Sunday, June 15, 2014

Twenty four hours to Africa

Getting to Africa required only two flights. Sacramento (SMF) to New York (JFK) and New York to Johannesburg (JNB).

The JetBlue SMF to JFK flight was scheduled to depart Sacramento at 11:53pm on Friday the 13th. Don't worry, since the date was 6/13 and 13 - 6 = 7, the bad luck usually associated with Friday the 13th was undone by the 7 (!). Before my friends, the Meyers, came to drive me to the airport, the flight was delayed an hour—into the 14th.

I was proud of myself for figuring out how to turn off the boob tube LCD in front of me for this overnight flight.


The delay out of SMF shrunk my layover at JFK into near nothingness. The logistics of going from domestic flights to international flights at JFK (or perhaps going from any terminal to another) necessitated going through security again.

The South African Airways flight from JFK to JNB was a 15-hour trans-Atlantic, trans-equatorial affair. And a 15-hour flight is a 15-hour flight; there's nothing you can really do about 15 hours. I guess some folks go with an Ambien, but sleeping pills aren't really my style. I'd need to begin my month+ regimen of the antimalarial, Malarone, soon enough.

You chat with your neighbor (I always opt for window seats), eat a few meals, drink a few drinks, employ your iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro (with DVDs), and sleep. Still though, 15 hours is 15 hours.

When I arrived at Johannesburg's OR Tambo, it was Sunday morning. Passport control and luggage collection were no problem. Customs? You's have to seek it out if you were so inclined. I left for Africa on Friday night. Saturday was sacrificed to The Travel Gods.

I was happy to check into City Lodge at OR Tambo. To my surprise and delight, they had a room ready for me. No ground transportation required, and not cripplingly overpriced (like the InterContinental). I walked my luggage to this airport hotel (it's a good, long walk), checked in, and eventually got my nap on.

My room at City Lodge. Not big, but it didn't need to be. Interesting "window" between the bedroom and the bathroom which includes a privacy curtain that can be lowered.

City Lodge 2

A quick pano of the lobby/restaurant at City Lodge.

City Lodge 8

The lightly used City Lodge workout room, open 24 hours! I was happy to drip some sweat after sitting for 24 hours.

City Lodge 11

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