Betty’s Bay for my Birthday

It is the same story every year. I live for my birthday. Okay, not entirely, but I just love celebrating my birthday.

Last year I said I wanted to go somewhere and stay in a bed & breakfast or cottage or self catering unit, air bnb, anything in that line. The location was not super important, but I wanted to go to the Overberg area.

After much consideration and different types of accommodation we fell in love with a little house in Betty’s Bay. So, off we went.

Friends of ours, us as well of course, was in the mood for , as we say in Afrikaans, gatskuur. My sister and her husband joined us at the house, unfortunately they had to work full day and for some or other reason they did not make it onto any photographs. Hmmmkay.

Our first stop was at The Grille Shack on the R44 towards Gordon’s Bay. We stumbled upon this place a few years back and we suggested this one for lunch. Always a good idea. This venue is just a complete vibe on its own.

We had a delicious lunch, spent some time on the Happy Sak’s all around outside-those bean bags are so comfy. Most certainly on my list of things I want. We even took a 10min shut eye. They have little shops on the property (gifts and wine) and the restaurant forms part of the lodge. Have a look here.

We made our way to our accommodation for the weekend along the beautiful coast. The agent hosting us was Be in Betty’s Bay. Ellen, Lucille and the rest of her team was so welcoming and we felt very comfortable. The instructions given was clear and everyone was so friendly.

I knew I were going to love the place when we arrived. The house is open and with so much natural light. We all fell in love instantly with the day bed and the great big window overlooking the mountains. That was the prime spot in the house.

It was neat, quiet and the rooms were very comfy. The house is set up for a great cater-for-yourself stay and very central to reach all the important places.

Book your stay here.

The highlight of the stay was the house, seriously, but the penguins were equally entertaining and we even went for a little hike along the beach. I had to accumulate some steps. We even met a stranger that showed us a short pathway back to our accommodation instead of taking the long way.

On Saturday morning we took a short walk to visit the Stoney Point Penguin Colony. These guys are so freakin cute. We also saw some dassies with their little ones! It is worth visiting and paying the small fee to enter the sanctuary. Your best time to visit is between August and November. The weather can be very unpredictable. We got wind from all sides. Gates open at 08:00 and closes strictly 16:30. Your entry fee is around R28 the last time we visited. They only accept cash.

Read a bit here about the colony and what the entry fee is used for.

Let me just explain the last two shots. I got down on the ground so that I could get a better angle to take the picture of the penguin and Etienne took a photo of me and my friend took a photo of Etienne taking a photo of me. Anything for the shot!

There is also a café on the beach serving light meals and drinks. We did not visit this time.

We did a lot of lounging around in the house and chatting and just generally relaxing.

Sunday was Birthday-Day! We stayed awake till way past midnight and my people sang for me and I even had a cupcake with a candle to blow out. You can check my highlights/reels on Instagram to watch the videos.

We stopped at The Hickory Shack for lunch. It was delicious but sadly I was not super impressed. We were referred because they allegedly have the best pulled pork, but we have had better. The chips however was delicious. That being said, we still had a lovely lunch and drinks and would visit again and try something else of the menu.

I always have cake on my birthday but this day I was just so stuffed after lunch. My friend and I both said we just do not have the space. So we made our way home.

My friends surprised me by taking me to Tygervalley to have coffee and cake at my favourite coffee shop-Seattle Coffee Company. It was delicious and I felt so spoiled and what an end to my birthday weekend.

I am so grateful to have been spoiled so much on my birthday and I would love to go back. I can highly recommend this short, fun trip if you are just looking for a quick getaway.

E xx

(Links not affiliated)

My dogs got old?!

My dog is going to live forever. I am convinced this is what I believed until I started seeing changes when we went for our daily walk.

Our little guy just simply refuses to walk somewhere if he does not want to. Trying to pull him toward the intended path is fruitless. He will also randomly decide to stop walking and this makes me almost lose my middle as the harness is fastened around my middle. Then the big guy looks at me with a confused face. He also trails behind me. He does not pull out in front anymore. He also does not want to jump in or out of the car or on the couch. He now insists on being picked up.

The big guy just tends to be slacking. Instead of having to call him back because he wandered too far from me I have to call him to actually come along. It is like he is stopping and smelling the flowers, but then forget that he actually needs to walk. Half way he also seems a bit famished more than usual. 

At first I thought they were just being tardy and then one day it hit me like the blood drained from my face kind of realisation. 

My dogs got old. 

It dawned on me that there is a reason why they are acting differently or even strange on their walks these days. 

My 3 year old puppy is not 3 years old anymore. He does not look old, but he is older. He is turning 9 at the end of this year.

My little old guy is not 7 years old anymore. He is turning 11!

It is not like we have not been talking about their ages, but it just simply did not click that they are actually getting old.

I asked Etienne, listen is it not time that we start buying senior food for the doggies? He looked at me kind of dumbstruck and then realisation hit with “oh my word! Yes, I did not think of that”.

I had such a laugh. I think in my mind my dogs were still puppies.

I had to adjust our walks. We can not go for long walks like we used too which were between 6-10km’s. We have to stick to around 5km’s at a time and slower paces.

I started adjusting my fitness programme to help my doggo’s still get their daily walk, because even though they are older they are still excited like puppies when I pick up their leashes.  

So, I had to, very quickly, get used to my doggies being seniors now. Wham! In the face.

Now I do not call them “seun”, “hondjie”, “boude” or whatever pops into my head first. From now on they will be known as “ou man”, “senior” or anything age related. 

Dog's lives are too short. Their only fault, really.
-Agnes Slight Turnbull

E xx

Kirstenbosch through Etienne’s Eyes

You know what they say about assumptions, do not do it.

“Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.” – Albert Einstein

So, I learned my lesson again on January,5th 2022.

My husband said that he was going to take leave for the day and then we can go do something to end my leave and before the new work year starts.

I had no idea what I wanted to do. He made a few suggestions and I played around with the idea of maybe visiting a wine farm, but I was just not really feeling anything. He then came up with the bright idea to visit Kirstenbosch.

I loved the idea instantly as we both said we wanted to be more active this year and what a great idea to start in this beautiful garden.

Now, I always assume that if you live in and around Cape Town that you must have been to Kirstenbosch at least once. Wrong! Here I found out that my husband has never been to Kirstenbosch and he is turning 42 this year! I got so excited! I could not believe that I was going to share this experience with him! He loves the outdoors as much as I and all I could think was this is going to be so, so good!

I struggled to sleep that night like you do before a birthday party when you were 5 years old.

We arrived just after the park opened and we grabbed a cup of coffee at Vida e Caffé first as we left our home early and did not have coffee before we left-the horror! Our gear for the day we left in the bakkie for the time being in the car. After we finished our coffee Etienne said that he is going to grab our stuff and meet up back at the table and then we can go.

As I sit waiting I see he is speaking to these two random people and I try to see if I recognise them. Keeping in mind I need glasses for distance viewing and it was a waste of time as they all were blurry. As they got closer the lady waved at me and then I saw it was my sister and her hubby! I ran like a child to the front and hugged her so close. This day was just getting better and better.

Etienne is like “Surprise!”. He conspired with them the previous evening to join us. This was perfect.

We were all ready to go.

I thought I am pretty fit for the excursion but again I was so wrong. We headed for the Boomslang first and after I led us astray as I thought I knew where I was going, we found the start of the Yellowwood Trail.

Let me tell you, it gets steep, but it is not difficult to climb. It is a short 3km which takes you about 1h30m (lots of steps) and you want to spend some time at the waterfall. I enjoyed it so much! You can read more about this trail and others here.

We had a lovely lunch at Moyo at Kirstenbosch and they got a 5 star from me only for the fact that they serve Redbull Sugar Free drinks! Man, I love that stuff. I was treated with sugar free ice cream at Kristen’s in Newlands. 

There are so many trails and different gardens within a garden and you can climb up Table Mountain from here as well. 

Etienne had a blast and he absolutely loved the garden. He said this was the first of many visits! 

I am excited!

Please visit Kirstenbosch website for all the info you need. 

E xx

Instagram Diary: Diabetes Awareness Month

Hmm, I really thought that if I can link the photo’s or subjects to Instagram then anyone can see it but Instagram is not playing nice. You will have to log in to see the post.

Not too worry for those who do not have Instagram, for you I will type it out. Okay, copy and paste but you will be a part of this.

Even though we are two weeks into December already (can you believe it?!) I want to share what we did in November here.

Some of the prompts I included blog posts on that I have written linking to that prompt, click on the “include blog post” to have a look.

{From Left to Right}

1. Diagnosis Story [incl blog post]

Diabetes Awareness Month 2021.

Usually I join @the.insulin.type for the #happydiabeticchallenge but it will not be featured this year. My heart is sad, but I understand.

I found this one instead from @type1toucan and I am excited to join the #diabetesawareness challenge this year.

I also decided to post a few things on my blog for this month and how fitting is it that day 1 is your diagnosis story.

So, on my blog you will find my story.

2. Pumps, Pens or Pills

I am on MDI which stands for Multiple Daily Injections which then means PENS.

Sometimes it hurts (using a needle for too long or hitting a vein) and sometimes not at all.

My endo have tried to convince me through the years to try the pump, but I am old school en just do not like change when it comes to Diabetes Management. My way of thinking is, why change it if what I am doing works?

I deal with a lot of pricks daily!

3. Cost Of Insulin

In South Africa we have a problem where this life giving liquid is not available to everyone. Some people do not even have access or cannot afford it. People are rationing their insulin and this should not be happening.

Our government provides insulin to Diabetics through the clinics but they do not offer the latest and sometimes they do not even have enough to provide which results in people having to purchase insulin out of pocket who can not afford the cost of it. People have to queue more than 6 hours a day and besides that it costs money to get to the clinic in the first place.

This just breaks my heart.

I have been on medical aid all my life. My dad had to support me by paying for it at one stage, but I have never had to worry where my insulin is going to come from. I have access to the best insulin options (which our government does not offer) and at the moment I do not have a co-payment. My insulin is covered as a Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) and are a set of defined benefits to ensure that all medical scheme members have access to certain minimum health services, regardless of the benefit option they have selected.

I am very privileged to have access to medical aid and it is sad that our government is not offering the same level of medication as medical aid does. Why should we go private if our government is supposed to look after their people?

To think that insulin was sold for $1 with the message that the insulin is for all and now it is being used by huge pharmaceutical companies and governments for prophet. You are playing with people’s lives here.

This needs to change!

4. Favourite Hypo Treat

I do not have a favourite hypo treat. We tend to not keep sweets and chips in the house because I have such a sweet tooth.

When a hypo strikes at home I go for the money, ag I meant the honey and on the road I have glucose tablets or super C’s with me.

I also use golden syrup, but not often and then whatever carb thing I have on hand I will use to stabilise the level.

But, should I have to choose a favourite I would have to go with Woolies soft gums or chocolate!

5. Type Of Diabetes [incl blog post]

What a fitting day to post my latest post.

I am a Type 1 Diabetic which means, in short, I am completely insulin dependant. My pancreas do not produce insulin.

@everydayisdiabetesday and I worked on this post, The differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, to help lift out the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. There are more types, but we focussed on these two as we get a lot to do with it.

Link to the post is in my bio.

6. Tag A Diabuddy

What a year it has been. Meeting SO many amazing people with 1 thing in common which makes us immediate family, Diabetes.

When I got involved in the community I had 1 person I chatted to a lot. @the.insulin.type and I have had many discussions and even did a colab post. I hope to meet you in person one day. I learned a lot from you!

Then I got to meet the one after the other awesome people.

@msbridgetmcnulty@riaan.sharkie.naude@charnejadephillips@liesl_engelbrecht@msbridgetmcnulty@theglucoseglitch@the_octobers_27

You all impact my life in different, good and pure ways.

7. Is It In Your Family?

At the time I was diagnosed there was no history of Diabetes (any type) in our family whatsoever which is why it was a great shock for my parents to find out that their 10 month old is now a Type 1 Diabetic.

Later in my life I had an aunt diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic due to a unhealthy lifestyle and being morbidly obese and a few years later my uncle was also diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic due to health conditions. I also have a cousin with Type 2 Diabetes.

So, apart from me, there are no other Type 1 Diabetics in our family, a few Type 2’s and no other types.

8. Medical ID

I have been wearing a medical alert bracelet since day 1 of diagnosis. I was never allowed to take it off.

I used to hate it. I hated when people asked me what I am allergic too and it turnes out nothing and then had to explain I have Diabetes. In my head, it made me feel different.

I took it off once and I felt guilty. How bazar! I was trying to change who I was. I thought for that day, I am not a Diabetic. Well, it did not work like that.

I changed the look of my medical bracelet by adding a bangle instead of a chain, in silver-same as the disk. It is now a life saving fashion accessory!

.Apart from this I have a seatbelt cover as well for when I am driving.

This is my life saving alert. On the day that I am not able to speak, this will speak for me

9. Kit Bag

I do not have a kit bag persé, but I have a few containers around the house with my Diabetes stuff and when I leave the house I have my “kit” that leaves with me.

Pic 1: The entirety of my Diabetes stuff.

Pic 2: When I leave for more than a day and depending on how long I will be out of town, this will influence what goes in the bag. It is safe to say that this is what I would take if I am leaving for a night or two.

Pic 3: This is my daily kit whenever I leave the house and I am only around town.

Getting the kit ready is always stressful to me. I am always scared that I am going to forget something, but that is why my husband is there to remind me and why I like lists so much!

10. Decorating Diabetes

This can be interpreted in many ways. When wearing a sensor you have the cutest and coolest stickers and plasters and making Diabetes colourful.

I use to see Diabetes as a dark colour. Not completely black, but pretty close. In the 80’s and 90’s there were not as colourful options relating to Diabetes as there is today.

My interpretation is a bit different.

I never used Diabetic products or branded stuff because it was not always colourful, it made me feel sad, for a lack of a better word, but just look at these.

This beautiful bag and blanket gifted as part of a Diabetic conference and yellow is so so happy. And the plasters to keep your sensor in place (gifted by my friend).

I love using this bag and blanket en I am looking forward to using the plasters (just waiting for summer to really arrive).

It is a product I use and people will ask who the company is and that is when I can Diabetes relate this. This to me is decorating Diabetes.

11. CGM or Fingerstick

I am team #freestylelibre

But, I have not always been.

I pricked for 34 years. I hated it so, so, very much. I used to dream of the day when I did not have to prick any more. This dream came true in 2020 when the good fight was done and we won Discovery over with @sweetlife.org.za and @everydayisdiabetesday

Now, I can simply scan and know exactly what my levels are doing and I do not get any funny stares anymore.

This device change my life and my Diabetes management. I am eternally grateful!

My wish is that every Diabetic will one day have access to this device to live their best life!

12. Hypo Symptoms

As each Diabetic is different from the next Diabetes, so different is each hypo symptoms.

At the display of any of the following, I know I need to check my bg urgently:
– Mouth goes pins and needles
– Cold Sweat in my neck
– Blurry vision
– None responsive
– Nauseous
– Shaky
– If the room starts spinning but then it is almost too low.

I prefer a high bg above a low bg. The reason behind this being that a high you treat and then wait it out. I still feel absolutely horrible, but it feels to me this settles much faster.

A low makes me want to clean out the fridge, the cupboard, the freezer and anything that is edible. It takes so long to “normalise” again and what usually happens if I can not contain myself is a high afterwards. It sucks.

Although the symptoms are not the same for everyone, someone being unresponsive is usually a tell tale sign and if the person is weak or shaky. Another sign is usually if the person is pale. Always keep an eye on your Diabetic friend for signs of that low sneaking up.

13. Favourite Diabetes Book

I have 4 favourite Diabetes-related books.

My go to guide for assistance on carb counting is the Kilojoule Carb&Fat counters and The South African Glycemic Index & Load Guide – Gabi Steenkap RD (SA), Liesbet Delport RD (SA). I use them a-lot. The fact that they are based on South African food is an absolute win. It makes my life SO much easier when trying to calculate my units to be injected.

Diabetes: A Practical Guide to managing your health – Rosemary Walker & Jill Rodgers is another go-to. My dietitian, Anel, from @paarldietitians actually suggested I get this book as I had some questions,and I found almost all my answers in this book. I still refer to it quite often. This is a very good starting point.

I have a few on my Kindle I still have to read, but I have only heard good things about these particular books. I just find it a bit hard to read “medical” types of books. Watch this space. Maybe one of these days I will rave about them as well.

14. World Diabetes Day

What a freakin fantastic day.

We had the best Diabetic Friendly cup cakes, the greatest laughs, sharing stories and the most awesome dance for Diabetes!

Thank you @abbottglobal and @sweetlife.org.za for our diaries and I am in there! What an honour!!

Jordy, You are making waves and I am excited to see your work. Thank you for my super cool merge from your new company and the honour to be part of your work.

Kirsten, thank you for opening your home and hosting us on this beautiful day.

My Diabuddies, I really, really love you all so much!

15. Monday Motivation

𝒮𝒽𝑒 𝓇𝑒𝓂𝑒𝓂𝒷𝑒𝓇𝑒𝒹 𝓌𝒽𝑜 𝓈𝒽𝑒 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑔𝒶𝓂𝑒 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓃𝑔𝑒𝒹-𝐿𝒶𝓁𝒶𝒽 𝒟𝑒𝓁𝒾𝒶𝒽

I want to live the healthiest life I can. I want to achieve my HBa1C goal. I want to live an active life. I want to grow old. I want to have grey hair and sit on a stoep with my husband.

This is what motivates me.

Diabetes challenges me so much in many, many ways. I struggle with the muscles in my legs, my shoulders and some times I am in a lot of discomfort. But, I am determined to reach a goal and it does not matter how hard it gets, I remember who I am and try again.

I am strong and fierce!

16. Your Test Metre

I use an Accuchek Instant Metre for the last few years. It is small, fast and my medical aid covers the test trips. So, its a win.

I do not use it regularly though because I am on a CGM, but I do check to see how accurate my CGM is especially with a low or a very high reading.

My first metre looked pretty much like the second picture and it took ar least a minute to give me a reading. We use to treat my lows in the meantime while it was loading. I also needed to almost draw a vile of blood to cover the sponge on the strip. I am so happy the metres got better over the years.

17. Mental Health

Apart from managing our pancreas, we need to look after our mental health as well. This can not be said enough.

We did an event a few weeks ago on The Emotional Side of Diabetes. Please check the link in my bio. It is very informative and covers some of the aspects of Mental Health and Diabetes.

We all have our struggles and it can get so overwhelming. I just want to tell you that you are not alone. Please reach out if you feel overwhelmed, alone or need to talk, this community will carry and support you!

Thank you Kirsten @everydayisdiabetesday and Daniel @daniel.j.sher for the info slides.

18. Lancet Change

There are quite a few reasons why you should use a new needle every time, but hey, I am not perfect and I am lazy as hell when it comes to lancet changes.

I used to use my needle until it is so dull it wont go in *cringe*. As a child I just thought I need to save, why waste it if it is not dull yet. It felt like a waste to throw it out after one use,

I am way better at it than what I have been. I change my insulin pen needles regularly, but as I am on a cgm the lancet gets change not so often.

But, for Diabetes month I will make it an event and change all at once.

Swipe to see what my needles look like and the last picture got some action for you! Look at it goooo!

Side note, most times it does not hurt, but obviously the more dull the needle, the more it hurts. Except if you hit a vain, then I want to die. Injecting into a vein burns like hell! Whatever that might feel like.

Remember to change your needles often! It is necessary.

19. Top Tips

I never had tips, I hated Diabetes so much, but as I worked through the resentment and anger-learning how to accept it, I got my tips.

1. Learn how to carb count-this changed my Diabetes management and my levels got so much better.
2. Get down deep into the Diabetic community. They are a bunch of good eggs and the support is out of this world.
3. Build a relationship with your endo. You are going to spent a lot of time together.
4. If you struggle-speak!
5. It is okay to not be okay. Take your time and process it. Get up and try again.
6. Exercise every day! At least 30min. Your body will love and thank you and your Diabetes even more so.
7. Live your best life! Go for it.

20. Favourite Fake Cure

I love how everyone think that:
– Sprinkling cinnamon over your porridge every morning will cure your Diabetes
– Using copious amounts of cinnamon in any form will cure your Diabetes
– Advising that my friends, grandma have been using Cinnamon and it cured her Diabetes

It does not matter whether I eat, drink or sniff cinnamon, and I love the taste of cinnamon, it is not going to cure my Diabetes. Might help as a holistic approach to stabilizing sugar levels, but it will not make my pancreas miraculously start producing beta cells again.

I completely understand that advice like this is not with a malicious intent, but it does more damage than it does good.

There is no cure for any type of Diabetes.

Instead of trying to convince us to eat cinnamon (which I already do), try asking a Diabetic questions like,
– What is Diabetes?
– How do you feel if your levels are low?
– How do you treat it?
– What works for you?

Please be kind to Diabetics. We deal with enough pricks.

21. Diabetic Confession

I have to admin that this is a hard one for me. I know what I can confess, but I do not really know how to put it into words.

I will try my best.

I do not have a healthy relationship with food.

I struggle with food everyday.
I struggle with my decisions around it.
I struggle with calculating how much insulin I need even with knowing my carb-insulin ratio.
Food decisions and thinking about food makes me anxious.

In the face it looks like I got this down, but behind closed doors this consumes me from the inside.

Everyone have their own struggle. Some days you actually got it and everything is smooth sailing and the next it is a tornado of emotions, struggle and questions.

We can not have the perfect control on everything all the time. We are just human with a lot to juggle.

I know and believe, it will all be okay.

22. Favourite Low Carb Snack

I love fruit. Fruit are most of the time very good on my BG levels as well.

I stick to fruit with a lot of fibre and my favourites include Apples, Oranges, Peaches, Strawberries, Mangos and Raspberries.

I have to be careful though as the natural fruit sugar does impact my levels and it is always wise to keep my intake in the normal portion range of 1-2 per day. I usually combine this with a meal, but if the hunger strikes out of nowhere they come in quite handy.

23. Diaversay [incl blog post]

My diaversary is 3 October 1986.

What is a diaversary? Diaversary=Diabetic+Anniversary. This is the day that you were diagnosed as a Diabetic.

Why do you celebrate it?
That is a valid question and I talk about it on my blog. Please click on the link in my bio and I will tell you all about it.

24. Hyper Symptoms

As each Diabetic is different from the next Diabetic, so different are each hyper symptoms. Although, in discussion we have seen that we are not SO different after all.

At the display of any of the following, I know I need to check my bg:
– Irritability / Irritated (For no reason)
– Snarky / Sarcastic (For no reason)
– Very, very thirsty which results in a lot of weeing
– Angry for no reason
– Nauseous
– So, so sleepy that I am unable to keep my eyes open
– My mouth feels pasty

You will notice some of the signs are related to the signs that indicate that you might have Diabetes.

I prefer a high bg above a low bg. The reason behind this being that a high you treat and then wait it out. I still feel absolutely horrible, but it feels to me this settles much faster.

I feel a hyper is more difficult to recognise especially for people that do not know you, but your loved ones will know. As my husband has said before, I turn into a nasty person.

Short story, I was so rude to my mother once that my dad gave me the order to check my blood glucose -which was high of course- and I had to apologise to my mom. I didn’t mean to be rude to her and it was not on purpose. It is like I do not have control over my thoughts or expressions.

Nowadays I warn my husband if I know something is not right, to let me be. I do not want to be rude to anyone but on a high I am super irritable and most of the time do it without thinking.

My best advice when your friend or loved one or even a stranger is experiencing a high is to just let them be.

25. Burnout

What is Diabetes Burn Out?
Diabetes burnout is the term given to the state of disillusion, frustration and somewhat submission to the condition of diabetes. It can be characterised by a person’s complete disregard for their blood sugar levels.

They may also miss doctor appointments, forget or avoid taking insulin injections or other diabetic medication, or switch back to unhealthy eating habits.

Often it will be a state of mind that is reached after years of dealing with the condition.

What does diabetes burnout look like?
It looks different for each individual but there are some common signs and symptoms.
These include:
· Strong negative feelings (e.g.,overwhelmed, anger, frustration) about diabetes
· Feeling controlled by diabetes
· Isolation, or feeling alone with diabetes
· Avoidance of some, or all diabetes management activities and being unmotivated to change this behaviour

This can last for days, weeks, months, even years.

When I saw this prompt I had to think a bit and I most definitely have experienced burnout more than once. I think at the time I just did not know what it was as it did not have a name. I just thought at that time I was a bad diabetic, because how can I have such a disregard for my condition. This usually led to a sick carousel of feeling bad, making promises, trying again, burnout, feeling bad and you get the idea.

It is inevitable for someone managing a chronic condition to reach burnout even care givers reach a stage of burnout.

I think the most important thing to remember is that this happens to everyone and that we will be okay and that we need to look up and keep going.

Being part of the amazing community in South Africa most definitely helps make the burden lighter, it did for me.

When you feel tired, reach out, you have a whole community behind you. You are not alone.

If you are a friend of a Diabetic experiencing this, just be there for them. Support them the best you can. Hold their hand and give them a hug.

26. Adjusting to Diabetes [incl blog post]

We as Diabetics make adjustments every day with regard to our Diabetes.

When am I exercising, what am I having to eat, when will I eat, what times are my breaks at work, how much time do I have before meals, I am going to a function – I need to prepare (what will I eat, what will they have to drink, is it buffet etc.), and you get the idea.

Based on the above we need to make adjustments throughout our day to accommodate the Dia-beast but what do our partners do to adjust?

My husband, then fiancé, wrote this post to explain how he found adjusting to me being a Diabetic. It gave me a better understanding from his perspective of what adjusting to me, with Diabetes, was like.

It is a fun read, promise. – Link in bio.

27. Diabetes Celebrity

I remember as a younger version of myself during a time where I thought I was the only Diabetic on earth, I found out that Halle Berry is a Type 1 Diabetic.

I thought it was so great because we think that celebrities are untouchable human beings and here was an actress announcing she is Diabetic. They are after all just normal people. At one point I cut my hair as short as her hair was in The Bond movie. It was not the best idea I had.

Fast forward to now. I did not keep track of her Diabetic journey and I thought let me see where she is at.

Well, turns out that she is not so loved in the Diabetic community. She allegedly cured herself of Type 1 Diabetes by following a strict diet and then weaned herself off insulin which she no longer needs.

This led to a lot of controversy and people asking the question if she was not diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic.

Needless to say, she ruffled some feathers , as we all know there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes and this made her very unpopular.

I do not have a Diabetic Celebrity that I follow or keep track of at the moment. I have a whole community that I see as local celebrities that is doing a stellar job of advocacy.

Go-Diabetics-Go!

28. Resource [incl blog post]

I am lucky to have access to quite a few of the best resources enabling me to manage my Diabetes the best way I can.

💉I have access to insulin.
💉I have access to a glucose metre.
💉I have access to the @freestylediabetes CGM
💉I see my endo twice a year.
💉I have access to a psychiatrist and psychologist.
💉I am part of an awesome community in Cape Town and South Africa which enables me to learn more and new information all the time.
💉I have access to a dietician and I have to make a special mention to my dietician Anél at @paarldietitians . We have been on this journey for more than 12 years. She has impacted my life immensely. I did an interview with her a few years back and the info is gold. Please visit the link in my bio. It is another good read-promise!

None-human resources include access to books, websites, Wattsapp- and Facebook groups(like @sweetlife.org.za ).

I am very, very lucky to have access to all these resources and my hope is that every single Diabetic will have access to the best possible resources to manage this condition and live their best life.

29. Complications

With any chronic condition there are complications, but it does not mean you are set to have complications. If you look after yourself you are able to manage your condition and live a healthy life.

Diabetes can cause quite a few complications for example, the more severe ones include, but is not limited to, kidney failure, heart disease, amputation due to blood flow loss/infections or losing your eyesight.

The less severe, although this can be severe in some cases, include eating disorders, mental health problems, anxiety or panic attacks.

I struggle with an eating disorder. I am not ready to speak about it yet, but with a whole team I am working through it.

I was diagnosed with severe depression in 2016, but I am currently in remission which I am very thankful for. I do see my psychiatrist regularly to keep tabs and keep my mental health healthy.

I remember I was so afraid of losing my eyesight as this is something I have heard a lot about when living with Diabetes. I burst into tears at a school gathering where the poor team did not have a clue what to do or say and eventually they calmed me down. I am better now, but it is in the back of my head constantly. I see my optometrist once a year to check up.

We, as Diabetics, carry quite a load and we are very aware of the complications linked to this disease. Our own immune system is attacking our bodies and killing cells, but we are strong individuals and the thing we all know how to do is how to survive and strive.

There is a saying from the movie Cinderella Story which just hit me today, but it can be applied to life. It goes like this:

“𝔻𝕠 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕝𝕖𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕗𝕖𝕒𝕣 𝕠𝕗 𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕚𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕜𝕖𝕖𝕡 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕡𝕝𝕒𝕪𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕘𝕒𝕞𝕖”

30. Hopes For the Future

I can not believe we are at the end of November. What a wild month this has been.

It is quite fitting to end Diabetes Awareness Months with Hopes for the future.

My hope for the future is:
💉Access to insulin for everyone in any quantity as needed and that our government will supply the required amount for a specific individual without compromise.
💉That every Diabetic will have access to a CGM device and that the medical aid/government will cover this in full. It has been proven that with a CGM you have much better control on your blood glucose levels.
💉Access to Diabetic resources and care without any obstacles.
💉A cure for Diabetes.

𝐼𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝒹𝓈 𝑜𝒻 𝒜𝓃𝓃𝑒 𝐹𝓇𝒶𝓃𝓀 – 𝒲𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝒽𝑜𝓅𝑒, 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝓁𝒾𝒻𝑒.

Happy World Diabetes Awareness Month!

E xx

Dear Traveller: An open, honest letter

Dear traveller, Hi.

I understand that you are desperate to see a friend, your family, move to a different country to get away from our shit or return home. I understand that you are tired and frustrated with the COVID situation. I understand that you are frustrated with the delay in responses and I can understand why you throw the lack of service card at us. It is not that I do not understand, actually I do.

Can I tell you a secret?

While you were baking banana bread and trying out the air fryer, reorganising your home, we were working. We were trying to figure out airline policies, fighting for better refund options and trying to figure out exactly what can and cannot be offered.

We are tired and overwhelmed. There was no 3 week break where we could read, eat the banana bread or garden.

We are tired opening an email, a message, answering a call and the first thing you see or hear is your service is pathetic, oh great a human, finally thank g**, f*ck off, you motherf*ckers, your company is a fraud.

No one wakes up in the morning with the intention to provide bad service. In fact, we wake up scared of what awaits.

You have 1000’s of travellers which is manageable when it is “travel as usual”. Imagine all of them coming at you at once because Covid hit and the globe closed down.

Here is another secret.

I have a family member that have been trying to go on honeymoon since last year, who had to move a wedding, rebooked the honeymoon just to be told now, sorry you cannot go. Both my parents ended up in ICU at the same time with COVID. They are alive and well, but imagine the stress and worry. I lost colleagues and friends as a result of downsizing. I have been working tirelessly, doing over time and trying to cope with the situation myself while you blame us for everything wrong in the travel industry.

Every time you take out your anger or frustration at a person you leave a mark. As much as we try to distance ourselves this infiltrates every aspect of our lives.

We are trying and fighting to assist you as quickly as possible and not keep you waiting, but we are human.

You forget that we are someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, child, husband, wife and that you have no right to be so rude and so angry at us. You have an even less right to swear and verbally abuse us like you do. There is no reason for 1 human being to speak to another like that. Think about how you would feel if someone spoke to you the way  some people speak to us.

I will share a last secret.

We are a middle man. We do not sit around the round table with the airline/suppliers/tour operators and discuss what is going to be offered. We are sent directives and because we are a third party, we have our own rules that is different from the airline’s rules (as written by the airline) and we are forced to adhere to the directive sent. Can we do anything about this or change the directive to suite your needs? The answer is no.

We know this is not your fault or your doing or your decision. You need to understand that is not our fault, our doing or our decision either. The same goes for the airlines/tour operators/suppliers etc. It is not their fault, their doing or their decision. There is a lot more to this than what you can see.

We need a little more patience, just for the time being. We need your understanding and above all, we need you to stop being so self righteous.

Try and place yourself in any travel agencies shoes and try and imagine just for 5minutes how we must feel and how our heart sink with every ban or new regulation being applied.

We are human. We are tired. We need an ounce of understanding and we need kindness.

Stop being a bully! 
E xx

A Day in the Life (of a Diabetic)

A day in the life of a Diabetic differs from person to person. Not one Diabetic’s day is the same. We all have our own routine and things that needs to get done, but what we all have in common is the pricks, scans and injections.

There are so many different factors that will have an influence on how our day goes. Today you might have to scan/prick and inject 5 times, tomorrow it is 8 and the next all of a sudden 10 times.

I tend to scan more when I have a busy day and when I am anxious or stressed I inject more as I need to correct the whole time.

Apart from just thinking about our day, we have our own little child called Diabetes.

This is what a day off from work looks like for me.

06:05 My alarm goes off. I am struggling to open my eyes as I got to bed late after my late shift. I usually lay in a little longer, but this is the time for my first scan of the day.

06:30 – 07:00 Up and out of bed. I get dressed and take my first jab for the day. My long acting insulin. I am not taking my short acting just yet as I am not having breakfast now and my levels are stable. I need to go drop Etienne off as I am taking the bakkie and going out to town.

I read a bit to pass the time.

07:45-08:45 Off I go to town. Traffic was not okay for this time of day. At 8:30 I was standing still on the off ramp to get onto the high way. Unusual for this time of day. I arrived safely and now the day can really start. I did my second scan of the day and as my level is bit higher than I want it I took my first jab for the day to even it out. I do not have any insulin on board at the moment so need to start adding.  Time to mask up and go find a public bathroom! The need is big!

08:50 – 09:50 Spent time in the mall, ran some errands and now off to meet up with my diabuddy!

10:00 Meeting time! 3rd scan of the day as now I will be having brunch and coffee! Second jab to cover the carbs.

11:30 After wonderful time, it is back home we go.

12:34  4th scan of the day. I think I miss calculated my breakfast. Oh, I most certainly did. Granola is not my friend, but it was worth it. No bread and so delicious! So, 4th jab of the day.

13:45-13:55 I arrived home safely, did a food stop, dropped off lunch at Etienne, filled die bakkie with diesel (the price is about to spike tomorrow morning) and then got the doggies ready for their salon visit. Also, I filled my own tank with water. I was super thirsty because of the spike in my level.

14:00 5th scan of the day. The correction I gave seemed to have done its thing. It is time for lunch. So, first what am I eating and then to calculate the amount I need to inject to cover the amount of carbs I will be consuming. 5th jab of the time and the timer is set to 15 minutes.

15:00-16:50 I really did not do much in this time .I read a bit, took a 30min power nap (these work, I promise), had a cup of sadness water (decaf coffee)  and then went to collect the doggies.

16:55 6th Scan of the day and it looked all good. Now to fetch Etienne from work as I have the wheels!

17:30-18:30 My levels dropped a bit too much and I felt wonky. I did not scan but I could tell. I took 2 glucose tablets, an apple and some peanut butter. I took quite some time to get my level back up. I was on my way to go for a walk, but I had to sit it out. So, let the dinner preparations begin.

18:30 7th Scan of the day. Almost a unicorn! Now to calculate the amount of carbs again and then take my 6th jab of the day.

18:30-20:00 Dinner is served. We watched some music videos on YouTube, had a chat doing our normal dinner time routine. After dinner I waited a bit for the food to settle. No one can exercise on a full stomach

20:00-20:45 I did a step class in the comfort of my own home. Thanks YouTube!

21:00 8th scan of the day just to check and now to finish my book I was reading.

21:50     9th and last scan of the day and I took a 7th jab as I had some shortbread cookies. Etienne baked! It was lovely! Off to take a shower and good night everyone!

In this day I scanned a total of 9th times and I had to inject myself 7th times. Apart from just managing my day I need to manage my Diabetic baby. It is a full time job 24/7/365 – no holiday, no break, no time off. What a horrible boss-hehe.

I am mighty thankful that I have access to the Freestyle Libre, if I did not I would have had to prick 9 times and I only have 10 fingers. This device really changed my life and Diabetes management style. My finger tips used to look horrible! Go Kenny! (I call my sensor Kenny).

What do you think? Can you blame us for going a bit cranky and talking about or Diabetic baby all the time?

Cheers to life!

E xx

The Diabetes Dictionary

Diabetics speak their own language and I am convinced you have heard abbreviations, acronyms or words used that you have no idea what we are speaking about. Do not fear, I have found the person who is going to guide you through our language.

Meet Lurina, or as we know her in the community, The Glucose Glitch. Lurina has been a Type 1 Diabetic for 21 years. She uses MDI and a GM to manage her T1D (see what I did here – search below for explanation). She has her own Youtube channel where she posts fun filled videos to teach you more about T1d and with some very handy tips on living with this condition.

So, here you go, a Diabetes dictionary for easy reference.

DIABETES DICTIONARY, IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER              

These are only short descriptions of acronyms, abbreviations and phrases used within the Type 1 Diabetes community. It would be beneficial if you researched each of the listings on your own time. The information was compiled from various diabetes related websites as well as a large variety of members of the global diabetes community. It is off course impossible to list each and every word related to Type 1 Diabetes, but this list will surely be of some help to many.

I’ve seen loads of T1D related discussions on social media with so many abbreviations, acronyms etc. that I needed to look up some of it, just to be able to understand what they were talking about.

Type 1 Diabetes is definitely not for the faint-hearted and by creating our own lingo, almost like our very own super cool sign language, we get to share in each others trials and tribulations. By just quickly hitting a few letters on the keypad, we all get to be on the same page and become part of the T1D community, understanding and helping each other, because #togetherwearestronger

Your FOMO can now be put to rest, because with the Diabetes Dictionary you can look up a word in a jiffy and you don’t have to take a SWAG about what the topic is about-LOL 

You can find Lurina on Instagram as @TheGlucoseGlitch

Do you have a word or abbreviation/acronym that we missed? Or maybe you made your own one! Please tell us in the comments.

E&L xx

T1D and T2D – The Differences

I saw a tweet and it read as follows: “Excessive sugar consumption causes #diabetes”. Social Media is saturated with these types of statements, memes,  jokes etc. around Diabetes. This statement cannot be further from the truth. It is due to these irresponsible statements that the world is so misinformed on what Diabetes is and how it is diagnosed. 

As part of Diabetes Awareness Month I asked my diabuddy, Kirsten-also known as @everydayisdiabetesday / Facebook to help me explain the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and how Diabetes is diagnosed. 

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune condition which occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.

What causes Type 1 diabetes?

T1D is not preventable or curable and the cause is unknown. Anyone can get Type 1 diabetes. Studies suggest that T1D results from a genetic predisposition, typically combined with an environmental trigger such as stress to the body.

How is Type 1 Diabetes managed?

Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent for life. Taking multiple daily insulin injections can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Blood sugar levels must be continuously monitored either with finger pricks or a continuous glucose monitor to ensure that blood glucose levels remain in range, to reduce short and long term complications due to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. To keep blood glucose levels in range insulin doses must be carefully calculated taking physical activity, stress levels, food intake, illness, and other factors into consideration. 

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

This is when your body cannot properly use insulin. Your body still produces insulin and in some cases produces extra because the body does not use it properly, but eventually your pancreas cannot keep up with the demand and then needs help. This is also referred to as insulin resistance.

What causes Type 2 Diabetes?

There is not a single cause for Type 2 Diabetes, but the following risk factors can contribute to a Type 2 Diagnosis.

  • Obesity
  • Lifestyle
  • Lack of Physical Activity
  • History of prediabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Age – The risk of Type 2 diabetes increases as you age.
  • Environmental Factors (such as lack of access to healthy food, inability to exercise, and lack of access to healthcare)
  • Smoking
  • Genetics is also a strong factor in developing Type 2 diabetes. If you have an immediate family member with Type 2, you’re more likely to develop the disease.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Managed?

Exercise, Healthy Diet and Medication such as Tablets and in some cases insulin or a combination of both. You still need to check your blood glucose regularly as well.

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes. Research has been done on remission to show it is possible. Studies such as the Direct Trail indicate that this depends on your progression of diabetes and substantial weight loss. It is strongly advisable to check with your health care professional if this is possible for you.

For more information, please visit:

Research on Remission

DiRECT Trial

Beyond Type 1

*links not affiliated 

We, as Diabetics, appreciate it when you want to know more about the disease and ask valid questions for example how do you feel when you have a low, how is it managed, when were you diagnosed, how were you diagnosed etc. These types of questions help you better understand our condition and it educates at the same time. 

Making irresponsible statements like the above mentioned tweet does not help at all. It hurts a Diabetic every time something like this is said. It makes it so much harder to educate.

Do you have any questions for us? We would love to hear from you!

E & K xx

My (Parents) Diagnosis Story

My diagnosis story is not really mine to tell. I know it sounds weird, but I was so little when I was diagnosed that it feels like it should rather be my parents’ story to tell.

I went to my mom and I asked her some questions based on what I have heard from other diagnoses stories and this is their (my) diagnosis story.

Why was I admitted to hospital?

You had a fever that we struggled to break and we decided to go see Dr Liebenberg, the pediatrition.

Can mom remember how many tests was done and what they tested for?

Dr Liebenberg examined you and immediately requested a urine test. We took you and later returned. The glucose level in your urine were very high. If I remember correctly it was about 42.

What made Dr Liebenberg test for Diabetes?

His 6th sense. After the results from the urine test he said we have a Diabetic. He immediately contacted Dr Esta van Schalkwyk (Dr Poppie as you know her) to advise her that we are on our way.

How did they test for Diabetes? Did they draw blood?

If I remember correctly they did a finger prick and drew blood. At the beginning during the treatment they had to prick your fingers (and toes) 6 times a day and from time to time they did a glucose tolerance test as well. It was very sad to see and know they had to prick your small fingers and toes.

What is my official date of diagnosis?

3 October 1986.

How long was I in hospital before they discharged me?

About 3 weeks. You came home to visit one Sunday, but we had to take you back as your glucose levels were not under control just yet. When we came to visit you and put you to sleep you decided this sleep is nonsense and woke up shortly after, but we went home with the peace of mind that you are sleeping well.

Dr van Schalkwyk told us that we can take you home when we can inject you, so I took the needle and poked it like a dart (my mom says it sounds mean, but I love it) into your thigh, looked at the dr and asked “Can we go home now?”.

Where did you learn about Diabetes management, like the treatment? Were you given “lessons” or pamphlets?

Dr Poppie explained everything and also pamphlets. We had to take you for regular checkups in the beginning and then Dr Poppie would explain more, provide further information and give advice.

Can mom remember how long the first glucose meter took to give a result?

Most certainly a lot longer than the glucose metre’s today. A minute at least.

How many times a day did you have to inject me in the beginning?

The Dr had to experiment with the different types of insulin, but at the beginning you had to take long acting and short acting in the morning and evenings.

How many times did you have to check my glucose levels?

6 times a day.

I asked my mom to also add a bit if she remembers anything and this is what she said,

It was very nerve-racking not to know if you are okay or not. We used to feel behind your little neck to check if your glucose levels were low as the tell sign was when you were covered in cold sweat that your glucose level was most probably low. Sometimes when we had to treat you for a low you bit down so hard that we struggled to get the honey/syrup/glucose gel onto your cheek to have it absorbed quickly.

The time in the hospital as well as the knowledge of what is waiting was very traumatic to process for me and dad. A lot of tears were cried. You were Dr Poppie’s star Diabetic with perfect scores thanks to your mom and dad. It was easy to manage at the beginning as you could only eat what we gave you based on what the dietician advised us. It was very difficult but we realised that your health is dependent on this and a lot can go wrong if we do not manage this.

My heroes

I got quite emotional when I finished reading this. I can not begin to imagine what my parents went through. I will never know, but what I do know is that they did a stellar job of raising me and looking after me.

I do not have a pre-Diabetes world. I only have a Diabetes world and in a way I think this is easier (kind of) as I do not have anything to compare it with. Look, the struggle is real and as you age the things impacting your management just keeps piling and the lists gets longer.

I am very grateful for what my parents have done for me, for looking after me and caring for me. I have lots of stories where they came to my rescue, but that is for another day.

Do you have any questions for my parents or to me? Please let me know if you do. We are happy to help.

E xx

What Happens in Bali, (doesn’t) Stay’s in Bali

A few years back on honeymoon we had quite the adventure and experience in Bali.

The first two days was extremely overwhelming and all we wanted to do was come home. It was their school holidays and a spiritual holiday and heaven knows there were more scooters driving around than there are people in South Africa. The weather was not great either. We had rain almost the whole time we were there and it was cloudy most days.

We got lost on the first day there. We did end up in a cool, quiet bar to have a cool drink and saw some very cool shops with art and woodwork. Luckily a taxi driver picked us up, just before we got drowsed in rain, and took us back to where we were supposed to be. We saw where we went wrong as we were driving back. We just wanted to go to the shopping centre around the corner but took a wrong turn. The shopping centre was literally right behind our hotel. We did not make the same mistake again.

On the second night we were saying to each other that this is just too much and we need to get somewhere where it is a bit more quiet. The street in front of the hotel just never slept.

Etienne went onto Booking.com and looked for a place close to the beach in a quiet area and booked it there and then. We packed a night bag, well our little back pack and off we went. We organised a taxi to take us to Ubud and from Ubud we would then continue to Padang Bai.

Ubud was already different from Semenyak where we stayed. The atmosphere was different and you had quite the variety of shops, restaurants and bars next to the road. A foodies heaven. Our first stop was die Ubud Market everyone is always talking about. We did not stay there long as it was a bit busy. We were told that you should not take the first offer and haggle a bit. Let me tell you, I suck at haggling to begin with but those aunties had none of this. And some were straight up rude!

We left and then took a stroll through the “main road” of Ubud. We had a lovely lunch and got some ice cream. It was all very delicious.

After our little stop it was time to make our way to Padang Bai.

After quite a slow drive, they do not drive faster than 60km/h, we made it to our accommodation for the night. It was rated 2 stars, but you had the basics, a bed, bathroom, restaurant and breakfast was included. We even had a guest, Mr Cockroach came to say hi. We had quite a laugh because we had some questionable breakfast the following morning, and the garlic bread was toast with garlic, but our tummies were satisfied.

The day of arrival it was quite late in the afternoon, but we decided to take a stroll. There was not a lot of space to walk on the beach itself so we stuck  to the road. In our exploring we almost crashed a ceremony of some sort at one the temples-sorry guys!

As we were walking through the little harbour, every second guy kept yelling “Gili!”, “Gili!”, “You want to see Gili?!” We thought to ourselves who the hell is Gili. Our curiosity got the better of us and we asked one of the people who is Gili. We were then told that Gili is an island and not a person. Well, we did not have any plans for the next day and you can take a day trip on a speed boat so let’s do it. We booked ourselves on a day trip, on a speed boat,  to Gili Island.

We left Padang Bai at around 9am and we were booked to return at 3pm the afternoon. The boat ride was almost an hour and after what felt like we hitting a dolphin every few metres, we arrived. This was Etienne’s story. Every time we struck a wave he said we are killing a dolphin. The ride made my tummy feel weird, not sea sick but the feeling you get on a roller coaster.

After what we experienced the first two days, it felt like we arrived in heaven. There were scooters operating on battery power which meant no scooter noises and no cars! It was donkey carts everywhere or you can hire a bicycle or just walk around on the island.  It is small enough to cover every inch of the place in about 2-3 hours.

We went to get ourselves bicycles as we needed a bit more speed than walking and we set out exploring. We did not pack a towel so we had to buy one and we hired some snorkelling gear to go watch some fishies. It is only us who will go to a beach without a towel and sunbathing costumes, but then again we did not plan for this. It was completely spontaneous.

We cycled around on the island, I visited some shops, we snorkelled, well Etienne did and had  a blast. I made it in a few centimetres and then just gave a nope and returned to the beach. My feet stepped on some funny feeling stuff below the water. That did not sit well with me or my imagination. We returned our bicycles and then went to have lunch.

We ordered chicken wraps and I asked the waiter if the chilli is very strong. He just said no, in his best English, not strong. He was very wrong. I tried my best but could not finish mine and Etienne who loves hot foods had a bit of a challenge with this so called sweet chilli option.

Then it was time to bid Gili farewell and fall into queue for our boat ride back to Bali mainland.

3pm arrived and passed. 4pm arrived and passed. We were a whole group together and after our boat did not arrive it was not long until people started asking questions. The people at the little port was very evasive and no one could give us a straight answer. They kept on saying the boat is just late.  After a while it came to light that our boat had problems and it will not be coming to get us. So naturally the next question would be so how do we get back to the mainland.

We were all loaded in boats and were told that there is alternative arrangements and we are being taken to Lombok and our boat will fetch us there.

We arrived in Lombok and were ushered into the port building. We did not pass immigration or border control or checked in to the new country. This is not part of Bali so you are suppose to go through customs. So we were in the country illegally. Apparently, this was not a problem. And so we waited. I can add this to my bucket list now and scratch it off. Question: Have you ever been in a country illegally? Yes, yes I have! Hahaha

We did walk onto the jetty but  were told to please return to the port building. We asked about how much longer before the boats arrived and the answer again was very vague. At one point they told us it will be another hour or so.

At last they told us, okay, our boat is not coming. It was too late already and the speed boats are not allowed on the water at night. Pandemonium of course, because how will we get back. We were told that they are organising a bus for us and we will be taken to the main port on the island where we will take the ferry back to Padang Bai, Bali and at Padang Bai we will then catch a taxi to get back to our respective areas and accommodation. Well, does not seem that bad. Little did we know.

We got onto the bus and off we went. That was one hell of a ride. The road is not built for a bus. It was all the way down hill and every time we approached a turn the bus had to use both lanes and all it did was toot-toot and then kept on driving. It did not wait to see if there is actually anything around the corner. My shattered nerves.

Eventually, what felt like hours of driving, we made it to the port. Here we were told that we need to go and wait until someone come and fetch us and take us onto the ferry. We were a happy bunch and was not too bothered. We just wanted to get back by whatever means.

We were led to a bus stop waiting area, which is saying a lot, it’s more like an old type concrete pavilion with a shabby tin roof. It had a fridge, which was broken but being used as a stand for a projector showing the soccer world cup against a sheet hung from the roof. It was a hot, humid evening and we were sitting around tables and drinking beer that was being sold right there. Etienne went in search of food and said when he returned from the vendors opposite the road that he was looking at the options and thinking to himself “nope, my wife will not have that, but this chicken can do”. At least you can tell it is chicken! Hahaha.  I had my dinner and as long as my tummy is fed I am happy.

We had a chat with the peeps around us, well Etienne did, I observed. We were there quite a few hours and at last we were led to the ferry. So begun a torturous 4 hours ferry ride back to Bali. Now, this was close to 2am when this ride started. It was quite the ride. The people in Bali are not very large people and I do not mean to say that we are large, but in comparison to them we are giants. Poor Etienne had quite the challenge as we were squashed in these tiny seats. You could see who the foreigners were as we were all seated together

There were this dudes walking around yelling “popme” “popme” and we again had to wonder what the hell is popme? We later found out it is like 2 minute noodles in a cup and it is delicious! I am sad we did not bring more home with us.

If you wanted to you could grab a mattress, which was as thick as a cardboard, and sleep on the floor. We decided against that as we were sure a blue light on those things would bring nightmares to life. HAHA!

After what felt like forever we made it to the Padang Bai port. Here it was another story. The company with the broken speedboat organised taxis to take us back to our respective places but no one could tell us which one we should join. After we explained to the driver and he trying to understand in his best English, we got onto one of the taxis and set off for another hour on the road.

This drive was an experience on its own. When we approach the robots, the taxi driver will just go toot-toot and speed through. Etienne and I said we should bring our taxis to Bali and they will sort them out very quickly. We had to laugh because imagine that!

The taxi driver stopped in the middle of a random place and told us to get out this is our stop. We looked around very confused and told him, no, this is not it. We need to be at Semenyak Square. The more the driver tell us this is it and the more we say it is not he simply opened the boot, took our bags out, placed it in the middle of the road and drove off-with the rest of the passengers looking on. He got quite angry at one point so I told Etienne to let him be.

It was there, tired, frightened in the middle of the street where I lost my composure and started crying. I was fine the whole day because we were in the same situation as all the other people, but now we were alone in a different country where English is not a well spoken language and we have no idea where we are or how we are getting to our hotel.

Almost as if a miracle was sent, a taxi driver passed and saw us. We hailed him and he was kind to take us to our hotel. Upon arriving he wanted to charge us 50USD for a less than 5min drive because the taxi dropped us basically at the back of Semenyak Square. Etienne got really upset and the driver tells us but it is after hours. Etienne threw some money on the seat and told me to get out. I willingly obliged.

We eventually made it to our hotel at 6am the Friday morning, where our adventure started on the Wednesday morning, The staff still wanted to meet and greet but we just rushed part. I heard Etienne saying something to them, but I just wanted to get to our room.

We got to the room and I finished crying. We were suppose to go on a tour with Suka, our guide, but I had to let him know we need to postpone it. Luckily he could take us on the Sunday. We got into the shower and got into bed. We slept like babies until 2pm that afternoon.

The afternoon after we slept everything seemed different and everything was good in the Clarence clang. We spoke about what we actually had gone through and laughed about it. We said this will be quite the story to tell at home!

We went to do some shopping, had a lovely lunch and relax the rest of the day just staying in and around our hotel. Maybe we were a bit frightened to leave the area again – haha. The rest of our stay was quite memorable and we will most certainly like to return one day but approach Bali in a different way. Seek out that quiet places with the open beaches like on Gili.

There are a few things we learned from this experience:

  • Have a map on hand of the area you are staying in
  • Make sure the taxi metre is running when you get into the taxi. Very important.
  • Take the adventure in stride and tell the story
  • If it says 2 star it is 2 star hehe

Have you had any weird, wonderful or scary experiences travelling the world?

Tell me about it in the comments. I would like to hear it!

E xx