Johannesburg and Landrovers

Trip Start Feb 04, 2011
Trip End Nov 11, 2011

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yesterday we took it easy as the car wasn't ready to be picked up. We and the frenchy, Erwan, took one of those minibuses that you stop on the side of the street and went to the mall, which is apparently the thing to do on a Sunday. The mall was huge and filled with anything one could wish for. We took a little stroll around, had a falafel, and headed for the supermarket as the kitchen at Ghandi's Backpackers is shining new so we thought it would be nice to cook in the evening. We made a lovely curry, had some South African wine and played a game of pool. Nice chilled day but we started to feel a bit anxious to see the city and not just our neighbourhood, which by the way is residential so there is not much to do, but at least it is safe to stroll around. According to the French guidebook Petite Futé Johannesburg is so dangerous that you get the feeling there is no idea to even leave your hotel. For once Lonely Planet that usually loves to scare young travellers said that certain areas are very bad and basically all areas at night, but tourist that don't walk around with a new shining watch or camera are seldom victim for violent robbery or such. It didn't fail to mention though that Johannesburg has the highest crime rate in the world and 52 people are murdered every day and so on. So yes, it is not a city where one wants to push ones luck and stroll around at 2 am. We have no urge to see the city at night, for except maybe Melville that is suppose to be a great bohemian area with lots of cafés, bars and restaurants.Today we took a cab to where the car is waiting for us, cost us 350 Rand (about 35 Euro) but
once we got there the car wasn't ready even though we had called in the morning saying that we are coming. Well no biggie as they helped us with the papers we need for registering the car in our name, and they gave us another Landrover Defender 110 to use for going back and forth which was very nice as it is about 40km from where we stay. We were happy to see the car we bought which was getting the last preparations done. It looked great and almost ready to hit the road with us. I hope it feels just as excited as we do. Here one of the happy owners with Limpopo Toro, as we named it.

On our way back we soon realized that we were out of fuel, but really out. So as the traffic is getting more and more hectic we get more and more worried that we will stop on the way. As I was the co-pilot I found a gas station at the map and took us there. We got fuel, all well, but were also in the city center with the Landy that we get to borrow and not yet used to. Faycal says, oh yes, this is the area that is suppose to be really bad at night. Well it surely looked fine during the day and we at no point felt in danger. We crossed the new ( I suppose by the look of it) Nelson Mandela Bridge from where we got a nice view of the city. The city looked quite nice with plenty of students walking around. 10 minutes from there it did start to look quite rough, and I wouldn't have wanted to drive through it at night. At least we had finally gotten a grasp of the city.

Tomorrow morning, early around 7 am, we'll go and start the car-papers-process, and then pick up our Limpopo Toro. After tomorrow if all goes well we are heading to Pilanesberg national parc for about 5 days until the car papers are ready to be picked up. It will be nice to go to a laid back national parc and get used to the car.
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John on

All's well that starts well......

Have a good one Faycal.

irene on

Keeping up with your travel.Keep posting.

Fabrizio on

Alors c'est donc parti ! Cooooool ! Bises

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