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Published: September 30th 2017
Cheesy Emperor's Palace ...
... the addition of a lei and surfboard to a classic Renaissance sculpture was a nice, classy touch.
Geo: -26.1538, 28.0389
This hellish day of travel didn't end in Senegal, as we still had one last flight into Johannesburg. Dakar may be known for its infamously dangerous rally, but we'll never have the chance to learn anything more about it, as we had only one hour in Senegal, while the plane refueled. Normally we wouldn't have cared to see an airport, but we were both dying to set foot in the terminal, if for nothing other than to stretch our legs. Unfortunately, those passengers continuing onward to Johannesburg were prohibited from stepping off the plane - but that won't stop us from making use of a little loophole in international backpacker laws, and claiming that we have been to Senegal.
Another eight and a half hours after refueling, we finally made it to our final destination for the night. Of course, such a shitty day of travel couldn't end with us simply sashaying down a red carpet into our Jo'burg hotel, paparazzi cameras flashing away, giving us epileptic seizures - no, it can't be that easy! You see, our connection in Washington DC wasn't exactly smooth, since the Chicago flight was over 90 minutes late departing, and our layover in DC
My Choice For Dinner ...
... unfortunately, Benita overruled, and we ended up at Tribes African Grill, instead. Hooters - they transcend all borders and boundaries!
was supposed to be only 94 minutes. Hmmm ... I didn't major in math, but these numbers don't seem to add up very well ...
Luckily for us, the advertised flight time of one hour and fifty minutes had a healthy cushion built in for delays, and the actual flight time was thirty minutes less than that. But still, from the time we touched down, there was less than thirty minutes to disembark from a very crowded plane, hop on a shuttle bus to the main terminal, catch a shuttle train to the international terminal, and make it to the plane.
Like a scene straight out of Home Alone, we did manage to make our connection, with the gate agents about to close the airplane doors as we raced to the counter. Hooray! However ... our backpacks weren't quite so lucky, as there wasn't enough time for them to make the connection. Sigh ... so another hour was spent in line upon arrival at Jo'burg's airport, filing a lost baggage claim, before we finally checked into our hotel at the Emperor's Palace, a South African take on a Las Vegas casino complex.
It was quite bizarre, seeing this tacky interpretation of Vegas,
Assorted Exotic Meats ...
... impala, kudu, ostrich, and warthog, all with a lovely grilled flavour that you can only get from charcoal. We think the ostrich is the farthest one away, which was quite tender and served with a cherry sauce. The warthog may have been the second closest one, as it tasted a lot like slightly chewy, but very tasty pork. The remaining two are probably the kudu and impala, and were quite tough and chewy. There was a bit of a novelty factor with this game platter, but it still was well worth trying. The accompanying bowl of miele pap is a very typical African side dish made from corn meal, and wasn't to our liking - a bit like a very thick and heavy polenta.
which was a bit like a mix of Caesar's Palace and the Paris hotel. But it only seemed bizarre until we realized how tacky Vegas actually is, and posed a question to ourselves - is a tacky copy of something inherently tacky, really any more tacky than the original? The answer - no! The Emperor's Palace is what it is - mindless escape for the locals, with shops, bars, theatres, and restaurants for all to enjoy. It was actually the place to be tonight, buzzing with activity.
But 32 hours after leaving home, we were too tired to partake in anything other than dinner and a brief stroll around the complex, desperately trying to buy some clothes and toiletries to get us through the next few days, when our luggage would hopefully find us. Alas, there wasn't really any selection here, so we decided to head to the airport early tomorrow before our Livingstone flight, and try to buy something there.
It's not the first time I've lost luggage while traveling, so it's not that big of a deal, though it's definitely annoying, and a terrible way to start things off. But really, there isn't anything to get too down about,
Killer Ribs ...
... for the most part, Tribesl does an excellent job, and these may have been the best ribs we've ever had. Supremely tender but still juicy, these were melt-in-your-mouth good, nicely seasoned without the use of any BBQ sauce. Some really crisp fries were the perfect accompaniment, moist on the inside, and sprinkled with a nice spice blend.
as this is far better than the other scenario, where we would have missed our connection in DC, but ended up with our backpacks. That would've meant getting into Jo'burg 24 hours later than intended, and missing our Livingstone flight. Instead, we are in Jo'burg, enjoying its Cheesy Clone of Vegas, and philosophizing with L'il Buddha, who told us "It is better to travel with nothing, than to have everything but be going nowhere." He must've come up with that one during one of his drug binges!
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