1.Ã‚Â Iâ€™ve been on holiday in South Africa for the last 2 weeks.
2.Ã‚Â Jason is lazy git.
However, after an 11 hour car journey, followed by a 10 hour flight, plusÃ‚Â thousands and thousands of minutesÃ‚Â of sitting around in terminals/taxis I am safely home, not daring to go to sleep, lest it ruin my sleep pattern forever and still taking Malarone tablets, even though Iâ€™m no longer in the land of insects that are about the size of your hand.
The last fortnight has been both a blur and a lifetime; what with my cousinâ€™s (incredible) wedding at the beginning, right the way through to the epic car journeys, breathtaking views, spending days touring Kruger Park for animals – as well as hanging out with a terrific bunch of people.
-Ã‚Â The pilot announcing that we started with 309 people on the flight and their still being 309 people on board once we reached Joberg airport. Oh those wacky Virgin airplane chaps.
-Ã‚Â Franschhoek being just a lovely, lovely place – both the scenery and people.
-Ã‚Â Alcohol being dirt cheap (I reckon you could get smashed for under a tenner. Some drinks were 15 Rand, which is about Ã‚Â£1.)
-Ã‚Â The wedding being amazing â€â€œ e.g. the church back door having to be kicked down by 2 guys called Chad and Blyde because the janitor had gone awol and there was no spare key. Also: fire dancers, Traditional African band, reception outside under palm trees, me getting thoroughly ruined on tequila.
-Ã‚Â The food and accomodation (apart from the place with no carpets or doors) being top notch everywhere.
-Ã‚Â Having brais (BBQs)Ã‚Â most nights.
-Ã‚Â Climbing Table Mountain in just under 2 hours with my uncle, cousin and friends of the family.
-Ã‚Â Seeing my Uncle Richard in trouble on 2 separate, yet hilarious occasions involving Tipit and Texas Hold ‘Em.
-Ã‚Â The elephant sanctuary being a fascinating experience.
-Ã‚Â Going on the longest zip line in South Africa and not falling off.
– The barman of the Elephant and Barrel notÃ‚Â caring that oneÃ‚Â of our party had flooded his pub and still continued to pour us drinks.Ã‚Â
-Ã‚Â Wine tasting at some posh lodge.
-Ã‚Â Getting some ace pictures of The Cape of Good Hope.
-Ã‚Â Penguin sanctuary = hilarity for 10 Rand (70p)
-Ã‚Â Being shown around Robben Island by a guy named Sparks.
-Ã‚Â The Mac Mac pools being the bestÃ‚Â places toÃ‚Â swimÃ‚Â ever. (Boiling hot day + coldish water + warm waterfall = win.)
-Ã‚Â Going to the Shanagana Cultural Village to experience the evening festival in the Kraal of Chief Soshangana. (Traditional South African dancing, music, audience participation was encouraged, meeting the Chief, the medicine man and some great characters.)
-Ã‚Â Going on safari in Kruger Park and seeing wild elephant, giraffe, rhino, zebra, impala, hyena, hippo, monkey, reedbuck, waterbuck, crocodile, kudu, wildebeest, buffalo and various exotic birds.
-Ã‚Â The bat loft at Satara.
-Ã‚Â The service and the flight back to the UKÃ‚Â being better than the flight out to Joberg.
-Ã‚Â Having to travel for over 28 hours non-stop over this weekend = hell.
-Ã‚Â Feeling like crap most of Monday due to excessive partying at the Wedding the night before.
-Ã‚Â The cage shark diving day being completely rubbish (the drive there, the experience, the shark making a brief cameo appearance then never returning, and the unrelenting wave of nausea on the boat = utter bobbins.)
-Ã‚Â Not seeing the big 5 at Kruger (The lion and leopard were all sadly missing in action.)
Apart from the few minor niggles, it was the best holiday I have everÃ‚Â been onÃ‚Â and an experience I will no doubt bore for England about, although my dad is currently leading in this categoryÃ‚Â with his 4 cameras worth of macro close-ups of bugs and sunsets on different settings.
Stay tuned for a feature on the South African music scene very soon and some more pictures; hopefully of animals.
By Ross Macdonald