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Published: June 18th 2010
FIFA Fan Fest
Durban beach front
The Anstey Beach backpacker hostel in Durban is mainly for surfers and is far from the city centre so there is not much to do nearby except surf, so I booked myself on a tour to the Sani Pass and Lesotho (pronounced Lesutu). I was picked up around 10am and was driven to a meeting point where I was joined by two Brazilians called Luiz and Luiz, we then headed to Underberg where we joined a German couple, bought some takeaway for lunch then transferred to a four wheel drive vehicle.
We drove for perhaps twenty minutes spotting a large troop of baboons cavorting around on a golf course before arriving at the South African border post. After taking care of formalities we began the steep climb up through the mountains to the Sani Pass, it was a bumpy, nasty road but the views of the mountains were incredible and we soon began seeing ice on the mountains and a small frozen waterfall. A few more steep switchbacks saw us emerge at the top of the pass and our first sight of the Lesotho border post.
At 2874 metres it was cold and reminded me a bit of Tibet,
snow covered mountains surrounded us and the few inhabitants looked poor and sad.
Our guide then drove us to Africa's Highest Pub for a few beers and a meal; I had a plate of Bangers and Mash. After a few hours of chatting and appreciating the view we began the steep trip back down to South Africa and the warmer climes of Durban, arriving around 10pm.
I started the next day with breakfast down the beach before returning to the hostel to discover that there were no seats available on the Baz Bus to Swaziland for the next day. After stressing a little I asked the lads at the hostel to call another company who could take me as far as St Lucia where I would then wait a few hours till the Baz Bus arrived to take me on to Swaziland.
Once that was sorted I was able to relax until about 2pm when our shuttle arrived to take about ten of us to the FIFA Fan Fest in Durban, I spent the afternoon drinking with a Kiwi bloke checking out the shops and beer tents and just watching people have fun before walking along the
beach front to the stadium, arriving an hour or so before game started. The stadium in Durban was fantastic it is probably the best looking stadium I have ever seen, the crowd was big and boisterous and I was hoping for a win or a draw.
Unfortunately for a huge proportion of the crowd and for me, the Socceroos were hammered 4-0 by the Germans which in essence destroyed Australia’s World Cup campaign. On leaving the stadium I was approached by a TV reporter and asked a series of questions about the game and the experience, I didn’t think much of it but within 24 hours I was on national television in Australia. After that I got myself a little lost on my way back to the shuttle bus which was going to take us back to the hostel. Eventually I bumped into some other people from my hostel and we made our way back to the meeting point where we waited for our van to arrive.
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