Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We left Vernon at 4:00 AM and met a bit earlier and I can tell you that there are lots of parking spaces in the A+P parking lot at that time! Our flight to London left at bit late making the time to meet our connecting flight very limited. We started off the second leg of our journey with a “Home Alone” type race through Heathrow Airport to catch our flight to Jo‘Burg. Through the efforts of Chris, a very helpful and personable steward on our British Airways flight to London, they held the flight to Johannesburg for us. We even had our own personal sign-holder directing us to our gate! Good thing - we would have not been able to get another flight for another 24 hours if we had missed it! Life is good! It’s really quite amazing when you think of how far we flew and how much ground we covered! We began our flight over Africa cruising at between 33,000 and 37,000 feet at almost 600 mph. when we crossed the northern coast by Algiers followed by a pass over the Sahara Desert. Beneath us were places with very intriguing names! We passed Kinshasa and Luanda to our west. After crossing the equator into the southern hemisphere we passed over cities with names such as Dar Es Salaam, Lusaka, Menongue, and Katanga to the east. Lumbumbaski, Bakwanga, Bulawayo, Walvisbaai, and Gaborone are names that really give our vowels a workout! Windhoek and Kwekwe are just a couple of examples of the Dutch influence in this region. We also saw the Kalahari Desert to the west of our destination….and we saw our first African sunrise, too! Finally, after a very long flight from London, we arrived in South Africa! Yea!

What trip is complete without a little luggage trauma! However, British Airways promises to deliver them tomorrow morning…we are forever hopeful. Hakuna matata! J

We arrived at the hotel and made arrangements to visit the Lion Park! Great idea - really! There were not only lions but hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes, ostriches and emu, wild dogs, meerkats, antelope, and wildebeest, as well. We took a game drive and even had lions jumping up on the open air truck. It’s a little daunting to be the animal in the cage! Then, the piece de resistance came when we were able to go into an enclosure and interact with some baby lions! What can I say?! The pictures will tell the story!

At this point, we have not had any real sleep since Monday night and it is now 10:00 PM on Wednesday night in Johannesburg. So good night, my friends! We will post more pictures tomorrow when my brain is functioning on more memory!

And…Happy Birthday to John! What an awesome way to celebrate your 45th year!


  1. Your trip sounds fascinating. Tell Sharon O that I was told to go to a Conservatory to see flowers. They are a beautiful sparkly blue. either in Capetown or Johannesburg. Cousin Lindy

  2. Pete, how is the highveld biltong? Albert