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Travelog for: Pinky Bear

Bruchsal, Germany - 27th March 2008

By: Fasamapera

Today I'm leaving my home in Bruchsal to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa.


travel plan:
MrsC (South Africa)
Aleoliva86 (Brazil)
minnihiiru (Estonia)

* Posted Mar 27, 2008, 2:54 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 10th April 2008

By: MrsC

Wooooooooooohooooooooooooo! Hey Mom, I made it! I'm an adventurous bear in AFRICA! Wait just a second... this IS Africa right? Something feels so, so...German...can't put my paw on it...


Nah, can't be, they all talk funny here... it's English but with a very flat accent. And it's boiling hot, it MUST be Africa.

There are two smallish children in this family, they are very nice,  they were pointing out all sorts of things to me on our car journey. We are going to meet some friends for a play date.

Oh what fun I am having! Whee...down the slide and BUMP! I land on the colourful balls. I've been for a ride on a bike and climbed to the top of the frame.


That was so much fun, but I am a little jet lagged from my long journey. I'll just curl up in this quiet little spot and have a...have a... zzzzzz....


Oh hello! Yes, I did have a nice nap thanks. Have I seen the dome? What dome?


Oh my, THAT Dome! It is enormous! Fi tells me they have Expo's and shows in there, from Elton John and his bling to Jeremy Clarkson and his cars...


Now, I feel like I am on safari. I am up a thorn tree. Don't worry, the thorns are as big as me so they are easy to see and avoid. Oh! You will never believe what I have spotted from up here....


I haven't really decided on my missons yet, so many choices! But I thought if I am going to Africa I want to meet the king of the beasts...a lion! And, look I found one in Fi's garden, just lying there snoozing in the afternoon sun...it is gigantic! How brave and fearless I am...


What do you mean that's a DOG? Really? But she is HUGE! Surely as big as a lion? No? Can I see a real lion then? Please? I can? When? When the children are on holiday? YAY! :p

* Posted Apr 10, 2008, 4:45 pm Last edited Apr 10, 2008, 4:52 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 11th April 2008

By: MrsC

I had such a good sleep last night after all the fun I had...and my tummy was so full, we had cheese omlette for supper and some carrot cake that Fi baked. It was scrumptious, you need to ask her for the recipe because I think I may be addicted to it... I dreamed about it, so moist and tasty...Hmmm!

Anyway, we were up early this morning. It was the children's last day of school and they were excited to go. The little girl, Natalie, asked if I could go too because she was learning the letter P and she needed to bring something that started with P (That would be me, Pinky, in case you don't get it...)

I packed my school bag, and climbed in the car and sang along with the children to the Silly Songs CD they were listening to to pass the time.


Natalie is in the green class, she gave me a ride on her shoulders so I wouldn't get squashed by all the children who were running around WAY too full of fresh energy. She introduced me to Teacher Liesl and told her all about me. I like Teacher Liesl, she has good taste - she said I was gorgeous. :)


Teacher Liesl said I could sit on the "green table" where all the things that started with P were. Pig, pine apple, penguin, paper, paint, plastic bag, pop corn, plastic princess plate, potato, Peter Pan and PINKY!

Natalie went to sit outside on the jungle gym, so I joined her, I didn't feel safe with that pine apple...


Soon all of Natalie's friends came to see what we were up to so I climbed a little higher... but so did they so I had to get off.

A school playground is not a good place for a bear as tiny and tempting as me, no matter how brave and excited I am to be there. I thought I'd drive myself home because Fi listens to old people's radio in the car when the children aren't there...


One day I'll be big enough to reach the steering wheel!

I spent the rest of the day watching Fi rush around like a dervish...We fetched the children from school, but the power was out in the area so traffic was chaotic and we got to school late, so no more photos from there. The children and I are watching a DVD because there is no homework (yay from all around, including Fi!) When it is finished we have a project to do...watch this space....

* Posted Apr 11, 2008, 1:12 pm Last edited Apr 11, 2008, 1:18 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 11th April 2008

By: MrsC

Well! The two children, Fi and I got stuck right into our project. We found some sturdy cardboard (they reduce, re-use and recycle around here!) and some sticky tape. We measured and cut, and folded and stuck it all together... can you tell what we were making? How about a clue? Next we got some sponge and some pretty fabric...


Ahhh! This is the life. Um...Mom? I may not be coming home after this....


* Posted Apr 11, 2008, 4:17 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Roodepoort, Johannesburg - 12th April 2008

By: MrsC


That was me at 5.30 this morning... I was sleeping so nicely in my cosy little bed when all of a sudden KABOOM!!! - I nearly jumped out my fur! The house was shaking from the noise and the room lit up with a brilliant white light and then KABOOM!!! again... I was terrified :o. I looked up at Natalie to see if she was also scared but she was still sound asleep. Maybe she is used to this noise and light that she can sleep so soundly through it... One more big boom and then.... what was that other noise? Machine gun bullets? Oh, rain drops, huge big heavy raindrops. That means all the kabooming was thunder and the brightness was lightning. I didn't realise it at the time but I had just experienced my first Highveld thunderstorm! Believe me it is something you have to experience to understand.... and it is something people who immigrate across the world yearn for, so I am told, as scary as it is; it makes you feel quite alive. Fi tells me she has even been hit by lightning while she was in her kitchen once! And that's why there is no TV (well aside from me! I am a TV too...hee...hee). It got hit by lightning and no one bothered replacing it.

Anyway, the storm was intense but brief, as they always are, and I eventually went back to sleep.

I was invited to a birthday party today! So off we went... the theme of the party was "seaside" and the whole garden was decorated with beach balls and fish and surf boards. The birthday boy, Harvey, who turned three, is English and the English associate Punch and Judy puppet shows with the seaside. So they had a Punch and Judy puppet show. The puppet  master (Um... mistress) was a very, very, very funny lady from the Netherlands. She had me and the children AND the parents rolling around with laughter. THEN as a special treat she let me be part of the show. Look: the naughty doggy was sniffing me all over...


And then! My nerves! He put me in his mouth!!!! Luckily I had lived through a Highveld Thunderstorm and come out a stronger and braver bear and I fought my way out...


The other puppet called John gave the dog a talking too and said that was no way to treat a guest, especially not a foreign one who would tell the whole world what a dangerous place South Africa was. So he said sorry to me and promised not to do it again.


Oh, oh! Now what...I get the feeling I am in trouble again...

Oh my goodness, I am in the jaws of a crocodile!


Phew! It was just a jumping castle...

Exciting news!!!!!!!! Tomorrow Fi is dropping me off with her friend who is travelling somewhere exciting on a medical conference for a week. I don't know if I will be able to sleep again... I'll be going on an airplane!

Oh, we had another storm this afternoon but I was much braver this time. I just watched how everyone calmly pulled all the electrical plugs out and switched off the computers (seriously, there are FIVE computers in this room - what a bunch of nerds! ;)) and carried on as if nothing was happening. Except for that giant dog who whined and cried like a big baby and had to be let inside. What a wimp.

* Posted Apr 12, 2008, 7:30 pm Last edited Apr 19, 2008, 11:26 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 13th April 2008

By: MrsC

Hmmmm, what a heavenly smell coming from the kitchen....
I need to go and investigate, I have a little rumble in my tummy, I need a small smackeral of something to eat.. as my hero Pooh would say...

Ah! Pancakes! But wait, what is this? Bear shaped pancakes in my honour? Oh yummy, pass the honey please...

I'm leaving on a jet plane...la la la la la la...don't know when I'll be back again....la la la la la la.... PEOPLE!!!! PLEASE!!! Can a bear not get ANY privacy around here? Sheesh....

Oh, it's a little chilly today, even after that warm bath. I think I will put my scarf back on and a little beret to keep my head warm. Right, I am ready to meet Tanya and fly with her to....where is it I am going again? A secret? Oh come on.... little bears can't wait for secrets! Tell me now, please, please? Pretty please?


Sigh....guess I am just going to have to wait....

* Posted Apr 13, 2008, 11:49 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

A mystery, Somewhere in Europe - 15th April 2008

By: MrsC

I have sent Fi an SMS (or text message for those of you who speak foreign!) to let her know that I am having a ball over here but Tanya is having difficulty uploading photos. I'll be back on Saturday to share all my adventures with you... in the meantime I am going to scoff some chocolate... can you guess where I am?

* Posted Apr 15, 2008, 5:23 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lucerne, Switzerland - 20th April 2008

By: MrsC

I’m back from my jet setting everybody! As you can see from the flag I visited Switzerland. It was very overcast so there weren’t too many picturesque photos, but come and have a look at what I got up to while I was here.


First off we went to Lucerne. I was so glad I had my scarf on it was very chilly. This is Lake Lucerne and the Chapel Bridge. This covered bridge has become the unofficial symbol of the city. The Wasserturm (Water Tower) is believed to have once served as the lucerna, or lighthouse, after which the town was named.

Hey! You CAN see a bit of the Alps under all that mist!


This is the Lion of Lucerne. The inscription reads ‘ HELVETIORUM FIDEI AC VIRTUTI’ which means “The Loyalty and Courage of the Swiss". It was designed as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Mark Twain, the American author, called the Lion Monument “the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world”.


So, Fi, we ARE going to see REAL lions sometime soon hey? Cool. Just checking. On with the tour.

Oooh, Tanya, coming from the Southern Hemisphere, was so cold we had to stop for a warming cup of coffee…


Then we got onto the SERIOUS stuff! Mhhh hmm mhh! Yummy, yummy, yummy… chocolate in my tummy. Every variety you can think of.


Oh, and of course some cheese… I’m drooling just thinking of it all again.


What a nice little house this bird has. Umm Fi…? Oh, no she says I can forget it, she doesn’t build houses. So where is this silly cuckoo everyone keeps telling me about? When is it coming out of there?


* Posted Apr 19, 2008, 11:18 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Buanos, Switzerland - 20th April 2008

By: MrsC

Well, it wasn’t all play of course. They allowed me to be a guest speaker at Tanya’s Communications workshop in Buonas, which is about twenty minutes away from Lucerne. I talked up a storm of course being such a confident bear.


After all that lecturing it was time for a little spot of tea and a snack.


The time passed so quickly, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves on the plane heading back for Jo’burg.

* Posted Apr 19, 2008, 11:24 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 20th April 2008

By: MrsC

I came back to find a new visitor in the house. A fellow Toy Voyager who was so excited to meet me! He told me that his name was HitchaRideDooey and he had been abandoned by Dilbert  who had gone off to the Kruger Park without him. Ja? What about me? I also want to see wildlife you know. Doeey try that pleading look you’ve mastered. Maybe Fi will get the hint….


* Posted Apr 19, 2008, 11:25 pm Last edited Apr 21, 2008, 4:19 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 21st April 2008

By: MrsC

Fi has been busy rushing around after her houseguests and she hasn't had much time to take us anywhere. We (HitchaRideDooey and I) have just been sitting around watching the goings on around here. Today was COLD! And I know I come from Germany but even I felt it! Fi explained that the reason we feel cold is that the house is designed to keep the African heat out. So no double glazing or central heating  (actually no air con either!) and the floors are mostly tiled. Every time a freak cold front hits (it is snowing in the Drakensberg making it icy here), everyone shivers...

She made me a nice dressing gown to keep me warm and popped a hot water bottle in bed to warm it up. They all have them in this house!


Well, I was just nicely snuggled in when Dooey hopped in beside me! I nearly jumped out my fur again... I had to take pity on him...something about those buggy eyes... he was so cold, so I just let him snuggle up. If Fi catches him I am just going to pretend I was asleep and noticed nothing. You got that Dooey?


Hopefully tomorrow will be a little warmer and maybe we will ACTUALLY get to go somewhere...

* Posted Apr 21, 2008, 8:28 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, South Africa - 22nd April 2008

By: MrsC

Today was World Earth Day so we went managed to get out the house and see the Earth at last. Fi took us here:


Fi says it is a national obsession to rename everything...


First we went into the visitor centre. I hope she doesn't leave me on this table I don't want to be a touch and feel exhibition and the size of the giraffe neck bone gives me the creeps...


HitchaRideDooey went as white as a sheet and his eyes bugged out even further, I had no idea why until I turned around. I also got quite a fright. Luckily this was a stuffed eagle and it was behind glass because those talons were pretty scary I tell you.


Fi let me put a few coins in the Black eagle collection box. They have a breeding pair here, the only ones in the whole world that breed in an urban area. They are threatened by urban developement. Maybe we will get to see them a little later if we are lucky.


You know, I have to tell you guys something. Fi has no shame WHATSOEVER! She will walk up to a random stranger, a British tourist,  clearly on a botanical garden safari in his pith helmut, and...and.. POP me on his shoulder for a photo. My cheeks are burning just thinking about it....
And, he was just as potty as she is! Well clearly, he is wearing a pith helmut! But he said he was HONOURED to be featured on ToyVoyager.


Fi was muttering about 'mad dogs and Englishmen out in the midday sun'. How did she know it was midday without looking at her phone? She doesn't wear a watch you know...weird I tell you.


I asked Dooey if he wanted to play a game of "Pooh sticks". He said no way, what if he fell off the bridge...


I was walking along, just minding my own business when I found this strange creature. Then I suddenly noticed HUNDREDS of them. Fi said not to be scared they only eat vegetation. We found a sign that explained what they are. And then we found evidence of what they DO! That is a cabbage tree, well it was till they ate it all...


I decided to check out a few more trees, being a bear I am a very good climber. Being a bear, I was allowed to climb the trees I am sure. The rules apply to people only..


Then we found the waterfall. Natalie cried because she was scared I was going to fall in. It is so sweet how she cares for me. Fi made sure I was no where near the water, don't worry..


Look! Look! Look! Umm...hide me! Hide me! Eeek.....


Pity Fi never brought her bigger lens...

Ooh, these are pretty... No idea what they are!


Fi loves these Aloes and I can see why.

Cycads. Doeey was playing Jurassic Park in these because they come from the dinosaur ages.


Phew, that was fun and educational and TIRING...


The children and I read this while Fi bought us all ice- creams. Then she snuck of to buy postcards - typical Postcrosser! Soon it was time to go home. So off we went.


* Posted Apr 22, 2008, 6:40 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Zandspruit, South Africa - 22nd April 2008

By: MrsC

On the way home (a ten minute journey by the way - nature is so close here!) We passed by this sad place. This is an informal settlement. More commonly known as a squatter  camp. Because it is an illegal residence, there are no ammenities such as electricity, running water or refuse collection. The houses (called shacks) are made from whatever can be salvaged. This is only a tiny part of it obviously, it is quite massive. We only managed two quick photos because it is definately not the place to stop and linger with a camera in your hand. This area is within walking distance from Fi's house and the crime in her area has gone up since the settlement was established a few years ago.


The mini buses are used as "taxis" to transport people to and from work because the Muncipal transport system is so ineffective. They are the bane of Johannesburg drivers lives (and much of the rest of the country) as they are a law unto themselves mostly.

* Posted Apr 22, 2008, 6:46 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Bright Water Commons, South Africa - 24th April 2008

By: MrsC

You know, we either sit around doing nothing all day or it's non stop action. Today was non stop action. Fi is a great believer in 'THE LAST MINUTE', without which she would get nothing done. As a result she is always in a rush and usually late. So this morning we all hopped in the car and the poor children and us had to eat breakfast - in the car.

She took this quick photo of Johannesburg proper which is about 30 km away. It is high up on a hill (hence the name  JohannesBURG (BERG means mountain, how they come up with BURG is not something Fi knows) and RandBURG is high up on his side which is why you can see the one from the other. Pretty cool. By the way, they call traffic lights 'robots' very odd lot, these South Africans!


Luckily she sticks to the speed limit when she drives and we were only 5 minutes late for meeting friends at the Bright Water Commons (formerly the Randburg Water Front - I see what she means about the national obsession for changing place names). First off we played Putt Putt, not just any Putt Putt, but ADVENTURE Putt Putt... That means it is set in a jungle, with lots of water and rickety bridges and you have to climb over rocks and other things that people with nice cameras should not be doing. Here is HitchaRideDooey and I having a rest at one stage...


One day, Natalie is going to be a fantastic hockey player, Not so much a golfer, but she tried. We cheered her on.


Can you spot us sitting at the side? There is one of the rickety bridges not looking even remotely rickety - but believe me, it WAS! And where the one green ends and the other starts is a long drop and you have to climb down rocks, not a stair in sight!


Anyway, the three boys were going so fast and all at the same time so nobody was keeping score and nobody really won. Once the game was finished we went inside to play ten pin bowling.

Dooey and I had an earnest discussion about whether we would be better off with the green ball which was lighter, but might not go as far, or the pink one which was heavier but would be sure to hit a strike...


The green ball won because it was the only one we could actually PUSH to get it rolling... Pushing is not as fast as throwing, by any means.


After a looooooooooooooooong loooooooooooooooong time, it eventually reached the pins.....


Shane is still asking how his four year old sister won the game, she could also hardly lift the ball!

Everyone was starving after all of this activity, breakfast in the car was not a large or sumptuous meal.

We headed over to a popular family restuarant called the Spur. There is one in just about every town in South Africa.

It is a steak and burgers kind of place with an American Indian theme (Typical South African? I think not!)


This was our waitress, she was very friendly and nice. She took us for a little spin in her tray...see how straight she holds it without even trying!


This is the kitchen staff who made our food. The kitchen is open along the one side of the restuarant, don't worry Fi didn't just waltz into the kitchen! Though I wouldn't put it past her...


And the food, we had run off to the play area, that is why we are not in the photo.... Natalie was eating crumbed vegetable fingers, what a weird child...I thought children hated veges? She let me taste a little bit, very nice: all different veges rolled up in mashed potato. One kid had fish fingers, the other had chicken nuggets. Shane had a real beef burger it smelled so good, But I just had my eye on the strawberry milkshake....


We had a quick ride on the carousel - Dooey felt sick and had to get off...I just held on for dear life and went around and around.... and around...forever it seemed... Then it stopped but the children wanted to go again so the man let them go a few more times because it was not busy.


There used to be a large man made lake here with a massive musical fountain. But then they decided to get water wise ... and the neighbours had complained of the smell! It is now just a little water feature with a small fountain. A skating ramp and a flea market have been built where the lake used to be.


Once again we all piled into the car, without breakfast, and headed over to Lara's place to fetch Dooey's buddy Dilbert who had just got back from the Kruger Park.I can't wait to see what animals he saw there...

* Posted Apr 23, 2008, 10:29 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jukskei Park, South Africa - 26th April 2008

By: MrsC

It is half past two in the morning but I thought I had better let you know what I have been up too as I wil be away for a week...

We had a terrible day today, Fi was taking us and the children to visit a museum. All of the traffic lights were out because of a power failure and it was taking forever to get there. Fi decided to check if the museum was actually opened or if they were also sitting in the dark with no power, so she pulled over to phone. The lady who answered said they had power but you had to have an appointment to visit the museum. Fi said she had never heard of such a silly thing in her life.

We were all very dissapointed so Fi took us to a place where you can ride miniature trains. They were also closed because the trains needed to be worked on. By now Shane had a long face and Natalie was starting to cry, so Fi took us to lunch. As we walked into the shopping center the power went off! Man, can you believe it? Fi bought us some chocolate to cheer us up (it worked of course) and then we went home and had scrambled eggs on toast.

Then in the evening we went to a wine tasting with Fi and her husband, they belong to a wine tasting club even though Fi doesn't drink wine - I keep telling you how odd she is!


Don't worry, I didn't drink any... I couldn't get the cork off!


I was going to sit with the children and play but someone mentioned that they were going to Thailand. Fi tried to get them to take me or Dilbert with them but they said they were too irresponsible. Our hosts for the evening, Matt and Yolanda, said they would take me to the coast with them though! Fi sternly told Matt he was NOT to take me diving with him! No matter what cool photos he could take... so you will once again have to wait till I get back from my trip. I hear the weather has improved down there, it has been cold and raining... what good timing! Chat soon...

* Posted Apr 26, 2008, 1:46 am Last edited May 5, 2008, 8:53 am by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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