zondag 20 september 2015

Snowplanet en de Discotrain

Gisteren zijn we weer naar Snowplanet geweest om lekker te dansen op plaatjes van dj Sven tijdens de Discotrain.

Maar voordat het tijd was om de voetjes van de vloer te laten gaan, moesten eerst onze buikjes gevuld worden! Bij binnenkomst liepen we meteen door naar waar wij dachten te moeten zitten, maar we hadden verkeerd gedacht. Dit gedeelte werd helemaal verbouwd. We konden het niet laten om even een sneak peek te nemen en we kunnen jullie vertellen, het wordt echt prachtig!! Hou 3 en 4 oktober maar vrij, want dan is de grote opening en ga zeker kijken want het wordt heel mooi!!

Wij mochten ons melden in the Lodge alwaar we lekker zouden gaan genieten van een Grillplatte! We werden al heel hartelijk ontvangen en naar onze tafel gebracht, the best seat in the house, dichtbij de open haard. The Lodge doet zo ontzettend gezellig en knus aan, net of je in een Zwitsers chalet zit.


We kregen ook nog een fles bubbels van het huis, nou daar zeggen wij natuurlijk geen nee tegen, zeker niet als er nog gedanst moet worden na afloop ;-).


De bediening is supervriendelijk en het eten was er vrij snel, we waren zelf wat laat, dus daar waren we erg blij mee en onze magen nog meer ;-). De plaat werd verhit en in de tussentijd alvast even een glaasje gedronken, proost!


Het vlees werd gebracht, vijf soorten vlees per persoon en het zag er heerlijk uit en ik kan je verklappen, het vlees is echt subliem, zeker de kipfilet en de biefstuk zijn heerlijk!


Erbij zaten ook sausjes en rauwe ui, paprika en champignons.


En luxe kartoffelsalade en in plaats van patatjes echte rostirondjes om het Zwitserse gevoel helemaal af te maken!


We hebben heerlijk gegeten en genoten, wat hadden we ook een geweldige plek zo dicht bij de open haard. Woensdag zijn we 18 jaar getrouwd en dit was alvast een voorproefje voor onze trouwdag, dank daarvoor!

Na dit heerlijke eten hebben we ook nog een toetje genomen, de verrassing van de chef, alweer zo'n aanrader!! Lekkere apfelstrudel met vanillesaus, slagroom en een bolletje ijs.


Toen was het toch echt tijd om de voetjes van de vloer te laten gaan, de fles bubbels was inmiddels leeg, dus dat dansen zou nu geen probleem meer moeten zijn ;-). Time to disco(train!).


Dj Sven heeft zijn best gedaan op de plaatjes, ik ben een grote fan van de 80's, dus volgende keer mag je iets meer 80's draaien Sven, maar verder was het heel gezellig!!


vrijdag 18 september 2015

Op zoek naar de Grote Vijf in Nederland

Wij mochten op 29 augustus mee op safari, op zoek naar de grote vijf (in dit geval de ree) in het Hollands Duin.

We werden heel hartelijk ontvangen met koffie en langzaam druppelden alle deelnemers binnen. We begonnen eerst met een heerlijke maaltijd, lekkere pompoensoep, heerlijk breekbrood met kaas en vlees, alles uit de eigen streek.

Toen was het tijd voor een informatierondje door boswachter Thomas en nadat iedereen een verrekijker had bemachtigd, mochten we eindelijk richting de elektrische Landrover Defender!

Van deze bijzondere Defenders bestaan er maar 10 in de hele wereld! Ze hebben gereden in het Krugerpark in Zuid-Afrika zelfs!

Wij hadden de eer om de auto te delen met een groep andere Alphense dames, het was dus een hele Alphense auto waar boswachter Thomas het mee te stellen kreeg! De dames waren een weekend weg omdat een van hen 50 geworden was en laat het feestvarken er nou net door omstandigheden niet bij geweest zijn, ze heeft wel iets gemist!

We reden door de duinen en de auto's zijn echt stil, dat bleek wel uit het feit dat er vanuit het niets ineens een hert verscheen vlak bij onze auto en gewoon bleef staan totdat iemand het raampje opendeed om een foto te kunnen maken, aan de auto lag het niet!

En we kregen zelfs waarvoor we kwamen, we hebben haar gezien, de reegeit!!


Ondertussen was het een dolle boel in onze auto, we hebben ontzettend veel lol gehad!

We kregen waar voor ons geld, we hebben onze ogen uit kunnen kijken. Helaas hebben we de vos gemist, maar konijnen, ree├źn en damherten genoeg.



Halverwege zijn we gestopt op een uitkijkpunt om koffie te drinken en de zonsondergang te kijken. Helaas was die al zo goed als afgelopen, dus daar heb ik helaas niet zo'n hele goede foto van.


Hierna was het snel donker en vond Thomas dat het tijd was om de Defender eens goed te testen, omdat wij toch de laatste groep waren van dit seizoen.

We gingen off-road, steil de duinen omhoog, scherp naar beneden, door het mulle zand, over gras etc. We hebben de auto echt goed getest en de Landrover slaagde voor de test met vlag en wimpel!! Niets was teveel en de auto deed alles met het grootste gemak en alles muisstil!! Ons advies aanschaffen die elektrische Defenders, geweldige auto om een safari in te doen!

Bij terugkomst kregen we ons paspoort en een speldje van de ree. Ik kan je deze safaritocht echt aanraden, het is superleuk, zeker ook met kinderen!! Nu op naar de overige vier!!


zondag 13 september 2015

Cabo Verde Sal Santa Maria

Here is my travel diary from my dream trip to Cabo Verde!

Thursday
On the 6th of August 2015 we went with Arkefly to Cabo Verde. The plane-trip was horrible, there was a crying child which cried for 7 hours!!!! First we made a stop in Boa Vista, but we were not allowed to leave the plane and then we were finally in Santa Maria, my first time outside of Europe! We went with a transfer to our hotel Riu Garopa. The welcoming there was amazing and unforgettable. That evening we got a little glimpse of the Cabo Verde life. There was a market in the resort, where locals sold there handmade souvenirs and there was live music and people were dancing, it was great. That was our Thursday.

Friday
On Friday we went to the beach, because the pool was too crowded for our taste. The beach is very beautiful, there are palmtrees, very lovely. When you go on to the beach there are locals who try to sell you excursions, please do one or two excursions!! It is very nice to do, very interesting and the locals make money. If you need a reference who to pick, I can refer you to Discovery Tours from Janilson, we had Emerson and Danny as our guides and they are great!


We went to walk to the right on the beach from our resort. You end up on a piece of beach with only rocks, black sand and there are even a few homeless people living there, they made houses of cardboard and garbage, old wood etc. So right from the resort is not very interesting.

Saturday
On Saturday we went to Santa Maria to the pier. This you should really do and experience, this is great. You can walk from our resort it is 15 minutes by street or by taxi, that would cost you 3 Euros. On the pier there are the local fishermen catching fish and the wives are trying to sell the fish. The children are running around, happy with only the sand and the water. And there at that exact moment, I cried. It just hit me, these children have nothing and our children have never enough! We were in a perfect resort with so much food in abundance and outside the resort is poverty, it didn't feel good to be in the resort and to be there. But my husband told me we had to be there so they can live from the tourism. So everybody needs to go to Cabo Verde!!! We took pencils and ballpoints with us for the school, unfortunately there was a holiday so the schools were empty and we left our stuff for the local kids in the hotel.  By the beach near the pier is a very lovely bar/restaurant La Villa, you can sit here and have a drink, and the service is very good and they have free WIFI!






There is only one thing you have to watch out for and that are the Senegalese salespeople. They can be very persistent and the souvenirs they sell are not handmade and are certainly not from Cabo Verde.

Sunday
On Sunday evening we went on our turtle tour. It was a three hour tour from 20.00 until 23.00 usually. Now we arrived at the hotel at 01.30, because the turtles wouldn't show themselves and Emerson wouldn't give up looking for them. The tour is an adventure. You go in a jeep, we were with two other family's. And then you go to the beach. At the beach it is very dark, the only thing you hear is the amazing sound of the waves hitting the beach and above you a very starry night. It is a very impressive experience, everything is so quiet and there are so many stars, in our town we don't see much stars because of all the light there is. It is so beautiful, inspite of not seeing any turtle I wouldn't want to have missed this in the world!!!!

Monday
On Monday we went to walk to the left from our beach. This you should do!! You walk for miles and don't meet a soul, miles and miles of beach only for you and your loved one! After a walk of 45 minutes we saw the pier in Santa Maria. The beach here is so beautiful and so very quiet!



Tuesday
On Tuesday we did the Island Tour. You should really do this if you would like to see more of the island. We went with Discovery Tours and took the private tour. So you can go where ever you want to go, the trip took almost all day and our guide Danny showed us everything we wanted to see!! So remember Discovery Tours!!!

You start at Murdeira Bay.

Then you go to Monte Leao (Sleeping Lion mountain) . It is very beautiful up there and tourists make piles of rocks and come back years later to see if their pile still stands.

Then you go to Palmeria, the fishing town. Here are a lot of aggressive Senegalese salespeople, be aware!  The women are waiting for their husbands to return from the waters.


After this we went to Regona, where you can jump off the rocks into the water! This is a very beautiful spot, people like to picnic here but also leave there trash behind unfortunately!



Then it was time for Buracona, the Blue Eye. 



Then it was time for the Mirage, Terra Boa. It looks likes water, but there is only sand!

Here you find an original souvenirshop run by locals, who make the souvenirs while you watch.

You can also get a refreshing drink here.

In Espargos we had lunch and on the way you pass shanty towns, where the poor people live.

It was time for a little danger, Shark Bay. Here you can rent water shoes for two Euros per person, you will need those because the water is filled with sharp rocks. With renting those shoes you help the locals a little. For those two Euros you get a guide, who guides you through the water near the sharks. We have seen some shark tails, but it was very busy and crowded.

Last but certainly not least we went to Pedra Lume, the Salt Lake, which is really cool to swim in or I could better say float in. You should really go here, this is a very nice experience.


Wednesday
On Wednesday during the day we had a little rain. But in the evening we went to photograph the sunset. 



Thursday
On Thursday it was time to go home already, with tears in my heart I said goodbye to this beautiful country and the beautiful habitants!

So don't let anybody tell you Sal is boring and only sand. If you stay in your resort, then the only thing you will see is beach and the resort, but go outside and see the beauty of the whole island! Sal is beautiful, some parts look like a desert in Africa, other parts look like the beach of a Bounty island, the fishing city's look like fishing city's, but everything combined it is just beautiful. The people ar very nice and beautiful, the country is amazing.

I made this blog in English, usually I write in Dutch (you can probably tell by my poor English), but I want to reach a bigger audience. People should know about Cabo Verde. Sure you can go there if you only want a sun and beach holiday, it is perfect for it. It is perfect if you want to surf or dive, but if you want to see something rent a car and drive across the island or even better book an island tour. The beauty of the island will then be revealed!!

My pictures aren't that special, for beautiful pictures look at Edwins Facebook.

Let me know if you are planning to go to Sal, I hope to make everybody enthusiastic for this beautiful island!!
Sal, you stole my heart! I will be back someday to pick it up.........

Riu Garopa Sal Cabo Verde

On 6 August 2015 are dream came true, we went to Cabo Verde! Our transfer from the airport went to other hotels first and there was somebody waiting with cocktails and the luggage was collected by bell boys. So the kids went ooo and ahh and I prepared them that that wouldn't be the case with our hotel. But then we arrived at Riu Garopa and to my biggest surprise there were bell boys waiting for our luggage and inside we were welcomed with a cocktail, our holiday was already perfect!!

At the reception we were helped very friendly and the receptionist told us to go to our room, install there and then come back to make reservations for the different restaurants they have. Do that the same evening or else your favorite restaurant could be fully booked!!

So we went to our room. We had two rooms at the end of the hall in a dead end, so it was really quiet, we loved it!! We opened the doors, WOW!! The rooms were very large, there was AC in there room, it was really fresh in the room, great compared to the heat outside! There was a big fan above the bed. There is also a safe for your valuables! A lot of space to put away your stuff and there was even room to make coffee and tea. There was a bottle of water in the bathroom and a bottle of water in the little fridge, perfect!! Because it wouldn't be wise to drink water from the tap! The room and bathroom were very clean.



We were in luck, because we arrived the first Thursday of the month and that meant they had a market on the premises. There was live music, kids could have there hair done, they got free popcorn and there were locals selling souvenirs, is was great!!



The food was very good too, most people in the restaurant very friendly and so much food to choice from. After dinner you have to go to the theater, this is the space between Riu Garopa and Riu Funana. I will tell you a little secret, please don't tell anyone else, but the best coffee is here!! In the theater you have the best WIFI range and they have very nice coffee machines here, the best cappuccino (just a tip for free ;-)). The entertainment is very lovely, all locals giving a great show, you should take a look!! They also have an English band, two guys and two girls that performed twice when we were there, but I personally loved the entertainment team better!!



The next day we went to the pool, our room was located nearby the pool. By the pool it is very busy, you get towels here and you can change your towels as many times as you like. Very few seats available at the pool (we were with 4 people), there were a lot of seats with only a towel on them. So we went to the beach, here are lots of seats available!! There is also a bar on the beach, but no cocktails here. Just beer, water, juice or cola etc. We loved going to the beach, the kids got a bodyboard which they could get every day for free and they got snorkelgear for a day for free! We were lucky because they have a beach party every Saturday and there were cocktails and lots of fun!!


The entertainment does a good job. They are at the pool, at the beach and they have a big show in the evening.


We ate in Mandalay, the Asian restaurant and we can tell you the food is perfect there!! That is one restaurant you cannot miss when you stay at Garopa or Funana. We also ate by Santa Maria, the grill restaurant, the food was good, but no better than the normal restaurant.

On the front of the hotel are several taxi's that take you where you want to go for a few Euro's. To go to Santa Maria you can also walk, it is 15 minutes by street and by beach it takes up to 45 minutes. At the back of the hotel, at the beach entrance there are a lot of locals who sell excursions. You have to take the island tour, that is fantastic. You can also do the turtle tour, we did too, also great!! We did the tours with Emerson and Danny from Discovery Tours, they give you a nice price if you take more then one excursion!!!
On the beach is also daily a police officer who keeps nasty salespeople away. You can spend the whole day on the beach and nobody is bothering you! Thank you madame!!

We loved it and the next hotel we will book, will definitely be another RIU!! This was our first RIU, but certainly not our last!!