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Petr's HomeSouth Africa 2004Bus trip to Johannesburg, Benoni


South Africa 2004

Bus trip to Johannesburg, Benoni |

We arrived to Johannesburg at 10 a.m. after about 18 hours in the bus. If you want my advice: take a plane :) The bus trip was very long and unless you can sleep in any position and in any environment, it will kill you for the next day. Fortunately our day was planned to be easy, just staying around the hostel and getting ready for the early departure for the safari next morning.

As well, try to make sure you don't go by bus when it's raining, because we went throught the very rainy hours during the night and the bus got wet inside! I don't know if it was just the open windows or a more serious problem, but it was unpleasant to have my feet in the water. Anyway, you will get a blanket, you will have a choice of hot drinks (beware of burns - you will have to wait for the Ambulance to the next stop as one of the passengeners in our bus had to) and snacks and it will stop at about 2 or 3 places for a short time.

Arrival to Johannesburg's bus station was a bit weird experience, as there was a significantly different ratio between the white and black populations compared to the southern coast. As well, everyone has warned us about the high levels of crime in J'burg. We have thus decided even before arriving to town to ask for the taxi service from our pre-booked hostel. We had to call them after the arrival to the station and then wait for about half-an-hour. The waiting itself was quite an experience - tourists at the first sight (big rucksacks), white, and watching nearly every person entering the station hoping it will be our taxi driver. We got some funny looks from people and when the announced 30 mins were nearly an hour, we started to be quite agitatied. But the taxi arrived at the end and within 40 mins we were in the Africa Centre Backpackers Hostel in Benoni. Our pre-booked room (through i-net) was ready and we finally could rest for a while in a very nice complex behind a 3m high wall with the barbed wire.

On the afternoon we have decided to go to find the nearest shopping centre, so we can transfer our photos from memory cards to CDs before we enter the Kruger park. After walking for about an hour we have finally found what we were looking for and transfered our pictures. On our way back we ate great pizza at some pizza place, bought some supplies for the next day trip to safari and went back behind the walls before the dark.

After checking our photos on their computer we played a few games of pool, had a few drinks.. and went early to bed after checking with our safari company when they will pick us up on the morning.

Locations Visited: Queenstown, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Benoni

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