Friday, 8 August 2008

7th Aug 08

Date: 5, 6 and 7th August 08
Location: Joburg, South Africa
Weather: Clear blue skies and sunshine, cold at night. 27°c
Status: Ready to roll again

5th Aug – left Dundee at 5.30am to drive, what I thought was around 250kms which should have taken us around 3½ hrs….I should have looked at the map better really as the reality was 370kms and a journey time of 4½ hrs which left Josy waiting at the airport for us, oops and I do hate being late for things!

Made for Gemini Backpackers and pulled into the driveway of a private house which was located in one of the more down trodden areas of Joburg. No chance fro mhere to walk to the shops or a mall – so we decided to head for our second choice instead, Brown Sugar Backpackers.

What a superb house, a former mafia base which is sited on Observatory hill, is set on four levels with the upper most being a green lawn with a large pool as blue as the ocean. A good place to rest for a while.

6th Aug - Yesterday was a quiet day preparing and readying the Colonel for the next leg of the expedition and for the first time since leaving the UK, attempting to get 4 people and all of their kit into my home. A challenge in itself.

We also went quickly up to Sandton City and the Nelson Mandela Square for a quick shopping run, posted some postcards for my family and grabbed a bite to eat before driving Alex and Josy to the airport where their bus was leaving from.

They both decided not to waste 2 days sat in the lovely city of Joburg and instead to bus it down to Nelspruit and take in a days game drive through Kruger NP. Good choice!

So I have been left in Joburg to prepare the Colonel ready for the next part of the trip, greased everything up underneath, found a loose oil filter so replaced it, compressed all of my belongings down into THE smallest possible space and eventually ended up with a Land Rover which will allow 4 people to travel in it in relative comfort!

Spent the afternoon reading Sir Ranulph Fiennes (one of Afritrex’s Patron’s) autobiography which every time I pick it up fills me with huge drive and motivates me not only to complete this expedition without any difficulty, but also gives me the desire to take on much more complicated, challenging expeditions in the future. Watch this space….Afritrex 2 or similar will happen.

Watched the sun set over the city as the twinkling lights became brighter and pondered long and hard the next few weeks and what the east coast of Africa will bring. I cannot wait to get moving again, South Africa has been fantastic and I’ve achieved a lot since arriving here 2 months ago but I want to get back to the part I love the best, the travelling. Not knowing what’s around the next corner, meeting new people every day, feeling the African heat and mixing with border officials and the hustle and bustle which surrounds these places. Oh and cooking over a fire…..

Left for the airport to collect Rachel at 10pm and drove to Nelspruit which took 4hrs through the night. Slept well

End of day location: Nelspruit, South Africa
Distance covered: 376kms

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