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Craven : South Africa 2019 TR #4

craven morehead

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For dinner we ended up at Turn 'n Tender in Boksburg :

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Various offerings at 700 grams o_O who can eat that much? Well 2 of the party did and I bet you can guess which two :p
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We tried 3 waiters before one of them managed a photo with all of us in it 🤔

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My shout for dinner as a thank you for our friends spending the day with us and showing us around. We were all very well fed and watered for R1800
A decent steakhouse with the added bonus of the prices being 40-50% cheaper than home.
 

craven morehead

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Today was going to be our last day here. So the previous evening we arranged for a late checkout (R400) and also booked a Soweto & Apartheid Museum tour through the concierge. The rough plan was 10am pick up by our private guide with a 4 hour tour arriving back in time to pack and check out. Then we would catch the shuttle back to JNB and have around 3 hours in the lounge. Things pretty much worked to plan and maybe we got back a little later than originally expected. During the day we also got and update from Qantas saying QF64's planned 19.10 departure had pushed back to 20.15 so we had some wiggle room in any case without having to rush at any stage.

The driver arrived in a nicely presented Toyota Fortuna. I greeted him in my newly mastered Zulu ;) which caught him by surprise and he commented he must watch his words for the rest of the day :). Lovely and knowledgeable chap he was indeed and easy to speak with on numerous topics. He decided we would go to the Apartheid Museum first and he would take us there via downtown Johannesburg. By jingos there were some rough streets on that part of the trip. Rubbish piled up everywhere and in some place they just lit fires on the footpath! Pretty much had the doors locked, windows up and phone/camera out of site just in case.

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We had been allocated 2 hours here. Didn't end up taking many photos as there was just too much reading to do. It was very interesting and honestly we wouldn't have got through half of it. I think you need to allow a minimum 4-5 hours to do this properly if you have a genuine interest in the subject.
 

craven morehead

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I wasn't really sure what to expect from Soweto. I was envisaging just a big slum type of a turn out. I would have to say it was way bigger than I could have imagined and had some areas that were basically normal or at least affluent housing by Soweto standards. I also never realised Soweto was an acronym for South West Township.

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Goats rummaging through the ever present rubbish.
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I'm fairly certain our guide mentioned that Soweto covers 200 km², has something like 260 schools and 40 hospitals !

TBC:
 
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craven morehead

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The museum was a real opener for myself. Being young , I never knew how bad it was. I definitely learnt a lot and it was a great insight. I had wet eyes a couple times
Yes mate, I thought I was reasonably well read and across the subject but I knew not a lot as it turned out. Also trying to balance out in my head what I have been told by my many good friends who actually lived through this period. They have various points of view as one might expect. Certainly a very interesting place @henleybeach :cool:
 

craven morehead

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Soweto cont:

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Now we were going to head over to the famous Vilakazi Street :

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Right in the heart of South Africa’s largest, and the world’s most famous, township, Vilakazi Street is where Nelson Mandela spent the first couple of nights upon his release after 27 years of imprisonment, with his former wife, Winnie Mandela. Number 8115 Orlando West was also where he lived between 1946 and 1962.

Also another famous resident of this street is Bishop Desmond Tutu. Would have to be the only street in the world to produce 2 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates surely. Apparently Tutu, as he is more fondly known, still lives here with his wife Leah, and when he's in town he is said to stroll the streets.

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TBC:
 
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Flying mermaid

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Today was going to be our last day here. So the previous evening we arranged for a late checkout (R400) and also booked a Soweto & Apartheid Museum tour through the concierge. The rough plan was 10am pick up by our private guide with a 4 hour tour arriving back in time to pack and check out. Then we would catch the shuttle back to JNB and have around 3 hours in the lounge. Things pretty much worked to plan and maybe we got back a little later than originally expected. During the day we also got and update from Qantas saying QF64's planned 19.10 departure had pushed back to 20.15 so we had some wiggle room in any case without having to rush at any stage.

The driver arrived in a nicely presented Toyota Fortuna. I greeted him in my newly mastered Zulu ;) which caught him by surprise and he commented he must watch his words for the rest of the day :). Lovely and knowledgeable chap he was indeed and easy to speak with on numerous topics. He decided we would go to the Apartheid Museum first and he would take us there via downtown Johannesburg. By jingos there were some rough streets on that part of the trip. Rubbish piled up everywhere and in some place they just lit fires on the footpath! Pretty much had the doors locked, windows up and phone/camera out of site just in case.

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We had been allocated 2 hours here. Didn't end up taking many photos as there was just too much reading to do. It was very interesting and honestly we wouldn't have got through half of it. I think you need to allow a minimum 4-5 hours to do this properly if you have a genuine interest in the subject.
The white/non white signs bring back some memories. Nusas did a campaign one year where we went through Johannesburg replacing all the “whites only” with stickers saying “non blacks only”. I still have a sign that I “liberated” that night. :)

Unfortunately most whites in Apartheid South Africa were deliberately ignorant of what went on in their own country. As long as they could keep their life style they didn’t care what was buying it. The current problems are a case of “what you sow, so shall you reap”. If instead of creating the abusive system of Apartheid, they had in the 50s and 60s started a slow system of power sharing and educating all blacks I do not believe you would have ended up with the mess South Africa is in today. Whites had free education, blacks didn’t. Blacks were corralled in places like Soweto and there was no attempt to control the criminal elements - only to make sure they didn’t spill into the white areas. Plenty of blacks lost their pay packets on the trains on the way home with a bicycle spike in their backs. Once Apartheid died those criminals were free to spill out wherever they wanted to.

It’s very sad and frustrating as South Africa should be an incredibly rich country :(

My family went to South Africa in the 1600s, so it was a real wrench for me to leave, but I couldn’t stay and benefit with my white skin once I felt I could not help bring about change :(
 

craven morehead

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The white/non white signs bring back some memories. Nusas did a campaign one year where we went through Johannesburg replacing all the “whites only” with stickers saying “non blacks only”. I still have a sign that I “liberated” that night. :)

Unfortunately most whites in Apartheid South Africa were deliberately ignorant of what went on in their own country. As long as they could keep their life style they didn’t care what was buying it. The current problems are a case of “what you sow, so shall you reap”. If instead of creating the abusive system of Apartheid, they had in the 50s and 60s started a slow system of power sharing and educating all blacks I do not believe you would have ended up with the mess South Africa is in today. Whites had free education, blacks didn’t. Blacks were corralled in places like Soweto and there was no attempt to control the criminal elements - only to make sure they didn’t spill into the white areas. Plenty of blacks lost their pay packets on the trains on the way home with a bicycle spike in their backs. Once Apartheid died those criminals were free to spill out wherever they wanted to.

It’s very sad and frustrating as South Africa should be an incredibly rich country :(

My family went to South Africa in the 1600s, so it was a real wrench for me to leave, but I couldn’t stay and benefit with my white skin once I felt I could not help bring about change :(
I could not agree more. What a magnificent summation ( I hope that's the correct word ) and no one appeared to learn from that terrible time. In my uneducated opinion I believe they could have also started a slow power sharing arrangement from 94 onward as well and tried to right the ship so to speak.
 

Flying mermaid

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I could not agree more. What a magnificent summation ( I hope that's the correct word ) and no one appeared to learn from that terrible time. In my uneducated opinion I believe they could have also started a slow power sharing arrangement from 94 onward as well and tried to right the ship so to speak.
I think unfortunately by then it was too late. If there hadn’t been a total hand over at that point, South Africa would have disappeared under a sea of blood :(
 

craven morehead

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Mandela House in Vilakazi Street Soweto :

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A sign on the back brick fence
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A poster I came across while here

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Dr BW Vilakazi, after whom the street is named, was a poet, novelist and intellectual, who wrote in numerous indigenous languages. He was also the first black man to teach at Wits, the University of the Witwatersrand, even if he had to be employed as a 'language assistant' because of bureaucracy that did not allow black lecturers.

Now, because of Vilakazi street's popularity, it includes a couple of well known restaurants : Nambitha and Sakhumzi that serve local cuisine to tourists, with prices to match $$ 🤑

Great to visit such a place and enjoy the history associated with it. The entry fee here and the Apartheid Museum was included in our tour price which was R1300pp for both plus site seeing around Johannesburg en Soweto. Not dear by any means for what we got to experience. Good day was had. Now to pack!
 
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craven morehead

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We were very happy with our guide and everything went well for our half day tour. It was now getting close to 3pm our extended check out time but first we had a quick bite to eat before going up to pack and shower.

A starter of Springbok Carpaccio served with Olive oil, Blue cheese, Melon & Rocket : Very Nice and price was R95
Light Meal was another Creamy Biltong Soup with crumbled blue cheese and washed down with a glass of Shiraz : Again very nice if your tasted buds are that way inclined and also R95

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We were packed and showered by 4pm and just as we were about to open the door they came knocking to see if we had left. So we ultimately pushed our luck just far enough to suit us perfectly :p Easy check out and on the shuttle back to Oliver Tambo. As it turned out I'm glad I had a bite in the hotel because the lounge we ended up in was very uninspiring! About 2 points better than EMD QP o_O Shuttle dropped us off further away than normal as part of the road had been blocked. No idea why but an extra 100m to walk with luggage and golf clubs.
Easy and quick check in and through security with no hassles. I assumed we would be going to the BA Lounge like the previous trip but apparently it was either closed for renovations or had reduced capacity for same reason. Anyway we ended up pretty much next door at the very average Mas(h)onzha Lounge

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Some of the very basic food on offer : Sandwiches and Rolls/Wraps, 2 wet dishes along with instant noodles, salad of some kind and cheese sections. There were also potato chips & nuts etc and a coffee machine. Beer and beverage options also very limited.

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One of the poorest, if not the poorest lounge bar I have come across.

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I reckon 40 people would be capacity here. People were complaining about how slow the wi-fi was when the lounge wasn't very full. There was also a dedicated smoking room in the lounge.

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By this time Qantas were advising that QF64 was now scheduled to depart at 20.30 ;) it doesn't really matter I guess when you're heading home.
 

craven morehead

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Due to the late arrival of QF63 our bird was parked up at a remote stand. So we were bused out to the plane and for me it was the first time ever boarding a 747 from the ground. In saying that, I've probably only been on the Jumbo a dozen times. Quite a large plane when you look up ;) Buss class must mean getting the Bus out to fly in J 😜

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Tonight's ride : Parkes

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I only realised later when looking at the photos that the J stairs were covered and the Y ones weren't !

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I mentioned to the hostie that this was most likely our last flight on the mighty Jumbo due to us not likely flying the limited routes where it will still be in use before the impending retirement of the planes. So she insisted that we should take some photos !

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She also thought she might chuck a selfie in amongst them 😀

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Safely in our seats 12 J & K with PDB. We ended up lifting off at 20.45 ✈ Just about busting my buttons after a month of over indulging!

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Soup was the first order of tucker for me along with the first of about 6 glasses of Shiraz 🍷.27.jpg

Pork if I remember correctly. Forgot to take a pic of menu :rolleyes:

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Getting ready for some shut eye

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Managed about 5.5 hours sleep so not too bad.

I managed to get my usual breakfast served before anyone else was really stirring. So no line up for me at the toilet.

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A good relaxing flight with great service. Flight ended up being about an hour late landing so we had made up some time. We were off quickly in SYD collected bags cleared customs in 2 minutes and headed for bag drop. Slight hold up at security. We then jumped on transit bus across to DOM terminal and made our connecting SYD-BNE flight with about 10 minutes to spare.
 

craven morehead

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Hauling out of SYD on QF540 watching the sunset 🌞 seats 2A & B

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Time for some Pumpkin Soup on the way up to BNE

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Booked in at the Pullman BNE Airport used some points and got room for $90
We were that buggered we couldn't be bothered going downstairs for dinner so paid $57 for 2 x Burgers and 1 x Coke. Didn't matter, it was easy 🌎
I do like this hotel as long as I get it at a decent price. Let's face it it's very handy.

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I had no intention of rushing the next morning so I had booked QF2410 departing BNE at 12.00 arriving EMD 13.35
We checked out at 10.00 and wandered over leisurely to the QP for brekky and by about 15.00 we were back home. The dog was very happy to see us :D

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Well that's a wrap for me on this gig. Far from the most touristy TR ever presented but hopefully something in it for those interested in this beautiful country.
I/we certainly covered some miles but thoroughly enjoyed every minute and the opportunity to visit many of our friends was priceless. In a way this may have given some of you an insight into something close to normal South African life as it currently is. Plan is to go back in late 2021 for my mate in Newcastle's 60th. Thanks for reading and commenting along the way. Cheers CM 🥂
 
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VPS

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Many thanks for a great TR. It certainly did a different perspective to many others. Thanks for taking the time as I sit here planning when I'm going to write up my last two trips :eek:
 

craven morehead

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Many thanks for a great TR. It certainly did a different perspective to many others. Thanks for taking the time as I sit here planning when I'm going to write up my last two trips :eek:
Cheers @VPS :cool: now you best get busy tapping your keyboard !
 
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Denali

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Many thanks! Ive booked a 3 week Sth Africa trip for next May so your info has been entertaining and helpful.

cheers,
 

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