The past days went by quickly. I stayed with Lance and Kerry, but this being a work week I spent most of my time on my own, either at their place relaxing or strolling around the neighbourhood.
I also managed to finish building the charging device for my bike. Let’s hope it works reliably.
No cycling these days.
Thankfully, Lance dropped me off at the airport again this morning. These two are really amazing hosts and friends.
I’m on my way to the next major destination, Australia.
The morning was a bit hectic as the bus was late, so my hosts generously drove me over to the airport. I left Réunion without having been up the volcanoes.
Amazingly, Lance and Kerry picked me up at the airport again in Johannesburg. Lance had successfully finished his AmsterCow ride. We spent a fun afternoon shooting their airgun and paintball gun, and watching the sun set.
Finished packing the bike and my stuff in the morning.
At around 11am Kerry drove me to the airport before she went to work. In the queue of the check-in desk I met Nils from Berlin. He was returning from a surf trip to Jeffereys Bay/South Africa. He stays for 2 semesters on Réunion, studying biology. Talked about this and that, and also met Katie, a girl from the UK, participating in some kind of teacher exchange program on Réunion, returning from her trip through several South-African countries.
After landing in St. Denis, Réunion, we were waiting for our lifts. I had contacted a couchsurfing couple and they’d offered to pick me up at the airport. Nils and Katie were waiting for a friend of Katie’s. Neither showed up for quite some time. I went back inside to ask the lady at the airport information desk about an internet cafe nearby. As a reply she laughed me right in the face and asked me how I could have expected her to understand and speak English. I should have asked about that first, she said. All in perfect English, by the way. Eventually she pointed me at a café upstairs where I was able to check my email. There was nothing from my CS hosts, though.
Finally Katie’s and Nils’ lift arrived and Nils offered me to stay at his place for the night. So we packed my two bike boxes, four backpacks, and four people into one of these tiny French cars. Nils’ surf board was strapped to the roof.
It was quite a fun ride and Nils’ place turned out to be a good start for the ride to Le Port (where the ship to Madagascar leaves) the next morning, as cyclists are not allowed on the motorway between St. Denis and Le Port.
At Nils’ house I met Nico, Fanny, Fathme, Christiane, … and many more gals and guys who all trickled in from some festival they had been at and stayed at the smallish house. Some of them had even returned from a Madagascar trip recently. Had some beer and left-over rice.
Got up and continued building my little charging device. Kinda finished it – or rather a rough prototype. In the afternoon, Harry and I set out for a little trip – cycling. We rode out of the city – about 5km or maybe 10. There we met up with Michelle who cycled with us for a few more kilometers and then left the main route (and main road) to go by her own way. After reaching a T-junction and returning on a parallel road, we climbed quite a steep hill and enjoyed the view and the road down. Riding on the big roads that lead out of Joburg isn’t that great, obviously, but all in all the trip was very nice. We cycled approx. 50km in total. Like Joburg itself, the surrounding countryside has some hills. Everything is savannah-like brownish in colour. Kerry and Chantale didn’t join us as Chantale had twisted her ankle last night at the club.
After our return I started packing the bike.
Lance called from Amsterdam. Billy’s bike had been stolen despite being locked to the other two bikes, but they managed to buy a replacement in time for their first day of cycling.
We watched ‘Hitman’ in the evening, played some card games, and drank a lot of wine.
Friends of Kerry’s, Harry and Chantale, came over from Witbank for the weekend. Harry’s an avid cyclist, too, and brought his road bike.
Went out to Manhattan’s, some dance club, for the night.
Lance and Kerry, my couchsurfing hosts for the next few days, picked me up from the airport in the morning. They live in the south of Johannesburg.
Lance was about to leave for Amsterdam with two friends, Claudine and Billy, the same day. They were doing a trip they dubbed AmsterCow – cycling from Amsterdam to Moscow. So the day was spent packing Lance’s stuff. Later we drove to Billy’s house up in the north of Joburg, and then on to the airport. One of Claudine’s bags was snatched by a thief while we were having a fare-well drink at an airport restaurant, but luckily she dropped it and got caught. Claudine’s passport and tickets were in that bag…