The details begin to emerge...
11.02.2010 5 °C
Sorry I've been a bit quiet off late. I figured if I didn't have good content, I wouldn't make you guys read unwanted stuff - It's like trying to sit through a timeshare presentation to get a free ticket to Disneyland, or that "free" yatch. Anyhow, the last few days I've sat down and thought about a rough outline as to what we can do/see around South Africa during the world cup for which Sesh, admirably hasn't booked his tickets yet! I hope I don't end up going there all by myself - I'd stand out like a perfectly dumb tourist, backpack et al. With Sesh, I'd be safer because he'd be the one wearing the Phillies shirts and NY baseball caps and the real football lovers could hate on him instead...ha!
Anyhow, the way we decided we would do this is by trying to center our travels around the matches we didn't want to watch so that we wouldn't be stuck on the road when there was an awesome game in play. These are the matches we definitely wanted to see on the big screen televisions by the roads/bars etc:
June 13th - Germany vs Australia (We reach SA on the 13th of June so this will be akin to a warm up game for us)
June 15th - Portugal vs Côte d'Ivoire (Not the most important but if we could, we'd watch it)
June 17th - France vs Mexico (My prayers are with Mexico!)
June 22nd - France vs South Africa (A home game, played against France, what an opportunity to cheer with the locals)
June 23rd - England vs Algeria (For some reason, I really like the English team and their fans, always a jolly bunch)
June 23rd - Ghana vs Germany
June 20th - Brazil vs Côte d'Ivoire (This is going to be a cracker!)
June 25th - Brazil vs Portugal (Need I say more?)
There are plenty more but these will suffice for watching on the TV screen for now. A more detailed version of the itinerary can be found here:
World Cup 2010 Itinerary
Right then, we also figured while we were in South Africa we might as well do some sight seeing - the wildlife, the birds and all that good stuff so we chalked out a quick list of places that include Kruger National Park, Kynsna, Port Elizabeth apart from the match Venues in Jo-burg, Durban and Cape Town.
Now if you're rolling you're eyes when you read Kruger then you didn't really expect us to go all the way to South Africa and not see Kruger did you? It's like visiting India and not seeing the Taj, or visiting Italy and not seeing the leaning tower of Pisa (both of which I haven't done in spite of being to these places). South Africa as you all might already know is quite well known for its national parks out of which Kruger is world famous - nothing less than an amazing experience that takes you back to your roots...we plan on doing a 2 night and 3 day visit to Kruger and I'm also looking at a possible visit to the Sabi sands game reserve which is home to the 'Big Five' (The Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo). The main downside to Kruger is that we were quoted $185 per person per night for the whole tour, that makes it a grand total of $370 for two days. Let's see how that pans out...
After Kruger we plan to reach Durban a day or so before our second game (Netherlands vs Japan) and stay there for a day or two before we head out to Port Elizabeth. We plan to hit a lot of the coast on our way to our final destination which is in cape town. A picture speaks a thousand words so I'll shut up and post a google map that will explain the same thing.
I'm not sure how clearly you can see the points on the map but for the geographically challenged (ME), A = Jo-burg, B = Kruger, C = Durban, D = Port Elizabeth, E = Kynsna, F = Cape Town. A couple of other interesting places nearby that we *might* visit are Mossel bay and Hermanus. Mossel bay (1.5 hrs from Kynsna) has the highest skydiving point in the world and Hermanus (1.5 hrs from Cape Town) has some breath taking views along the coast.
I don't have a very detailed itinerary at this point but I do have a basic idea that I'm working on. However, I don't want to bore you with details until I figure this whole thing out. Accommodation is one thing where we might be running into a brick wall when it comes to prices. The way I worked it out these are the average rates for hostels in each city we plan to stay at:
Jo-burg = $75 per person X 2 nights = $150
Kruger = $185 per person X 2 nights = $370
Durban = $75 per person X 2 nights = $150
Port Elizabeth = $70 per person X 1 night = $70
Kynsna = $20 per person X 2 nights = $40
Cape Town = $14 per person X 4 nights = $56
Accommodation Grand TOTAL: $836 per person if we take this route. Our alternate route is to book cheaper places if we can find any and use them just to crash and rough it out. Even those are rather hard to come by to be honest. The reason Cape town is cheaper is because we are looking at living in tents. Therefore, as you can see, accommodation is going to eat into our budget rather quickly unless we do a bit more research. since we originally budgeted $500-$600 for accommodation for 2 weeks of stay. Anyhow, it's time for me to get back to sorting this stuff out. I'll write again soon once I get my ducks in order. Until then, thanks for reading...
This is Sandeep, signing out.