On My Way!!
Trip Start Jan 20, 2012
22Trip End Feb 04, 2012
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Up early this morning at 4:30 am. Surprisingly I actually did sleep some last night even
though my mind is racing with anticipation for my trip to South Africa.
My good friend Carolyn arrived at 6:00 am to take me to the airport. Now that’s a good friend
to get up that early! Thanks Carolyn! My route to Johannesburg takes me from Tampa to Washington Dulles airport on United Airlines. Then I have a long 5 plus hour layover at that airport before my flight to Johannesburg on South Africa Airways. It’s going to be a long day.
Flying to Washington I was hoping I would be able to see the Washington monument from my window seat. Then I remembered that Washington Dulles is really nowhere close to
Washington DC. It is in a rural area of Virginia and not at all close to anything. As we descended all I could see were lots of trees, brown and barren of leaves and yellow dead grass around the runways. Exiting the plane thru the Jetway was cold as the temperature outside was a chilly 31 degrees.
A shuttle train took me from Terminal C to the international Terminal B. It’s pretty deserted
here as most international flights leave late in the afternoon. So, here I am, having some lunch and passing the time away.
Once I get on the next plane it will be a 17 hour flight to Johannesburg. There is one fuel stop in Dakar, Senegal, then on to Johannesburg. I will arrive there at 5:40 pm, Saturday evening. That will be 10:40 am Saturday morning in Florida. South Africa is 7 hours ahead of eastern time in the US. So, I will have been going for about 30 hours straight.
Thursday night I was chatting on Facebook with the woman I am staying with in Johannesburg and she informed me that there were serious floods in Kruger National Park. Since I am supposed to stay there Monday-Thursday next week, it was distressing news. I checked the
South Africa National Parks website and learned that the entrance gate I was going to use and all three camps I planned to stay at were closed!! Videos on YouTube showed washed out
roads, flooded bridges and cars trying to drive through high water.
Since Thursday I have been following this situation closely and contacted central reservations for the parks. As of Friday they were 80% functional and as of today things are even better. I am sure with the number of people that visit the park they can’t afford to be closed down
for long. It was interesting to read that the park animals sensed the bad weather coming and moved to higher grounds. So, no animal carcasses were found floating in the rivers.
Here is a link to the latest news about the flooding:
That’s if for now. Next message should be from South Africa! WOO HOO!!