Trip to South Africa - Easter 1998

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Please note that I have been to South Africa several times since this trip report was written. You can find a better trip report from Johannesburg here and you can find a better Cape Town trip report here. Please get in touch on if you have any questions.

Outside the BWM pavillion in Cape TownMy trip started on the first of April 1998 and I was pretty stressed up when I left Norway cause there was so much to be done in the last minutes. So I went to work as usual in the morning and I stayed at work till 3.30 pm and then I left to go to the airport. My first leg went from Stavanger to Amsterdam and I had to wait there for 5 hours. It can be so boring even if there are shopping possibilities. I always end up getting fed up by waiting. So I bought some movie magazines and I sat and waited in the business lounge. I am fotunate enough to be a frequent flyer so I could get in there and relax. At least I had time to buy some gifts for my girlfriend.

Nikki and GardThe flight was too long as usual (almost 11 hours from Amsterdam to Johannesburg) and the plane was packed so I was not able to get a ticket upgrade. So there I was stuck in economy class *grin* I was so tired that I did fall asleep and I didn't watch any of the movies that was shown onboard. So suddenly there I was at Johannesburg airport again, just as I had been there one year before. I made it through the (long) immigration queue and on the other side my girlfriend Nikki was waiting for me.

Nikki at Sun CityWe stayed in Johannesburg from Thursday to the following Monday. During that time we went to movies, went out to eat at different restaurants, played minigolf with some of Nikkis friends, had a braai Nikkis house (hosted by her folks)...a braai is the SA term for barbeque by the way and South Africans love their braais. We also went out to Sun City for a day. We went there the last time I came to Joburg as well but this time we had more time so we got into the wave pool and "surfed" a bit *grin* And we tried some of the slides that were there. One of them was pretty good cause it was a pipe and it was totally dark so I couldn't see a thing of what was coming around the next corner. So basically we had just a good time relaxing.

Spinning the world..Cape Town water front areaOn Monday we went to the train station in Johannesburg and we got on the train bound for Cape Town. We had second-class tickets so I thought that we would be stuffed in a cabin with lots of other people. But we were lucky enough to get a cabin just for the two of us. And it was pretty hot when we left town (about 30 degrees) so we were really toasted in that little cabin *lol* But during the night the temperature dropped dramatically. So instead of being too hot we were freezing. I got up around 7 am the next day...had to get up to put some clothes on because I was so cold. But it was a nice start on the was warm and from my lower bunk I could see right out through the window and up to the stars. And it was a perfect night for star gazing :-)

Nikki and Gard on Table MountainWe arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday. Nikki had booked a small flat for us and we took a taxi there. We spent the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday there...again we had a good time going to the waterfront (big mall on guessed it...waterfront *grin*) and we ate at Planet Hollywood and went to IMAX. And on Wednesday we took the cable car to the top of Table mountain and the view from up there is just awesome. Gard freezing on Table MountainIt is 1000 meter high and you are right outside town so you can look at the entire city and the surrounding beaches on both sides. It was quite windy up there of course and we weren't really dressed for that so we ended up in the restaurant drinking hot chocolate *grin* The cable car took like 65 people and it rotated on the way up to the top so we really got to see most of it. There was a terrible line getting into the cable car and it was so unorganised...I really hate that. And then some Norwegians tried to sneak into the line but I told them (in Norwegian) where the line started :-)

Nikki on the beach at WildernessOn Thursday morning we rented a car and then we headed east on route N1. The first town we came to was Caldeon, a little sleepy town. We went into have lunch at this tiny cafe and believe it or not: they had an Internet connection so I got to send a mail home to my brother Jone telling him that I was Ok. Later that day we stopped in Still Baai. Very quiet with large beaches and great waves. And then we continued to Mosselbaai where we spent the night at a guest house. Gard and Nikki outside KnysnaI think this place is most popular because it is the start of the so called Garden Route and because this was the place where ancient exploreres would leave their mail going East (the post was left under a tree and it was picked up by ships heading west). The next morning we drove further east stopping at Wilderness to have a swim in the Indian Ocean. But it wasn't all that warm in the water (17 degrees) and the waves was so big that they threathend to pull us out which was pretty scary. The statue of Bartholomeu Dias at Mossel BayWe spent the night in Knysna and the next morning we looked around there. I think you have to be a diver to fully appreciate these places because they claimed that the diving was excellent. We drove towards Plettenberg Bay and we stopped at a nature reserve just outside town. This place had some really nice hiking trails and you could hear the roar of the waves crashing in on the mountain sides. We also had the time to stop to pet some elephants that day. They had been transported to this area from the Kruger Park up north. I have never actually been able to be that close to an elephant so it was fun. On our way to Port Elisabeth we drove through a "jungle" too. Gard getting close to an elephantThe forest was so thick that I think I would have been lost if I walked 10 meters from the road. When we arrived at Port Elisabeth that night we had to look around for a bit to find accommodations because it was the annual Splash festival. But we found a hotel finally. The next day we looked around and we got a chance to take a look at a seal and dolphin show at an aquarium. We were supposed to take the train back but it was Easter and hence no more tickets left so we had to drive back to Joburg. It is pretty long and the roads are pretty boring actually. But we arrived there on Monday and I had to leave on Tuesday. So that was my trip to SA. It was sad leaving Nikki behind once again that's for sure but it was also nice to get back to Norway even though it is pretty cold here still *grin*


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