The fun begins!
16.11.2009 - 19.11.2009
Sorry its taken me so long to start this thing! I'm going to summarise as much as poss - its been a jam packed few weeks!!!
I'm HERE!! Hurrah!
After a teary goodbye to my sister, followed by a LOT of text messaging and phone calls to as many people as possible - (right up until the plane started moving!) - i was finally on my way.
The flight went without a hitch - other than i really should have done less film watching (The ugly truth, julia and julie, AND harry potter!) and more sleeping...but oh well!! (Han, i totally recommend The ugly truth - Gerard is HOT!)
Once i'd arrived at the airport i had a fun 3 hours wait for Anna to arrive - got chatting to a SA woman...who was unfortunately rather dull..but it helped pass some time!
Anna finally arrived - looking BEAUTIFUL and brown as..something really brown and beautiful. We got picked up by the hostel and taken there and gossiped and caught up the WHOLE way (much to the delight of the guy who picked us up i'm sure!)
The rest of our first day was filled with cups of tea, settling in, wandering to the local shop etc...we were both rather tired!
Next two days in joburg were great though...here's where i'll bullet point!
We went on a tour organised through the hostel...could ramble on for HOURS here as we went to loads of places...
1) Went to the centre of joburg to the top of the tallest tower in Africa... Got an amazing view of the city.
2) Headed to Soweto - a township about 15k south of the city and where there are 8 major 'informal settlements', which are essentially shanty towns/tin shacks. We visited the largest one called Kliptown - which has 42 thousand people living there..no electricity/running water etc. (and only 42 taps). We met Bob, this man that set up SKY - Soweto Kliptown Youth, this community centre/library etc. where kids can go/live and be educated, supported etc. He was a real inspiration. Could write about it for aaages!
3) Went to various famous landmarks related to the apartheid - including the hector pieterson memorial dedicated to the first boy (aged 13) to be killed during the student riots against schools being taught only in afrikaans (the language of the essentially white middle class). Was fascinating/upsetting.
4) Went to the apartheid museum...arrived late though so didnt get to see it all...so we went back the next day to do the whole thing again!!!
Evenings in the hostel consisted of a few sophisticated dinner parties with a portugese guy we made friends with and a gay couple from the netherlands! We had a lot of fun cooking up a storm!!
Despite all the worry/hype about joburg re. safety etc. i'm really happy we came and got to make our own opinion. Granted there are some dangerous areas to avoid - but so has most cities!! All in all we had a fab few days! The only downside was the weather! After is being warm on the first day it was flipping FREEZING and rainy...thank goodness for my ugg boots!
We then flew to Cape town after a horribly early start!!...continued in my next entry!!
Love to you all!!