Raoul and I made a deal- he'd post about the wedding, and I'd post about the honeymoon. I still think he took the easy way out by referring to the pictures, but I suppose I can't complain because I'd gladly take the same opportunity. However, since it will be a while until we have the honeymoon pictures up on the site, I'll have to take the long way around.
Raoul and I spent the first night at a chalet at Rainbow Glen in Montagu and then went to the Avalon Springs resort the following morning to spend the first half the day lounging in the pools. One of my favourite parts of the honeymoon was just relaxing at the pools there (plus taking a couple of daring turns on the water slide). We left there about midday and went through to Calitzdorp, where Raoul's parents have a house. Mom and Dad (as I can now freely call them) had been there the week before to prepare a room for us.
We stayed at Calitzdorp the one night, had brunch in Oudtshoorn, and then went on to Sedgefield, where we stayed two nights at the Forest View B&B. Our room there was very comfortable, and the people who ran it were helpful and very pleasant.
That first afternoon we went to a nearby coffee shop and internet cafe, and just checked e-mail and Facebook (a must, of course) and had a light lunch. After that we went in search of the first "big tree" and headed out toward the big tree near Rheenendal. After leaving some money for a permit and taking a permit, we headed off into the forest where we shortly found the big tree. After that Raoul decided to drive further into the forest, where we came across the stunning Jubilee Creek. That evening we went out for supper with Kelly, a girl from the CPUT Student YMCA that he knows. Between driving round the forest and meeting Kelly, we had some time to kill, so we took a drive up to the Knysna heads. The eastern head is completely built up with luxury houses, which Raoul was rather digusted with.
The following morning we visited the Garden of Eden, on the way to Plettenberg Bay. The Garden of Eden was absolutely magnificent - we took tons of pictures there, although unfortunately they don't come close to actually capturing the beauty of the place. The next stop was the elephant sanctuary, where we got to walk with the elephants, trunk in hand, as well as learn a bit about them and get to touch and feed them. That was a lot of fun, but very expensive. That afternoon we linked up with Tami Byne, another friend of Raoul's from Tech who's also living and working in Plet.
After our stay in Sedgefield, we went back to Calitzdorp. On the way, we detoured through Wilderness to see if we could find another big tree, the Woodville Big Tree, which is probably the biggest and oldest tree in the area. It took us a while to find it, since we were so captivated with the scenery that we missed the last sign for the turn-off, but after eventually winding up back in Sedgefield, we had another go at finding it, and managed to spot the turn-off the second time around. The road to the big tree had a turn-off for George, via the old George-Knysna road, so we took that back to George, awed by more amazing scenery along the way.
While we were in George, we decided to go to the cinema to see Ratatouille. We just missed the first showing of it, so we decided to wander around the shopping center to kill some time until the next showing. There happened to be an amazing deal going on at Bargain Books, where they had a ton of Christian books going for only R20! We got several great books: Monster, Three, Boo Hiss, and Imperial Legions, as well as a Bible study book: Cover to Cover, God's People, which is going through the Bible with a focus on individual people (full price for that one though). After that, we watched the movie, which we both enjoyed, then headed back to Calitzdorp.
Staying in Calitzdorp was quite nice - it gave us a chance to just relax. We read to each other, did puzzles, watched DVD's on my laptop, and slept (A LOT). We stayed in Calitzdorp from Thursday evening to Tuesday morning. Also while we were staying in Calitzdorp, it snowed on the Swartberg mountains- very low and apparently pretty deep as well! Don't worry, we have some great pictures of that. We visited the Cango Caves the day after in snowed (and only did the standard tour because I was too chicken to dare the adventure tour). Because we only did the standard tour, the caves weren't all that impressive. What was very impressive though, was the Rust En Vrede waterfall, which we visited on the way back from the caves.
We spent the next night at Warmwaterberg at the resort in a chalet, and enjoyed hot springs for the second time on our honeymoon. The next day we decided to head home, so we went through Caledon on the way back to get some sheepskin slippers, which both Raoul and I had been wanting for a while. We had a pleasant drive back, and a good visit with Mom and Dad in Paarl, then got back home. We had a great time everywhere we went on honeymoon, and saw some amazingly beautiful places, but there is truly no place like home!