Saturday, January 01, 2000

South Africa

March 3 - March 25

We flew into JoBurg on the 3rd from Rio. From there, we trucked down to Petermartizburg (sp?), up to Lesotho via Sani Pass, back down to Petermaritzburg (sp?), south to Durban, along the coast to Cinsa, and finally to Cape Town. We flew out of Cape Town via JoBurg on the 25th.

Day by day:
  • Fri Mar 3 - land around 07:00 after a very nice flight, plane had a truly on-demand video system, mike watched 'shop girl' and 'the weatherman' and 'serenity' and 'four brothers', phone hostel from airport and get an expensive taxi in, sleep until about 16:00 then head out for mall, lunch of salad and burgers, buy a new still camera and some books and some SIM cards, back to hotel and mike passes out while jason arranges transit (by bus) to durban
  • Sat Mar 4 - wake up around 04:00 due to early to bed, shower and hang, cooked breakfast shortly after 7, read and plan for a bit, buy baz bus tickets all the way to cape town, head out to other mall, buy new memory stick at electronics store then turn back looking for used mobiles, do not find them, stop at hostel to pick up example small battery, back out to electronics store to buy new batteries for universal translator, jason turns back and mike walks on the additional 20 minutes or so to the mall, mike watches 'walk the line' then shops unsuccessfully for a hat, returns by cab for about 15:30 to meet jason who has just returned from lunch and has otherwise been chilling, beers and rugby before veggie lasagna supper in hostel, early to bed
  • Sun Mar 5 - up early to catch baz bus, walk to shopping center to get cash and coffee and food from bakery, hang in hostel lobby for a bit joking around with staff, get on the baz bus, lunch at gas station, arrive in maritzburg around 16:00, check in, walk up to hospital with judith (swiss girl from baz bus), then walk into town to check out art museum before closing at 6, search for a pub leads to a indian place where we down some bunny chow, back to hostel to drink beer and converse into the night, in bed for around 22:30
  • Mon Mar 6 - mike up early to call sani carriers and read, big breakfast cooked in the hostel, to town to buy some camping equipment and a new phone for mike and to hit the internet cafe, return to hostel, mike pops out for a bit to get cash, board landrover at 12:30 and head to underburg, spend a few minutes at carrier office before getting dumped at a local hotel, drink beer and relax while waiting for ride to sani lodge, ride finally arrives and make it to hostel, have nice supper there and some beers chatting with a dutch guy (peter) and an english freelance journalist (jen?), in bed around 22:00
  • Tue Mar 7 - up early for simple breakfast, get map and head out for day hike, lunch near a waterfall and mike has a swim, up to top to see interesting rock formations and take in the view, return for about 16:00, do some reading and relaxing before dinner in the lodge, some conversation with others after, retire to room to pack and sleep
  • Wed Mar 8 - up early for breakfast in the tea house, meet our guide matthew - an interesting man with a big beard and a subtle sense of humor, jump in truck and head to underberg to pick up some stuff, play hacky sac in small parking lot while waiting for arrival of dutch girls, dutch girls arrive - anouk and minion, back to lodge to drop off goods then head for sani pass
In Lesotho for a bit...
  • Fri Mar 10 - cross back to SA in the evening, drop girls off at hotel to get massages, boys head in to clean up, all reassemble over dinner, go into town with big peter in his big peter truck, many drinks and some splif and some dancing at the underberg lodge pub, return to sabi lodge for about 02:00
  • Sat Mar 11 - up early-ish for another tea house breakfast with the dutch girls, catch a ride with matthew into underberg, jump a minibus taxi into petermartizburg (sp?), lunch there on pizza in a friendly bakery, catch another minibus taxi on to durban, catch a regular taxi there into banana backpackers and take some dorm rooms, immediately take a nap, mike and jason head out for dinner, head back early as can not safely get cash, hit the hay for about 21:00
  • Sun Mar 12 - up early and out to get some cash, mike heads to mall for breakfast and internet while jason chills at hostel, reassemble and go to beach to meet the dutch girls, hang near big pool for awhile before taking in some fair rides, have a beer to calm stomachs and wait out the rain, return to hostel on foot to clean up and relax, rani from sani pass shows up, order nandos food, have a big feast and then play mexican for some time, leave around 00:00 for "joe cool" bar down at the beach, meet up with rani again there, stay out until about 15:00 drinking and dancing and the usual sort of thing
  • Mon Mar 13 - up at 06:00 to pack and catch baz bus to cintsa, mike sleeps most of the way, a bit of reading and eating of KFC is also done, arrive around 17:00 and check into a safari tent with a very good view, nap, dinner at 20:00 in the loud bar, back to tent to deal with blog and photos and such, early to bed
  • Tue Mar 14 - up around 08:30 for a big breakfast at the hostel, read a bit and digest, down to the beach for a sit, back up to hostel to enjoy pool for a little, jason has a laptop jam while mike reads and then naps, indian supper at hostel, early to bed
  • Wed Mar 15 - up around 08:30 for a light breakfast at hostel, jason heads to surf school, mike reads and then watches a shitty film ("the core"), jason returns and heads up to laptop jam, decision is made to leave the next day so reservations are made, lunch at the bar/pool and some ping pong, hang in bar before dinner and meet german girl (vanessa?) who recognized us as KFC enthusiasts from the baz bus, beers and conversation, roast chicken dinner, beers and conversation and dancing, bed around midnight
  • Thu Mar 16 - up early and pack, try to get a game of volleyball but no luck, lunch at bar/pool and chat with an american girl (jaynie?), spend much of the rest of the day watching TV (monkey business, danger mouse) and reading, catch the baz bus around 18:30 and head to port elizabeth, arrive there at 00:00 and straight to bed
  • Fri Mar 17 - up at 06:00 to catch bus at 06:45, spend the entire day on the bus reading and sleeping and whatever, burgers for breakfast and lunch, some chatting with other passengers but mostly pass the time in silence, arrive at parliament hotel in cape town at about 22:00, jason decides not to go out for st. patty's day, mike tries to contact the dutchesses, no luck, sleep
  • Sat Mar 18 - up at 09:30, down to long street to eat pies and get some internet, finish up admin around 16:00 and make a dash back to the hotel before jumping in a cab for the rugby stadium, watch the cheetahs beat the stormers then return to hotel, get picked up by rob (american guy from baz bus) and his turkish friend and head out to observatory for some drinks and a rock show among the collegiate type, also have a dance with some black folks with a short stop by some pretentious opium den sort of thing, catch a cab home around 02:00
  • Sun Mar 19 - up around 09:30 again, walk over to waterkant to talk to travel agent about flights, follow that up with a very nice al fresco breakfast on a quiet street corner, walk up to south african museum then back to hotel by way of an ATM, pop out quickly to also get some cash for jason, rest for a bit, grab a taxi to waterfront and buy egypt guide book and discover that admin hassles for ghana are too much trouble, try to get tickets for a film but find it sold out, have beer and nachos on the waterfront instead, taxi back to hotel, shower, make contact with the dykes, they have a rental car and agree to come and pick us up for a night out, meet dykes on long street after a quick glass of wine, confused drive out to the beach, pizza and drinks and dancing near the shore, drive over to gay bar downtown, more drinking and such there, taxi away, drop off dutchesses, mike rides on hood for a bit, back to hotel, in bed for about 05:00
  • Mon Mar 20 - up about 13:00, mike has a hangover, breakfast at nearby coffee shop, back to hotel to blog and deal with flights and shower and all that kind of thing, out to post office to mail some tax forms and a stolen plastic leg, return to hotel for a few moments, jump in cab down to waterfront and take in academy award winning bore-fest "tsotsi", back to hotel for a bit before walking down to city hall for overlong but enjoyable hip hop festival featuring lots of good music and dance, back to hotel to have bass-heavy dreams
  • Tue Mar 21 - up around 10:00 to shower and fuss about with laptops, soup and salad lunch at pizza place, further up long street to internet cafe, return to hotel to drop of bags, out to company's gardens for free concert, the show is lame so go down to waterfront to meet rob and check out the cat he is taking to florida, drinks and snacks after, rob splits, dinner of lobster and abalone, return to hotel and sleep
  • Wed Mar 22 - up around 10:00, breakfast in hotel, shower, out to district 6 museum then the castle, taxi up to table mountain cable car but it is closed because of high winds, down to gardens to arrange flights, walk over to kloof street for indian lunch, over to labia theatre to inquire about right eye short film festival, walk through the company's gardens on way to hotel, relax for a bit and steal free wireless internet, out to mama africa's for some music, try to go to hip hop club but get redirected, meed german vanessa and sit for a bit eating pizza with her and her friend, head upstairs to play two games of pool (very badly) and then retire back to hotel
  • Thu Mar 23 - up around 09:30, pack up and move rooms, jason heads to robben (sp?) island (former mandela island prison), mike not feeling well so stays in bed and works on video stuff, meet back up at hotel around 15:00, head out at 17:30 to see part of right eye film festival (pinky pinky is highlight), tasty kurdish dinner with piss-poor service, back to hotel for 21:00 to play with jason's new ipod nano and research egypt and capture some videos, watch some of "dreamcatchers" (shite) and sleep
  • Fri Mar 24 - up around 10:30, walk to garden square center to have brunch and collect tickets for egypt and buy mini dv tapes and pharmacy stuff, walk back to hotel, up to long street for and hour and a half of internet, back to hotel, taxi up to mount nelson hotel for tea, watch a wedding party while we are there, walk back down to hotel through company's gardens to relax and capture some more vid, get a call from rob, meet him at 21:00 at madame zangara's for tasty gypsy dinner, then taxi to maverick's strip club for some whoring, leave about 02:00 to meet the dutch girls at some club, bounce back and forth between a few places before getting free entrance to opium with some help from alice's new wrestler friend, hang and dance, girls leave suddenly with alice in a huff after a bit of an incident, part company with rob and head for hotel around 04:00, stop for a pie on the way
  • Sat Mar 25 - hang out in room for a bit feeling tired and lonely, check out and get shuttle at 05:45, mike calls mom while waiting for check-in to open, check in and sleep waiting for departure, board plane and fly to JoBurg, wait in a very long line to check in for flight to Bahrain, board at the last minute and leave SA soil around 12:30

Photo Albums
South African Party
Cape Town

Video Clips
The Rapping Dutch
Mike In The Hood
Coloured-Ass Crooks