On To Johannesburg. Will Our Bags Make It?

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
Trip End Nov 28, 2012

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What I did
Nairobi at peak hour, Nairobi airport, Johannesburg airport, Gautrain, Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton

Flag of South Africa  , Gauteng,
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Part 1 of our African holiday is almost finished.
Thought I had avoided the dreaded tummy bug, but something must have disagreed with me at the dinner last night, however, by morning, all was well again.  We were picked up about 6.30 am by Pollmans to transfer us to the airport. They are so good.  Even though our hotel for the night was not part of their tour, they pride themselves on making sure that all their clients are transferred from and to the airport safely.
The morning rush hour in Nairobi wasn't nearly as busy as I had anticipated.  The roads weren't all that congested and we made excellent time to the airport.  It can be noted that the footpaths along the side of the roads were teeming with pedestrians.  I gather most people walk to work, mainly, I suspect, because they don't have a car.
There is construction at the airport, so possibly in the future it will be bigger and nicer.  Right now, it is cramped and dated. We said goodbye to our bags, wondering if we would ever see them again.  We had heard lots of stories about tampering and pilfering at both Nairobi and Johannesburg airports.
On to Part 2 of our African holiday.
Our Kenya Airways flight was OK, (we have been spoilt by Emirates) and in about four hours, we landed at O.R.Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, along with our bags, in tact.  We easily made our way through the airport and caught the Gautrain for a 15 minute smooth and safe ride to Sandton, an upmarket, and quite safe, suburb of Johannesburg.  The train trip was quick and the carriages new and comfortable.  Sydney's trains are primitive in comparison.  Emerging from the train station at the Sandton City shopping centre, we think it wise to take a taxi to our hotel.  We go around the block, because of the one way streets, and get out just down the street from where we got in.  After that we walked back and forth to the shopping mall, being assured by the girl at reception in the hotel that it was safe to do so.  After settling in, we walked back to the shopping centre to explore and have some dinner.  There were guards along the way, so no problem.  Nelson Mandela Square is a vibrant and upmarket restaurant and entertainment  area and the shopping mall is one of the nicest I have ever encountered. We even checked out the supermarkets, and with nine rand to the Aussie dollar, found things to be much cheaper than in Australia.  It was fun to be back in a more familiar type of environment - to a degree.  Although most of the shoppers were well-dressed whites, all the serving staff were black.  One lady did tell us that Johannesburg does get an unfair reputation due to the bad press.  She was black!  However, I do realise that there are two sides to the story.
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Liz on

Thrilled to see the better side of Joburg, Thanks for all the photos, love Liz.

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