Walking, 1 x bus, 2 x tube journeys + 17kg suitcase later brings me to the lovely Heathrow Airport. The check-in, the security, the crazy temptation to splurge on chocolate and toiletry goodies that I don't have the money for. I walk past numerous restaurants to past time, this however is coupled with the crazy urge to binge on junk food as a last foodie treat. Being human I give in of course, £10.00 for a burger at Giraffe?? Aaaaah.
Leg 1 of 2. Lufthansa: London, UK >> Frankfurt, Germany! Fully booked flight, squeezed between a middle aged man and a woman with a crying/very vocal baby on her lap. I vaguely try to zone out with a iPod, which is extremely difficult when the baby is seated right next to you. Hour and a half flight, and cheese sandwiches that tasted of essence of feet were handed out. This alongside the 40 minute delay, the worry of my suitcase not making the transfer and missing my flight to Jo-berg made plane journey a little nightmare-ish.
Leg 2 of 2. Lufthansa: Frankfurt, Germany >> Johannesburg, South Africa. 10 hours in the air! Flying across the length of Africa, and undoubtedly the best flight I've ever had. Why? The plane was utterly deserted! My ticket was dirt cheap. I got a return flight for £360. The food was relatively good despite being pretty sugary and I managed a good 4 hours of sleep on the plane lying across £1000+ worth of seating ;).
|The luxury of lying horizontally on a plane :)|
Arrival at the notorious Johannesburg Airport and to the announcement of '3 degrees outside temperature!' WTF?! I'm in South Africa!?! I join the ranks of the many volunteers who underestimate South African winter. Thankfully I packed a couple of hoodies and threw in gloves and a hat on last minute impulse packing.
I'm met by the sweet Ros holding up a name sign and it's an hours drive to Kromdraai, where the sanctuary is situated. SMALL WORLD. My sister Issy, she's 24, went to UCL and did a degree in Anthropology. Ros = 25, went to UCL and did a degree in Anthropology. They didn't know each other but even so, crazily coincidental! I arrive at the sanctuary at lunch time, with about 6 volunteers on site: Evelyn, Paul, Ollie, Gemma, Gemma #2 and Amy. The day I arrived saw the departure of Gemma #2 and volunteer numbers stayed relatively low during my first week.