Ellery Pass, Yosemite NP California, USA.

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Ellery Pass, Yosemite NP California, USA.

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African shoestrings – South Africa Day one

Last time we flew to South Africa via Qantas we were upgraded to business class. No such luck this time! We were once again mere mortals packed in with our fellow passengers into the Airline industry’s version of the mini.

Now that’s not to say that travelling economy with Qantas is a hardship. It’s not. In fact I think that they’re terrific. Good service, facilities, food and most importantly an unparalleled safety record makes any long haul flight reasonably comfortable. If that doesn’t get me a free flight nothing will!

But a long flight is a long flight and quite tiring.

Some eleven hours and two movies later we arrived at J’burg airport. Once ‘processed’ by the authorities we claimed our bags and moved out into the arrival lounge. We had been to J’burg before and sort of knew what to expect but nonetheless J’burg’s reputation as violent crime capital of the world makes you view everyone with a great deal of suspicion. In fact the biggest danger seemed to be the frustration caused by the ceaseless touting by reps of J’burgs many backpacker hostels. These guys hone in on anyone who looks even faintly potential. I think we got picked because it was such a quiet night and they were getting desperate.

We managed to eventually find our hotel shuttle, which was driven by a young white guy. I make a point of this because several years ago these ‘menial’ jobs were done by black or coloured people, never by a white person especially a young white person.

A lioness enjoys the late afternoon sun in Chobe National Park, Botswana

A lioness enjoys the late afternoon sun in Chobe National Park, Botswana