A Travellerspoint blog

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Posted by morganhart 14:01 Comments (0)

Penultimate Day in Durban

That means next to last day

The next to last free day is something I was looking forward to. Not because something was booked, but because nothing was booked. Every day until this point had been planned. Either we were hunting, travelling, fishing, or getting ready to go somewhere. Fishing was Wednesday and Thursday was nothing. Not a sniff was planned. Sparky was going to sleep in and beyond that was committing to nothing. I planned to start the same, but spent the day updating the blog and sending pictures. It was good to go over the whole adventure and try to fill people in on what kind of things we have done - or attempted - and what we encountered. Anyways....
I managed to sleep till 8, stay in bed till 9, then sat around in my swim trunks after briefly considering a foray to find the pool. Instead, I blogged. This lasted till shortly after noon when I decided to go to the casino for lunch and a look around.
The casino is only about 300 metres away and is pretty spiffy. There are eating establishments of every size, shape and recipe, and where did I go? KFC. Yup. Buzzard in a bucket. Tasted just like home. Not surprising, really.
I checked out the whole mall of the casino which only has one store and it sells candy. The rest are restaurants. Nice!!!
The casino managed to eek out about R200 (just under $30) from my grasp, but that was all. I went for a walk along the waterfront, past the "Suncoast Pirates Lifesaving Society Clubhouse", which was closed of course. There were lots of people on the beach and on the big lawns between the beach and the harbourfront street. Right in front of our hotel there was a school group of what looked like grade 6 or 7 kids in their swimsuits, just laying around on towels and visiting and napping. Don't know what class it would have been, but they were there for about three hours and didn't seem to do anything. Kind of like free time on the wildlife campout.
I got back to my room and did a bit more writing. I have been working on a couple of articles on the new romanticism of the safari the new South Africa and a first timer's safari. Don't know where I will publish them, but I will likely put something on the end of this blog for people to look at.
Anyway, Sparky showed up at some point and we decided to go for supper at six. He had been walking the beach as well, only he went the other way. We would be going for supper and casino, and possibly some more drinks.
Six rolled around and we were off. I suggested we go to the Thai restaurant and then consider having another drink after casino-ing. We went to the restaurant and were impressed with the menu. The food was good - I had a hot and sour seafood soup that made my eyes water and my nose run. We managed to work through the cocktail menu - I think we had three or four each, and a main course and dessert and the bill came to about seventy dollars. Nice. We were just wrapping up dessert when a particularly pretty woman dressed in traditional Thai costume walked by the window and smiled. Cool. Then, SURPRISE!!! She showed up at the table with the waiter and he explained that she was a massage therapist from the Thai Massage Spa downstairs and she gave customers complementary massages after dinner. Sparky was all over that like dimples on a hippo's butt. He was able to provide a professional opinion that she missed one spot, but the fact he nearly fell asleep at the end of it was a good reflection on her abilities. I got a good beating up next. For a small woman, she could sure push hard. She noted that I was obviously a very powerfull man under great stress and tension. Well, if I had another three Thai mojitos, I would be able to remove the tension title.
We left the restaurant for the casino. I had to exchance some US cash to rands and Sparky had to get some cash elsewhere. I never saw him again that night. Apparently, he ran into a South African Defense Force Marine and had some beers with him. I wandered the casino looking for him and slowly losing my cash.
Home by 10:30, and in bed by 11:30 after sending some more pictures and doing some writing. Tomorrow will be slightly scheduled, but I expect there will be food and drink in significant quantities involved.

Posted by morganhart 06:49 Comments (0)

The End is in Sight

Going out with a whimper...

sunny 22 °C

===Sparky and I planned our last day to be entertaining, yet relaxing. We took a cab to uShaka Marine World, which is South Africa's version of Sea World. It is quite proud of the ginormous aquarium it has, as well as the waterpark and kids world. The center of the park is a giant freighter ship which has been refitted to house aquariums which, in fact, go far underneath the park and the various pools and viewing waters are actually the tops of the aquariums. Sparky and I toured around, taking lots of pictures and looking for fish we had caught on Wednesday. The only one we found was the cape salmon, a very large and impressive fish with another name which escapes me now.
There were a variety of shows to attend if you wanted. There was a seal show and a dolphin show, the only one we made being the dolphin show. It started off very interestingly when the announcer picked 8 people to get up and "shake what your mama gave you" in a dance off to be a dolphin handler for the show. The winner was brought to the front where she did her dance again, quite admirably I might add, and of course she ended up the show getting wet.
From uShaka, we went out on a pier and had lunch at an African restaurant called MOYO, where an inquisitive Sparky got his face painted up like the waiters. We couldn't understand what his paint job meant, but I was convinced it was a demented butterfly and it indicated he was an unbalanced and wealthy tourist which should be harassed at every opportunity. It only lasted until he went to the washroom at Marine World anyway.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent napping and repacking. I took off for a bit of shopping and Sparky studied the inside of his eyelids for defects, or so he said.
We went to the casino for supper and ate at a Spur steakhouse - a pretty popular chain found in Africa. The food was good and the whole experience reminding me of being in an American chain restaurant.
We wound up the night blowing a few hundred rand each - about forty dollars - on the machines and it was off to bed.
It was an accepted fact that our last African experience would be done at the airport, much to our dismay.
As I write this, Sparky and I are sitting in a chain restaurant called Mugg & Bean in King Shaka airport. To this point, we have been frustrated, disappointed and relieved of all our ammunition, much to our dismay. We were able to bring our ammunition to Durban on our airline, but for whatever reason we are unable to take it back. They informed us that we shouldn't have been allowed to bring it in the first place, but we did. We ended up spengin half an hour in the SAP (South African Police) office, turning over our ammo and empty casings to them. The officers were quite understanding and made it quite painless, and they sommiserated with our loss and nearly choked when we told them that those seven boxes were worth just under R7000. Regardless, we are without ammo and currently await the chance to check in our luggage and get ready for the last leg of our adventure.
From Durban we fly to Johannesburg, arriving there about 5. Then, we have to meet the person who has our guns, we hope, and then take them through the whole KLM firearm check in process again. Once the guns and bags are successfully checked and whisked away, our fate is in their hands. It will be a matter of surviving 11 hours to Amsterdam, a quick walkabout and a whiz then on the plane again for another 9 hours to wind up in Calgary.
Sparky and I were waxing philosophically last night and today about our experience and we can certainly say we are ready to go home. It most certainly can be summed up as Sparky and LewLew's MOST Excellent Adventure.

Posted by morganhart 02:26 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

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