30/09/2010. My very first Blog posting…

This was the Blog posting that started “Travel & Things”
Posted on Thursday 30th September 2010.
Originally I thought that the Blog would be another platform for my newspaper articles.
But what a journey it has turned into.
This is posting #861 and today I exceed the “100000 readers” mark.
And a SA Blog Award…not bad for a “one-man-operation”.
The original posting only had words and no pictures.
It was the final destination on a road trip that my daughter,Jayne, and I had undertaken between Johannesburg and Cape Town. 9 days to do a two day trip!
I have added some images and comments to bring it “up to date” so to speak.
The Blog now also has its own radio program and is podcast…another first.
Many thanks to all my readers and to James and the team at Radio Today. 
I have to admit to being a bit of a Spa junkie, so when I was recently offered the opportunity to try out the Arabella Spa at the Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa my only question was “What time should I be there?”
This Western Cape hotel and spa must have one of the best views in the country,
situated as it is next to the Bot River on the Southern tip of Africa.
It is also home to one of the best golf courses in South Africa…or so I am told.
I cannot see the value in chasing a little white ball while dressed like Rupert the Bear.
But before I incur the wrath of every golfer, I did walk part of the course and it is superb!

The views from the lounge in the main reception area are breathtaking,
and I can see why seating here is at a premium.
There is also a cigar bar that I was tempted to try out, but time constraints did not allow me to.
But before I get to the treatment I have to mention the accommodation.
Every room has its own balcony overlooking a huge water feature and swimming pool.
Because of the noise this waterfall makes, the hotel very thoughtfully turns it off at night.

Aside from the glorious bed linen, goose down duvets…
and rosewood furniture…

the best feature of our suite was the fact that there was a TV built into the wall at the foot of the bath!
Only problem…no-one seems to have invented a waterproof remote control.

The dinner and breakfast that we enjoyed had more than enough variety to satisfy the most serious food junkie.
And after a drive though parts of South Africa where chicken is considered a vegetable,
there were plenty of real veggies on offer! (A bonus for my daughter who is vegetarian.)
The staff, some of the best I have met in my many travels. were friendly and attentive without being intrusive.
But I was not here to eat the food and look at the stunning views.
No, it was spa treatment I wanted and that is what I got, in spades.
I have frequented many Spas both locally and internationally,
but the signature African Rain Forest Experience at Arabella
has to be the most spectacular treatment I have ever had.
Most treatments take between 60-90 minutes.
 This treatment took an astounding 130 minutes and every one was well spent.
This 15 step treatment focuses on water and heat.
(Lots of water, some hot and some cold and heat in the form of a sauna and steam room.)
Therapeutic showers, scrubs, steam treatments, all interspersed with various forms of relaxation therapy, make this treatment very special.
My therapist was very capable and her knowledge and use local products,
which are used to stimulate all senses, enhanced my treatment experience…

One of the highlights for me was the Rainforest Shower. My therapist did warn me that the water would be cold, but the initial ‘shock’ had me screaming out loud. As did the guests before and after me!
Oh, and don’t forget about 20 mins of relaxation time at the end, just before the tea ceremony
The Spa combines modern and traditional Far Eastern and Western therapies that left me feeling like I had been reborn!
My only problem was that I had to leave for Cape Town soon after my treatment;
I would have liked to have relaxed for a couple of hours before I left.
This five-star facility and its dedicated staff certainly made me feel very special.
Perhaps next time I get invited I will have the time to try out the heated indoor hydro pool and fitness centre!
Contact details:
Tel: 028-2840036.
The Jeep has gone, as has my beard and some of my weight.
But the memories of that trip will last forever.

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