Craven : South Africa 2019 TR #4

craven morehead

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Well it's time to venture out again from the thriving metropolis of Emerald Central Queensland. This trip came about because I hadn't had a chance to buy my wife a Xmas present. Being 100kms out of town and often on the road for work and possibly a bit slack I was empty handed come Xmas morning :oops: I had been wanting to go back to RSA since last year but could never snare 2 of the elusive J award seats on the SYD-JNB route. So Xmas morning I took a punt and logged on to QF and Boom! 2 seats available within manageable dates. Out 13/06 back 08/07. Booked and presented to wife like it was always the plan :cool: after a couple of weeks I rang QF call centre and even though the lovely consultant told me I could not book flights from JNB-DUR-JNB because it had to be Oneworld I talked her through the process and we had a successful conclusion after 41 minutes on the line. Couldn't thank her enough that she was willing to ask and learn how to Long Sell. A process where the inventory doesn't show but can be created. So 2 return J awards booked on BA (Comair) JNB-DUR-JNB winning! At this point I had no idea what I was going to do other than attempt to catch up with some friends have a beer/gin and play some social golf. Basically just wing it. So some months later out at one of the mine sites (client) one of my SA mates (Expat) had heard I was heading over and mentioned he was heading back to visit his Mom in Capetown so we compared dates and now we are catching up down in Capetown in late June which is somewhere I have yet to visit and now with a built in tour guide! In the meantime my wife had a overwhelming case of guilt as we have twin boys halfway through Grade 12 and she had had a change of boss etc so she was considering pulling out of the trip. I ended up talking her around to joining me in CPT ;) I then tried to book DUR-CPT-DUR J awards same as before with BA but successive consultants had no clue and I think one thought I was a smart cough! How dare they :rolleyes: In the end I booked cash fares in J which worked out ok SC wise and cost wasn't prohibitive. I tried to use this new SMS service to split bookings and cancel wife's SYD-JNB leg and also JNB-DUR. Was partially successful and not a system I will ever ever use again. SYD-JNB outbound was cancelled successfully and dollars refunded along with points minus 5000 penalty. Where they stuffed up was they cancelled both of us on the JNB-DUR flight not just my wife :mad: wife is now flying QF awards EMD-BNE (Y) BNE-PER (J) and then a filthy reality check ...... cash fare (Y) on SAA : PER-JNB-CPT !! SAA wanted $5k PER-JNB one way :( anyway that's a long winded intro so let's go !!
 
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amaroo

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Great intro! Really looking forward to this report.

I was in Emerald last week, thinking next time I should drop you a PM?
 

craven morehead

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QF2407 down from EMD to BNE this afternoon. Nine minutes late taking off but arrived in BNE only one minute late.

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The catering in the EMD lounge is so sad these days I bought my own toasted sandwich !

Landed in Brissy and walked across to the ibis BNE AP

Pretty standard ibis but with a full shower / basic toiletries but it is well located and reasonably priced. Pullman BNE AP on the way home :cool:

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I think this is the first Accor hotel I have stayed in that hasn't provided at least one bottle of water for members.
They stuck me on the top floor which made me feel soooo much better :)
Headed down for some dinner and a quite sherbet.

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Braised Duck Ragu Pasta witha bottle of aptly named Fat cough (French) Pinot Noir.
Meal was lovely and not overly filling like some pastas. Wine was ok but probably only a 6/10
QF507 in the morning BNE-SYD J award seat 2A and then QF63 SYD-JNB J award on the mighty 747 upper deck exit row 14A. Originally in 12J/K when booked with wife but changed seats (post her change of plans) to allow me to step around potential stranger and also the possibility of some good sightings and photos down towards the South Pole:cool:
 
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craven morehead

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Up early as is my sleepless way in hotels especially with morning flights. Easy check out, only person there and then short trek across to Dom Terminal. The bloody travelator you catch up or down between AP and ibis/Pullman wasn't working on the up swing this morning :rolleyes: just when I'm fully loaded! To be honest I reckon at least one direction is not working on any given day o_O pretty full in J QP and lovely Sunrise. Time for a quick coffee while updating TR. Boarding in 30 minutes.

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QF507 seat 2A BNE-SYD :D
 

craven morehead

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I haven’t been to Cape Town, looking forward to the report and pictures of you and Ernie els playing golf.
Don’t mention the cricket when you’re over there :p

I've lost Ernie's number after the last trip lol. The cricket will be a very touchy subject for sure. I just hope our boys continue winning so I can give them Saffers heaps.
 

drron

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Don't worry Ernie may be at his winery so you could go out there and arrange a round. ;)

 

turtlemichael

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Don't worry Ernie may be at his winery so you could go out there and arrange a round. ;)


Or you can eat and drink with Ernie at the Big Easy, his steak restaurant in the Hilton Durban. The steaks were very good though a little pricey by South African standards. We ate there a few times during various cricket visits and enjoyed it though it could be noisy if the adjoining bar was busy. Just mention me to Ernie for a discount :) :) Big Easy Winebar & Grill Durban by Ernie Els
 
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Enjoy the trip!

Cape Town is an absolutely lovely place. Would highly recommend jumping on of the Explorer Buses (i think that what they were called - the big red suckers) for a tour down to the Cape of Good Hope.

Definitely spot on about the BA/Comair J seats being good value for SC. Whilst you'll get a meal etc, don't forget they're like a Euro J than an Aus J seat. Their planes probably aren't the newest going around but it was a perfectly acceptable.
 
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.......

Definitely spot on about the BA/Comair J seats being good value for SC. Whilst you'll get a meal etc, don't forget they're like a Euro J than an Aus J seat. Their planes probably aren't the newest going around but it was a perfectly acceptable.
Our Comair plane from JNB to VFA was one of the worst rust buckets I've ever been on. There was a chap with an engineers hi vis on who travelled on the plane with us, I suspect to check on some repairs. o_O
 
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