Category Archives: South Africa

New Book – South African Wine Tour – Stellenbosch

South African Wine Tour - Stellenbosch
I just wrote a new book, this one is non-technical and completely off what I write about, wine.

During 2011 I travelled around the Stellenbosch region of the Western Cape. I visited lots of wineries during that trip and decided to write a short guide about the trip. I listed my favorite 5 wine estates, one a Brandy Distillery and a small Belgian Waffle Shop in a little town on the beach just south of Stellenbosch.

You can find more about the trip on the book blog,, I’ll be adding the wineries there as well as posting some other news about my upcoming trip to the region in late 2012.

Now available onĀ

International Data – iPad & iPhone

Given that AT&T international data rates $uck, I thought I would provide this quick guide to data set-up for traveling internationally to either England or South Africa. All of these are for pay as you go data.


  • iPhone – Jailbreak required or Wi-Fi Only via Internet sharing on PC or iPad. Did not attempt to jailbreak, just used Skype.
  • iPad – 3G Card from vending machine, 10 GBP (pounds) for 1Gig. I simply trimmed the SIM card to a MicroSim size, popped it in, waited about 30 minutes, and I was using 3G in the UK. Some Sims are not this size, look at your iPad MicroSim and verify the SIM you are buying will work.
  • Mac Book Pro / PC – Did not attempt, but if you have a GSM 3G modem you should be able to put in a SIM (same as iPad) and it should work just fine.

South Africa

(Take your passport & drivers license) to a Vodacom Shop at any mall.

  • iPhone – Jailbreak required or Wi-Fi Only via Internet sharing on PC or iPad. Did not attempt to jailbreak, just used Skype.
  • iPad – Go to a Vodacom shop purchase a MicroSim (100 Rand), and then ask them for My Gig 1.2 (290 Rand) and ask them to load it on the SIM. Wait a few hours, change your APN to “internet” with username and passwords blank. Turn on-off your iPad, and you should be good to go.
  • Mac Book Pro / PC – I purchased a GSM 3G modem from Vodacom a few years ago. Just get a new SIM from Pick-N-Pay (1 Rand) and take it to Vodacom have them load up a MyGig 1.2 and wait a bit. The newer modems will have the software installed, but an older one you will need to download from the Vodacom website.

Good Luck!

Lion Eats Tire

This was part of our trip in 2007. We made a trip to the lion and Rhino park, in Gauteng (Johannesburg)and witnessed a few really cool things. I apologize in advance for the camera work.

South Africa Day 29 – Last Full Day

Today we just packed and had another braai. That was it. Just conversation talking African politics and a little about American History.

I was online looking at the weather and Columbus looks like it’s going to get cold and snow the day I arrive, nice, thanks Columbus for the welcome home.

My next post will be from the states!

South Africa Day 28 – Capetown Tour

Today we were up early and went to visit Cape Town. Our trip began at a small shop for breakfast where I had eggs florentine. I noticed this little shop had a lot of private labeled food, which was really neat because it had the name of the coffee shop and were all gourmet kinds of food.

After this we went to the market, with lots of traditional South African crafts/art. Can you say TOURIST TRAP? Emily and Magda were chatting so they did not bother us too much because we were “local”. After more shopping I got this awesome mechanical robot, vintage 1950’s, very cool. I will update this on my site.

We walked over the the gardens for a beer and a rest then to the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. This gave us a short tour of Cape Town before we went to Table Mountain.

The weather was awesome today because there was near 100% visibility with very little wind.

South Africa Day 27 – Reading & Afternoon Braai

Today I am certain that I am completely caught up on my reading and about ready to get home since I am running out of things to do. Today we had an afternoon Braai (BBQ/Cookout) and then I read some more. Right now we are looking at old photos and slides of years past in South Africa, very cool to see Emm as a kid on the farm here… I think tonight we are having pies (English style).

South Africa Day 26 – Chinese Food Day

Today was our once a year spoil. A 5 course Chinese dinner spread out over 3-4 hours. It was very, very nice. It started with spring rolls. Then we had a chicken soup, not sure of the recipe, but it was alike a chicken egg drop or something like that. Then we had sweet & sour pork. To end the food part we concluded with beef chow mien. For desert we had fortune cookies and fruit.

South Africa Day 25 – Reading & Massage

Today I just read and after a nap went to get a sweedish massage at one of the local spas. It’s nice, get a 60 minute massage for $35. Can’t beat it. For dinner we had a traditional south african dish called vetkoek, pronounced “fet-cook”. The closest example in the states would be a deep fried sloppy joe. Yes heartburn was involved!

South Africa Day 24 – 5 Things

Five Short Notes:

  1. On our way to get some shoes I notices some fires on mountain the way to Stellenbosch. The entire valley and all of False Bay was covered in this smokey haze.
  2. We visited a shoe store in Wellington. I was able to get myself a really nice pair of hand made shoes for $28.
  3. After shoes we went to Backsburg Estate Cellars, we purchased no wine, but I remember visiting this place a few years ago tasting some brandy. Nice lunch.
  4. But once again after a tasting and a great lunch, I could not resist an afternoon nap.
  5. Once up from the nap a little reading, then to a local restaurant for some dinner.

South Africa Day 23 – Just Reading…

Today I pretty much did nothing. Emm went to Cape Town to shop with Karen. Frikkie caught up on some work. I sat around and read. I read inside on the couch, out by the pool, then inside on the couch, then out by the pool with a beer. I read some Clive Cussler and some productivity related non-fiction.