mbanje (meaning marijuana). He was HUGE! But friendly.

I found it terrifying in the back at first, but Coalee was in her element (& laughing hysterically)! Eventually I found a better grip and relaxed. The handler Benny took us on a slow, meandering walk. He even offered Coalee a job!

Afterwards they let us feed him, through his snout which he used to bring food to his mouth.

Pretty adorable, right?

COS trippn' 4th stop: Vic Falls - Hangn' with lions

We went on a "Walking with Lions" tour which supports lion awareness and conservation. We walked with twin 9-month old female cubs names Lala & Lila.

I have to admit, I was a little hesitant already having a healthy fear of cats, but these cats were large and powerful and a bit intimidating...but I still managed to get a few pets in. 

Our guide

Ah... the fake lion... more our speed 😜.