Day 3 – 29/03/2004 is what I often refer to as the real beginning of my South Africa trip although this feels like I’m doing a disservice to Andy and Di who made me so welcome in their home the previous 2 days.
Anyway, I was dropped off at a backpackers hostel near Johannesburg airport at around 6am and met the people who were running the trip and my fellow travellers. My arrival caused much confusion as apparently everyone else had arrived the night before and they were expecting me too. Apparently the message that I would be staying with friends and would arrive on the Monday had not reached the people actually taking the trip. I was glad I arrived early as they would not have known to wait for me if I was late! Confusingly there was another, much posher trip starting from the same place and it took a while to make sure everyone’s luggage as well as the people themselves ended up on the correct bus! We all had breakfast together at the hostel before setting off.
The “bus” we used was a large coach sized vehicle that could easily have held twice as many people. It looked quite out of place in a city with it’s large offroad type tyres and high suspension but these would come in useful later. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures of it but it is very similar to this one.
On the first day we visited Pilgrim’s Rest, a former mining community which has been restored, Bourkes Luck potholes and the Blyde River canyon where you can see the famous Three Rondavels rock formations. Here are the pictures of that first day:
At about 5pm we arrived at the campsite for the night and pitched our tents. There was time for a very welcome swim in the pool at the campsite to cool off before dinner. We all helped in preparing dinner and had a nice communal meal that gave way to general drunkenness and chatting before bed.