Arriving in South Africa
For those of you who may not know, Tez and I are alive. We made it. Over 29 hours of travelling from door to door. We made it. Queue the generic update.
A few recommendations to underhandedly explore our idiocy:
- Do not fly without a fully processed & approved visa if required (or at least practice your arrogance & false knowledge of immigration laws);
- Do not take additional cases;
- Do not flaunt blatantly over-weight hand luggage;
- Do not take carry a drone in its original polystyrene case…
To provide a brief overview of our journey itinerary; we landed in O.R. Tambo International, Johannesburg after an 11hour 5mins flight from London Heathrow with South African Airways. Following this we had seven hours to kill before our domestic flight (1hour 10mins) to the small mining town of Phalaborwa in North-East South Africa where we were welcomed by our Grandparents (a.k.a. Margie & Rodney).
Hence our first mission: Droewors, Steers’ burgers and coffee. From experiencing this flight over the years, we cannot emphasise enough our preference of overnight long-haul flights. The lack of sleep is inevitable but to avoid wasting your first few days, in our books, it is a necessity.
Home Sweet Home
Words cannot explain how odd it is to feel more at home in a foreign country than your own, but with the only thing missing being important people, we are home.
Since arriving we’ve been fully occupied with catching up with family & friends -which is always well overdue- and hence apologies for the delayed updates as we’ve been recovering every morning from constant evening welcome homes.
Evidently we have also organised our internet access through local networks (Vodacom and MTN) so we’ve regained access to the world again and can finally keep you all updated. With a minimal two-hour difference between SA (UTC +02:00) and the UK, our daily active hours are only slightly offset so contacting us will be almost identical to how it has always been (with more active replying -I get it. I’m sorry).
Phalaborwa is infamously named “The Town of Two Summers”. The seasons in the UK and SA are reversed and yet visiting in Phalaborwa’s Winter will see higher temperatures and more sun than summer in the UK. Hence we were hearing the horror stories of summer reaching 480C days and nights averaging 420C a week prior to our arrival. Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect however with erratic winds spreading throughout the province providing a cool breeze to ease us into the temperature.
One thing we haven’t quite adjusted to is the local’s lust and longing for rain, as we were welcomed with excitement and comparisons of the recent rainfall personally measured to exact mm combined with perfectly recited figures over the past month.
None-the-less, the smell and feel of this small town recalls a nostalgia we have not experienced for too long and yet our love for this place has not waned. Albeit changing, Phalaborwa will never fail to be full of friends & laughter.
Please keep an eye open for our synopsis of Phalaborwa recounting our adventures and what to do within the local area and check out www.phalaborwa.co.za!