Spelunking and Spa Day

Trip Start Feb 24, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Gauteng,
Monday, March 1, 2010

9pm 3-2-10 from Barb

So much to write about! We have had two spectacular days – hard to get it all down!  Yesterday we went to "The Cradle of Humanity" UNESCO World Heritage site to go into an amazing cave (271 steps down) – the location of where the skeletal remains of Mrs. Ples were found.  Mrs. Ples is the link between man and ape – more than the famed Lucy evacuated by Richard (?) Leakey.  Anyway, we had a wonderful guide, Adelaide, who filled our heas with information never to be revisited but at the time was incredibly enlightening.  Our group was an international mix of Germans, Swedes, Brit, and others who's nationality is destined to remain unknown.  I had never ventured into a cave, so for me it was truly an adventure.  Marian’s father, Paddy, who is 82 made the rest of us look like piker’s as he crawled through the tiny openings we had to periodically transverse – he was incredibly game – I now have a goal to shot for

The most wonderful next part of my (and lets not forget its all about me!) was the divine massage we got at the MOST beautiful locale – very out of Africa on a hill overlooking the Pretoria valley (I am making this up) in an enormous mansion with an seemingly endless stream of wood flute music.  Anyway, I have let go of much of my muscle tension emanating from my Los Angeles life!  Truly delightful.

We then went to dinner at an African dinner – it was a beautiful setting under a full moon and the company was fabu!

9pm from Mel

Spelunking in South Africa…what more could a gal from Indiana hope for!   Our party was stoked as we entered the cave mouth.   We traveled 60 meters and viewed several natural and manmade passages and chambers.   As the caves had been mined before the important paleontological finds were made there was an interesting mix of blasted and chiseled walls as well as water formed corridors.   Grandpa (Paddy) was a sport as we wiggled and crawled our way through the tour.  Our guide was knowledgeable and funny..a graduate of a 3 month training program for locals.  Really a neat way to spend the morning.  

Spa day in South Africa….what more could a gal from LA hope for!   Marian picked out a terrific spa for us to enjoy in a residential neighborhood high on the hills overlooking Pretoria.   The massage was heaven….the airplane ride was worked out of me and I got that noodly feeling that makes it so I can’t think and occasionally drool.   A great way to relax in a lovely setting.

Finally our day was capped off with an African style dinner in a game reserve under the moon, (I had spicy lamb tagine), more wine, good company and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you feel you’ve been welcomed into the family.   Really a truly wonderful visit that I would have never had a chance to experience had it not been for Terry and Marian’s refined abilities as somellis, tour guides, hoteliers, cooks, and drivers.  Lots to live up to if these guys ever come to LA.

More 3/2 adventure stories to come…..
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spacebarb on

Wow, what an amazing opportunity. Even more jealous now! Both the cave adventure and, of course, spa treatment are high on my list. I wonder if there are any caves in Italy? Can't wait to see more, more, more photos.

Laura on

Can you believe it, Alan had to remind me of how to find your blog again! Everything sounds exciting.

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