Our final whole day in South Africa had finally arrived after little more than two weeks. 16 days earlier we had left Sweden and we were now heading towards Port Elizabeth International Airport. The flight for the day was going to take us to Johannesburg where we would spend one last night before really saying: Good Bye Africa!
Good Bye Port Elizabeth!
We started by dropping off our rental car at the Europcar office at the airport, we arrived early to make sure that we had enough time. As always when flying from an airport you have never been to before, it is difficult to know how much time you need. Especially with all the paperwork associated with leaving a rental car. With quite a few hours to go until the departure of our flight to Johannesburg, we did what most people traveling from Port Elizabeth might do, we sat down for a cup of tea. As you might know, rooibos tea is a South African delicacy.
What occurred to us first when that cup of tea caused us to visit the toilets was that there was a lounge for South African Airlines passengers. It didn’t cost us much if we remember correctly it was around 10-15 euros per person. Considering the size of the departure hall at the airport and the limited offer of things to do, we welcomed a few hours in the lounge. Here we had access to food, drinks, WiFi, and comfortable chairs, all included in the price.
We probably looked like two lost birds at the lounge, the only guests being us and a person that looked like a business traveler. The nice woman at the reception sure had to withstand all our questions. Was the food included? Is it just to take a glass of wine? Does it also include the coke in the fridge? It really must have been possible to see that we were first-timers in a lounge. At least, we were eventually seated with plates of food and glasses of drinks in front of us and the clock was not much more than 10 a.m. Too early for wine tasting?
Hello Again Johannesburg!
The flight from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg didn’t take much more than an hour and we were soon waiting for our complimentary airport shuttle from Aero Guest Lodge. We were about to end our vacation at the same guest lodge where it had begun two weeks earlier. It really seemed like the people in the reception did still recognize us, even though we had only spent one night at the place.
The first time around we didn’t have time to eat in the restaurant at the guest lodge due to the night tour of Johannesburg and Soweto. This time we decided to relax a little bit and just enjoy the last hours. We started with a few drinks next to the pool (and some rooibos) and later on a dinner in the restaurant.
The night started to fall once we were seated awaiting our dinner. There we were, remembering our trip and how we had felt two weeks ago when we were excited about getting back to the airport for our flight to Windhoek. We discussed memories and time flew by, eventually, it turned out that we even ordered some desserts to sit there a bit longer. We also happened to start talking with the couple at the table next to ours. This is actually not so common when we are traveling as both of us are a bit introverted. It was quite an interesting discussion as this couple from the Netherlands was just about to start their adventure in the region. We just hope that their experience was as amazing as ours.
Good Bye Africa!
As usually is the case, everything has to come to an end and it was time for us to say goodbye to Africa – for the second time in 2016. It was the 17th day of traveling and even though we were quite tired we wouldn’t have minded staying some more weeks enjoying the spring in southern Africa. Once more the driver from the guest lodge dropped us off at the airport and we were soon checking in on our Qatar Airways flights, to the first leg to Doha as well as the second leg all the way back to Stockholm.
The flights back turned out to be quite uneventful. The longest leg was the one between Johannesburg and Doha, but I cannot really understand how fast those eight hours went. After just one hour of waiting, we were on the second flight and once the sun started to rise in Stockholm we were exiting the plane. 18 days after taking off we were back where it all started.
As we landed in the early morning we still had the whole day to rest before it was time to get back to work the upcoming morning. We hope to go back to Africa again in the future, until next time: Good bye Africa!
Join Us in Exploring Southern Africa
Here are all the posts belonging to the series about our trip to South Africa and Namibia. Read the parts by clicking on the links below:
- Part I: Doha, Qatar
- Part II: Johannesburg, South Africa
- Part III: Traveling To Namibia
- Part IV: Otjiwarongo, Namibia
- Part V: Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia
- Part VI: Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Part VII: Omaruru, Namibia
- Part VIII: Okahandja, Namibia
- Part IX: Windhoek, Namibia
- Part X: Cape Town, South Africa
- Part XI: Castle of Good Hope, South Africa
- Part XII: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, South Africa
- Part XIII: Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa
- Part XIV: Mariner’s Wharf, South Africa
- Part XV: Groot Constantia, South Africa
- Part XVI: Boulders Beach, South Africa
- Part XVII: Cape Point, South Africa
- Part XVIII: Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa
- Part XIX: Table Mountain, South Africa
- Part XX: Swellendam, South Africa
- Part XXI: Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
- Part XXII: Birds of Eden, South Africa
- Part XXIII: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
- Part XXIV: Good Bye Africa!
- Part XXV: Trip Summary
Join us as we explore Southern Africa