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Monday, May 26, 2014

African Adventure 2014 - Transfer to Hoedspruit and Flight to Johannesburg

We were a little sad to say our goodbyes as our transfer to Hoedspruit arrived. Vincent, our driver, told us even more information about the area on the hour-long drive to the airport. Hoedspruit means "head river" in Afrikaans. Supposedly, one of the founders lost his head in the river.

In Hoedspruit, we arrived at one of the smallest commercial airports we have ever been to. There are only two desks for check-in, two small lounges and a garden space to wait for departures in. They only had one gate and only had a couple flights a day. When boarding for our flight was called, we got in line to pass through security. We have found that airport security is a bit lax in comparison to the standards in the US; however, this was reminiscent of pre-9/11 days on charter flights. Though we went through a metal detector, no one cared that Ben set it off. Once outside there were a couple agents glancing briefly inside the bags and asking a few questions. We guessed the metal detector was more there to reduce the flow to the bag checkers. Through security, we walked on the tarmac to our plane and got ready for the short flight to Johannesburg.

In no time, we landed, collected our bags and found our transport to the hotel for the night. We are staying at the African Rock Hotel; a small boutique hotel in Johannes burg. It is very small and the room is very luxurious. After we checked in, we went to the room to relax until dinner.

When we entered the main part of the hotel for dinner, we were greeted by the chef, Christine. This was yet another sign that this hotel is a little beyond our comfort zone, really excessive when actually considering the small amount of time able to enjoy it. Christine described the menu and asked for our selections for the main course. We both chose the ostrich and beef filet combo. First-up was the salad. Ben does not like beets and goat cheese, so he picked them off and ate the rest of the salad. Apparently, this was incorrect, as Christine came out to see what was wrong. Instead of not wanting to offend her by saying that he did not like something up front, he accidentally offended her by sending food back on his plate. Oops. She instructed us to just tell her what we like and do not like up front, so she can prepare a perfect meal for us. Ben apologized and she indicated that we just need to come back so she can make us a meal we will love from start to finish. The ostrich and beef filets were outstanding and the dessert was also quite good. After dinner, we went back to the room to get some rest before our flights in the morning.

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