On Dec 10th 8 am we left Edmonton for Cape town on Delta 2247. We went through Minneapolis-St Paul then Paris and arrived in Cape town at 1010 pm Dec 11th. Our total flying time was pretty much 23 hours. Cape town is 9 hours ahead. The journey to a South Africa is loooonnng. We got up at 345 am Dec 10, caught our flight 2 hour 57 minute flight to Minneapolis. In Minneapolis, mom and I enjoyed a beverage each to the tune of 45 Canadian. Rather insane but well worth the entertainment since we ordered mom a double screwdriver. When I ever figure out the technology with I will download an insanely funny video of mom well into her beverage. To pass the time we played a quick game of Qwirkle on a calendar (as a firm surface) at the gate. Mom calls it Sqwirkle. Be darned if mom wasn't skunking me!!! Thank goodness we had to fold up before the end of the game. She is very good at that game, probably from being a semstress and puzzling. We headed to Paris on our 8 hour 24 minute flight. Holey crap Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport is insanely huge!! I have never seen a departure/arrival board so big in all my life. I will also download a photo of that. Our departure gate was L22 and we had to catch a shuttle train to our gate. We had a 2 hour 25 minute layover in Paris. Security in CDG was painfulllll!! Luckily our gate was close by otherwise I truly wonder if we would have made it with much time to spare. From Paris we got on the really big flight in our itinerary -11 hours 35 minutes to Capetown. Now there is a jaunt! In fact Capetown from Slave Lake is 15000 km. Sadly mom had to ditch the compression stockings before we landed in CDG. Rick and Val have managed to misplace their compression stockings,,, interesting! The flight from Paris was on a Joon flight which was very nice! I was very clever and ordered special meals for us the whole trip, low salt, and so we were always served early throughout the itinerary. I have had my fish requirements for the next year though. The Charles De Gaulle airport i insane the arrival departure board is the biggest I have ever seen in my life!!! We had to catch a train to our gate an then ecurity was ridiculous, very slow and very disorganized!!! We landed in Capetown around 1015 and breezed through immigration which is pretty chill, found our shuttle driver and headed off to Capetown which was about 20 minutes away. The G adventures driver picked us up at the airport and along the way pointed out a few things along the way such as the hospital where Christian Bernard performed the first heart transplant and the fact we were at the base of Table Mountain. Our drop off was a bit exciting since the driver almost dropped us off at the wrong hotel - (Inn on the Square which was our starting hotel for Dec 15th). After I corrected him he dropped us off at the Holiday Inn. Well as luck would have it we were at the Holiday Inn Express and so we arranged for a cheap Uber to take us a few blocks over to the Holiday Inn Express. Apparently it is not safe to wander around Cape town at night. The fellas at the Holiday Inn were trying to get a $4.00 tip for loading the Uber car with our 3 pieces of luggage. And so it starts ... the tipping game. The neat thing is this was our first Uber ever and it seemed pretty OK!. It cost us 34 Rand, I gave the guy 50 Rand which was pretty much 5 bucks. I should mention South Africa is opposite drive. Since we were pretty much bagged we hit the hay. Mom was sharing a room with Rick and I. We need some sleep!! Who on earth can sleep on planes!!
I forgot to mention this is our 6th G adventures trip and we are now considered VIP's (not that I really know what that means ... stay tuned). This is our first National Geographic. This means G adventures has partnered with National Geographic at various points along the way to provide us deeper appreciation of cultures and habitats. There are tours along the way that are National Geographic segments: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Guided tour, Carnivore Conservation Experience at Karongwe Private Game Reserve where the Endangered Wildlife Trust will provide a talk on cheetahs and then accompany us on a game drive, Mondessa Township walk in Swakopmund where we will learn about daiy life of the residents of Mondesa and then enjoy dinner and local entertainment at family run restaurant in the township, and lastly the Cheetah conservation experience in Windhoek where we learn more but cheetahs and enjoy a game drive through the cheetah compound.