Archive for March, 2020

Day 2 Official Wear South African Souvenir Day

Given we never got to South Africa the choice was simple

Today dawned bright and clear only interrupted by the noise of planes taking off nearby. Apparently. Good nights sleep in our luxurious suite . I wondered why CLP was not still sound asleep beside me given it was only 8am 😏 Then I opened the curtains and bugger me if she wasn’t waving from window seat 19E as QF 507 took off . On time of course ….

Then I heard the kettle boil and realised it was of course morning cuppa time and CLP was doing sheila duties . Ouch . The person I saw in the window seat must have been Rita Wilson finally leaving . What will I do now that I can’t follow her daily Instagram on “ What to do when in Isolation”? 🤬

So, today’s plan was rather simple. Don’t get COVID-19 . Leisurely walk into adjacent shopping complex for a hearty breakfast at Coffee Club . We wanted some Vegemite on Toast but fucking Tom Hanks had ordered every jar in Qld to take back with him. We settled for a couple of share plates as you do

Leisurely check out 0930 to move onto next run down detention centre for last night in Brisvegas. Locals call it the Stamford Plaza . All joking aside things are getting serious and we will be very low key today and stay mostly around the hotel. Certainly wont be going to any Irish Pubs. In hindsight we could have gone home today but we are sensible folk and really a night of relaxed comfort not a bad idea after the stress of last week . Some promising news from Safari Sam from two of our 3 booked camps – we can postpone our stay to later . This does indeed mean a return to South Africa between Nov 2020 and March 2021 is still a possibility. Better be 2020 actually as have the T Shirt already . A lot of ducks have to line up – and then hope a Hippo doesn’t swallow them all. Seriously though I fear international flights will not be anywhere near normal for at least 6 months and who knows who will survive that period . It’s a new and different world folks.

In my general relaxed approach at present it is best not to look at Stock Market 😰 First world problems admittedly but let’s face it we could all be living in third world countries soon 😏 We strolled through the “only 24/7 Woolworths “ for a laugh at the DFO megacomplex this morning and of course no toilet rolls, hand sanitiser etc. Aussies buy toilet rolls, Yanks buy guns. After they get their AK 47 do they then go shopping for toilet paper but with attitude 🤔

Arrived at second detention camp – known locally as Stamford Plaza – at 10 am and very pleasantly surprised to see we could get to our room straight away. Time then to hit the pool for a chill and dip

Weather was still pleasant so walked around to our usual haunt at Felons Brewery for a liquid lunch and watch the world go by . Of course there were no cruise ships . I did think it was very thoughtful of the locals to populate the river with some Hippos when they saw our T Shirts. Looked scary but quiet friendly

Time to relax for a few hours this afternoon then . Of course when we walked back into room the message on screen made us sad but ultimately we have made the right decision

Last treat tonight will be dinner at Kabuki Japanese restaurant on site. Will be a unique experience to remember and maybe the last one for a while . Home to Flashman Inc tomorrow before really home to reality – Maryhole – in afternoon . CLP and I will then take a couple of days off the grid and not watch any news or look at any booking sites ! The latest news on Qantas is very grim for everyone, especially staff, for the foreseeable future

In general would say our African Holiday was fun and the locals very friendly . They are sarcastic assholes though. Later dudes

Coronavirus 1 Bwana Boy 0

Posted: March 16, 2020 in Travel

It’s been a stressful 48 hrs and despite many negative signs we were pushing on with South Africa trip until 7 pm on Sunday March 15th. The Ides of March . We looked at each other and both said almost simultaneously I’ve had enough. I thought CLP was talking about the lovely cheese platter but in fact we both meant Call Me Bwana 2020 was dead on arrival or at least before take off. It’s a very serious issue not helped by incompetence at the top and across the world . When Scotty from marketing said around 2 pm that all incoming travellers to Australia would be forced to self imposed exile for 14 days from midnight tonight we knew it was over finally. That and that the guy was a fuckwit – how can you give 10 hrs notice of a drastic measure like that . 48 hrs minimum numbnuts.

We could almost certainly have flown out Tuesday and arrived at Johannesburg. After that who knows and chances of getting home 10 days later very slim. This thing won’t get better in 2 weeks only worse . As the Bishop said to the actress

By then Qantas had finally agreed to fee free change but still waiting for the detail because that is where the Devil lingers . We had to come to Brisbane really as wanted to see Mum , Grandkiddies and also had this non refundable hotel room and 2 weeks airport parking! We thought if we get Qantas refund and have to use by May let’s fly to Melbourne for a few days . Unpack SA gear and repack some Melbourne gear . Not that simple
for us trend setters

Day 1

As we booked with a Travel Agent getting Qantas refund not very easy and certainly not quick. Will never use a TA again for anything . Certainly not getting refund in next 48 hrs so Melbourne off – not necessarily a bad thing . Drove down and saw Mum in basic lockdown and then decided to park at Station and head into city for a couple hours as too early for hotel . Decided to check deals at Stamford Plaza which were good so booked an extra night there for Day 2 and then head home Wednesday . By now the gloom was slowly lifting so naturally we went to the nearest Irish Pub for some luck but still needed to wallow first. Here is one I prepared earlier

Then it was time to imbibe. Didn’t dawn on us yet that it was day before St Paddy’s Day. They had a great deal on for a free hat with 2 pints of Guinness. Still mourning but soldiered on

Sent CLP up to bar to order lunch and she worked her charm so came back with another hat and two caps. Things were looking up

Suitably sated time to head to our hotel. Room was ready and nice room even if on level 1 . Been a rough night and long day so time for a nana nap. 10 mins in and the ruckus started in hallway . Looked outside and 4 young natives in shorts and carrying towels were practising scrums outside ! Rang reception and told them only natives I wanted to see were in Africa and that ain’t happening sweetheart . She was actually brilliant. She changed us from our pleasant room on 1 st floor to a lovely suite on level 3 at end of hall way. Knobber Knobber . Seems the Papua Guinea Rugby League boys were stranded here too

We caught up on FaceTime with our excellent Safari Travel Agent and it appears we may be able to postpone the safari stay in camps and return at a later date to use our “ credit” This may not happen or indeed suit but at least there is light at end of tunnel. We would still lose some money on internal flights etc but nothing like the 30 k the land component has cost. Time to relax then for a few. We usually stay at Novotel Airport before holidays and have two traditions . First one is have a beer in the bar. Second one is catch a plane the next day! Looks like it’s two beers then dear

To Be Continued on Day 2 – Offical Wear African T Shirt Day

Call Me BwanaVirus

Posted: March 9, 2020 in Travel

With 1 week to go now one would normally move into the tad excited phase but we find ourselves in a different world these days. Things are a bit up in the air, lets just hope that includes our Qantas plane next week !

At present, South Africa is one of the better places to visit “risk-wise”. Viewers may be shocked to know that I lean just a bee’s dick toward pessimism on the scale of things so do wonder whether this is a true reflection of situation or reflects limited testing, poor communication etc. This brings into focus then the twin aspects of this situation. Real threat and Perceived threat.

The real threat exists even if overstated at times. Irresponsible reporting abounds but doesnt take away from fact that this is serious. This trip is not only a once in a lifetime type experience though but also celebrates the significant milestone of CLP 60th birthday which we have now waited 10 yrs to celebrate. Apparently 🙂 Ouch. For these and many other reasons we are very keen to go and believe that we can protect ourselves as best as anyone and are in one of the lesser at risk categories. Lets face it, we are not known for our socialising or need to interact with anyone else…… Of course , as Mother use to always say, its not you dear but those other drivers on the road. I see daily evidence of ignorance and a perfect example is our gym. Its not a hotspot of infection of course but is a petri dish waiting to happen. Why you ask? Because people are ignorant assholes. Despite 100 signs up about “wipe down equipment after use” and at least 3 large dispensers of said wipes strategically located the compliance rate is about 30%! I wipe down everything and wash hands at least every 10 minutes trust me. In fact the muscles in my fingers are the only ones getting bigger at present 😦 These are the same idiots who on way home from gym drop into shop for another 100 toilet rolls naturally. Then there is of course blissful ignorance you cant do much about

In a way the perceived threat is more dangerous to our holiday. By this I mean that the decision could be taken out of our hands by the Government, Qantas or both. Both acting in good faith of course and doing what they believe to be the best option. Cynical little me wonders why not total travel ban yet on Italy coming here but then one remembers Ferrari are coming for the F1 GP. If ban is suddenly put in place after GP I rest my case Your Honour. Given how slow the government has moved on such places and the fact there are no such concerns with South Africa at present you would assume the Government is unlikely to ban us in next 7 days. The irony of course would be if South Africa banned entry from Australia. That particular irony would not be met with a smile on this dial by the way

Qantas , on the other hand, deal with two factors. The health risk and the economic risk with the latter of most concern I imagine. This morning they have acted and closed some routes, shifted to smaller planes etc. Interestingly, or of most concern, is these measures are in place until mid-September , although with some flexibility stated. USA has been included which may surprise but seems to reflect reduced bookings more than anything else. They wont send half full planes every day and one can understand this. There is only one daily flight to SA and checking my Expert Flyer app our flight at present is half full and no doubt always some late takers. Hard to get accurate read with so many “blocked seats” still. I suspect USA could be the sleeping giant here given their slow response and incompetence at the top.The stock market has also taken a massive hit but as with these instances previously you just have to ride it out

All in all would say quietly confident of flying out next Tuesday and a little less confident of being able to fly back in 10 days later. Of interest for Theologians specifically but also fans in general is that if hit with a 14 day quarantine on return will arise again on Easter Sunday like that other guy. It seems so right that it is almost depressing in its inevitable likelihood

In other news the US Democratic primaries have certainly been interesting especially the last week. Out of the ashes rose one guy who probably should be dead to duke it out with another one who could easily beat him to the grave

Its a sad state of affairs really. Genuine concerns for Affable Joe’s mental state. Not a betting man but would say early dementia a distinct possibility. The actions of Buffoon Bob are too bizarre and numerous to try and list but I have a “HUNCH” this virus could finish him off electorally.

In good news the Womens World Cup cricket final was brilliant. Great entertainment first up, great crowd and great game – if u r an Aussie. On International Women’s Day Channel 9 chose to punt this game to GEM so as not to interrupt the usual MAFS screening on 9. It was great to see so many young girls in the 86,000 crowd at MCG if for no other reason then it meant they chose to go rather than stay home and watch that detritus MAFS on TV.

Will sign off now and see what the next week brings. For several reasons communication may be limited during our Safari. Lets just hope one reason is I am not stuck on Robben Island with Joe Biden…..