Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The top of Vic Falls with the footy, two raincoats and big boots. Still got soaked!
At the bottom of Vic Falls with Em and Laurelle, my travelling sisters.

Sunset on the Zambezi River... Magical

Outside Durban match with my mate Jason and The Kanga. He loved that thing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nelspruit - Joburg - Cape Town

So let's pick up where we left off shall we? Nelspruit and headed to the Jock and Java in my Bafana Bafana top to cheer on the boys. A valiant effort but not good enough in the end to progress to the next round. The pub is truly awesome though, good food and great atmosphere, a must for any traveller.

As for the safari the following morning... eeek. Open top Hilux with 9 of us in the back, except me who somehow managed to ride up the front. It was freezing! We got picked up at 5am and drove to Kruger National Park. How's this, before lunch time, we had already seen 4 of the Big Five! Two Lions just walked out onto the road in front of our car and casually strolled up the path. Just breathtaking to see these beautiful creatures hanging out as brothers do. As this was just a day trip we couldn't actually drive off the tracks, so we were limited to seeing heaps and heaps of animals. If i come back i will definitely go to a private game park and camp out for a few days. Time was just a factor. However, i am really happy to have seen Buffalo, Zebras, Giraffes, Lions, Hyena and it's little baby cub, Elephants (one baby), Wilderbeast, and heaps of Springbok.

As for the game that night. Nothing will top the atmosphere and excitement for me for a long time. Our tickets were up the top of the stadium and we watched the first half from there. Luckily some mate had spare seats in front of them pretty much at the edge of the box (Socceroos scoring end). When Timmy Cahill nailed that header, woah, massive, beer was thrown everywhere and there were quite a few men shrieking with delight. It was a shame that we didn't progress to the round of 16 but damn we looked good when we actually had 11 on the pitch. The Aussie supporters showed their true love of the Socceroos by staying back after the match and gave the guys a standing ovation and there were a few choruses of Waltzing Matilda still echoing from the game which was nice.

We had been lucky with transport to and from the game in our last few matches but this one was a NIGHTMARE. The wait for the bus was probably 2 hours. Somehow, Jason, who has a gift, he just makes things happen, organised a mini bus and we were all heading back to the Jock and Java for a night of reminising and maybe a few hugs with fellow dissapointed aussies.

The reply of the game that night on the big screens had everybody feeling the same rushes of emotion all over again It was truly amazing. Later in the evening, after a little bit of encouragement, i jumped on the microphone and sang an ode to the socceroos and the coach. Betterman - Pearl Jam. "Can't find a better man". He clearly was not the right man for the job.

Had a quiet day reading by the pool the next day before flying back to Joburg and having another night out with Ed. We went to Melville, acccidently walked into a gay bar, who were all very friendly (haha) and then ended up a really cool bar called The Catz Pajamas talking to some engineering students about Boston Legal (ha!). It was such a fun night out. After all the media hype about how dangerous it is here, i tend to totally disagree. As long as you're sensible you can meet some really cool, friendly people.

I am now in Cape Town after one more final evening in Joburg at the Fan Fest in Melrose Arch. There was a killer Limbo going on, i may or may not have started it.

Went up to Table Mountain yesterday and picked quite possibly the best day for it. The views were spectacular. I will post photos as soon as i have faster connection speed.

I'm here all week and hope to get the bungy, a shark dive, a trip to Cape Point, The wine region all in before i leave. Oh and check out the markets.

Speak soon....

Oh and i'm heading to the Argentina vs Germany game this weekend! So pumped.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Zambia - Joburg


So back with some internet that works faster than dial up.

I am currently in Nelspruit in a massive new shopping centre, i know there are heaps of far more interesting things to see than a mall but i had to write this blog, so here it goes.

The final two days in Zambia were incredible. The cruise up the Zambezi River was spectacular. We saw a crocodile and a family of hippos from about 30m away. At first they were just bubbles on the water and the occaisional nostril sticking out. Then all of a sudden there were 6 hippos! two adults and four babies, well not babies, they were all pretty massive. Quite the highlight and also the beautiful sunset on the savanna.

The white water rafting down the rapids was a ridiculous amount of fun. It was pretty darn cold in that water - a few of us aussie blokes braved the icy waters with just our board shorts and life vest. Bahhh, we scoffed, we don't need the wetsuits. I kind of regretted it once we were in the water. Right at the beginning of the rafting we stopped to the side and all did a 8m cliff jump into the water. Brilliant! And then the rapids started. We didn't have any massive fallings out, except our guide which was interesting looking back in the boat and not seeing him. The biggest rapid we skillfully paddled through was a grade 5 rapid. That was pretty fun. A couple of times the guide let us jump in the water and just drift down the river... So awesome. You don't realise just how powerful the water is until your trying to swim against it back to the boat.

So after the rapids i had booked myself into the gorge swing. Basically it's a 53m drop where you hold onto a rope (which is attached to your harness) and just step off the ledge. I am saving myself for the massive bungy when i head to Cape Town. The biggest in the world. So this was a good teaser for whats to come.

I had a beer with the staff and then head back to town with them in the back of the ute. There was about 16 in the back... and i was up the front, I think I ate about 20 different types of bug.

The following morning the girls and I got up early and check out the magnificent Victoria Falls. We walked all the way around the falls (the bits that you pathed) and then down to the bottom, to The Devils Pool. I gotta tell you it was breathtakingly beautiful.

We checked out and headed back to the airport and to my amazement they had a "Qanats Club Lounge". It looked like the rest of the airport but with slightly better couches and free drinks. For snacks they had chips and popcorn! Loved it, it was like a kids party.

We arrived at the house, should i say mansion, early afternoon and was greeted with huge back yard and a kick of the footy. We scored pretty well with the house. All the people i am staying with are ripping people who like a laugh and their soccer. The first night was eventful. Had dinner at a Greek restaurant at some massive mall called Melrose Arch, all out doors with a huge screen to watch the soccer and also a live band on the stage. Ended up in the Heinekin bar and let's just say, had a lot of fun.

The next day we jumped on the bus/van. 14 under the weather individuals took the long... long... journey to Rustenburg to cheer on our beloved Socceroos. I think we must have gone the wrong way, because what was meant to be an hour and a half drive turned into nearly 3 and a bit hours! Still made it in time for the game. What I am loving/hating most about South Africa is that they weren't quite ready to have this World Cup, in my opinion. Nobody really knows whats going on, and when we were asked to stop by the police and asked for our carpark pass, we pretty much Jedi mind tricked him and drove through the road block. Classic.

One should also be told that the stadium is actually in a place called Phokeng (pronounced, well... you know), which is probably why they have just said Rustenburg to be less offensive.

The atmosphere was electric and our seats once again were prime! Thanks Emma. Once again, we were absolutely livid when the ref brought out his red card so early in the match. I think there is obviously some type of vendetta against The Socceroos. Two red cards to our two best players. Watched the replay when we got home (after massive drive home!) and clearly saw there was no red card needed.

A little more cheerful after the game then the last time. 1-1 seemed ok, but the win was so so close. Keep Kennedy on the pitch and i reckon we're a chance of winning.

Checked out the Apartheid museum the next day which was quite amazing. What a life Nelson Mandela has lived. And what a difference he has made not only in South Africa but around the world. What i couldn't get my head around was how Apartheid was brought in 1948 3 years after WWII had finished. A war that was brought upon by the oppression of a race. I can't believe nothing was done by the rest of the world to stop it.

I ended up having quite a heated discussion last night here in Nelspruit with a white south african lady. She pretty much told me Nelson was a terrorist and a white hating monger. But she had liked what he did for the country whilst in power. It's a crazy place in which segregation still exists even though apartheid does not.

Anyhoo, I some how managed to get tickets to the Brazil v ivory Coast game the other night at Soccer City and damn that place is awesome (the stadium that is, the travel and security logistics are not). Our seats were right on the halfway line, pretty much, and i witnessed, along with 94,000 others, some of the greatest talent in the world that night. 3-1 which was nearly 5-1.

Caught up with my mate Ed, who is over here working on this ONE GOAL initiative. It's about raising awareness of education, or lack of, in impoverish countries. It's a tremendous cause... check out

So, that brings me to now... Nelspruit. Just bought myself a Bafana Bafana soccer jersey to wear to the FANFEST this afternoon. South Africa needs to win by about 3 goals i think to continue in the tournament. Big fun ahead. Australia plays Serbia tomorrow night. Oh and we are getting picked up really early tomorrow morning because we are going on Safari at Kruger National Park! Can't wait.

Speak soon...

Hope all is well in your world.

Go Socceroos and Go Hawks. I hear they are on a massive winning streak.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Durban - Zambia

Hello and welcome back,

Durban finished off pretty quietly, i went to the Wave park and got smashed by numerous waves whilst trying to surf and body board. The guys i was with at the time found it most amusing. Thanks heaps to Pete and Ben for taking pics too. Waiting till i find a place to post photos.

I ended up staying in that night and sleeping. I guess my last week in Sydney just caught up with me. I slept probably 16 hours before gettting up and heading to the airport with Em and Laurelle early Tuesday morning.

Arrived in Joberg... The girls' luggage didn't arrive, it had not made the flight. Ouch, mine did. They just got their bags then (thursday arvo). Anyway we headed to Zambia where i am now and are staying at a pretty cool lodge on the Zambeezi river. Em and I took a helicopter flight over Vic Falls this morning.

I'm going white water rafting and abseiling tomorrow while the girls do an adventure walk with Lions.

We are taking a boat cruise down the river tonight and will be back to watch the Soccer afterwards. Loving the World Cup atmosphere. Met heaps of cool people already.

Gotta run and have some lunch.

P.S Saw Elephants grazing no more than 50 metres from me yesterday. Amazing.

Speak soon


So we made it to Zambia along with my luggage, but not my friends.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Joberg - Durban - Demoralising Defeat

I have never seen such a polar opposite reaction on mass until last night. The buzz before the game, mainly created by everybody drinking in the near by casino/beach strip was enormous. The Vuvuzelas (plastic horn) were out in full force, ear plugs were needed for the faint eared. And there was literally a sea of green and gold walking up to the Moses Mabhida (Durban Soccer Stadium), thanks to the South African supporters proudly wearing their national colours as well. There was chanting and singing until early on in the first half when Germany scored their first of four goals. Our best player was unjustly red carded and we looked old and tired for the majority of the match. The sight after the game was a very sad one. Australian supporters moped home like they were school children who had just been told Santa wasn't real . Not even the German supporters were celebrating. One bloke said to me, "I'm sorry".

Well enough of the football, it is bringing a tear to my eye just thinking about it. The flight from Sydney to Joberg was your usual long flight, a couple of movies and a few beers and plenty of sleep. I watched Invictus which is bloody brilliant, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman are superb. And i also watched aussie Rom/Com "I Love You Too". Pretty good.

So, flew into Durban straight away (nearly missed the connecting flight after not being able to find my luggage) and when i arrived i noticed my padlock was missing from my luggage. They must have cut it open. Weird. My friends Em and Laurelle picked me up in a taxi and we went straight to the pub (after a quick shower and bag drop off at B and B) to watch the England v USA match. Best headline from the world Cup so far... "Hand Of Clod" referring to the England goal keeper Green. Ouch, The Sun can be nasty in London.

I am planning on going to this indoor Wave Park today and then to the markets along the beach and then to the Fan Fest (Massive screens and stages to watch the Football) of which their are two here.

Weather and surroundings are very similar to Sunshine Coast QLD. The B and B which we are staying at is brilliant. The service is great and the omlettes, deelish!

Must run...

Go Hawks!

Hopefully the Socceroos are just leading the other teams into a false sense of security. Hopefully.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

2 More Sleeps

Ok, This is just a trial Blog... It's been a while...

I am two sleeps away from embarking on one of the most cracking holidays of all time... Well, i reckon it's pretty good. Heading to South Africa for the World Cup, going to be taking in some of the sights while i'm there as well... Going on Safari at Kruger National Park, heading to Zimbabwe to white water raft the rapids and there could quite possibly be some bungee and cage diving in Cape Town.

Then off to London, New York and LA... Well it has been two years since i've been away, thought i'd make a real go of it.

Keep you posted with blogs and pics... if i can't do a big one i'll just tweet.


Come on Aussie! Come on!

I think we've got a real chance of making the next round. If we finish 2nd in this group and England finish on top of theirs. We'll be playing England!!!

Speak soon

I need to get to bed... Night.