Sunday, December 26, 2010

Itinerary: South Africa

On January 26, we fly into Cape Town, via Johannesburg. We rent a car and we drive to our lodging in Hout Bay. This is south of Cape Town, close both to the beach and wine country. It will be the middle of the summer in South Africa, and we'll be happy to rest after a week in Morocco and a week in Egypt. Ricky is particularly looking forward to this part of the trip, because he loves the water and there is a special beach near Hout Bay where penguins live (Boulders Beach). For him, this combination of the beach and penguins is the highlight of the trip.

We are spending almost two weeks around Cape Town. The cabin we rented has a washer, a kitchen, and most importantly, a braai, which is a traditional South African barbecue. Coming from Argentina, this is important to me.

Cape Town has a great arts scene, wonderful restaurants, and wineries nearby. We've never been and we're excited about it.

After Cape Town, we're taking the Premier Classe train to Johannesburg. When taking this train, you go to the station, head to a special lounge for Premier Classe passengers where you drink coffee and snacks, and then board the train. There's a welcome reception in the lounge car, lunch and high tea are served, and then there's dinner in the restaurant coach. The trip is overnight: a total of 26 hours for a distance of 870 miles. You average less than 35 miles an hour, but you're having fun so you're not in a rush.

Then, we rent another car and drive to Kruger National Park. We're staying the first night outside the park and the next day we enter Kruger in the morning. We stay at Kruger for three nights, at a rest camp. Kruger Park is known for easy viewing of the Big Five: elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes and cape buffalo. The Big Five were the animals that hunters found particularly difficult to kill on safari. We, of course, will limit our shooting to the use of cameras.

After leaving the park, we spend one night and the whole next day in Johannesburg. Then we're off to Cairo again, this time to visit the city and its wonders.

That's the end of the travel planning. We don't know how long we're staying in Cairo, although two different people have recommended that we stay for three nights there. We have not yet bought plane tickets beyond that. One idea is to go to Malaysia next, because there are affordable tickets from Cairo to Kuala Lumpur. And from there, to Penang, an island in Malaysia known for good food. And after that, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos. Another idea is to fly from Cairo to Cyprus, where a friend of mine I have not seen in a long time lives. And after Cyprus, Malaysia and so on. Unless we get some other idea before then. We'll see what happens.

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  1. Reading your itinerary puts me a little in awe of you. It seems really exciting, but overwhelming too. I love that you have the guts to say screw it and go have your adventure.

  2. I'm a bit in awe of us as well! Thanks, Michelle! :)

  3. Just be prepared, Cairo is going to be completely overwhelming, dirty, crowded, polluted, sandy brown, huge fat flies everywhere, smelly, with crazy drivers.

    Once you can accept that, then you can have fun.

    But it took me 6 months to wrap my head around that. Perhaps because I knew there was no escape. After that i had the time of my life! Maybe 3 days is more tolerable....

  4. I think you can never be really be prepared for Cairo, from what you and others have told us. A friend mentioned the other day that Cairo feels like it has about 3 or 4 million extra people, and cautioned us about crossing the street. I'm pretty sure we will be overwhelmed! Stay tuned for our adventures.

  5. I'm so glad you guys are going there! No one can really understand until you've been there. Take a stallion ride by the pyramids at sun up if you can. You'll never forget galloping through the dunes....

    When walking around, try to imagine what it was like for Michelle and I, a couple of 15 year olds, to live there..... and then you might get why we turned out like we did ;-)

  6. I would love to do that with the horses. I really like to ride horses. I think it's all the Clint Eastwood westerns I absorbed in my misspent youth.

    Now what is the effect of all this going to be on Ricky, who will be doing this when he is 5 years old? Will he be a combination of the two of you?