In the 'Burg

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of South Africa  , Gauteng,
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Johannesburg is famous as a very, very dangerous city.  Apparently day-light muggings in the center of town are not uncommon.  The city is trying to improve its image with the revamping of the downtown area, but we didn't want to take any chances since this was the last city before we flew home. 

The hostels near the center of the city all closed down due to crime.  The current ones are mostly out in the suburbs.  Even those aren't entirely safe.  We had heard from a girl staying at a backpackers (this was the first day of her trip) that was robbed while she was upstairs.  A group of men in a car followed a taxi in through the gate, pulled guns in the bar, and took wallets and laptops.  How crazy is that?  Hostels are sacred.

We chose a hostel between Joburg and the airport that offered pickups and drop-offs.  We were taken from the bus station way out north to a rambling property with a pool and several buildings.  It was very quiet and peaceful.  We never went back into the city.  In fact, you could hardly say we stayed in Joburg at all.  It was a little different from Nairobi, where we were right in the middle of the action. 

We spent most of our time lazing around and using the FREE internet (almost unheard of in Africa).  I found myself looking back through the pictures and entries we've posted on here since the beginning of the trip.  Travelling like this has a strange effect on your memory.  Once you leave a region, say the Middle East, and move to Africa, you find yourself trying to fit into the current culture so much that you forget the former.  So looking back at our South American entries is like reading a stranger's travelogue.  In fact, I won't be able to absorb the enormity of the trip we've undertaken until I can sit down at the end and look through all our entries. 

As our trip comes to an end, I begin to tick off our last bus trip, backpackers, taxi ride, tour, etc.

I suppose everything must come to an end sometime.

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