Monday, September 27, 2010
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Well, where to begin, we will play a little catch up here in this blog. While our trip back to Tana from Morandova was long it was for the most part uneventful. The only worry was my Revenge of Africa Arse that came back with a vengeance and had me in bed for the evening unable to eat with a slight fever and ridiculous stomach cramps. Fortunately the pepto and the cipro seemed to have killed that enough over night to where I was able to ride without having to stop the whole way.
Back in Tana we caught up with Wassim the crazy Lebanese guy we met on the way in ..and guess what.. He had my ATM card! Could you believe that!?!? He found it in the back seat of his car the day after we went to dinner the first time.
Well the next morning we got Dasy back as our driver who got Pat off to the taxi Brusse station and me off to the airport, albeit 3 hours early. Next thing you know I’m in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Now I had never really planned on spending any time here but since I had to get my ATM card (Which I now have in hand), I was stuck heading into the city for a couple of days. I stayed at the Sunbury Guest House in the Mellville section of town and found it to actually be quite nice. Not the horrible compound and mall infrastructure I was told to expect. But a quite lovely 7th street area with restaurants and bars and live jazz and such.
The first night I met Jan the Finnish Film school guy and we met up with some of his students who were in town as well. Then the next day after a lovely mass at the university parish, Jan and I spent the afternoon swimming at the saltwater lap pool behind the strip mal/parking structure/car wash/spa enjoying a picnic and a nice sunny day. We followed that up by a very leisurely 3 hour late lunch of prawn risotto and a lovely bottle of south african white wine.
Would you believe that walking home the crown on my tooth comes off.. I mean really .. REALLY REALLY .. Cmon REALLY.. What else can go wrong. Fortunately its not an urgent emergency and ill have it fixed when I return home.
Later in the evening, I met my new German friend Linus from Berlin. An incredible guy with loads of great conversation and an adventurous spirit. We had drinks and a late night snack that night and made plans to hang out the next day.
In the morning we found a good deal on a bike tour of the Soweto township where Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu were from. But first I had to spend an hour and forty five minutes at the bank trying to get my $600 in USD from then for my tour payment the next day. What a process, it had to be about seven different forms to sign and three different forms of ID and proof of tour,etc.. I thought Linus was going to melt down thermonuclear like 😉
But down to Soweto we made it and off to the tour. Joining us was Adam the Aussie. We were led by “king” solomon and he had an excellent knowledge of the history and struggle of the area. We joined elders in their Shabeen (bar) and had local brewed maize and wheat beer which is called un*click*galli.. Or something like that. What a fun time that was conversing with the elder locals learning their customs and such.
After that we had lunch at a local restaurant and finished our ride at another shabeen where we played a couple games of pool with the locals. Albeit Adam and Sol were making the rules up as they went we still split the match 1-1. Later that evening Linus and I had a great pizza and bottle of wine before I had to relocate back out towards the airport for my early departure on the Nomad safari.
Pictures & Video
Me and the Elder