Up at 6:30am, then a short drive to the airport. Checked in and then grabbed some breakfast. Bid farewell to Travel Buddy's Mum, then off through security. Boarded with no hassles and then settled in for our fourteen-hour flight to Johannesburg.
Now you, like me, probably assumed we'd head due west, over mainland Australia, maybe Madagascar and approach Jo'burg from the east, but this wasn't the case. We headed straight over the middle of Tassie and then skirted along the edge of Antarctica. Apparently this was to avoid a strong head wind further north.
Filled the flight with a few movies, ones I'd been meaning to watch for a while. The Conjuring, which was good but not really scary. Passengers, which wasn't too bad but a ridiculous movie to watch on a long-haul flight. 3.10 to Yuma, which was actually really good and one that anyone who is a fan of westerns should see.
We got a couple of meals, I had beef brisket for lunch and peri peri chicken for dinner.
Got my first glimpse of Africa as we descended for landing, green and gold paddocks. Arriving in Africa at sunset felt fitting, African sunsets are so iconic of the continent, but it did mean we are yet to glimpse our first South African birds.
Landed in Johannesburg at 5pm local time (1am for us). We did 11,770km in fourteen hours. Getting through immigration was as simple as showing our passports, no forms to fill in. No customs either.
Only one questionable African guy pretending to be airport staff tried to lure us in the wrong direction claiming he knew where the gate was but we politely declined and just kept walking so it was fine.
Boarded our flight for Cape Town at 7pm local time (3am for us). Got to see the Johannesburg city lights from the air and then two hours later made it to Cape Town. Even from the air at night time you can tell it's a special place, dark islands of wilderness rise mysteriously up out of the sea of orange city lights.
We disembarked our South African Airways flight onto the tarmac, and the crisp Cape Town air was very welcome after the stuffiness of the plane. Grabbing our bags took no time at all and then we headed out to arrivals where a driver was waiting with a sign that had my name on it, which was cool because I always wanted to be one of those people who had someone waiting with a sign.
This was a shuttle I had organised with the hotel, and our driver was very nice, giving us a city tour on the way into town. We got our first view of Table Mountain silhouetted against the glow of downtown Cape Town.
Checked into our motel, a former prison, and got a free upgrade. So finally after twenty-four hours awake we have made it!
Well I don't know how everyone else feels, but personally I am astounded that I'm actually in Africa! It's one of those things you think about and talk about and dream about but never actually do. Until you do.