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Craven : South Africa 2019 TR #4

Flying mermaid

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Hopefully you have selected seats on the left on Comair I.e A or C? Unless it’s changed since we last flew them they have 2 seats on the left and 3 on the right and they generally fill all 3 of unless it’s an empty flight. Quality of planes vary but the domestic lounges make up for it :)
 

craven morehead

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Hopefully you have selected seats on the left on Comair I.e A or C? Unless it’s changed since we last flew them they have 2 seats on the left and 3 on the right and they generally fill all 3 of unless it’s an empty flight. Quality of planes vary but the domestic lounges make up for it :)
Yes @Flying mermaid 2A selected and thankfully this particular plane was in reasonable shape. The SLOW lounge was definitely a decent place to spend the hour or so before boarding. A gate change meant we were bused to a remote stand instead of the originally advised D2 which was literally out the front of the lounge.
 
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craven morehead

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I have only been in the SYD J QP a few times previously but today was by far the least crowded I had seen it. I only had an hour at most to fill in so didn't even bother with a feed. Boarding ended up being a bout 15 minutes late. So off we go for the rest of the day on QF63 SYD-JNB

Seat 14A with PDB and plenty of room to step around fellow passenger.
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Ended up being seated next to a lovely chap from New York who was a business consultant and who was flying SYD-JNB-JFK because of a cock up with a business booking. We had solid conversation covering business and politics etc for about an hour and then he wanted to catch up on some sleep. Talk about the long way home :oops: The first of NP's finest !! Starter : Roast pumpkin soup with garlic & thyme croutons. Oh and don't forget the bowl of leaves :rolleyes: Verdict : Very nice

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Mains : Moroccan style beef tagine with chickpeas, roasted sweet potato and coriander yoghurt. Verdict : Good

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Washed down with Penfolds Max's Shiraz.

Next was the ever shrinking Selection of Cheese with accompaniments and coffee and dark chocolate.

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By this stage I had watched Cold Pursuit (Liam Neeson) and was now watching Destroyer (Nicole Kidman)

Next round of tucker was about two thirds of the way if I remember correctly. I had another champers just prior.

Meal was Braised Lamb Shank with Harissa, sauteed silverbeet, chickpeas, feta, mint and walnut salsa verde. Verdict : Good

Didn't bother with dessert or cheese again just worked my way through a few more wines and watched another 2 movies between then and landing.

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Getting there !!

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And here we are safely in JNB :D

Today's 747 was " Hervey Bay"

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A nice steady trip with lots of movies and some time to wind down and work my way into this vacation. The chap next to me slept for a solid 8 hours. I tried to have a kip but he must have rolled over in his sleep & accidentally turned on his reading light which woke me up and after that I was unable to nod off again o_O Service was good and efficient without being outstanding. Certainly no complaints.
 

craven morehead

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After deplaning I was though immigration and at the carousel within 10 minutes. Bag came out 10 minutes later and then off to oversize for my clubs :rolleyes: had to wait 30 bloody minutes o_O anyway headed across to the hotel shuttle pick up area which was behind the Intercontinental Hotel. Close enough to 30 minute wait for shuttle and fairly cool waiting outside at around 8°C Once on the bus it was less than a 10 minute drive to the Protea Hotel part of Marriot group. So I go to check in and alas they have no record of my booking for tonight. They have a confirmed booking for my return in July but not tonight. Both stays were booked through Qantas Hotels IRC on a 6 points per dollar promotion. I show them copies of booking confirmation numbers and tax invoice etc and still nothing. Wasted half an hour and spoke with Lady in charge and we agreed I would put through a CC authorisation and we would sort it out in the morning when they could contact Australia in the nominated office hours. No harm done except I was pretty stuffed by this stage and they were as helpful as possible without being able to contact Qantas Hotels who apparently use Expedia anyway. This hotel has an industrial style appearance with an aviation bias but I found it funky at the same time.

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Outside for a quick breath of fresh air

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By this time it's pushing 4am Aussie time and I fairly fatigued. I decided on a bowl of soup and then shower and bed. Creamy Biltong & Blue Cheese soup with a bread roll for about AUD$9. It was delicious and just what I need before heading upstairs.

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Some room photos. Note the aviation styling about the place.

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The shower was part of the main room so to speak and you could pull a privacy curtain around if required. It had the big rain drop style shower head with awesome water pressure and really hot water. Very relaxing before bedtime.

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Above the Dunny

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craven morehead

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Welcome to Suid Afrika ;) been staying on a remote farm for last week with no WiFi and visiting locally :rolleyes: also very intermittent phone signal. Even the couple of pubs we have visited have looked at me strange when I inquired about WiFi. Back in signal for a few hours now and will soon be in CPT for a week and a chance to catch up. Plenty of non-tourist brochure stuff to post. Cheers CM :cool:
 

craven morehead

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A few more photos from the Protea Hotel and the foggy morning I awoke to which ultimately resulted in a delay for my JNB-DUR flight with Comair.

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A little bit of everything for brekky : Wors, Bacon, Beans and some chicken livers nothing too exotic.

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The restaurant, dining room and bar :
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When I checked in I could actually look over and see QF63 parked up at the terminal.
 

craven morehead

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BA6211 - JNB-DUR it looks like I forgot to take any photos of note :rolleyes:

Caught the shuttle back from Protea Hotel with not a huge amount of time left to enjoy the SLOW Lounge as we had had to confirm my missing hotel booking from night before. Had already received an email from BA advising of 70 minute delay for today's flight so wasn't panicking. Dropped off at the DOM terminal and it was pretty chaotic with all the delayed flights. Went to BA Club check in and stood around for probably 15 minutes. Staff were hopeless and baggage boy was harassing me for cash tips for taking my golf clubs to oversize. Filled out BA survey afterwards and gave them a 1 out of 10. Through to lounge which was very good albeit crowded as expected on days like this. So as advised by earlier email of approx 70 minute delay this was pretty much spot on. Scheduled 65 minute flight which we knocked over in 55 minutes. No sooner had seat belt sign gone off and the food came out we had started descent. Lost half of my first glass of Red due to turbulence o_O Had some basic vegetarian option meal and another glass or 2 of red and then it was all over. Service was fine but as mentioned up thread this version of B738 had the queer 2 - 3 set up up in J although row 1 was only 2 - 2. Plane wasn't new but at the same time wasn't a sh!tbox. A couple of pics coming into DUR. It's been 4 years between visits but first time I have flown here. Had a good mate coming to pick me up :cool:

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Made it !! This time both bag and golf clubs came out in a timely fashion.
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craven morehead

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So we left King Shaka airport and headed South to Scottburgh before turning West to head to the old farmhouse I am staying at which is about 5km out of the small village of High Flats. On the way we grabbed some supplies at Pick n Pay Scottburgh Mall. Trip was about 2 hours all up. The road up from Scottburgh is riddled with pot holes and on dusk isn't the best time to travel. They paint a white circle around the bigger pot holes which could house a small family o_O on top of this there are all sorts of speed bumps as you go through the smaller villages on the main road not to mention the locals are always walking on the side of the road. Some attention to the conditions is required!!
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Home for the next week :
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craven morehead

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A couple more shots from around the house plus our beers and braai for an old mate's 72nd Birthday.

Morning coffee in the sun with Tannie (Auntie) Lyn before we braaied in the afternoon. Uggies were on as it was about 6c
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Mole hills. Not something I see every day :)
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Guinea fowl on the driveway.
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Electric security gate. The compound has a 2m electrified fence right around and large dogs. Quite the norm in the rural areas of this country.
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Some nice photos of the Protea flower.

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The birthday boy himself : Oom (Uncle) Dirk
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Angie in charge of the Potjie Stew. Tonight was Oxtail.
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Things starting to liven up !!
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No surprises, it was a big night :D
 

craven morehead

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Next visit to see friends is about 10km outside the village of Ixopo. Remote old farmhouse again and this time we leave the tar road and do about 3-4km on dirt through a timber plantation to the lone house stand. It is in a bit of a spot between 2 hills and gets limited sunlight through Winter. Big frosts in the morning and it certainly did get cool in the evening. o_O I must admit I do love to get around and see the country from a local point of view and enjoy the fantastic hospitality and rustic charm. All the time relying on local knowledge for safety awareness. These are not the kind of places the tourist coaches pull in to ;)

Will try and give some perspective as to where I am visiting :
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The red dot is the place I am going to at the end of the road :
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Looking back up the road we have just come down :
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Gardeners cottage outside the security fencing :
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Outside the house :
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Inside the gate :
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Around the yard :
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Looking out the other side of the yard.
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TBC :
 

craven morehead

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Same visit and some more photos of house and then as is the custom : Biere en Braai tyd :D

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I did say Rustic :)
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Fire started so we can get the coals ready for the Braai

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Full moon tonight
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Tonight I had some of the best Porterhouse steaks I have ever come across. They also seem to have a far greater range of seasoning and spices over here. Especially in a BBQ situation.
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Hope this is not too boring. I am just trying to show how some of my time is spent exploring this beautiful country.
 

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