The detailed itinerary

22 Jan

Cape Town V&A Waterfront, photo courtesy zug55 aka Peter.

So sue me: I like to line things up before I go on trips. I’d hate to fly to the other side of the planet and waste time — I’ll only be there for 12 1/2 days. So here’s the plan, in excruciating detail:

Tuesday, Feb. 22 to Thursday, Feb. 24

– I leave Seattle at 6:35 p.m. on a British Airways flight to London. It arrives at Heathrow at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

– After a 5 1/2-hour layover at Heathrow (probably wouldn’t have time to get outside the airport, will I? I’ve never been to London), I get on an Iberia flight to Madrid, Spain, arriving about 9 p.m.

– I’ve got a 3-hour layover in Madrid before boarding the Iberia flight at midnight to Johannesburg, South Africa. It arrives at 11:20 a.m.

– But I’m not done flying: After 3 and 1/2 hours at OR Tambo, I catch a Mango airlines flight to Cape Town, which arrives at 5:10 p.m. Total flying time including layovers is about 36 hours. Pray for me.

– In Cape Town, I’m staying at The Backpack and Africa Travel Centre, a “boutique hostel.” I’m in a private room with bath, but I can’t says as I’ve ever paid this much for a hostel room before: $64 a night.

Friday, Feb. 25 through Monday, Feb. 28

Lots to do in cosmopolitan Cape Town. Here are the must-dos:
– Tour Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned under apartheid.
Ride the cable car up Table Mountain, the 3,000-foot peak that looms over the city.
– Take the Metro Rail down along the Cape-Point coastline, stopping along the way at beaches and fishing towns and penguin colonies.
– Tour the amazing Kirstenbosch Botanical garden.

Tuesday, March 1

The Garden Route road trip begins. Taking Intercape bus from Cape Town to Swellendam, one of the oldest towns in the country. Might do a little hike in the foothills. I’m staying one night at Roosje van de Kaap guest house.

Wednesday, March 2 to Thursday, March 3

Board the bus late morning for Knysna, on the coast. I’m staying at Inyathi Guest Lodge for two nights. Looks like a hippy kinda place. For the one full day I’m there (Thursday), I’m going to find some kind of day tour to some of the natural wonders. Perhaps I’ll take this one.

Friday, March 4

Another 4-hour bus ride in the afternoon on Intercape to Port Elizabeth, where I’ll stay two nights at Margate Place.

Saturday, March 5

I absolutely can’t wait for this day of safaris:
– I get picked up at 9 a.m. for a game drive at Addo Elephant National Park. It’s the highest concentration of elephants in the world. And there are a lot of dung beetles too!
– After lunch, it’s time to drive over to the Schotia Game Preserve. There will be an evening game drive in park famous for lions, followed by dinner around a campfire (hopefully the lions don’t like fire).

Sunday, March 6

Early morning departure on Intercape for the five-hour ride to East London. I hope to hang out with a fellow Web producer who works at the paper there. I’m staying one night in a mother-in-law apartment at her grandmother’s house in the town of Gonubie.

Monday, March 7

After morning and afternoon in East London, I head out to the local airport to catch a flight back to Johannesburg, via 1time airlines. My one night in Jo-Burg will be spent at Dove’s Nest Guest House, near the airport.

Tuesday, March 8

I’ve lined up a 6-hour walking tour of Soweto, a township south of Johannesburg. Here’s a description.

By evening it’s time to head back to the airport for the epic journey back home to Seattle, with stops in the same places as the flight in. I arrive at Sea-Tac at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, March 9. I will want sleep.


One Response to “The detailed itinerary”

  1. Sallie February 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM #

    Great blog… I can’t wait to read about the safaris… How did the sleeping on the plane go???

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