Dec 10

These shoes have seen it all

and are being retired.  They took Josh to China, India and South Africa.  Good work, shoes!

Jul 10

Jo’Burg Day 4: Cradle of Humankind, Pretoria: Sterkfontein Caves

Monday, July 5

Johannesburg and Pretoria, RSA

After the museum, we headed over to the Sterkfontein Caves where the fossils of hominids were found.  It is an active dig site.  We thought it was pretty darn cool!  After exploring the caves on a tour, we were pretty tuckered out.  We figured we were done exploring and to call it a trip.  Lance drove us back to the airport.  We were really early, but this ended up being a good thing because we ended up having to stand in 4 lines (one line 2 times) before we could get in the right one to get checked in to our flight at the super crowded airport.  After that was all sorted out, we were still plenty early (we had a midnight flight departure).  We did some final airport shopping and found a nice airport restaurant with a great view for dinner and drinks.  We watched some boys play soccer in the terminal and Jeannette even ran into one of her MIT students in an airport shop!  Then it was time to head to Amsterdam for a super short layover, and before we knew it, we were home and back in our desks at work!

The hole we descended into:

It got a little tight at times:

I think that is Sterkfontein:

The hole we ascended from:

The sky was doing amazing things our last day in Africa:

In the caves you could look up and see this holes and cracks – it was the only light inside in some parts:

This is where they found something important… and are still actively excavating:

It was a beautiful last day – it matched our melancholy moods:

We hope to return to Africa someday.  It is beautiful.

Jul 10

Jo’Burg Day 4: Cradle of Humankind, Pretoria: Maropeng Museum

Monday, July 5

Johannesburg and Pretoria, RSA

Our driver, Lance, took us straight from Jo’Burg to the Cradle of Humankind, near Pretoria.  It was about an hour and a half away.  We started with the Maropeng Museum.  It was geared more for kids, with a fun mist ride and a crazy, fun house-style vortex you had to walk through.  There was an educational, save-the-world agenda pushed.  We had a relaxing time meandering through.  It was a nice, low-key last day in Africa – especially since we were feeling sad about leaving; we didn’t have a lot of energy.

Jul 10

Sad Goodbyes to Cape Town

Monday, July 5

Cape Town, RSA

We woke up early to finish our packing and say our sad goodbyes to our dear Cape Town friends.  They made our South Africa trip so special and we feel we truly experienced the trip of a lifetime.  We have the best memories to reminisce over through the years and we will never forget the great times we had here, the amazing sights we have seen and the kind and welcoming and fun people we met in our travels.  We will certainly aim to be back.

We left for the airport super early to return the car.  When we saw the gas station by the airport we tried to direct ourselves in to top off the tank, but ended up going the wrong way on the road – our first and only mistake while driving on the left hand side of the road!  On the way to return the car!! That flub had us give up on the gas-getting task, we just decided to return the car as is (we had filled up the night before anyways).  This time at the airport was our first run-in with carry-on weight limits… we had to shuffle some of our luggage weight to Jeannette’s purse to make each bag under the limit.  It was silly.  At the Jo’Burg airport we had an easy pickup by our driver, Lance, and Sylvia called us on his phone to assure everything went according to plan.

Claire, Carol and J:

Our brackets – a few still standing at this point:

Jul 10

Cape Town Day 8: Some Old Car Photos (of the dozens!)

Sunday, July 4 – Happy Independence Day!

Franschhoek, RSA

Franschhoek Motor Museum