South Africa - Spring 2006 travel blog

our hotel

overcoming jetlag

handicraft market

great stuff for sale

Kodak moment

pop can sculpture

resting on batiks

At last we are done with flying! South African Airways served wine and peanuts and a hot meal on a two hour flight. What a shock! Ken's retirement theory that we would be in half empty planes since as retirees we can fly in the off season, has been refuted once again. The plane was totally full, just as the flight from Atlanta was.

Our final hotel in the series of four we've enjoyed the last few days, is more luxurious than our usual. A sign on the bed offered a choice of five different pillow types. The room is large enough for us to spread out all our luggage so we can find what we brought with us once again. Enjoy it while you can; when we get our RV we will be back to living in one another's arm pits. The enormous breakfast buffet featured items that we recognized, as well as some exotic fruits and meats that reminded us that we are in Africa. Most importantly, lox and cream cheese are always available. Those who have cruised with us know what we're eating for breakfast every day. Unfortunately we had to wait two hours to eat breakfast. Jet lag did not allow us to sleep past 5am. The hotel pool, while very attractive, was only warm enough for one of us to go swimming, but a good spot to rest weary bones.

The best thing to do when you are jet lagged is to take a walk. Our walk brought us to an open air market featuring colorful and clreative handicraft items. My enjoyment of these sorts of places has been lessened by the fact that over the years when I have schlepped things home, I often would see them for sale at our local Pier One. We have also run out of wall space. It did not make sense to stock up on souvenirs on our first day here. Our brains also had difficulty converting the prices from rand to dollars. Nevertheless we returned to our room with four bags of good stuff. Totally irresistable!

One cannot help but think about apartheid and this country's history. I'm sure I will be commenting on this again. But our first impression is that the races are about as comfortable with one another here as they are at home. As we ate dinner last night we saw on TV that striking security guards were rioting and looting the places they were supposed to protect in Johannesburg. Our inn keeper was quite mortified, but I commented that I could imagine the same thing occurring lots of places. Our flight crew was every color of the rainbow and worked together well as a team. Our hotel staff is also quite diverse, Most of the handicraft vendors were black, but not all. It did not seem to matter. As it should be.

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