Ticket to Ride

Shosholoza Meyl

A Day in Jo’Burg

The next chapter of our unemployment in Africa begins in Johannesburg. After a 13-hour journey taking us from Uganda to Rwanda to Ethiopia we arrived in South Africa mid afternoon. A driver picked us up at the airport and dropped us at Motel Mi Chi Pi in Melville. Melville was awesome – we strolled the streets, picked up BBQ tapas and drank a $7 pitcher of Sangria. Mi Pi Chi was not so awesome. Very cool concept – small property with simple furnishings and Scandinavian architecture – but absolutely atrocious customer service. Jay and I love to find hidden gems in our travels. We were disappointed to say the least that this was not one of them.

The next day before leaving Jo’Burg, we took took a few hours to explore the Apartheid Museum, which is one of the most amazing museums I’ve visited to date. My only complaint was that we did not allocate a proper amount of time to fully appreciate all the museum has to offer. Give yourself three hours at least! Look for a future post on the culture of South Africa, which includes my assessment of the country only 20 years removed from Apartheid. I’ve observed a lot, as well as had many conversations with white, black, indian and “coloured”South Africans. Interesting social situation happening here right here, right now.

 

A Day on the Train

Jay loves to travel by trains. When I suggested we look into traveling to Cape Town via train, Jay started foaming at the mouth (check out this def of a foamer). We found a highly recommended railway, the Blue Line, that takes you through the gorgeous and diverse geography of South Africa. One catch, a one-way ticket on the Blue Line is $1,500 USD. Right now, Jay and I are are definitely rich in time. Not so much rich in money.  Luckily, the local long distance train takes the same route. So for $40 USD a person, we boarded the Shosholoza Meyl to Cape Town.

We had our own sleeper cabin. The train was cleaner (by about 110 percent) than the Amtrak train from Denver to Lincoln. The food, which we could have delivered to our cabin or enjoy in the diner car, was good an cheap ($3 USD a meal?!) What did we do for those 24+ hours on the train? Drink wine. Talk. Read. Catch the sunset and sunrise. Meditate. Play cards.

As someone new to traveling by train, I’d say with complete honesty, it was truly a memorable trip, and if I could do it all over again, I’d travel again from Jo’Burg to Cape Town via train.

 

 

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