. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: January 11, 1999

Monday, January 11, 1999
Johannesburg, South Africa
South Africa's Flag

Map
Johannesburg, South Africa:
Latitude: 26° 7' 46" South
Longitude: 28° 1' 48" East
Altitude: 5306 feet
From Seattle: 11663 miles
Lodging: Hostel - The Backpacker's Ritz

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: South Africa
Region: Gauteng
Start: Johannesburg, South Africa
Stop 1. Sun City
End:Johannesburg, South Africa
Linear:282 miles
Weather: Rain / Partial Sun

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 641
Linear Dist: 134925
Countries Visited: 49
Regions Visited: 183
More stats...
Hotels: 197
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 77
Hostels: 150
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2244
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Journal Entry:
Dragged myself out of bed when the alarm went off. Didn't get any sleep last night - the dorms were very noisy (Joy plus one other were talking, Dean was moaning, others snoring), and since I had the alarm set I couldn't use ear plugs. Dean still wasn't feeling well so we went on the Sun City tour without him. Our car was a couple hours late because of mechanical problems - so we could have slept in anyway.

The drive was nice, but even outside of the cities this part of South Africa could be almost anywhere. Sun City is a giant casino / hotel / amusement park complex two hours North of Johannesburg. Once we got there we spent a couple hours walking around - the Lost City theme was well executed. Tried to go to the casino but the tables didn't open until 1p. We had lunch and then despite the rain Stu and I decided to pay to enter the Valley of the Waves, the water park that is attached to the Lost City - Joy went to the slot machines. The luxury hotel, The Palace is on the grounds of the amusement park and Stu and I tried to check it out but were turned away by the guards. Spent about an hour walking around the nature trails that riddle the park. At one point Stu decided to head to the wave pool and I hiked up the ridge to look down on the lodging. On the way down I looped around to the other side of the hotel, I kept taking smaller and smaller side trails and eventually found myself on the side of the hotel. I walked in to the hotel and wandered around. The ancient city theme was tastefully done in a very luxurious hotel - definitely not like anything you'd find in Vegas! I was going to have a drink by the waterfalls - but just couldn't justify the cost.

Back out of the hotel I headed down to the water park. The rain was probably a plus as it stopped by early afternoon and it kept the lines way down. Tried the wave pool but found it useless chop. Tried each of the five water slides (mostly pretty good) then noticed that the waves had been turned up in the wave pool. The waves were close to three foot and fun, but the atmosphere didn't quite match the beach...

The two hour ride back to the hostel was long - and quite a struggle to stay awake. Back at hostel we found out that Dean had checked into the hospital. We called Dean's friend Janie and we all went to visit Dean. He's got malaria and will probably be in the hospital for three days. He doesn't look good.

Had diner at the pub we took cover in our first day. The food was great (an amazing salad) and we played pool.


Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Johannesburg
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: South Africa
CIA World Fact Book: South Africa

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