Across the Indian Ocean

Melbourne to Johannesburg to Pretoria

Sunset reflections flying into Johannesburg

So now we get serious about the African Adventure and it’s time to spend 14 hours in a metal tube at 10,000 meters heading to Africa. So after a rude wakeup call at 7am and a repack of our suitcases, we strolled over to the International Terminal to check in. We had cashed in a bunch of our Frequent Flyer points and booked in Premium Economy, at the airport the VAustralia lines were almost non existent so it was an easy check in. About 10 minutes later we were back at the hotel for a cup of coffee and some brekkie before checking out and heading back to do customs.

I have to say if you need to do a hotel stopover at Tullamarine the Hilton is a pretty good bet. The rooms were a good size, room service and food good and its only 5 minutes stroll to the terminals.

Okay it may be a metal tube, but a VAustralia one, and that means great service, exceptionally great onboard entertainment centre, noise cancelling headphones, laptop power in the seats, and good food (well as good as you can get on a plane}. So we settled back, watched a couple of movies, played on the computer and read a bit as the kilometres, all 11,590 of them slipped below us. The 777 has a couple of monster engines and I couldn’t resist a shot of one of them just before our landing.

777 Engine

The landing in Johannesburg was a bit cloudy and very hazy so we couldn't see much but Kelly did a couple of window shots of the city as we came in for the landing. Once down we deplaned, cleared immigration, got our bags and were through customs in about 20 minutes, and that’s including a kilometer long hike to get from the plane to immigration. In fact customs were no-existent and we didn't see anyone at all, quite a change from Sydney international!

Coming out into the main terminal our transit driver was waiting for us and in no time we were in peak hour traffic heading toward Pretoria. Seems like all the roadworks that they stopped during the World Cup were back on again.

It took us about an hour to travel the 45 kilometres from the airport to our hotel, the Alpine Attitude in Pretoria and by that time it was dark. The Alpine Attitude is a very cool designer hotel and we'd booked the “Pebble Room”, more on the hotel tomorrow but I've added a couple of teaser shots of Kelly and I weightlifting our pebbles.


Tony and Kelly lifting heavy pebbles

We finished off with a trip to a local restaurant called Crawdaddy’s for some Namibian Windhoek Beer and dinner. Kelly’s just crashed and I'm close behind her.

Tomorrow a quick look around Pretoria, then the Rovos Rail Adventure from Pretoria to Cape Town, 3 days and 2 nights on the luxury train.

Tony Redhead

93 Maud Street, Unley, SA, 5061, Australia