I've done a lot of traveling but still always leave on a trip with Mixed Emotions cuz feel kinda sad to be leaving my family & awesome friends behind to go on a trip! Then compounding that anxiety on this trip was my fuking itinerary which was cool until realized that could only stay in South Africa for 3 months and then would need to get a Visa!!!! So after addressing that situation hell ended up having to catch a 6 AM flight on Alaska Airlines (which was cool cuz used to work for them lol) from Vancouver to LA taking 3 hrs!
So shit had to get to the airport by 4 PM for an International Flight LOL! I would normally take the Sky Train (Metro) to the Airport but hell they don't run that early! So had 2 alternatives – go to the airport around 1 AM b4 the Sky Train stopped running or take a $30 cab ride there but being a tight mutha fuker (cuz shit was going traveling for 4 months so had to keep my costs down and also dislike supporting the asshole taxi drivers) so had kinda decided on sleeping at the airport! But my Wife (tho refer to her as my Ex Wife tho we're still married but not living together tho still think she's my sweetest best friend as she does so much for moi) offerred to give me a ride!! But shit the weekend being Canadian Thanksgiving well she invited me for Thanksgiving Dinner & made a beautiful Turkey dinner! It went really great as we went for a hike first and then she cooked me the awesome dinner! But somehow as usual well I fuked it up by being a Jerk as guess I hurt her but shit won't go into details!! So I felt I couldn't take advantage of her kindness and have her drive me to the airport so I told her maybe she shouldn't drive me to the airport! But the day b4 I was to catch my flight well she called me and offerred me a ride and still being a fuking Jerk well I accepted LOL!! Shit she worked a late shift till 9 PM that evening and then came over to my place cuz I live near the Medical Center that she works as a MRI Technologist! Then she spent the night at my place cuz she lives about a ½ hr away from my home! So went to bed by 10 pm and got up around 3:30 AM as she drove me to the airport for 4 AM!
Hell don't remember much of the first flight from Vancouver to LA as kinda dozed most of the 3 hrs!But what was cool was my flight to LA was with Alaska Airlines who I used to work for in IT so brought back memories! Then I waited in LAX for 2 hrs for my next 5 hrs Delta flight LA to Atlanta which was occupied by talking to this Puerto Rican grandmother who told me about all the Apple products she owned – iphone, ipad, etc. Then had another 2 hrs wait before my flight to Johannesburg! But didn't get much chance to chill cuz was busy going from the domestic terminal to the international bcuz that Hartsfield Airport is bloody big for my15 hr Delta flight to Johannesburg, South Africa!
Shit some peep sure have a lot of luggage with them when they travel LOL!!!! One lady had this huge hardsided pull suitcase as carry on which was blocking the aisle way when we were getting getting off! So I asked her maybe she should have checked it but she said she had checked in a larger suitcase lol so asked her how long was she traveling and she said 2 wks! Wow fuk I've managed to cut my back pack weight down to 25 lbs/12 kg for my 4 month trip which includes my carry on too cuz they zip together! Heck I still carry a computer and chargers (cuz once a computer geek I guess always one lol), music and a Lonely Planet guide book for Southern Africa and one for Madagascar! So I cut down on clothes (cuz always a shitty dresser) so brought the minimum amt of clothes so guess will be washing often or buying local clothes and tossing out my real dingy stuff prob cuz heck they're dingy to begin with! Shit wasn't impressed with Delta Airlines as flight attendants were efficient but don't seem to have any personality or overly friendly!!! Meals were great and of course was crowded with lot of S. Africans who were on vacation to US! It sure was a long fukin flight as figure we must have ate 3 meals, liters of water and very little sleep! But surprised that wasn't all that tired when I arrived!
The immigration was smooth as got a VOA type stamp visa for multi entry cuz will be leaving and coming back to S. Africa cuz Canadians get free visas only for 90 days!! Hell tho going to be here in S. Africa for 4 months the last month would fly into Madagascar which increased the price of my flight! I had to be in possession of a return or an onward ticket. Without one, you may be required to deposit the equivalent of a fare home with customs. The money will be refunded after departure from South Africa.
Found a cheap Backpacker Lodge (Shoe Strings Backpackers) close to the airport, about $18 a night in a 8 bed dorm, with free shuttle pickup! (The currency exchange rate was $1 CAD = 10 SA Rands)! So after my long flight well had a bit of jet lag the first few nights so glad was staying for 4 days at this Lodge was up most of night so took it easy the first day! Bcuz the Guesthouse's the type of place where can really relax and chill out for couple days! As had to wait for this bus to Victoria Falls in northern Zimbabwe which only goes on Mondays. Shit the only transportation I could book out of Jo'burg wais a sort of a tour bus to Victoria Falls for 2 days! But what is cool is it will pick me up at the Lodge as don't want to go into Jo'burg if possible!
Heck the only place to eat was a nice hotel across the street to eat so went there with a couple of peep! So the maitra dee told us that ala cart food will take about 1 hrs cuz their busy but could eat at the all U can eat Buffett for $15! So the other 2 were eating it so decided to go for it too! Yeah probably didn't eat $15 worth but wtf always extravagant on the first and last day! LOL !
But after a day a couple of Canadian chicks wanted to take the high speed train into Jo'burg so asked if I wanted to join them! So we took the High speed train (built for the 2010 World Cup) into Johannesburg! I was pleasantly surprised what we saw on the train coming in and around the area we went the city looked quite nice! I went downtown with them for lunch so I wouldn't fall asleep and not sleep again tonight! We went to Nelson Mandala Square and the area looked very modern and clean!
Then the next day I took the train to Jo'burg as had to do something as was getting bored so did a hop on hop on bus for $15 and see all of Jo'burg that need to see! Bcuz really want to go to the Apartheid Museum and maybe Nelson Mandela's childhood neighborhood cuz Desmond Tutu also lived around there! Yeah wanted to see the Apartheid Museum even if I'm not big on Museums and like to find my own way around! But figured if I go on this bus I won't wander off into the Sketchy areas of town! Also would like to drive thru Soweto the poor Black section of town! So think it should be cool to see but hell couldn't go to see everything in Johannesburg!
What was a cool unexpected thing while waiting for the bus at the Apartheid Museum I heard some Bollywood music playing and realized there was an Indian festival going on next door celebrating Diwali! So checked it out and ate some awesome Indian food which I love! Also checked out the various booths that were on display!
Then the bus was suppose to take well missed it and then it started to rain, rain and more rain! Shit by the time I got off the bus to catch the train well there was probably 12 cm/6 inches of rain running down the street! Shit here I was in flip flops and cutoff t-shirt with shorts! Then when got off the train had planned to walk the 15 mins to the Lodge as walked to the train! But fuk it was really pouring so thought shit will take a cab but the fukin cabs here over charge U like all over and charge me $8 to take me a distance could walk in 15 mins!!!
Hell usually know the type of things I need (well most of the time) but shit didn't bring a South African adapter as thought my universal adapter would have a South African type pin plug which would be kind of like the English plug but dam was wrong! A South African plug looks like an English plug but the 3 pins are round and large not small like European or flat like the English! So when first got to S. Africa had a hard time charging my computer, phone, camera, ipod and a battery operated flash light! Luckily the guy running this Lodge (who I've become friends with now) gave me an extra one he had or wouldn't have bee able to use my computer, phone, camera, etc!
I wanted to go to South Africa which was no problem to arrange! But fuk also wanted to include a trip to Madagascar & hell flights there from Johannesburg/Jo burg are kinda on the expen$$ive side! But wtf have always wanted to see the place cuz it has a lot of unique animals found no where else in the World (similar to New Zealand and Tasmania)!! Also had to take into consideration if a person stays in South Africa for longer than 3 months they are required to have a Visa!!
So after 4 days of chilling and getting rid of my Jet Lag at the Backpacker Lodge well the bus was waiting for came and took me to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls!! The down side was the bus trip was more of a tour and took 2 days but it did provide sleeping for 2 nights!