Friday, June 18, 2010
The End of the Line and Welcome to Guateng
Overall, even with the delay and the cold, I have to say that the train was an excellent way to travel between Cape Town and Johannesburg. It really did feel like a little bit of old fashioned luxury in this jaded modern world, the food was spectacular and plentiful, and you can’t beat the view from a train passing through the Southern Karoo at sunset.
Even though we had no connection plans, we still had to get a taxi to the airport to pick up a rental car, and then make our way about 2 hours north to our next port-of-call, and the delay had put us behind. After an interesting taxi ride in South Africa’s most beat-up Mercedes, 2 stops by the police and 1 for directions, we eventually managed to pick the car up and head north by around 4:15pm. Sunset around these parts is at about 5:30pm at this time of year, and as I didn’t really have a clear idea of exactly where were going, I was disappointed that we would now had to do it in the dusk/dark. Even with Lord Vader directing us via the GPS, this also became a somewhat eventful trip, as we managed to find our way through the middle of the Mamelodi township at dusk, (not recommended), and then proceeded to get lost outside of Cullinan. After a few phone calls to where we were staying and 3 trips down the worst road in Africa, we made it to Abloom, our home for the next 29 days.
We did little more than dump our stuff, make our 4th trip along the worst road in Africa, and head straight out to find something to eat, as we were all completely famished. It had been one of those days, where nothing actually went wrong, but nothing quite went the way it was planned. Even in the restaurant we were cold, and once we got that cold into our bones it was hard to shake off. It is as unseasonably cold here, and the wind was bitter, and even though our suites had underfloor heating and gas fires, I don’t think any of us were really warm.
Tomorrow we are off to Ellis Park to see Slovenia V USA....