Today we land in Johannesburg.
Upon arrival we will be met and assisted to our shuttle transfer service to the hotel. We have the remainder of the day at leisure until 7 pm when we meet at the hotel reception for a briefing on the tour and a chance to meet up with our fellow travellers
Distance travelled - 8303 km's
The flight was not too bad, although I don’t think Nathan would agree, I reckon between Nathan and myself we got a maximum of eight hours sleep, combined, for an 11 hour flight. We were seated at the front of the plane not business class (unfortunately) which meant we were the last group to be boarded, but we got our meals nice and early, there was a bit of a mix up with the gadget I ordered from Fly SA Duty Free but I got it eventually, I now have a pair of sunglasses that records video, sorry about the tilt of the camera, I will learn to hold my head straight. Our flight landed 10 minutes early, I don’t think that made any difference for us leaving the airport, going through border control we had a bit of a chuckle, before they even look at your passport you have a thermal scan done, for Ebola!!!
We then found out that we were in the wrong line, only after we had handed our passports over, let’s go join another queue…. We were met by this big guy called Tutu, with our names written on a sign (made us feel special) to transfer us to the hotel from our flight.
When we were in the planning stage, the plan was that when we got to go Johannesburg that we would want to have a sleep, then do the hop on hop off tour of Johannesburg. We were too wired to sleep so we had a second breaky and headed out, Wellington (being his English name) a driver from the hotel took us to the train station on the way Nathan asked him what should we be weary of? The biggest thing was if you are paying via credit card don’t hand your card to anyone, and while paying with the credit card for the train tickets he told Nathan to hand his credit card to lady at the counter and in a return comment “Wellington man you tell me not to hand over my credit card and here you are telling me to hand over my credit card” with a laugh, he also told us how it was safe for us to do the red bus tour and he was very patient with us, explaining numerous times what train and stop to get on and off, he even organised the Gautrain passes for us, although we did discover that we had not put enough credit on the cards, Johannesburg has cards exactly like Perth and Sydney’s transport system. There was an interesting sign at the train station, I think it is a way to see if a car has been hotwired.....
Johannesburg was an eye opener, being a Sunday there were many areas that the bus could have stopped at but didn’t as places were closed, mind we were both looking at each stop and saying we would not feel safe getting of the bus and walking around, the commentary on the bus was great, very interesting, we even had “That smell in the air when the wind is heading in the right direction, or the wrong direction, is coming from Johannesburg’s refuse dump” It was huge, and boy did it stink. We did get off at the Apartheid Museum and walked around, there was many interesting displays to see, the pictures show some of what we saw, although there was area’s where photos were prohibited. 12 stops for the hop on hop off bus and we only got off for the one stop plus the end of the trip. It’s funny getting used to the currency here, simply remove the 0 from the value and it is close to AUD, we are amazed at the cost of things, we brought water, biltong and the essential packet of smokes for Nathan, not me, R99.95 (Rand) which works out to $ 9.99, his smokes cost only $4.50. We found our way back to the train station and rang for our driver to pick us up, did I mention that they insisted in driving and picking us up, not even a taxi was safe in this area, or possibly any area…
Back to the hotel, beers and scotch and we were ready for a power nap before meeting everyone else on the tour and of course Craig our tour guide, interesting group we will be, some Aussies, a Mexican, a range of American’s and two from Finland.
Dinner at 8pm, Nathan found the best pepper sauce in the world. As part of our tour we get discounts on our meals at some places, 50% here so dinner of 2 steaks cost us R240 less discount R120, I know you can do the math but convert that to AUD it works out to be $6 each for dinner plus drinks. We were told everything was cheaper over her but WOW. Have a read of the sauces on the menu, one should stand out like monkeys.
It is now 10 pm here which works out to 4 am Perth and 6 am Eastern States time, I am heading to bed, we have an early six am wake-up call.