My experiences living in Cape Town and travelling in Africa

Posts tagged “home

Zimbabwe 2014: The Great North Road 

by Pauline Alexander, photos by Rory Alexander

It’s so interesting to ponder just what things signify ‘home’ – an incandescent sabi star, a group of kudu staring you down through a veil of thicket, recognising that impala are indeed different from springbok or Mr Chameleon pointing us North.

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Giving way to wildlife on the road to Mapungubwe

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Dawn overlooking the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers makes your heart leap. The Shashe’s sands are markedly pink and the Limpopo is indeed green and greasy and set about with fever trees. Tales of gold from across the river on the mount of Mapungubwe turn our thoughts to our own majestic place of stones and wonder at their place in that early trade with the East.



Plus ca change, plus la meme at Beitbridge, but not even an encounter with state ‘crime’ can stop our hearts from lifting as we gaze out at the landscape of dwalas and trees, the bare swept earth around the huts and the anticipation and activity of the many bus stops. The one big difference is that it is now, indubitably, the Great North Road. Not ‘great’ in the sense of wide and worthy, but ‘great’ in the visibly increased (more…)

Sunrise over Hout Bay

It feels like  only just got back from my trip to America and now I’m off again but locally this time – more to follow in future posts.

The States was great though and if you haven’t seen any of my photos yet be sure to check out my post on Chicago’s buildings and skyline , a time-lapse of the six days of flying at Oshkosh and why it took me an hour to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. After three weeks of summer in America it has been quite a shock coming back to winter in Cape Town and even more so when the deck outside my room was covered in hail.

Winter in Cape Town is not all bad though as in between the cold fronts and rainy days we do get some absolutely glorious days when there is no wind, the sea is calm, the air is clear and the sky is blue. It’s days like these that make you forget all the rain and damp. It’s days like these that remind you just how magic a place Cape Town is to live. It’s days like these that even driving to work one just has to stop and admire the city in which we live. And it’s days like these that I have to stop and take a photo to share with you.

Panorama looking back towards Hout Bay from the Chapman’s Peak viewpoint at sunrise

Do any of you have a view like this too, on your drive to work?

Looking back at 2011 – what a year!

This has been quite a year. I spent the first six months completing my second teaching contract living in Xiaoshan after which I travelled around China for several weeks before jetting off, via Malaysia, to New Zealand for six weeks before returning to South Africa and ending with a quick visit to Zimbabwe for a high school reunion at the end of the year.

All in all, I’ve visited ten different countries, enjoyed taking off 20 times and have taken close to 15000 photos with my new Canon 550D. I did this picture review back in 2010 and you liked it, so here is my snapshot review of 2011. Enjoy!

NB: click on the images to read the full story on their respective blog posts.


walked with lions in Victoria Falls


got to see my nephew in real life for the first time


Went on a staff trip to the Wuyuan region to see the rapeseed flowers in bloom


went to my first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai


practised until I could solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 3 mins & made a video to prove it


I taught my last lesson at Yinhe Experimental Primary School


had a mud bath in the limestone caves of Yangshuo, China 


I realised a dream and visited New Zealand 


saw this reflection at sunset in Lake Tekapo 


I arrived back home in Cape Town 


got up close and personal with the Silver Falcons while filming aviation videos for ShortFinal.TV 


got to spend Christmas with my family for the first time since 2008

Who knows where 2012 will take me but it’s going to be hard to top this.

Happy New Year!

Christmas morning timelapse

Ever since I bought my first DSLR camera earlier this year I have been wanting to try time-lapse photography and it struck me that Christmas morning could be a fun scene to capture. Christmas this year was special for several reasons:

– It’s my first Christmas at home for three years as I have been living in China for the last two,

– It’s the first time my sister has hosted Christmas Eve dinner for the whole family,

– It’s also the first Christmas that my nephew, William, at 18 months has been old enough to sort of know what’s going on,

– And the first Christmas in my sister and brother-in-laws new house.

So I set up my Canon 550D in the corner of the room and set the remote interval timer to take a picture every four seconds while we sat in the lounge opening all our presents. Now you can sit back and enjoy the action that took place over two hours earlier today in this short 90 second video.

Merry Christmas!


Africa is my home and I’ve missed it

Having lived in China for the last two years and then travelling around New Zealand for 6 weeks I am now back in South Africa. Lots of people have asked if I am back for good and to be honest I can’t say for sure. I have experienced so many new things living overseas for the last two years that I can’t help but want to carry on and experience more. However living in a foreign country particular one where you don’t speak the language takes its toll and there was a part of me that just needed a break. Africa is my home and I’ve missed it.

So I’m back in SA, back in Cape Town for the foreseeable future where I will continue to work on my new photography hobby while chasing dreams of flying and sharing it all with you right here.

The Twelfth Apostle above Llandudno Beach