From ‘Berg to ‘Burg

I failed to mention that we had a problem with our room on Thursday. As we were heading out for our game drive at the crack of dawn, the electronic lock on our room door failed and it wouldn’t lock. We didn’t want to miss our last game drive so we told reception what had happened and they reassured us they would take care of it while we were out on our drive.

When we got back to the hotel later that day, they had taken care of it by stationing a security guard outside our door. It certainly resolved the immediate problem by ensuring the security of the room while we were out, but wasn’t really a long-term fix. We contacted reception again and they immediately said they would move us. The day shift seemed a little more switched on than the overnight crew. They got us a vacant room just across the corridor from where we were, so we had a different aspect looking out over a pond.

So it was that, when Friday dawned – literally at daybreak – we were roused by a vast number of frogs who had taken possession of that pond. Frog love was in the air and they were loudly announcing it. Ishbel, of course, had to get a photo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were awake anyway, so we once again packed away all of our gear and headed down for our last breakfast in Pilanesberg. I think the waiting staff have been surprised all week at our capacity for tea consumption in the mornings but today we were kept topped up appropriately.

We got everything into the car – which is always a bit of a jigsaw puzzle with the instruments involved – and checked out before hitting the road to Johannesburg. Ishbel has been navigating throughout the trip so far. We decided not to pay extra for data in South Africa (it’s not included in Three mobile’s “Feel at Home” program) so we had included Avis’s mobile data option for the Johannesburg car rental. It has been cost efficient and has come in very handy for getting us around the place.

One interesting thing we got stuck behind on the road was this vehicle:

DSC_0129 2¬†We couldn’t help speculating that it originally just said “Horses in Transit” until people complained to them that it was cruel to move horses around in such a tiny horsebox, and that’s why “Miniature” is in a different font.

We had an easy journey into the Sandton district of Johannesburg. We are spending our last two nights in South Africa at the Radisson Blu here. After the range of places we’ve stayed, this is definitely higher end but, at the same time, it lacks the soul and authenticity of our other stays.

On the way to the hotel, we decided it was time to find another laundry so dropped off quite a large percentage of our clothes there. We had very little left to unpack. After completing our daily practise on the instruments, we walked up the road to Nelson Mandela Square which is a huge retail and entertainment centre. We keep forgetting how close it is to Christmas, but were reminded by the show that the mall had laid on in the open square.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince we were in that area anyway, we decided to have an early dinner. Friday night is traditionally pizza night for us back home, so we had pizza at Septimo, an Italian restaurant overlooking the square.

After that we had a fairly early night. I think we’re getting ready for the switch to Hong Kong time.