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Cape Town – best destination 2012 in the whole wide world.

29 Jan

Well, personally I think it’s the best destination forever and ever amen! Not just 2012. It’s no secret that I love South Africa, love Cape Town even more and will take any opportunity to show my beautiful country off so of course I’m going to share this good news with you. Trip Advisor have named Cape Town as the best destination in the world (according to traveler reviews) just beating Sydney. I won’t go on about how ecstatic I am at this point, but you know what I’m talking about. Just love it. 

Home is where the heart is.

You can read about it here –

http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/01/23/tripadvisor-reveals-the-worlds-best-holiday-destination/

Now listen nicely – if you haven’t been, you should. I can never say enough about this beautiful city that I can luckily call home but you will only know what I am so in love with if you go there, breathe it all in and experience it for yourself.

Proudly South African, again and again.

Miss M x

 

Just heart a concert. And Coldplay were insane on NYE.

10 Jan

From the ballet in a posh frock to rock in leather boots and a fedora hat – this festive season went from one extreme to the next. Mixing  it up a bit, you know. Keeps it interesting. We decided to bring in 2012 with Coldplay. Now, Coldplay is one of those bands that has been on my “must see” list purely because I love their music and have heard their live performances are brilliant. Other bands on that list are Pink, Stereophonics and Foo Fighters. Could really do with seeing the Foo Fighters soon, just love them – hopefully they’ll release some more tour dates soon. This song is my obsession this week.

 

Anyways, back to the point. We made the trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai. Waited in traffic forever. Waited in a que forever. 4 and a half  hours later we were in the concert venue. Now, I was not going to let anything piss me off on New Years Eve and just kinda went with it, staying chipper. I will say now, Think Flash Events better jack it up. I am definitely not ever thinking Flash Events ever again. Not now, not ever. Appalling organization – honestly, I have never.

Right, so there we were, in the concert venue. It’s 10:30 pm on NYE and I have not as much had a bevvie pass my lips. Pathetic. I just didn’t know if I could face another que but myself and the Fab Hairdresser just did it. Sometimes you just got to suck it up and power on princess to get a result. I stratgegized at this point so that I did not have to que ever again at this concert. 6 glasses of wine in 2 pint glasses, a Jagermeister shot and I was sorted. Very lady like, I know. It was nice, for a change, to wake up on the 1st day of the year without a screaming hangover.

Coldplay arrived by chopper, I’m assuming because they couldn’t get through the massive amount of traffic. Enough bleating. THEY WERE INSANE!!!  All the waiting to see them was well worth it and I’d do it all over again (with a hip flask). There really is nothing better than an amazing live performance and Chris Martin and the boys did an incredible job. The energy that each one of them throw into their performance is just beyond brilliant. You just get the sense that they truly are trying their absolute best to entertain the crowd. They played all the songs I wanted to hear instead of just punting their new album like most artists do and ended off by counting down into 2012 with us followed by a gorgeous fireworks display. Lukka.

A great way to kick off 2012. It can only get better from here.

Miss M x

The DL – London & surrounds. Edinburgh. [Censored]

6 Dec

Right kids – I’m back from an utter whirlwind week in the UK. I’ve never been on so many trains, planes, tubes, cars, cabs etc in a week, thank God for iPods. What an insane trip – places to go, people to see. So here’s the Down Low. Now now, I will not share everything with you for absolute fear of judging. Some things are better left unsaid.

It’s always so amazing to see old friends. You know the kind of friends I’m talking about here – the one’s that when you see each other after a long time and it feels like you just saw them yesterday. Endless catching up, masses of laughs and pure good times. Love it – Boffy, Ricky Bee, G Dog – thanks my darlings for taking such good care of me.

So a few do’s and don’ts, according to moi.

London & surrounds

Do go to Floridita in Soho. Perfect venue for a razzle and couple of bevvies to catch up with mates. There’s a dancefloor downstairs if the night turns out to be one of those. Which it naturally did.

Don’t go to watch the play Blood Brothers. You will fall asleep like I did.

Don’t go to Oxford Street for shopping close to Christmas unless you have time to shop. It’s not a case of in and out. It’s rammed with people and can be super irritating if you’re in a rush. I nearly went outside of my mind.

Do go to Camden Lock Market and take a walk along the canal. Do not go to Camden Town Market. The Lock Market has so much more character. Mind the Chav’s though.

Do go to the English country side, Surrey, for a walk with friends and a well deserved pub lunch at The Dolphin afterwards.

Do go to the South of England, Bognor Regis, to see your beloved aunt for a good fat catch up.

Edinburgh

Do go to Edinburgh. It is an INCREDIBLE city that is breathtakingly beautiful. I fell in love with it.

Do take a proper rain coat to Scotland. Not a coat. A RAIN coat. Brollies are useless too and will break in the space of 2 minutes. Otherwise you’ll end up with a street side special that is screaming pink and look like a total tool. As I did, out of pure desperation to stay dry. This is unfortunately the exact same jacket that I was sporting on the one rainy day. Absolute fashion FAIL!


Do walk as much as possible. You see so much more. Even if it’s raining. Suck it up and power on princess (pink jacket and all).

Do go to a bar / restaurant called Iglu in Edinburgh. Amazing cosy little spot that serves delicious wild, organic and local produce.

Do go to Babelon Cafe for heart shaped eggs. Loved this.

Do go to Greyfriars, a cosy little pub with the story about Bobby the Dog.

Do go to Edinburgh Castle. Try not to go in the rain if possible – you’ll freeze your tits off, as I did. There’s lot to see but my fav was the Crown Jewels (naturally, I love bling) and the War Memorial.

Don’t drink rum on a night out because you’re told “that’s what people drink in Edinburgh” and get totally vrot.

Do climb the 250 ridiculous stairs to the top of Scott Monument. Perfect 360 degree views of Edinburgh city. And Do take the G Dog with you for a complete run down of the city, could’ve sworn he was a tour guide as a side job.

Fabulous trip and so good to see all you lovely’s. Love it. Best get planning the next one.

Miss M x

The Chedi. Ridiculous.

18 Oct

Everyone knows how much I love The Chedi. Visiting this stunning hotel for a stay, just dinner or glass of vino at the bar is just lurvely. We will most certainly be frequenting our favourite pool side bar this winter. They have just opened a sparkling new spa and gym facility which is quite the talk of the town at the minute. It will be right up there as possibly the most amazing pool to be spending your winter at. I’ve been to the Chedi spa before and it was incredible, so I can only imagine that this new one is going to be just out of this world. Sounds just perfect and I could so see me signing up. If you’re going to be an expat, you might as well just do it right, yes!?

The bus stops right here people. Membership to the Chedi is now RO 1900 for a year. SAY WHAAAAT!? Let me spell that out for you. This is forty thousand South African Ronds. For a membership to a hotel!? And no, I’m not taking the piss. In the good old Republic this is an obscene amount of money and I could think of a gazillion things to do with 40 000 hard currency. I’m not entirely sure what this RO 1900 buys you but I’m assuming the normal that you would get at most hotel memberships – pool access, discount at the spa and restaurants, use of the gym and well a naked man jumping out of a singing cake that dances on his head. Because for that kind of money my peaches, I would expect that.

On second thoughts – for RO 1900 you could check into into the Chedi for about 23 nights over the summer.

You do the maths.

Miss M x

Endless summer.

17 Oct

Since I have moved to the desert 3 and half years ago I have experienced 1 winter. Yes you read that right peach, 1 winter. This was at the end of 2008 when I went and frolicked around London with my favo man about town, Ricky Bee (miss you boy but see you soon)! I literally live an endless summer. There’s really no need to ever check the weather here as it’s either hot or hotter. Simple.

Of course, summer here is as hot as hell reaching temperatures of 60 degrees on the hottest of days but you just deal with it and run that A/C over time. I must say it’s quite amusing watching the rest of the world rant about weather. Peeps are never happy. They’re either whinging about the cold. Or bleating about the heat. Sho, tough crowd. Over here its winter that we are after here when the skies are blue, you see a few white clouds every now and then and your average days are between 27 – 35 degrees at a high and maybe 18 – 24 at a low. Have you ever!? It’s just perfect and it’s around about this time of year that I start loving being here again. At 18 I get cold. And need a jumper. Yes I know, I’m a drama queen. 

The beach for winter, yes definitely

Putting my new Grand Hyatt membership to full use at the pool, well, of course.

And yes, I will be sat right at this very pool bar with a Daquiri in my hand.

So in saying that I crave a proper winter. One with cold and rain. People would probably think you’re a nutter saying that but honestly, I am sick of seeing the sun. Hence my next holiday is going to be a cold one, in 17 sleeps time I might just add. One where I can put on my boots (the only 1 pair I have, sigh – I just so miss having a winter wardrobe.) a coat, scarves, hats, gloves – can’t wait! And because my winter wardrobe is literally nonexistent it’s the perfect excuse to shop. Thank you very much, I will.

You shall see me shopping on Oxford Street, wining and dining around London town, watching shows and gigs, having early red vino to warm up in the pub and just having an all round fab time.

There will be exploring and being helluva naughty with one of my fav tarts in beautiful Edinburgh, Scotland.

And of course, the pub. Love a good pub. We’ll be spending a fair amount of time here.

I do only want a real winter for a week, then I’ll be over it and can make my way back to the sunshine. I just love when the desert winter pulls into town. There is suddenly just so much to do! For the next couple of weeks there’s The Script in Muscat. Oktoberfest at the Grand Hyatt. Outdoor dinners for birthdays. ODC beach parties. There will be plenty of braai’s, pool parties, rugby matches, adventures into the interior to wadi’s and Snake Gorge (eeek) and dare I say it, camping – God bless my soul.

Get your winter on desert rats and get involved. The fun bus just rolled into town.

Miss M x

Snake Gorge – Oman. Before.

10 Oct

I nearly be-kakked myself when I heard that there was a place in Oman called Snake Gorge. I am absolutely petrified of snakes. I can’t even look at them on TV without hyperventilating, never mind see them in real life. So the thought of a gorge filled with snakes just makes me want to cry. Literally sit down and cry my brown eyes out. Tissue please. However, this is not what it is. OMG. Thank fek.

Snake Gorge is actually a fault cut that is about 100 or so feet wide at the top but 300-400 feet deep. The surrounding rock layers are ancient seafloor basalts (ophiolites) that were shoved up over the top of the Arabian sub-continent during a major plate collision. It stretches for only 3 km’s but can take 2 – 4 hours to walk through as there are jumps into pools, swimming, caves etc.

Right, so that’s the gorge from up top.


And on ground level.

So, I’ve heard so much about it. Good and bad. I’ve heard that the jumps are SO hectic. Up to 10 meters mind you into deep dark holes which you are not quite sure whether they are deep enough. If a flash bit of rain hits the area the gorge will fill up with torrents of water and you’ll drown. If you do the 1st jump, there is no turning back – you have to power on through. If you get to the cave and water level is too high then you have to swim under water for ages before getting through to the other side. If the cave water is too low there’s dead goats in it. Some other people say that it’s a lovely day out and the jumps into the water are not all that bad, it’s out right awesome and beautiful.

 

So, I’ve decided to go and see what all the hype is about myself with a group of my peaches. I love an opinion so I’m going to go and get my own about Snake Gorge. That way, I will know. So I’m going to “chick up” and DO IT. I guess I’ve almost pledged to go now so best I do that. Pinky promise. The only thing that would stop me going is the weather forecast and if rain is on the cards, I’m flagging (cos that bit about the gorge flooding is tres true).

Not going to lie here peaches, a little nervy. I’m no scardy cat, but I think I’m just a little reserved. Adventure Miss M will be out this weekend in Snake Gorge earning my weekend bevvie (or 5) for afterwards. I promise to give my perfectly honest opinion on Snake Gorge after I have been there hopefully with some pics (been waiting for an excuse to make a ridiculous purchase of a waterproof camera. Voila – here it is).  Snake Gorge – Oman. After. to follow, well, afterwards (if I make it out of the blerry gorge).

Desert winter loving. And yes Mom, no panicking now please. It’ll be fine.

Miss M x

The Chedi. Just because.

20 Jul

I like to see the positive in what can sometimes be perceived as a negative situation. It’s good for your overall mojo and there is nothing worse than a Moaner Lisa. It just does my head in when someone sits around being useless and whining. You can have some cheese with that whine thank you very much.

Ya, ya – you do that. Moaner Lisa.

So, it’s summer. It’s hot as hell in the desert. BUT. All the amazing 5 star hotels across the Gulf have AMAZE summer deals on. SO, what is the absolute obvious thing to do!? Check into one them. As you do.

Now, even though there is loads of choice such as The Grand Hyatt, The Intercontinental, The Shangri-La, Al Bustan Palace etc etc when it comes to picking your desired hotel I knew straight away that my choice would be The Chedi. And here’s why.

My favourite aspect of this hotel is the overall architecture and design and minimalistic, yet stylish, interiors. You don’t get that “hotel” feeling that you do in most hotels. You know the one my peach, where everything has been selected out of an “everything in one” catalogue and no thought really put into it – resulting in no character and vibe whatsoever. Not a fan.

Entrance

Lobby

The Chedi is different though. The individual crisp white buildings set against the lush blanket of green grass sprinkled with palm trees and the sparkling blue sky and sea as the backdrop just demand relaxation. Simple. It’s just such a “zen” feeling that is created throughout the property with very minimalistic décor in the rooms, little bridges and walkways through flowing water ponds and stones with a touch of Omani influence throughout.

We booked into a suite. Just because. Now I could quite happily live in a suite like this forever and ever amen. It was probably bigger than the 1st apartment that I lived in in Cape Town. A lounge with complimentary mini bar stocked with gin, whisky and voddies for my body with a mahoosive flat screen. Then, the bedroom – very elegant indeed. And the bathroom with an amazing sunken bath the size of a small swimming pool, his and hers dressing area’s and an incredible shower. A little patio with table, chairs and sun lounger to finish it all off, and yes, you are a rock star. Believe it.

There are two amazing swimming pools, the “no children” infinity pool on the beach front being my favourite. It is here where we spent an afternoon sipping on delish cocktails, spritzers, dips in the pool and lounging on the little tented poolside beds. Utter bliss.

The Spa is an absolute must where I shall not name and shame anybody here (you know who you are). But the Confused Expat and I went for a 90 minute Balinese massage which I can say was the best massage I have EVER had. And I like my massages and will have one whenever possible. This ranked tops.

There’s also everything else you would expect from a 5 star hotel – restaurants, gym, tennis courts etc etc. Brekkie was included in our summer deal and Santos and I ordered what was possibly the biggest brekkie I have ever seen which arrived to our room in picnic baskets – so we had a breakfast picnic in the lounge. How divine.

All in all a fabulous hotel to check into and live the dream. There is no doubt that I’ll go back and cannot wait to try out other Chedi hotels in the world.

Check out http://www.ghmhotels.com or call reservations: +968 24524400. Just do it peach.

And why check into a hotel 5 minutes from your house? Well, just because.

Miss M x

Peach in the P’ines. With a backpack.

20 Apr

Ok my lovely’s, as most are aware (cos I just simply won’t shut my pie hole about it) I’m off to the Philippines next week Wednesday for 2 whole weeks of remote island bliss. No work, no CrackBerry, 7 more sleeps – P FOR PUMPED!


As usual with me, it’s a spontaneous trip. I rang up The Bestie a month or so back. She’s a teacher, teaching in China, so is obviously always on holiday (don’t even get me started) and she and her man, The Naked Chef, are forever away to exotic places in and around South East Asia. So – it was a case of where and when!? Philippines. May. Thought about it a few days. Ok – I’m in. Simple. And best of all I get to spend it with some of my fav peaches – in the world!

So here’s the plan.

From Dubai – fly to Manila. Stay in Manila. Meat the Mountain Goats (check these 2 out – they’re nutters and I love them dearlyhttp://www.mountaingoatdiaries.blogspot.com/) in Manila at sparrows fart the next morning.

Fly to Cebu. Stay in Cebu. Fly to Surigao. Take a boat to Siargoa Island, pronounced Shar-gow . 6 nights of paradise – here.

Yes peaches, believe it. This is where I’ll be.

And then the next week, um, not quite sure yet – on another island of course with The Mountain Goats frolicking around with coconut drinks in hand in the sun. TBC. Love a little spice, uncertainty and spontaneity to an adventure.

ONE PROBLEM PEACHES. I got a glimpse of the backpack I will be taking last night and promptly asked The Queen of Bubbles, “Is this for carry-on luggage!?” “Um, no – this is it.” She told me, quite confidently, as she does. Fark! Shock, horror! “HOW I SCREAMED”, distraught!? And she still attempted to tell me that you can actually fit a lot in there. OK so here’s the solution – for once in my life I will need to actually pack in advance. How I usually do packing (whether it be to South Africa, Bali, London, even just Dubai for the weekend – whatever) is that an hour before I need to be at the airport I throw as much as possible into a suitcase, neatly, shower and fly down our curved marble staircase with a mahoosive suitcase trailing behind me nearly knocking myself down the stairs, running out of the house, cab driver already waiting outside for the last 30 minutes and almost always turn up at the airport late. But I get to where I’m going with everything I need is the bottom line, so it works as far as I’m concerned.

But for this trip I don’t want to be trying to haul a massive suitcase onto a little boat, which no doubt you will probably have to jump off into the water on the other side and carry my mahoosive suitcase on my head – um, I think not. This is not a good look. I need to look effortless – a well seasoned island traveler that knows exactly what she is doing, with my backpack and 15 kg’s of essentials. I’m thinking costumes, head bands (of course!), sarongs, beach dresses, beach hat and flip flops. That should be about it. And obviously my GHD and bag of MAC make up. This will stay. Don’t even try take this away from me.

You can still backpack and be fabulous.

Miss M x