Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
The Simbavati River Lodge. We arrived at our lodge and were greeted by a young man giving us fruit cocktails and warm hand towels. This was our room.
Each morning, Desmond knocks on your door at 5:30am. By 6, you're having coffee or tea in the open dining area and by 6:15 you load yourself into the jeep for a morning game drive. When you get back around 10am, breakfast is being served. Homemade omelets, potatoes, bacon, cerel, fruit. Oh yeah, and when you return to your room for a nap...your bed has been made, the curtains opened, and your room tidied. The afternoonis on your own to sit at the viewing deck, your porch, play cards or sleep.
2:45pm...a light lunch is served and at 3:15 you head out for your evening game drive. But don't forget your drink order for the sunset break. Wine was my choice...because I'm on a safari...why not. When you return at 7:30, the best surprise awaits you. Your bed has been turned and the heated blanket has been turned on. It was AW
They fed us like kings and queens with all fresh foods and authentic South African cuisine.
The second we pulled up to the lodge, we noticed how quiet it was. So peaceful and utterly amazing. Every view was gorgeous. We were constantly amazed by the fact that we were actually in Africa and actually on a safari.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I can't tell you how many times we heard this phrase while in South Africa. Almost every time we parked our car a man in a yellow traffic vest (no doubt stolen or found somewhere) would run over to us and tell us over and over that he'd "keep our car safe", "no scratches", "I'll keep an eye on it for you."
At first we didn't know how to react or respond, but after a few times we just went along with it and then gave the man like 40 cents.
Also...here are some of the awesome and crazy things we encountered.
- The guy who helps you parallel park.
- The guy who then helps you get out of said parallel spot and not run into traffic.
- The men who try to wash your window shield at an intersection with soapy water in a 2 liter bottle.
- The men who walk in between the lanes selling SA car flags...on the interstate!
- The homeless who will walk along side you and tell you to root for Bafana Bafana and have fun at the World Cup.
- KFC is really popular.
- When you order a coke...you get a 300ml coke can. Which is heavier than in the US.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We arrived at our hotel in Johannesburg at 8:30 am on June 5th. Our soccer game was at 2:30pm that same day.
We were still pretty jetlagged and all I wanted to do
was take a shower and take a long nap. Instead we got settled in, cleaned up and at 11:30 decided to get some lunch and make the "30" minute trek to Roodeport to see the game. I put 30 minutes it quotes because that's how long google maps said it would take but that's definitely NOT how long it took.
We took our trusty city map and our trusty Garm
in and got some general directions from the hotel front desk. All we really had to go off of was that we needed to get to the Ruimsig Stadium which we figured was in the town of Roodeport.
So...off we go for a few miles on the N1.
-We decide to ask for directions because we're not sure where to go from here.
- Some guy at a gas station tells us to go this w
ay, then look for the car dealership on your left, then go over a hill then ask for directions again.
- So we follow his directions...or we think we do.
- We ask for directions again, this time from a soccer fan at KFC where we finally got some lunch!!!
- He tells us we 'aren't very far' and to follow this road, then you'll come to a T and then go left and then ask for directions again.
- This basically happens about about 4 more ti
mes, until we are finally are out in the middle of nowhere crossing over some hills and we can see the stadium lights.
- We finally pull up to the stadium and it is called the "Roodeport Athletic Stadium"
That....my friends...is in the Garmin.
So anyway...it was quite the adventure and we made it to the stadium just minutes before kickoff. Oh and our tickets just happened to be reserved for the midfield.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
We arrived at the Joburg airport at 6:50am. Ouch. Went through passport control and immediately got sucked into the locals helping us out by taking our bags and showing us where the clearly marked Avis Rental Car place was. We then had to tip them...in american dollars.
They looked mad. We vowed to just take care of our own bags from then on.
So we got our car...a tiny Honda Getz and sat in the parking garage psyching ourselves up for the adventurous drive ahead of us through morning city traffic. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
Thank you Garmin for showing us the way. Although you did take about 20 minutes to find a satellite. Tall buildings and being on the other side of the world really threw you for a loop.
Driving in on the highway there are people walking along the road...in a very well worn path. I was fascinated by it. I mean, how far have they walked and where are they walking to? Like take for example the distant from Edmond to Guthrie, in that same amount of time we'd probably see about 100 people just walking from/to somewhere. I just didn't get it.
Once we made it to the city there were people EVERYWHERE! People crossing the street at crosswalks, crossing the streets right in front of you, people walking in between the lanes, people trying to sell you car flags at the intersections, people just congregating at bus stops or something, people setting up shop on the sidewalk, people hopping into taxis that are just randomly pulled over.
Obviously I don't have very many pictures of the city life while driving around because the guys didn't like me just flashing my camera out when there were so many people standing around staring at us...Americans. No just kidding...but they did seem to just look at you a lot. It was a little unsettling.