Wednesday, December 23

A South African Summer

It took four flights and entire day of flying to get from Tauranga in New Zealand to Heathrow. Along the way I had a chance to fly the newest aircraft in the Qantas fleet, including Katherine Mansfield, a new Boeing 737-800 on the trans-Tasman route and an Airbus A380 between Sydney and London. It’s amazing the difference that a new plane makes. Both aircraft were fitted with the airline’s latest inflight entertainment system which made the hours literally fly by (if you'll excuse the pun). I’m still impressed by how quiet the A380 is despite its size. It’s also far more stable in flight, particularly toward the rear of the aircraft. In other aircraft the rear tends to flex a lot resulting in a perpetually shuddering ride.

That was last Saturday. Tonight Garry and I embark on the first of another four flights - this time to the bottom of the planet and back. We’ll begin our South African adventure in Cape Town for four days over Christmas, and then fly to George, a gateway town to nation’s scenic Garden Route. We’ll spend five days driving up the Indian Ocean coast to Port Elizabeth, although most of our time will be spent at the beach in Plettenburg Bay. Garry wanted at least a few days on this trip doing nothing more than watching waves crash upon the shore.

On New Year’s Day we'll fly to Johannesburg for a whirlwind 1.5 day tour of South Africa’s largest city and the nearby capital of Pretoria. Marcus, the managing consultant of my company’s South African office, has kindly offered his services as our tour guide while we’re in town. He and his fiancĂ© will also show us the sights of Soweto and direct us to the best local dining venues. Nothing bets local knowledge! We then fly home on the evening of January 2, ready to face our fifth year in London.

This will be my fifth, or possibly sixth, time in South Africa and Garry’s first. I’m looking forward to showing him some of my favourite sights including beach-combing Ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope and the simple delights of Wandie’s Place in Soweto. The highlight for me is a chance to finally see the world renown Garden Route. I’m also looking forward to seeing final preparations underway for next year’s FIFA World Cup. No doubt the most obvious sign of this impending event will be shiny new stadiums in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

1 comment:

Bev said...

We have been thinking of you both as you set off once more and are looking forward to your blogs on Sth Africa.
Take care and enjoy