Both of us were brought up in the southern suburbs of Cape Town and attended local schools. Following our schooling, Mike read for an engineering degree which was followed with a post-graduate degree in Engineering, while Judith completed her qualifications to become a teacher. Isn't it funny how many engineers and teachers end up getting married!
Following the completion of our tertiary educations, we relocated to Bloemfontein in early 1998 and lived there for five years. Bloemfontein only had a population of about 400,000 and made for a nice change from Cape Town. Although Bloemfontein is regarded as being in the middle of nowhere, this is not really true. Johannesburg is only four hours north (but why would you want to go there anyway), the beautiful Eastern Free State is only a couple of hours to the east, you have the Northern Cape a couple of hours to the west, and the Drakensberg within a few hours drive to the north-east. In particular, the Drakensberg offers serious hikers a chance to get away from it all and is regarded as rugged, and can be extreme.
Bloemfontein itself is small which means that you never have far to go for anything, and peak hour traffic is non-existent. Living on the outskirts of town and still being able to commute to work by bicycle was an absolute dream. Furthermore, the locals are the friendliest crowd around; we have very fond memories of the people we met in Bloem.
After living in Bloemfontein for a few years, we started the Australian immigration process which took us approximately two years from the day we made the decision to apply for Australian Permanent Residency, to the confirmation that it had been granted. A very long process, but in the end all came good. Having organised employment in Sydney, it was then time to arrange for removalists and closing of all our South African affairs.
In February 2003, we boarded an aeroplane in Bloemfontein, transferred to International Departures in Johannesburg, and left South Africa for the Land Down-under, Australia.
Click on the link to see the places we have camped in South Africa (link).