ASIS Travel Adventures 2007-08 travel blog

We had a very pleasant sleep at the Kno Wan Tes Lodge. Miscommunication had us up at 5:30 thinking we had a 6:30 am departure and others thought we left at 7am so we were up too early. This is one reason al and I prefer to travel on our own.

The Nomad transfer took us to Polokwani, South Africa today, which is a bit out of their way on the main highway to Jo'berg so that was appreciated. Al insisted on getting off here at tourist information in hopes of renting a car from here to get us to his uncle's place in Phalaborwa. I really wanted to stick to the original plan of taking the transfer truck to Jo'berg and then renting a car from there. As it turned out we were dropped off with our bags in the rain at a tourism and parks office where a lady kindly took us to her tiny office and began to place numerous calls to car rental agencies. I asked her to also call Trans Lux, a bus line in South Africa to see if they could get us to Phalaborwa. Since we now knew we could get to Phalaborwa tonight she also called one of the backpacker’s accommodations there to arrange our night stay. She was very helpful. We eventually walked with our bag on our back to the Trans Lux office about 3 blocks away. Much to Al's disappointment we bought two tickets to Phalaborwa for R210 each that ended up leaving at 3:30pm; 1.5 hours late. Everything seems to run late in Africa so it was par for the course.

The bus ride was very scenic although rain did hamper some of the views. WE traveled through areas of mango farms and mountainous terrain. Our pre-arranged back packers accommodation called Artsy Fartsy apparently was situated according to the phone instructions right by the bus drop off point. It was rainy and cold when we arrived. Al and I did not see the place so we asked around. Even the bus driver did not know what we were talking about. Hmmmm.

Finally a kind gentleman offered to drive us to the accommodation in his private car. Al and I took a chance and went with him. Turns out he is the local pastor in town. Luck us! He did not really know where this place was so he ended up taking us to another backpackers in town called Elephant Walk where we could stay for R250 in a twin room with shared bathroom facilities. From there we phoned the Artsy Fartsy to explain why we would not be coming in tonight. The owner of Artsy Fartsy thought it strange that the bus driver didn't know to take us there since that is where the drivers of the Trans Lux bus lines always stay when they are in town. Oh well!

The important thing is that we made it to Phalaborwa.

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