Day 13 - 28 August, 2010
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– 28 August, 2010
After returning to
Johannesburg and getting a good night’s sleep at our hotel, we checked our
luggage at the hotel, and took the shuttle back to the airport.
We had arranged to meet Janine, one of our Africam friends, in Sandton,
at the Sandton Mall, for brunch and some shopping.
We took the Gautrain
from the airport to
the Sandton Mall station. The
Gautrain is a 160km/hr (99mph) train which has only been running since last
spring. The section from the airport
to Sandton was completed, barely in time for the World Cup Soccer tournament.
As soon as we reached the top of the escalator, there was Janine, waiting
Our first stop was
Nelson Mandela Square which is immediately adjacent to the Sandton Mall.
The square itself is surrounded by little indoor/outdoor coffee shops and
At the mall end of
the square stands a very impressive, 20 ft. tall bronze statue of Nelson
Janine and Jen took
off, immediately, looking for one of those things that women are always looking
for, (and which, if you remember, were in short supply within Kruger National
Park) leaving Chris and I to fend for ourselves.
Soon they were back
looking happy as
only two ladies in a shopping mall can look!
We had a bite to
eat, visited with Janine, then wandered through the mall and did a bit of
shopping for gifts for friends and family back home.
Then, before leaving, we had to do the picture taking in front of Mr.
Then, after a visit
that was cut too short by an airline schedule, Janine drove us back to our hotel
where we picked up our bags and headed for the airport.
I won’t say much
about the flight home, except to say that it was much too long, much too cramped
and not much fun to contemplate doing again, next year.
But, WE WILL!!
We hope you’ve
enjoyed this, and REALLY hope that some of you may be inspired to do it
yourselves. You’ll never regret
it! (Unless the lions get
you……………but they won’t.)
Now I just want to
add a little Post Script, to thank some of the people who quite literally made
the trip not only possible, but an astounding success.
First of all, my
dear friend of nearly 50 years, Bryant Page, who has just celebrated his 90th
birthday. Bryant has been to Africa
more times than I can count, usually doing it the hard way.
Sleeping in a tent, on the ground, and wondering what that was that just
rubbed up against the tent. And
hoping that the guards who were watching the perimeter of the camp were still
awake. For years he kept telling me,
”Go! You just have to make up your
mind and go!” I finally did!
Thank you, Bryant.
Christy Lawson, who kicked me in the butt and got me going.
I had been planning to join an organized group to go and tour S.A.,
including Nkorho Bush Lodge. But
that fell through, and I’d about resigned myself that I just wasn’t destined
to make the trip. One night in
August of ’09 Christy said, “Hey, are you still planning to go to Africa?”
I replied that I’d love to, but I didn’t know where to start.
She jumped on that like a cat jumping on a goldfish, flopping on the rug.
“I’ll show you where to start”
“We’re not going to be able to go next year, so I’ll help you plan
your trip, and that way, I’ll get to “go” with you.”
She then provided me with all kinds of good info, what to book, when to
book, what things had to be done right away, which could wait.
My inspiration! Thank you,
international friends, Penny from the U.K., Gerda from Belgium and Janine from
S.A. All had been there many times
and all graciously shared their knowledge, providing lists of what to bring,
what to buy, where to get things there, where to look for the baby hyenas, and
on and on. Thanks to the three of
you, when we drove out of Nelspruit Airport in the rental car, we were 95%
prepared for the great adventure that lay before us.
Thank you, Penny. Thank you,
Gerda. Thank you, Janine.
And lastly, all our
other friends, some from Africam, some not, who followed our trip and this blog.
Thank you all.
Roger, Jen and Chris
21 December, 2010
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