Well now that I have made it back to Durban and gotten settled in some, decided it was a good time to start updating about my travels for the past month. Leaving Phoenix in the morning of Sept 10 I got all my bags checked in and hopped on a plane to Atlanta. My next flight was from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa. One of the longest flights that is currently flying and was about 16 hours 15 min. Luckily for me I had an isle seat and the passenger that was in the middle seat moved because his headphone jack didn’t work. This was really nice and gave a little extra room to spread out considering the seats are still the same size as domestic flights. I was able to catch up on some movies and much needed sleep during this long airtime. Landing in Johannesburg, I decided to check and see if any of my bags needed to be picked up even though the lady back in Phoenix said they were going to be transferred to Durban directly. Well the check in lady in Phoenix was wrong and one of my bags got left in Atlanta but luckily for me my bicycle was in Johannesburg. So I picked it up and rechecked it in. Had no problems through customs and was soon on my way to Durban. Once in Durban, I picked up my Bicycle box and headed out where Allan and Jesse met me. Trip time Wednesday 10am left Phoenix and arrived Durban on Thursday around 9pm. The next few day I spent in Durban where I am staying with Allan and Paddy. Come sunday it was time for me to start my journey to Tanzania and Kilimanjaro!! Sunday night the 14th I booked and caught a train back to Johannesburg. Cost $35 for a sleeper cab that fits four people. This was a 12 hour train ride and started out with just me and one other person. A few hours into the night we stopped and two more people joined in. I tried to get some sleep but didn’t end up sleeping to well considering I had quite a bit of money andelectronics in my backpack. I preferred to keep these things and not have them stolen so decided to use my backpack as a pillow. It kinda helped. Upon arriving in Johannesburg about 8:30am I had the whole day to kill until my flight at midnight. Found a little cafe in Nelson Mandela square and ate breakfast and hung out for about 3 hours til I decided it was time to leave. For about the next six hours I spent on some stairs people watching since I had a big duffel bag I didn’t want to lug and walk around everywhere. Interestingly enough there was a corporate group that ended up doing a nice bucket challenge in the courtyard.
Around 5pm started heading to the airport to hang out there. Since my flight was at midnight the counter didn’t open til a few hours before. I booked my flight on a low cost African airline, Fastjet. The fly out of Johannesburg 3 days a week only. This was a great adventure and after trying to find the desk to check in at I found some other people that were supposed to be on the same flight. Pretty much the flight ended up being cancelled and no one knew about it. So I was stranded at the airport at midnight. It was too late to go anywhere and I needed to make sure I got to Dar Es Salaam so I could catch my connecting flight on Wednesday. Ended up catching a few hours of sleep on a metal bench where I worried about my stuff being stolen yet again since Johannesburg has a very high crime rate. In the morning I found someone to talk to and they got me a flight to Dar Es Salaam in the afternoon. Upon arriving in Dar I had to catch a ride and find a place to stay. The cabs wanted $60 to transfer me but I was able to talk them down to $30 which was still super expensive. Luckily I found a cheap hotel, $15 a night and stayed there.
Not the greatest hotel but it was really nice to have a room to myself and finally shower after a couple days.
Dar Es Salaam is not the prettiest or nicest city. I was able to walk around a little bit after grabbing breakfast in the morning. The streets were really crowded and people everywhere running around.
In the afternoon I hailed a cab from the curb and headed back to the airport where I was to meet my friend Lasse! He was definitely a sight for sore eyes and I was happy to be in some good company with a friend from back home. We hopped on the plane, caught up a little, and were on our way to hike Kilimanjaro!