Tick tock, tick tock...

Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:49 AM
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42 hours...better get some shuteye.


Thanks for the words of wisdom. I guess ultimately I just want to squeeze every last drop of water out of the sponge that my South African holiday is.

By the way, can you tell me how the weather has been affecting the Robben Island tours lately. I am told that I cannot book these in advance because it is never certain if a tour is possible on any given day in the winter due to possibly bad weather.

Also, what is your advice on the Cheetah foundation. I visited your website and it looks like fun, but I am wondering if this is more geared towards children or not.

I really have only three full days in Cape Town and I would like to spend two of them on the Waterfront including the Robben Island tour, the Aquarium, shopping and just hanging out.

I do have one full day that I would like to do something interesting on. I do not want a Cape Peninsula tour. It was fun last year but with the weather the way it will be and with the fact that I have already done it so recently, it doesn't really appeal to me. Any suggestions???

If you are available for a full day tour let me know and I will email you. The days I have available in Cape Town are the 18th, 19th and 20th, but like I said, I would like to spend a couple of those days not doing a whole lot more than hanging out at The Waterfront or Camps Bay.

Roccco is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 07:24 AM
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36 hours til I leave for the airport...

(by the time I board my plane the other Fodorites are going to be thinking THANK GOD WE'RE RID OF HIM FOR THREE WEEKS!!!)
Roccco is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 07:36 AM
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Kavey is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 09:35 AM
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Its getting a little bit tight timewise to start making suggestions as to what you should do in CT. Please give me a call on 083 604 3917 when you arrive in CT and we can discuss this closer to the time. As far as the 19th and 20th are concerned I can help you with some tourguiding but rest assured I am not going to charge you for this as we simply have shared too much in the past couple of months for me to want to do this. So lets go out and have some fun together while I show you parts of my great city that you certainly wont see on your own. Thus please call me as soon as you reach our shores.

Robben Island is a bit of a hit and miss affair from June onwards and I cant blame the Island authorities for their actions. Unfortunately you will have to wait for the day to make these arrangements. More when you call me.

Fly well.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 11:36 AM
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Roccco, goodbye already! Seriously, travel well, safely, and post indepth upon return. Have a blast!!
Jun 3rd, 2003, 12:20 PM
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Did you give up on shark diving already? I've visited Robben Island twice, the first in May (seas a little choppy but OK). Just try to get tix in the morning so you know when to go and then you can enjoy time at the waterfront.
thit_cho is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 01:00 PM
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Bon Voyage Roccco-have a great time!
pattysuericia is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:11 PM
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i'm going to Capetown Sunday! Also a LDR. (Long Distance Runner) I did train and finish Louisville's Triple Crown (10k, 12k and Half-marathon)I am so looking forward to running thru the wine country , enjoying those cool temperatures and the fresh seafood. I posted about sidetrips to our adventure- do you , as an athlete, have any suggestions? We love hiking and biking as well! Thanks....Linda Louisville, KY
LLindaC is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:26 PM
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Message: LLindaC
The mountain biking in Tokai forest in Cape Town is excellent. My favourite mountain biking spot, however is the Jonkershoek forest in Stellenbosch. The scenery is fantastic and there is a wide variety of trails, from an easy 10 km "on the flat" to steep climbs and single track downhills. Highly recommendable - just watch out for the mountain leopards
Province is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 03:29 PM
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I would hardly qualify as an athlete. I am more like a recreational Clydesdale runner that likes to torture myself for 26.2 miles at a time, every now and then (Clydesdale is a nice way of calling a runner FAT, for the unfamiliar).

Last year was a great year for me with three marathons but this year has just been terrible. The only thing that can save my year is if I win a lottery spot into the NYC marathon in November and then I will have four months to get myself into some sort of shape.

I can struggle through a half marathon any day of the week, but I don't look very pretty or graceful doing it!

Once you do a certain distance, anything less just doesn't get you very excited anymore. I vow that on my NEXT trip to South Africa, I will run either the Two Oceans Marathon (56 Kilometers, as opposed to 42K for a normal marathon) or the Comrades Marathon, more than double the distance of a normal marathon.

Glad to hear that you will be active on your trip. I will be active on my walking safari but I think once I am in Cape Town and the Sabi Sand that I am just going to be like a smoker that buys a couple cartons to smoke in the last week going into the end of the year, right before making that ill-fated New Years resolution to quit smoking!

Linda, is this your first visit to South Africa??? If so, you will love Cape Town. Where else are you planning to go in South Africa???

Best of luck with your travels. Hopefully you don't have too many transfers to get to Cape Town. I figured it out and by the time I leave my house for LAX to the time I arrive at my hotel in Joburg, it will likely take 31+ hours (thanks to having to go to Cape Verde Island and Cape Town instead of directly from Atlanta or JFK to Joburg). Ouch!
Roccco is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 12:15 AM
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Have fun Rocco! Don't forget to take notes so you can give us all the gory details on your return!

I am jealous, I still have another 4 months to wait!!
melissaom is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 04:41 AM
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16 hours to go...still need to pack and I hope to pack very light this year. My camera equipment will probably be 1/3 of what I am taking and I won't be foolish enough to take my running shoes as I did last year, only to use them once (at least I had an excuse last year, I had just run the L.A. Marathon).

I will take advantage of the fact that Kafunta and Vuyatela offer free laundry service. The only negative is that I have five straight days at The Twelve Apostles (4) and Lanzerac Manor (1) between the lodges and I may have to make a pitstop at a drop-off laundry service in Cape Town or bite the bullet and pay some outrageous prices to The Twelve Apostles.

I have absolutely everythink I need for this trip except for sunglasses. That is the one thing that I failed to order online. Of the things that I did order online, the only thing I regret ordering online is camera lenses and other parts for my digital camera. Two of the items don't even fit, one a $100 3x telephoto lens and the other a $15 lens cap. I do not have the diligence to even be bothered to return these items and instead will just chalk it up as a learning experience not to order certain things online.

Fortunately, I ordered another telephoto lens, this one only a 2x, that fits just fine and I did get a 256K memory stick for half the price I could have bought in a store.

Also, despite buying most of my stuff two weeks prior to my trip, half of the clothes that I bought have yet to arrive. Fortunately I went on a shopping spree that would rival any woman's, and enough of the stuff that I bought came in.

Now today my only worry is to clean up a nasty little matter with a disgruntled ex-employee that will likely cost me as much as this entire vacation. Unfortunately the laws in the USA are not as forgiving to employers as in Europe or South Africa and if an employee wants to make some outrageous claim, it often makes better business sense to try and settle with the employee rather than hire attorneys to defend the matter. The true beneficiaries in these matters are the attorneys and doctors that urge these people on. It is no wonder why so many big companies are shutting up shop in the USA and moving to Mexico and elsewhere. Anyway, all this is another matter, it is just unfortunate that it is all taking place right before my trip as my wife does not handle these matters as well as I do and really takes it personally.

Less than 16 hours to go before I leave for the airport and 10 of those hours will be spent working. I will be in a mad dash tonight after work to get everything packed and checked. I just hope I don't forget anything vital.

Today should be an absolute wasteful day at work. If I get four hours of actual work done, I will be surprised.

As for that flight, fortunately I have just started Dark Star Safari by Paul Thoreaux and I have had trouble finding time to read very far. Perhaps I can read the whole thing on my flight? That would be an accomplishment and then I could just ditch it at Kafunta so I don't have to carry it around.

Well, the day is finally here and that puts a big smile on my face. Although to many of my relatives I am going to "the same place" as last year, I know that the trip will be completely different from last year (South Luangwa instead of Victoria Falls, an opportunity to see Soweto and Sandton this year, The Twelve Apostles instead of the Mount Nelson & Table Bay Hotels, a full day tour and a night in the Cape Winelands this year and Vuyatela instead of Singita). I am certainly not staying in better places than last year, but I feel like I am staying in more genuine places than last year.

Although I would like to say my goodbyes now, I know I will probably post 5 more times before tonight!
Roccco is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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Roccco - If you get to finish Dark Star Safari, don't toss it, I'd love to read it (it's called recycling, or how about "regifting", ha! ha!) - and that is my dream itinerary, plus some countries on the Western side of the continent.

What you need before one of these escapades of yours is a "personal shopper" - how could you leave stuff to the Mail Order Catalog.

Don't worry so - you've done this before and it's not like you're gong to the dark side of the moon, you're going to Southern Africa - rather civilized.

Travel safe and remember we're all waiting to hear your "tales" when you get back. Happy Travels.
Jun 4th, 2003, 07:33 AM
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Roccco - you are going to miss your flight and then who will be sorry?! Go pack! Have fun and I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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Roccco - since you are right on top of all this stuff maybe you can answer a question.

My SAA flight info says Depart Atlanta 10:30am arrive Joberg 9:35 am.
This flight shows one stop at Sal. Are any of these flights ever routed thru Capetown even though it doesn't say it will be?
sundowner is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Come on now GO!
Walk out the door...
Don't turn around now...
'cause you're not welcome anymore!

(Well not until you return bearing trip report and photos!)
Kavey is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 10:18 AM
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I am sorry to say that I think you, too, will be routed through Cape Town. I had the same info and that is why I was surprised when I saw my actual air tickets. It was only then that I learned that I was getting a free, UNWANTED, trip to Cape Town.

However, it was easier to just grind my teeth a little than to try and change my entire itenerary a few days before my trip.
Roccco is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 10:19 AM
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But will you survive???
Roccco is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Rest assured!

Kavey is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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Sundance & Roccco - Hey, call SAA and ask them!

I know there are some flights (1 or 2/wk) outward-bound from ATL that stop at SID (SAL) then onto CPT, and that's it. On the days the flight doesn't stop at SAL* it goes straight CPT. Sometimes a flight goes via JNB and then to CPT.

All the flights whether from JNB or CPT stop at SAL on the return to States whether ATL or JFK.

*Are you sure the stop is SAL (Cape Verde Is.) outbound, as I read somewhere that it was now Dakar (Senegal), regardless, all the airlines have been modifying schedules, etc.

So just call the airline.

Did you also know that your ticket whether from JFK or ATL to JNB or CPT includes the 1-leg to the other. For instance, if your arrival/departure city is JNB or CPT, you get the leg to the other free. So it's often a good idea if arriving JNB to continue to CPT and start trip there, then you only pay for 1-leg to return to JNB. Or if arriving CPT continue to JNB and do that area (can include Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia, and Kruger area) first and then 1-leg back and do to CPT area at end of the trip.

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