(with apologies to Karen Von Blixen)
Its 6.00am on our second morning in South Africa. We arrived at Johannesburg airport 25 hours ago after a flight that started on the other side of the world 20 hours earlier. Early morning traffic reminds me we are in a built up area but as I sit on the verandah under a thatched roof watching the sky turn pink and blue I listen to the nearby noises include the crowing of a rooster and chirping of the many birds in the trees. The horses are tucked up into their stables and on the next property ducks quack and the goats wait to be led out into their field. One of the two house cats has stirred herself from our bed and winds her way across my lap before announcing she is ready for breakfast and one of the six household dogs barked briefly but has silenced again.
We’re staying with Paul’s sister, Sue, her partner Gary, and Paul’s Mum, Eileen. Sue’s working on a project in Finland but will be back next Saturday and after picking us up from the airport yesterday Gary has headed off for a week of work near Durban. We had an easy introduction to this very busy city with almost deserted roads ensuring the trip from the airport was easy instead of the long process I’m sure it would be any weekday. Normally the easiest travel from the airport would have been to catch a train to a nearby station but the amount of luggage we had would have made that a difficult process so it was great to be picked up. After that we had an easy day, a visit to shops before they got busy, an afternoon nap then an early night with a good overnight sleep and we’re on local time with no jet lag. Ready for adventure!
Today we start the process of picking up our new vehicle, hopefully that will take only a day or two but then again everyone warns us things can take a long time in Africa so we’ll have to be patient. The next couple of weeks will be spent around Jo’burg as we fit out the vehicle ready for travels and I try to discover a bit about this huge city and the nearby country.