Taking my Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost shoes on safari in Africa

I am still totally in love with my Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost shoes but, tragically, they are now officially finished.

Finito.

Dead.

Khatm.

Well, that’s if I choose to believe the doleful message from mapmyrun.com received 2 weeks ago :

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I ignored them, continued with my #dailyrunning and now I’ve clocked up 720km, meaning I am technically “in the red”, as it were :

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But, as an aside, not half as much “in the red” as I am with my alternate shoes, my “old” Adidas Energy Boost:

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Yikes –  546 km OVER the recommended usage…time to go shopping, quite clearly.

But, yes, back to Africa.

We have just got back from a brilliant trip to South Africa, where I ran ever day, and where my shoes had a couple of fun moments.

We stayed at a friend’s game farm, about 4 hours north of Johannesburg, and since the farm does not have lion, elephant or rhino, it was deemed safe for me to go running in the bush, which was stupendous.  Watch out for rhino, I was told.  And leopard.  But otherwise, no problem.  And so I went for long solitary runs through the bush.IMG_3301

One morning, as we all set off in the Landrover for our early morning game drive, my running tracks from the previous evening were still clearly visible, and so our host suggested we try and identify the pug marks of the wildlife that had walked down the same track after me.   So we all hopped off the Landie and started spotting.

Here, you can clearly see the Adidas logo, and that a blade of straw has found its way on top of my footprint.

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Enough critters had wandered over my footprints…impala…baboon…wild boar.

All pretty exciting.

And then…no, that couldn’t really be a leopard’s pug mark, could it?

Yes it most definitely could 🙂

How exciting to think that during the night a leopard had walked in my footsteps.  Actually, he had walked over my footsteps.IMG_3356

But my shoes’ African adventures were not yet over.

The next week saw us in a friend’s fishing estate in the hills around Lydenburg.

Joy of joys, the estate manager has a tame meerkat, who is cute as a button and super friendly.

And this lil chap fell seriously in love with my shoes.

All that webbing!  He sniffed and poked and clawed away –  in the wild, they grub for food with their long (sharp) nails, so my shoes presented lots of temptation for him.

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Some times, we sat in companionable silence, while he rested from checking out my shoes.

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Another day, he checked out my socks with great interest.

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And yet another morning, when I knelt down to try and take a low-level photo of him, he pounced upon the soles of my shoes with great glee, since things do indeed get wedged in the holes, and I could feel him happily scratching and scraping away.

After a while, perhaps tired from all that exercise with my shoes, he scrambled onto my knees, and settled down for a nap.

Now how special is that?South Africa_Finsbury_3377

One thing is for sure –  all this African excitement sure beats pounding the streets of Delhi every day.

Where to find excellent coffee in downtown Johannesburg

On a recent holiday in Johannesburg, where we used to live, we went wandering through Braamfontein, a part of town that was hardly on our radar screen when we lived in Joburg, because it was downtown and perceived to be unsafe.

Fast forward several years (oh dear me, how I miss living in wonderful Joburg) and a brilliantly highveld winter morning, and we were headed to Braamfontein to meet up with friends and to explore the newly revitalised part of town.

Father Coffee is a small, elegant coffee bar and, as luck would have it, it was celebrating its first birthday that morning, hence the cake.  This cool little haven is partly owned by the son of our friends-  here he is busy at work :

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I loved the feel and pared down space :

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Outside is equally cool :

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My cappuccino was delicious and very reasonably priced.  I’m told the espresso was perfect.  Ditto the birthday cake.

They sell their Africa sourced coffee beans.

What’s not to love?

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Personally recommended.

I didn’t tell the staff I blog and write reviews until we had finished and after I asked permission to take photos, which was graciously granted.

Lovely place.

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Are these the best olives in Johannesburg ?

Every Sunday morning, the otherwise completely ordinary rooftop parking lot of the Rosebank Mall becomes one of Johannesburg’s iconic markets.

Crafters, traders, performance artists, food stalls all spring up for the morning, the crowds pour in to eat and shop and wander, it is all a tad bohemian and great fun.

When we lived in Joburg, Rosebank Rooftop Market was a Sunday staple, and now, whenever we return on holiday, we aim for at least one Sunday morning in Joburg, just for the market.

There, we make a bee-line for traders we have patronised for years.

Such as Doreen, who sells what have to be THE most delicious olives in Johannesburg.

Her olives are fat and plump and well-stuffed – and not cheap, I must in all honesty warn you. But they are absolutely delcious.

We have been buying feta-stuffed olves and garlic-stuffed olives from Doreen for years, and on a visit to Rosebank last Sunday, we tried out a new product – olives stuffed with blue cheese.

Heavenly.

Doreen also sells stuffed artichokes, which are a long-standing family favourite, and pestos, and ginger and all manner of utterly delicious treats.

Doreen and her husband can be found every Sunday, in 5th Avenue on the Rooftop Market, in the section where all the food stalls are, quite close to the Polish meat seller and next to the Indian spice seller.

MIAS ANGLING Woodmead Johannesburg

Mia’s angling store in Johannesburg’s Woodmead Shopping Centre, is a mecca for anglers.

A magnet for fishermen.

A lure for outdoors-y types, and any other clichés you may care to think of.

Trust me, I should know, having spent enough time there, watching my husband spend our retirement money on yet more rods and reels and lures and bags, and – listen up, here’s the latest purchase –  a dinky little folding stool, lighter than the other folding stool he bought at Mia’s last year, and absolutely ideal for fishing from a coracle.

As one does.

Anyway, back to Mias.

They stock literally everything a fisherman could want, and then some.

They also have serious diving and scuba equipment, where I always hang out, to combat my personal fishing-shopping-boredom. They sell sports shoes and hats and maps. Loads of stuff.

But their absolute holy grail is fishing.

The sales staff is knowledgeable and friendly, without being in the least bit intrusive.  They offer advice, they advise, and they never push you to buy.  They stock local and imported makes of rods, and reels, and lures, and bait, and bags and boxes –  you name it, Mias has it.

The details below are for the Woodmead store, which I know like the back of my hand.

011 804-4102/4
20 Waterval Crescent.
Woodmead
OPEN ON SUNDAYS
From 10am – 1pm
e-mail: info@miasangling.co.za

There are 4 other local branches in and around Jo’burg.

 

 

 

 

BELLA Restaurant JOHANNESBURG

 

Bella on Rivonia Road in Johannesburg is a perfect place for lunch. Airy, friendly, relaxed staff, serving easy on the palate light food, which is consistently good, with a wide choice of specials of the day. It is very much the place for ladies who lunch.

Safe and ample parking.

Outdoor heaters to supplement the winter sunshine.

The fare is light bistro-esque. Quiches, salads, delicious fish-cakes, chicken pies in winter, generous open sandwiches, and delicious in-season puddings.

It’s not cheap, to be honest, but the food is good – although crab-cake and a small side salad at R 90 did strike me as a tad pricey.

Lunch for 2 with no alcohol, no pud, just a main course, fruit juice and a coffee each cost R237.

I have eaten at Bella about 5/6 times over the past 2 years.

Bella
66 Rivonia Road
Sandton.

Tel : 011 883 6665
info@bella66.co.za