With suitcases full of goodies and hearts full of excitement, we left home to reach Johannesburg on the 25th, August, 2018.
Where exactly are we going? With whom are we going? What will we be doing? Will I be able to spend 2 weeks with people I don’t know? These were a few of the many questions that passed my mind on my 8hr flight to Johannesburg.
As I was the last one to land, I walked into a room full of my fellow yappers and all our hosts from Johannesburg. While I definitely couldn’t remember everyone’s names initially, it never felt like I was meeting them for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that it didn’t even take us a day to become friends.
“Vaishnavi from India, Anka from Germany, Christine from Denmark, Constantina from Cyprus, Emilie from Denmark, Sirish from India, Francesco & Tomaso from Italy, Ruska from Finland, Laura from Switzerland, Xenia from Austria, Eemil from Finland, Elisabeth, Hanna, Clara-Maria & Phillipp from Germany & Alexis from Cyprus”, Nico introduced us correctly almost every time.
Dan Eldon rightly quoted, “The Journey is the Destination”. That’s the best way to describe our trip to South Africa. While we started off with a small get together and dinner at Johannesburg, we left early next day to reach Middle-Burg in time for lunch. We had our first Brai in the yacht club against the lake on a windy Sunday afternoon. Helmets, earplugs, glasses, overcoats and lots of people welcomed us at the stainless steel factory the next day after which we went to the mall and eventually got together for a party by our hosts and other 41’s.
The following morning, humming to the Pretoria Girls song, we reached the Administrative Capital. A group picture against the beautiful Union buildings & the huge Nelson Mandela Statue was a must. A short drive took us to the Voortrekker Monument where a walk up to the top was worth every moment. Later in the afternoon, we walked in to the aromas of delicious Potjiekos and had dinner against the bonfire before we retied to bed.
Next morning, on our way to Kroonstad, we visited the cradle of mankind caves where we had to do a little walking, crawling, bending & jumping before we got out. It sure was one of the best places we went to. After a visit to a wildlife reserve where we saw lots of lions, tigers, jaguars & leopards, a typical African lunch was organized for us at the township the next day and later in the evening, we were welcomed for a party at the Round Table Club.
On our way to Harrismith the next day, we stopped by at the beautiful city of Clarens for lunch. In Harrismith, a large Potjiekos was waiting for us at the moth club for dinner. Next morning, after all the food we had in the couple of day, we had a much needed walk up a beautiful mountain.
Up next on our way to Pietermaritzburg was the much awaited Drakensberg Canopy Tour where we zip lined from one mountain to the other. It sure was the best part for the holiday. A visit to the Hilton School made me wish I had a school like that. We had a perfect lunch against the scenic lake in the warm sun. We called it a day only after we went to one of the best parties organized at the Round Table Club with Karaoke, a DJ & lastly, the freefall.
At Durban next morning, we were welcomed for a game of balls & the mouth-watering Durban Bunny Chow at the bowling club. The brewery tour wasn’t complete without a couple of glasses of beer at the end. We spent the next morning watching the dolphins and penguins perform for us at the Ushaka Marine World after which we went to the beach to get a nice sun tan. The last house party that night was one of the most memorable ones.
Lastly, we left to Richards Bay from Durban to join the 41’s AGM. After the long wait, we finally got to go to the safari where we spotted a few animals. Later that night, we walked in to the By Africa theme dinner with Leopard print vests. Next morning, we went to the lake cruise to see lots of hippos & some crocodiles and eventually joined the 41’s for the Gala Dinner.
The last day of our holiday came too soon, much before we realized. While we packed our trailer for one last time with all our suitcases, we sure were leaving with a whole lot of memories and good friends. While we wished we could stay for longer and also visit Cape Town, I guess, we now have to have reasons to go back….
Nico and our driver Kenny definitely made this holiday a breeze and all the more memorable.