But you know all good plans go to pot when you’re not as young as you once were… but think you are!
Original Plan: Spend the 11 hour layover in London seeing some sites ands getting reacquainted with the city.
What actually happened during the 11 hours layover: We were exhausted and our bodies confused with the 6 hour time difference. We voted to get a hotel for the day (yip the day) so we booked in at the Sheraton Skyline close to Heathrow. This was a first for me and I have to say it was well worth the $70 bucks we spent. I’ve never done this before. A nice comfy bed, Starbucks on site, helpful staff and an awesome pool to take a dip in. Couldn’t have asked for more nor better! The Sheraton Skyline was an absolute winner.
Well rested we hopped on the 12 hour flight to Johannesburg.
The minute I got off the plane the feeling of being home on african soil found me all choked up and overwhelmed.
The air smells so different in Africa, it’s hard to explain and put into words. It’s just different and as my 13 year old step daughter stated… it smelt good! Moving on… things hadn’t changed all too much, soon as anyone heard our accents we were inundated with people offering to take our bags for us, people followed us constantly offering to push our bags and escort us where ever we wanted to go.
Sad truth is people are poor and need money, this is how they get it. Many firm “No thank you’s” later we eventually tracked down the place we were after.
We had decided to leave some time before our connecting flight to Port Elizabeth where our Road Trip of the Garden Route would begin.
Once again the plans changed … Original plan was to hop find a place to lock up our luggage and hop on the Gautrain (the high speed train that zips into Johannesburg itself).
What really happened: Again another hour on to our “old bones are confused with time change” bodies and we decided to be decadent and book into the City Lodge right at the airport. Yes extravagant for 5 hours but oh the bliss! This also solved us having to figure out how to store our luggage in an not so secure airport where it’s known for things to go missing faster than you can blink.
I’m not kidding.
After a short flight to Port Elizabeth my mother picked us up at the airport in the rented 8 seater van and we headed to our Accommodation on the coast.
Sea Otters Lodge is literally on the beach with the whole ocean views and the crashing waves vibe. This place was so incredible we wanted to imprint the sights, sounds and smells permanently on our brains!
Bags unloaded and stomachs grumbling we headed out to Barnacles, a local gem of a seafood restaurant where the food is fresher than fresh, creative and delicious.
Kudo’s to the owners who have owned the restaurant for decades and who made it into a place both unique and fun. They stayed open late to accommodate us and treated us like long lost friends.
After all the traveling, good food and delicious wine we crashed like never before!