Sunday, October 31, 2010

Politics revisited

Dave, Nigel and Glenys Wood
Glenys and Nigel Wood - former MP for Berea
We drove up to Howick in the mist and rain today, but it was a great day to visit my good friends Nigel and Glenys Wood. Nigel was my mentor in politics in the early days when I was still studying law at University. Nigel followed in his father's footsteps and was elected Member of Parliament for the Berea constituency in the 1977 General Election in South Africa.

I joined the New Republic Party that election and cast a vote for the first time. In 1981 in my final year of Law the next General Election was called and with the help and guidance of Nigel and Glenys and my good friend Dave Burden I stood for Parliament in the Port Natal Constituency - a government stronghold. It was one of the few seats available to contest as our Party governed the Province of Natal and we had 10 seats in Parliament.. mostly in the Durban area. I was Youth President of the Party at the time and at 21 the youngest to stand for Parliament. In the end out of 10 000 votes, I lost by 600 against the National Party Government Deputy Cabinet Minister. Not too bad for a first attempt.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A night in Hong Kong - day/night 5

We ended our Hong Kong, China, Vietnam cruise as we sailed back into Hong Kong harbour at sunrise and tied up at the Ocean Terminal.

The KFML group then took us on a tour of the city to Hong Kong island and up the Victoria Peak tram, then over the mountains to Stanley market and beach, lunch to Aberdeen on the Jumbo floating restaurant and lastly to the Ladies Market where we were left to wander around and find our way back to our hotel where we checked in that afternoon for a final night stay before jetting home. In the evening we watched the spectacular laser show on the buildings of Hong Kong and then caught a ferry to Hong Kong island for supper in the pub area of Lan Kwai Fong.
The Legend of the Seas docked in Hong Kong

We sailed into Hong Kong at sunrise

The tallest building in Hong Kong

The view from Victoria Peak up the funicular cableway

Dave and Llewellyn survey Hong Kong from on top

The Victoria Peak centre

Taking a Tampan ride in Aberdeen

Eating at the Jumbo floating restaurant in Aberdeen

Our room at the Panorama Hotel, Kowloon

The magnificent buildings on Hong Kong Island

Enjoying the view from the promendade

The lights of Hong Kong

Having a burger and beer in the trendy bar area of Hong Kong island

The Jumbo floating restaurant in Aberdeen
See more pics of Hong Kong here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

At sea - Vietnam to Hong Kong Day 4

Leaving Vietnam, we spent the next day at sea on our return trip to Hong Kong whilst the SpecSavers' delegates had a morning conference session on board. The day at sea gave us a chance to relax, enjoy a few cocktails and spend our $10 credit at the casino... we're not gamblers.

Having a bit of fun with fellow SpecSavers Pier 14 PE delegate Dave

See more pics here..

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halong Bay, Vietnam - day 3 China tour

We sailed into Halong Bay, Vietnam, close to the capital city of Hanoi, on the 3rd day of our South China Sea cruise. The morning was fascinating as the boat sailed up the archipeligo of the Red River before anchoring in the bay where the ship's tenders took us to shore. 

An excursion was organised on a Junk to see the spectacular caves inside one of the limestone mountains that rise up out of the mist and fog around the 3000 odd islands that dot the coastline. We then enjoyed some fine Vietnamise seafood on board the Junk and had a little time to explore the village along the seaside. The ship left for Hong Kong at 10.30pm that evening for our final day and a morning of Conference on board.
The tenders take us to and from the shore at Halong Bay

We enjoyed the "Cango caves" as well as lunch on board a Junk

Mountains of limestone rise up out of the sea

The boats are adorned with Dragons - Halong means descending  dragons - the locals believe the mountains were created by them

Enjoying the scenery from our Junk

Street scene in the village

A large modern bridge connects two main parts of the city

Everything works better with a beer

A deal is being struck with one of the many street traders. Pearls are a major product of Vietnam

See more pics here....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Contrasts of China - day 2

The Phoenix development with ocean terminal

Sanya, China

The weather was perfect to catch some sun around the pool-deck on board

Street scene in Sanya

Lovely beaches, warm South China sea

Street shop with a row of dentists' chairs and patients

From celebrity apartments to slums - China is a country of stark contrasts. Our ship docked in Sanya, China, mid-morning, so there was time to laze around the pool deck before disembarking for a whistle-stop tour of the city, the beautiful beaches and the city streets before sailing again for Vietnam.

Walking back to the ship after an afternoon in the city

Check here for more pics..

Thursday, October 21, 2010

China adventure begins - Day 1

The Royal Carribean ship docked at the Ocean Terminal Hong Kong

Arriving at Hond Kong immigration after a flight via Singapore

The Hong Kong skyline from the pool deck of the Legend of the Seas

We arrived in Hong Kong to board the Legand of the Seas for our short trip and KFML SpecSavers Conference to China and Vietnam.

More pics here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mom's 78th

Difficult to believe my mom is 78 and to bring her up to speed, here's her new flat-screen LCD tv we brought for the occassion, whilst we enjoyed a beef roast I cooked at home and brought around to share. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Llewellyn's family and friends

Guinnea Fowl
 Sunday afternoon we went up to Umhlali to visit Llewellyn's friends Linda and Rigby. Llewellyn's Dad was also out from Los Angeles and down in Durban to look after the kids whilst Llewellyn and I, as well as Louise (kids'mom) are off to Hong Kong on Wednesday on a SpecSavers' Conference.
Caitlin (10) with the little pup

Calvin (10), Linda, Llewellyn, Caitlin (front) and Lauren (back) with Rigby, Llewellyn's Dad Owen and new wife Karen (right)

Sharks beat Bulls in semi-final 16-12

It was Sharks all the way yesterday as they beat the Bulls to get through to the semi-final of the Currie Cup. It started off cloudy, then the rtain lashed down and we ended up freezing and then slightly wet as we made our way to the car. Calvin came with me using our 2 season tickets.

The view of Moses Mabhida Stadium from the Rugby Stadium

Garage fixing

It was fix-up time yesterday with Brad trying to get the quad bike going and couches loaded to take to Hillcrest in the trailer.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

First camera pics

Sadly my camera got stolen on our trip to Cape Town and I needed a new camera for our trip to Hong Kong next week, so here are the first pics with my new camera, a Nikon CoolPix camera with 12mp resolution and 5 x optical zoom... don't really need too high specs for a camera as most of my pics are foronline posting and I need to reduce the resolution... so I am satisfied.

Hong Kong would have been the place to buy a new camera but we are getting straight onto the ship from our flight sailing to China and Vietnam and only stopping back in Hong Kong for a day on our way back.