Zambia Back to Cape Town

My lousy genetic coding awoke me at 6:30 again, but I lazed in bed until 7:00. Ron showered, and then went wandering the grounds in search of photo opportunities. I showered and got ready for breakfast. It occurred to me more than once how many meals we have eaten on this trip that we do not eat at home. Rarely do we eat much for breakfast and other than a snack during the day, we hardly ever eat a real meal for lunch other. During this vacation, we have been programmed like Pavlov’s dogs to eat at mealtimes. Breakfast was a buffet with a wide variety of choices. First you gave your room number to the host, who gave a slip of paper to us, then we turned in the slip to the woman behind the buffet table. We whiled away the time over breakfast postponing our 10:00 am check out to 11:00 with our transport due at 11:45. The shuttle was early; there were other guests going to the airport also. One woman in the shuttle with us was from Berlin and had completed an almost identical tour to ours, but in tents. She was older than I, so I thought more power to her. She said she most likely would never do it again as it was exhausting after a long day to set up the tent and then take it down again in the morning. This reinforced that we had made the correct decision with our tour. Arriving at the Livingstone Airport was similar to arriving at a small factory. There was nothing outside to distinguish it as an airport and at first, I had thought we were just making another stop on the way. When the driver climbed out of the van and started removing luggage for attendants to take, we knew we had arrived. The porters are not the type that force themselves on you for a tip, but regular employees of the airport. Once inside this non-descript building, the attendants take the luggage directly to security, while directing the travelers to pay their “EXIT” fee. This something I do not remember being told about. The fee is US $25.00, or 15 British Pounds, or 20 Euros. Considering the exchange rates, we received a better deal paying in dollars and fortunately, I still had cash on me. We received two receipts, and then we went through security with our luggage. Only then were we able to get to the airline counter to check in for our flight with Nationwide Airlines. There are only three airline counters here, so there is no confusion or long walk to check in. Within the same room is the lounge and the ONE gate. Strangely, there is a British Airlines lounge, which is $10.00 per person to enter and is the only place where you can smoke. As we were walking to a seat in the lounge, we spotted Markus and Bettina from our tour. We were excited by this as we were going through separation anxiety. We had an hour to chat before their South African Airlines flight was ready to board. Only one plane at a time lands, deposits passengers, and then fills, and takes off yet again. Our flight was two flights after theirs. The flight was pleasant and we would fly this airline again. The captain was really talkative and kept pointing out scenes below when we approached Johannesburg, but they were all on the left side of the plane and we were seated on the right. I hate Passport Control in Johannesburg as I have mentioned earlier; it is the most inefficient one we have experienced. Shockingly, there were no lines at all. We must have hit it at a perfect time. We were third and fourth in our line. When we heard familiar voices in the next line, it turned out to be Omo and Jean. Beyond the controllers already were Vicky and Rob. It was like a mini reunion. Omo and Jean were going to look for an accommodation in Jo’Burg, Vicky and Rob had to stay at the International terminal for their next flight, and we went to the Domestic one for our flight to Cape Town. We checked in for our next flight within minutes of arriving at the check-in desk and then spent our free time at the Diners Club lounge, our favorite oasis in airports. We had free Internet service, drinks, snacks, and CNN on the television. Ron goes through news withdrawal while we are on vacations. Again, we are flying Nationwide with their comfortable leather seats. Once in Cape Town, we will find our own shuttle. Go2Africa’s work is done and they did a splendid job thanks to Gellé and her hard work. We are staying with Patricia and Don again in their separated apartment for a week. They are on a vacation/work assignment for Don, so they will not be back until the 11th. Their lovely daughter Romaney will be there to let us in. When we arrived in Cape Town, we arranged the shuttle and an employee took us outside to show us where to wait for it. Cape Town was COLD and we had put on our coats that we had been dragging around since leaving Budapest. It took the shuttle thirty minutes to return from a run, but we were at the Pinnock’s by 9:30 PM. Romaney thoughtfully had pasta for us since she did not believe we would have had dinner during our travels. While we settled in, she cooked it up for us in their place. It was good to be back here.