I survived 28 hours in a plane, but finally made it to South Africa. I took what may be the longest possible route from Buenos Airs to Cape Town; first I flew to Doha, Qatar (18 hours) and then from Doha down to Cape Town (10 hours). I had a four hour layover in Doha to stretch my legs and get some coffee, so I was able to fight off the deep vein thrombosis.
I took the long route because Qatar Airlines was running a special and I was able to save about $1,300 USD on my ticket. That’s $1,300 that can be used for a new helmet, or food, or a hotel down the road. Getting to Africa was very expensive and I jumped at the chance to save big bucks. Despite the long duration the flights weren’t so terrible. The seats had lots of leg room (even in coach), there were power outlets for laptops, and more movies than I could imagine. The food was decent and they brought around lots of water. Drinking lots of water on a long flight is the key to avoiding massive jet lag.
Tomorrow I head to the cargo terminal and pick up Bike. I’ll have to officially import the bike to South Africa and make sure to get my carnet stamped. I think I have all my paperwork in order, but I have to admit I’m a bit nervous I may have missed something along the way. If I’m not able to get Bike out of the cargo area I’ll have to start paying storage fees until things are settled. I hope I have no issues so I can get Bike and start exploring this great continent.
I’ve only been here a few hours and already I love this place. The people are extremely nice, the sky is clear, the weather is warm, and it’s green and full of memories yet to be made. I plan to stay in Cape Town for about a week and see all the local sites before heading along the Garden Route. I sense great stories just around the bend.