Arrived Joburg 7th May 2007 . Pierre waiting at airport to pick me up . So good to see him . Went back to his via the restaurant he works in , really nice fish/shusi place. Good coffee too , hopefully I will eat there at the end of my stay, restaurant is in shopping mall so we went to the supermarket to get food , then went to bottle store to buy alcohol ! Arrived Pierres , he lives on a farm ( known as a plot here ) . All poperties are secured by fences , alarms etc which is strange , but soon got used to it. It's opposite a Lion sanctuary . Went to eat , had steak , meat is sooooo good
Tuesday 8th May
Didn't get up too early - well I am on holiday after all ! Pierre cooked breakfast , what's the point of being with a chef if you don't use him ! Went to Pierre's parent's house , they live in Boksburg , on the other side of town to him. Pierre did his washing whilst I got in the pool . It's winter here and about 25 degrees , they all thought I was crazy as it's too cold now to go swimming !!!! Experienced my first braai ( known as a barbecue to us) had traditional SA dish malie pap ( maize flour ) . It"s no good being a veggie here
Spent the evening with Pierre's parents.
Wed 9th May
Woken by a phone call at 06:30 from Wendy , Pierre's landlady to tell us the lions were by the fence on the other side of the road to his house . Got out of bed , sun was was just rising , we saw 8 lions , there are only 16 in the sanctuary , so we were well excited !!!!
Today we went to Will's house ( Pierre's cousin ) to collect camping stuff as we were going to Pilansburg , stayed at Manyani resort and game reserve . On the way we got stopped by the metro police to inform us that the trailer disc was out of a date and they would write Pierre a ticket for 500 rand , he wanted us to bribe him so Pierre did and we got away with 100 rand ( 10 pounds ) welcome to SA !
Stopped on route to buy provisions , arrived camp and set up tent really quickly. Pierre spoke to Will and persuaded him to come camping with us , 3 hours later he arrived . Before he arrived we were sat relaxing outside the tent , the ostriches just wandered around and then out the the corner of my eye I saw what looked like a baby rhino !!!!! Pierre was in stitches as I freaked , it was just a wild boar !!!! so YES i was the brunt of jokes for the rest of the camping trip. So no more mention of baby rhino's !!!!
Spent a lovely warm evening in the African bush around a camp fire , had another braai , more meat . Lots of beer and then a challenge to see who could get 3 shots from the bar for 3 rand - I won of course , mine came to 2 rand 20 , womanly charm works every time !
Woke once in the night hearing noises outside the tent , I think the baby rhino's were back !!!
Thurs 10th May
Woke early , Will had the kettle on . had coffee and rusks ( no not farley's )
We went into the game reserve , Will had a 4 by 4 , Pierre and I got out and sat on the back - you are not supposed to get out of the car , but what the hell , the worst that could happen would be being eaten by a lion , at least I was happy . Anyway we survived , saw lots of Zebra , Rhino's and yes there was a baby Rhino ! An elephant herd made their way down to the water hole . Shame we couldn't get very close. Hippo's were in the water , it was getting very hot now , Will drove us around the reserve til 11ish, he's very knowledgeable on the game so he was a very good guide . Went back to campsite for well earned brekky , well large game hunting makes you hungry.
Went back into the reserve from 3pm to 6pm and the highlight was seeing a lion , again we couldn't get close but we were well happy with our days safari.
Yet another braai , Will went and bought 3 T Bone steaks , never seen steak so big ever - not even in America ! spent the evening around the camp fire , what more could you possible want out of life !
Fri 11th May
Got up , had leisurely brekky and packed tent up , Will drove back to Joburg with all equipment and Pierre and I went to Sun City . Most bizarre place . It's like an oasis in the middle of the desert . It's where the first casino was in SA . It's now a resort that has two golf courses Sun City and Lost City and The Palace Hotel , all gold fittings , costs a fortune to stay there . Felt very American , bit tacky in places , you can do water sports on the lake , play tennis , horse ride etc , bit like Centre Parks really ! not ! . We went to the valley of the waves , spentÃ¯Â¿Â½ a couple of hours on the man made beach , the sand comes from Marituis , how bizarre is that .
Travelled back , called in to see Pierre's brother Henk, Theresa and their daughter Grizelle . Went for dinner and ending up staying the night . Learnt lots about SA culture , how people live here and the country in general.
Sat 12th May
Travelled back to Joburg , met Will and went to pub to watch Rugby , 2 SA teams in the Semi finals of Southern Hemisphere Super 14 league . Both teams won so the pub was rocking and they have to play each other next Sat in the final . Will be interesting
Sun 13th May
Got up at leisurely pace, come over to Pierre's parents as we have to collect them from the airport at 9.30 pm , they've been to Cape Town for the weekend as it's Mothers Day today and his mum's birthday tomorrow . Met his sister and family and played with Charlize - she's 4 and doesn't stop chatting ( bit like me then ! ) , all in Afrikaans , but we managed to converse.
I'm off to Cape Town on my own on Tues til Fri , Pierre will take me to the airport Tues a.m and his mum will pick me up Fri night . Pierre has to go back to work on Tues , shame as it would have been good to go together .