3 flights, 5 airline meals and 32 hours later, matt and i have arrived in cape town, south africa. before we hopped across the atlantic puddle, we had a cross-town layover in washington, d.c. (our flight arrived at reagan national, and our flight to johannesburg left from dulles international), which matt and i were really looking forward to. we haven't been back to d.c. since our 'ternin' days, and a short metro ride past crystal city, my old stomping grounds, left me feeling quite nostalgic. sigh. but the heinously crowded shuttle bus ride that took us to dulles, and the quick reminder of how inefficient dulles is with its obnoxious people movers quickly brought me back down to earth.
our flight to johannesburg was 14 1/2 hours long; a nice surprise since i was expecting 17. not to worry -- the return flight from jo-burg to d.c. will be a comfy 18 since we'll be fighting the windstream on the way back. we arrived in jo-burg at 2:00 P.M. on sunday afternoon, and as we were on final approach we got a good look at the south african countryside.. looks like there's a lot of agriculture going on down here. we didn't get to see much of johannesburg yet except for the international and domestic terminals. we'll be back there next week and get a better taste of it. we hopped another flight that evening to cape town, rolled into a minibus and collapsed on our bed at the arabella sheraton. we were extremely grateful to get an upgrade to a roomy suite; i'm not sure how many more "upgrades" we'll be getting on this trip, so i'll enjoy it while it lasts.
cape town is really lovely. it is so diverse here in south africa -- british influence, afrikaaner influence and several african tribal influences... it's really pretty cool. today matt and i walked down to the waterfront for lunch and to wander around... lots of nice restaurants, shops, cool boardwalks... like many american seaside cities. then in the late afternoon we went to table mountain national park (you should google pictures of this place... this huge, plateau-like mountain overlooking cape town) and had a good hike and took some great aerial shots of the cape.
so far, so good. i'm happy to report that south africa is slightly tamer than i expected, but then again, we've only touched the tip of the touristy iceberg. i guess since south america was our last big adventure i'm expecting everything to be as rustic as la paz, bolivia. matt keeps reminding me that the british did colonize here. right, but didn't they colonize parts of india, too? big love to you all!