Sunday, November 29, 2009

Driving back from Italy

Alec Justin and Heath enjoying the view of one of the best switch back road in France !
Click on pix to expand to see road behind them!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Genova SX

Alec and friend Philippe in ITaly for SX watching race from the very cool Airoh helmet semi!
Justin Brayton and Josh Grant won the races with JB getting the overall!
Justin is going to stay with us in France untill Geneva SX!
We are going to have fun!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Back in France

The boys enjoying a pit stop at their great grand mother "Mamyette"!
95 and so lively!
We love her so much!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dubai UAE (2)

Our short week in Dubai was exciting to say the least!
First this place is unreal (like it or not!) and we are not sure!
Dubai makes Las Vegas look like a little village...the sheer size of buildingss everywhere is mind bogling!
The sad note is of course all the temporary abandonned construction sites.
We checked the Atlantis, the Burb el Aral (Wing hotel!)ski dubai and a lot of great sunnt places!
We loved the weather and the people are very nice! We like the middle east but the absence of "female world" is strange!
Our stay was clouded by Luca's problem but our little trooper never lost his smile and everybody was so helpfull that we will most likely not remenber it as a bad time!

Tomorrow 8 hours to Paris , then to Italy for Genoa SX before going home to Maman for few days before Geneva Sx and couple weeks in Moroco!

We will be a bit quiet the next 10 days....

Dubai marina

Ski Dubai,yes htere a ski slope inside this building

Beautiful skyline

doggies in dubai

Surf in Dubai......water 90, air 92.......all good

Local playing footbal with his son

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rough night in Dubai!( But all ok!)

We had to rush Luca to the emergency room in a Dubai hospital with a bad asthma crisis!
Couple hours later after great service and a lot of oxygen Luca was out smiling!
Payment was not an issue since it was!
( We asked twice!)
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dubai UAE!

Finaly finding what we were looking for for weeks now!
Nice hotel , sunshine ,heat and hot water! (pool and ocean!)
We were so happy to enjoy a long day by the pool doing nothing! Dont feel sorry for us but travelling is tiring and we were very happy to chill!
Dubai is very impressive, kind of a giant Las Vegas/Palm springs obviously very very rich but with a lot of older neighborhoods next to hitech skyskrapper for sale or for rent!
The real estate crisis has hit Dubai like nowhere else in the world and you can litteraly see dozens of building half built or completely empty!
They say the worst is over...hopefully they are right!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back in Dubai

On schedule this time
But 5.30 am!
We will be here untill thursday!

Sunday afternoon in Cape town bay!

Enjoying the day while waiting for our evening flight!
Kite surfing seems very popular around here.....very spectacular!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Last few days in South Africa

Finally the weather turned around and we could enjoy South Africa the way it should be enjoyed!
We spent couple days in the wine countries (created by the French couple centuries ago) in Franshhoek!
This was very nice, we rented a little cottage and enjoyed the great wine and food!
Then we were back in Cape Town with perfect weather….What a difference it was, we climbed table mountain, were in a very vibrant downtown where we could tell that people were very excited about the summer.
I spent an Afternoon at Leatt Brace and learned a lot (Thanks Andreas) and we spent our final day going to Clifton beach and had a great evening and dinner with friends (expat) Erick and Mia.
South Africa grew on us slowly but surely! We really had a good time, met very friendly people with good lifestyle.
Yet, you can tell pretty easily that SA is facing some serious integration challenges!
It is still a very young country.
On our way to Dubai this afternoon

PS: Luca lost another tooth!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dancing with Sharks !( Kleinnbay SA)

Another wild day in paradise! Today was the big one and I do not think we will top this for a while!
We went (Alec and I)cage diving with white sharks in a possessed ocean (up to 30 knots wind) where the water temp was barely 50 (14c). (about the same as air temp)
I had read about this unique place in the world where White Sharks gather but never thought I would end up diving with my older son in the middle of such chaos…storm etc
First we selected one of the few outfitters doing this business on the fact that Brad Pitt did it with them few years ago! If if was good enough for Brad Pitt it should be good enough for us!
The day started at 4 am when we woke up ready to go for a beginning of tour at 6.45am! Actually we talked about it all day/and evening before we opted to leave Carol and Luca on shore (Luca was not too keen on idea!) In short , we were not able to sleep!
6.30 am, Alec and I were the first one at Shark diving place!
Quick safety meeting (of course no liability in SA), breakfast (I had 1 sausage too many) and here we were on Barracuda with 15 other instant crazy friends!
8 am, after a short ride thru the bay (Mistakenly on the flybrige of the boat) we dropped anchor in the middle of a wind storm….just the ride in itself was an adventure to start with!
The captain warned us by telling us we could be here for couple hours to wait for a shark……fortunately within 2 minute a glorious 15 footer went by boat!
Frenzy was here! Suddenly the cage was dropped and the 15 tourists (including us) were looking for wet suits (7mm) and a spot to change on this 40 foot boat!
Everybody that has been wearing a wet suit once can picture 15 people trying to get in a full wetsuits on a small boats without changing rooms….epic!
The cage was in and we opted not to be first as we always do in those situations! The adrenaline pump was working and then our turn came. Alec went first and I was protecting him on the corner of cage exposing myself to 3 angle instead of 1!(creepy)
Could not tell you much how many time we dove under water it was a blurr!
The water was so cold but we did not feel anything but the rush of seeing those unbelievable creatures swimming around us! (we saw 7 different big whites)
Finally it was our last dive and a shark went straight for the cage sticking his head (safely) between two bars! Alec and I ended up less than a foot head on with a great white! We had enough!
The captain called us in saying the storm was coming (Thought it was always here!) and it was time to go back to shore!
We quickly(!) removed our wet suits and for some reasons we got seasick instantly!
The sausage too many was quickly released to the ocean and quite pale I went back to shore (Alec was not very fresh either!
We are on a cloud, Alec and I will NEVER forget this day and to be honest I am not sure I would do it again unless the weather and temperature were more friendly

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shark diving

We did it!
Alec and I went cage diving with great white sharks!
We survived!
More pictures and story to come

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oudtshoorn (klein Karoo) and surrounding

Today the Peronnard’s were on a mission. We were ready for action! We had looked so forward to shark diving but could not because of the weather. We were ready for some beach days but the weather brought cool temperatures and heavy winds. After finding the perfect place to stay at this point in our travels, an apartment where we could do our own cooking in the evening with a great feeling of home, we were inspired by the direction by our guest host to take a tour which included a breathtaking pass with shear cliffs and a narrow gravel road, a hike to a waterfall, a look at some ostrich farms and the finale, or the dessert as she called it, an adventure tour through a mile long grotto call Cango Caves. This was an unbelievable venture with very specific age and size requirements and you had to be in good shape and not claustrophobic. We climbed through tunnels that were only one foot high and tunnels that you could only get through by crawling with your body. It was challenging for all of us!! Exactly what we needed to make a great day!
PS: this cave system is advertised as the world best underground adventure without specific equipment! Liability America would have not allowed to do that for sure!)

Carol sliding gracefully out of a cave!
Luca getting out of a tight one.....
Cango cave
this formation is 800000 years old
Schwartberg pass, spectacular dirt road!
Prince Albert
Vlede waterfall
having lunch P style.......vegetables and coffee for Carol

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jeffrey bay

Sunday in Jeffrey bay
Very famous surfing spot for the good guys!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Addo elephant park and eastern cape region

Great day today!

the weather is still cold and very windy but when you are in 1 of the biggest animal park in the world you do not worry about it!

Addo Park is 1000km north east of Cape town and way worth the drive!

We say dozens of elephants, buffalos, impalas, warthogs and multitude of other smaller creatures.

This was the REAL Africa. Bad news of the day, my camera went on strike and you can see the few pictures that were saved....

After being locked in a car all day we went and relaxed ourselves in plastic bubbles on a lake (see pix)

big daddy

a small family

Elephant Xing

not the time to use the horn!

10 feet from the not want to be any closer!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flying high over the African Jungle!

What could we do on a Friday the 13th but pushing our luck!
We decided to play monkeys and do a canopy ride over the African jungle.
Some may ask what a canopy ride is but is it simply cabling from 1 tree to another , 100 feet high sometime 400 feet long and having fun!
The whole family got harnessed and then we went to the tallest tree!
Luca got a bit scared with the biggest ride (while wearing harness #13) but overall claimed again it the "funnest day" of his life!
Rescuing Luca !got stuck in the middle because not heavy enough!
Click on pix to expand! still clean undies!

Alec watching Mummy glide!

Are we ready or what!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cruising the western Cape

We finally left Cape Town couple days ago with decent weather!
Sadly the next storm was coming in and they had to cancel our white shark experience.
Wherever we go with an Ocean we seems to attract high wings over 20 knots...
We had issues in the Bahamas, the Virgin islands and now south Africa...bottom line:
We HATE the wind!
Dispite the bad weather we had a great ride with sightings of penguins, whales and incredible vistas!
Life is good around here, almost too good! Kind of California at half the cost and no crowd!
We are a bit disapointed since it is not what we were looking for in Africa.
That said we are enjoying it!
We are staying in a quaint little coastal town at a bed in breakfast overlooking the ocean that would be at least a 5 M dollars SA it cost 700k!
We had a great breakfast served by owner Wolfgang and decided to stay an extra day!
Tomorrow, we will drive closer to the ADDO game park (home of 500 elephants)
like california?

Whale around Hermanus....only 100 feet from the shore
breakfast overlooking indian ocean

Doggy enjoying scenery

maybe later......