Bathurst – A 19th Century English Village in South Africa

Bathurst is located in the Eastern Cape and its chief claim to fame is that it was the early administrative centre established by the British Government for the 1820 British Settlers. The town is quaint and does not offer tons of attractions to its visitors but the little that it does offer is quirky and nothing short of charming. Many of the original settler houses and other buildings have been preserved, and there remains much of the look and feel of an English village of the early 19th Century. The Pig and Whistle Inn, built in 1821, is at the heart of the village and is reputedly the oldest extant pub in the country.

We visited the iconic Bathurst Pineapple which is a 17 meter tall pineapple and home to the pineapple museum. It’s only a R10 admission fee and there’s tons of interesting facts to learn about pineapple farming. A must see, even if it’s just to snap a picture of the ginormous pineapple.

Bathurst Pinapple

I am always surprised by the amazing shops hidden away in towns like these. Bathurst has so many wonderful little shops with interesting things for sale. My favourite is Tales Of Antiquity. It is hard to describe but if you can picture a secondhand vintage shop with a mixture of antiques, clothing and bric à brac then you can imagine that Tales Of Antiquity has a lot to offer. I was thrilled to find so many gems including vintage dessert bowls; R110 for 6 and fine bone China tea cups for R35. If you’re looking to host the ultimate vintage tea party then this shop should definitely be on your list of things to see in Bathurst.

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CNN rated Bathurst South Africa’s most eccentric town and now I definitely know why. Make sure you have an entire day to spend here and preferably on a Sunday when the Farmers Market is on. Don’t worry, all the shops are open till late on Sunday too!

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Plotting out the route from New York to San Francisco

With only 55 days till we embark on a journey of a life time it is time for us to start plotting our exact route. Our trip starts in New York at the Parc Hotel and ends in San Francisco and Hotel Stratford. In between these two iconic places, we will be visiting so many beautiful states and towns.

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The Trip

  • New York (start)
  • Pittsburg
  • Indianapolis
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Dallas
  • Amarillo
  • Albuquerque
  • Flagstaff
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco (end)

Some of the things we should see on the drive?

  • Grand Canyon
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Cadillac Ranch

I bet there are so many amazing things to see on our trip, so please share your favourite stops, restaurants and road side attractions with us! We would love to visit them.

20 Roads You Should Drive In Your Lifetime

The Valley of Fire Road in Nevada passes through beautiful red sandstone formations that look like they are on fire when reflecting the sun.

The Valley of Fire Road in Nevada passes through beautiful red sandstone formations that look like they are on fire when reflecting the sun.

The Atlantic Road in Norway stretches across seven bridges and offers a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you drive in calmer weather, you might even see whales and seals.

The Atlantic Road in Norway stretches across seven bridges and offers a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you drive in calmer weather, you might even see whales and seals.

India’s Rohtang Pass offers a spectacular view of glaciers, peaks and rivers. Be warned — it’s also known for its massive landslides.

India's Rohtang Pass offers a spectacular view of glaciers, peaks and rivers.  Be warned — it's also known for its massive landslides.

The Interstate 70, which runs through Utah, is most beautiful in winter, especially when it winds its way through the snow-covered Spotted Wolf Canyon.

The Interstate 70, which runs through Utah, is most beautiful in winter, especially when it winds its way through the snow-covered Spotted Wolf Canyon.

The Karakorum Highway was bulldozed in the 1960s and ’70s and now connects Pakistan and China.

The Karakorum Highway was bulldozed in the 1960s and '70s and now connects Pakistan and China.

The Milford Road in New Zealand winds for 144 miles through Fiordland National Park, in the heart of the Southern Alps. It also connects to Milford Sound, one of the filming locations for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The Milford Road in New Zealand winds for 144 miles through Fiordland National Park, in the heart of the Southern Alps. It also connects to Milford Sound, one of the filming locations for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs from North Carolina to Virginia and is known for its views of rugged mountains and the Appalachian Highlands.

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs from North Carolina to Virginia and is known for its views of rugged mountains and the Appalachian Highlands.

Chapman’s Peak Drive in South Africa is about five miles long with 114 curves and offers stunning 180-degree views of both mountain and sea.

Chapman's Peak Drive in South Africa is about five miles long with 114 curves and offers stunning 180-degree views of both mountain and sea.

Along the beautiful Great Ocean Road in Australia, you can find the famous limestone stacks called the Twelve Apostles, whale lookouts, rain forests, and beautiful national parks.

Along the beautiful Great Ocean Road in Australia, you can find the famous limestone stacks called the Twelve Apostles, whale lookouts, rain forests, and beautiful national parks.

Col de l’Iseran in France is the highest paved road in the Alps. This scenic route is open only in the summer and has been used several times in the Tour de France.

Col de l'Iseran in France is the highest paved road in the Alps. This scenic route is open only in the summer and has been used several times in the Tour de France.

The North Yungas Road in Bolivia is beautiful but also known as the world’s most dangerous road because of its single lanes, tight turns, and steep drop-offs.

The North Yungas Road in Bolivia is beautiful but also known as the world's most dangerous road because of its single lanes, tight turns, and steep drop-offs.

Hana Highway in Hawaii travels along Maui’s coastline and consists of 620 sharp turns and 59 bridges. You’ll experience a variety of views, including waterfalls, rain forests, and, of course, the ocean.

Hana Highway in Hawaii travels along Maui's coastline and consists of 620 sharp turns and 59 bridges. You'll experience a variety of views, including waterfalls, rain forests, and, of course, the ocean.

Ruta 40 stretches more than 3,000 miles, from Argentina’s northern border to its southern tip. It crosses 18 rivers and passes 20 national parks, making it a perfect scenic drive.

Ruta 40 stretches more than 3,000 miles, from Argentina's northern border to its southern tip. It crosses 18 rivers and passes 20 national parks, making it a perfect scenic drive.

The Trollstigen road in Norway means “troll ladder,” and that name is very fitting for this extremely narrow and steep winding road. If you make it to the top, you’ll be rewarded with views of the Stigfossen waterfall, a 1,050-foot waterfall that tumbles over the mountains.

The Trollstigen road in Norway means "troll ladder," and that name is very fitting for this extremely narrow and steep winding road. If you make it to the top, you'll be rewarded with views of the Stigfossen waterfall, a 1,050-foot waterfall that tumbles over the mountains.

Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in Abu Dhabi leads to Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the second-tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates. The road winds through the craggy limestone making up the mountain until it reaches the summit. Try to take this drive in late afternoon so you can catch the sunset from the top of the mountain.

Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in Abu Dhabi leads to Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the second-tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates. The road winds through the craggy limestone making up the mountain until it reaches the summit. Try to take this drive in late afternoon so you can catch the sunset from the top of the mountain.

The Overseas Highway in Florida connects mainland Florida to the Florida Keys and consists of 42 overseas bridges across 113 miles. You’ll feel like you’re driving on the surface of the ocean. Try to catch a sunrise or a sunset, as the sun casts a beautiful reflection on the water.

The Overseas Highway in Florida connects mainland Florida to the Florida Keys and consists of 42 overseas bridges across 113 miles. You'll feel like you're driving on the surface of the ocean. Try to catch a sunrise or a sunset, as the sun casts a beautiful reflection on the water.

The long, remote A82 Road in Glencoe, Scotland, brings you breathtaking scenic spaces and wonderful sights like the Rannoch Moor Bridge.

The long, remote A82 Road in Glencoe, Scotland, brings you breathtaking scenic spaces and wonderful sights like the Rannoch Moor Bridge.

Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is one of the most scenic drives in Canada, winding around the greater part of Cape Breton Island and offering views of both the woods and the ocean. Make sure to glance at the water every once in a while — you might spot a pod of whales swimming past.

Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is one of the most scenic drives in Canada, winding around the greater part of Cape Breton Island and offering views of both the woods and the ocean. Make sure to glance at the water every once in a while — you might spot a pod of whales swimming past.

Scenic Byway 163 stretches from the Arizona border through Monument Valley in Utah. During the 45-mile drive, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful red rocks and desert.

Scenic Byway 163 stretches from the Arizona border through Monument Valley in Utah. During the 45-mile drive, you'll be able to admire the beautiful red rocks and desert.

The Oberalp Pass in Switzerland is a mountain road in the Swiss Alps that is 6,706 feet above sea level. The road is only open during the summer, but in the winter you can take a train ride across the pass.

The Oberalp Pass in Switzerland is a mountain road in the Swiss Alps that is 6,706 feet above sea level. The road is only open during the summer, but in the winter you can take a train ride across the pass.

Original post can be read here: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worlds-most-beautiful-roads-2014-6?op=1#ixzz37pYlAT18

One Way Car Rentals – There is no cheap way around it

Our road trip begins in New York and ends in San Francisco. At the end of the journey we will catch a flight back to NY before we come home to South Africa. Planning the route was easy, booking the flights were easy, securing sponsors were easy! Renting the car on the other hand was not that easy.

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One way car rentals are ridiculously expensive. Sometimes the actual car rental cost is cheaper than the one way drop off fee. It took me months to explore my options and believe me, there are tons! So, to save everyone the trouble when it comes to one way car rentals, I put together a few tips.

1. There is no way around the one way drop off fee

2. One way drop off fee’s are only calculated at the end of your confirmation; so if you think you’re at the end and the price seems right, you are not at the end!

3. Use aggregators to look for options on cars such as Kayak.com

4. Please make sure your booking comes with unlimited mileage

5. Google discount codes – you will be shocked to see so many exist and it will save you a few dollars.

We eventually booked our car using RentalCars.com and went with National as their one way drop off fee was by far the cheapest. Good luck, you are going to need it!

The Westin Lake Resort and Spa in Las Vegas

The Westin Lake Resort and Spa in Las Vegas is a hidden gem. Located in between the bright lights of Las Vegas and the tranquil waters of Lake Mead, The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa offers both thrilling nightlife and stunning natural splendor. This resort is absolutely luxurious and just oozes elegance. The resort offers outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking. If you prefer to spend your days shopping and eating, browse the boutiques and dine al fresco in the nearby village of Montelago. Casino Montelago lets you hit the slots from a convenient lakeside location.

Although the resort is a 20min drive from the Las Vegas strip, it works out perfectly for us as we are not gamblers. We want to experience the glitz and glamour that Las Vegas has to offer but also enjoy some relaxation and outdoor activities. The Westin Lake Resort is perfect for this. The hotel is incredibly stunning and the pictures speak a thousand words.

Connect with The Westin Lake

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Tips for planning an awesome road trip

Going on a road trip can be extremely fun. You get to see so many different places and sights, you also have the freedom to stop wherever you like and do whatever you like. Here is few tips for planning the road trip.

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Plot your route wisely using Google Maps

When planning a road trip, Google Maps is your biggest friend. You enter all the places you will be visiting and it will calculate the distance and time it will take you to get from point A to point B. What I find useful about Google Maps is that you can easily see other locations on the route that you may want to visit as well. Before using Google Maps ask yourself the following questions

  • How many days do you want to travel for?
  • Do you want to take the fastest route from A to B or the most scenic route?
  • What is the maximum distance you want to drive in one day?

Sort out your Accommodation

Once you have plotted all your routes on a map, you can now start looking for accommodation. Because road trips are much more expensive that usual holidays, you may find that your budget won’t allow you to stay at 5* hotels every night. Look for motels and lodges that offer much more affordable rates with breakfast and free parking. Hotels can charge quite a bit for parking so make sure you take that into account when booking your rooms. A great suggestion for quick one night stays would be to use Airbnb, this is great for those looking for an affordable place to crash.

Research Attractions

A road trip is all about the experience. It is not about the destination but rather about the journey. When doing your research about places to visit, do not forget the cities you will be driving through. Reference your route and look for major cities that you will be passing and check out what those places have to offer. Also take account for your time especially if the distances from place to place is long. You should plan for spontaneous stops at that cute roadside diner or weird tourist attraction for example.

Awesome Road Trip Mobile Apps

Roadtrippers – This app helps you plot your route as well as suggests attractions, restaurants and accommodation along the way.

Gas Buddy – Allows you to research the cheapest gas prices

Hotel Tonight – Last minute hotel deals are sold here. Hotels give them their unsold rooms and they show you the days best value deals.

Roadside America – It’s packed with easy-to-use, in-depth info and maps for the nation’s funniest and weirdest must-sees.

Free Visitors Guide for Albuquerque

One of the places we will be visiting on our great American road trip is Albuquerque and I couldn’t be more excited. Visiting Albuquerque allows you to experience the authentic Southwest. As one of the oldest cities in the U.S., Albuquerque boasts a unique multicultural heritage and history where Native American, Hispanic & Latino, Anglo and other cultural influences are a part of everyday life. If you are going to Albuquerque to experience the spectacular culture, abundance of activities and breathtaking landscape make sure you request a free Albuquerque visitors guide. I requested one a few days ago and was so surprised to see how quickly it arrived.  Let the planning begin.

Useful Albuquerque websites

www.visitalbuquerque.org |www.facebook.com/VisitABQ

*Pictures courtesy of Visit Albuquerque Facebook Page.

What’s to do in San Francisco?

We were super excited when we found out that Stratford Hotel in San Francisco would be sponsoring our accommodation and breakfast. The hotel is located just off Union Square in San Francisco, with the famed cable cars passing by every few minutes. Having never been to San Francisco before, some of things I am really looking forward too are the iconic buildings, the Golden Gate Bridge and definitely exploring the geeky side of Silicon Valley!

If you are from San Francisco or have traveled there before, please let us know what your favorite places are by leaving a comment.

Alcatraz

The Painted Ladies

Golden Gate Bridge

The Cable Cars