The first 8000 miles

They say every journey starts with a single step, mine actually started with five queues on three continents.  But since it culminated with an afternoon nap in the courtyard of the Melrose Arch hotel in Johannesburg, it was worth every toe tapping minute spent waiting.

While the airports were a nightmare, the trip itself was actually quite pleasant.  I chose to fly British Airway’s World Traveller Plus class, aka “premium economy”.  As someone who has been flying since I was about 3, I can assure you it is simply what economy class used to be, pre-deregulation.  Without a doubt, premium economy offers travellers the most bang for the buck, don’t get me wrong, business class is a great way to fly, but you still end up in the same place.  The World Traveller Plus seats are slightly wider (emphasis on slightly), the seat pitch is a bit steeper (+7″ v. economy) which means you don’t have someone sitting in your lap the whole flight.

The service is more than acceptable.  You get the hot towel service, which always makes one feel like a VIP.  The food was quite good and the beverage cart came round frequently (sorry, that’s important to me).  I’ve become a big fan of ambien for long flights.  Brilliant, I didn’t wake up till we landed.  (One side note, I picked up an awesome neck pillow at XpressSpa at JFK.  I’ve always found neck pillows silly, but facing a middle seat b/w JFK – HTR I figured I’d give it a shot.  What I love about this one is it actually converts into a regular pillow as well which makes it much more versatile).

So I’m finally in Jo’burg and the adventure begins.  I met my fellow AFAR Experiences travellers at the cocktail party last night.  True to their promise, they have assembled a group of fantastic, curious people with whom I look forward to exploring Jo’burg.

Today’s itinerary includes the Apartheid Museum and Liliesleaf Farm with a cooking class w/David Higgs at the Saxon Hotel.


Speak Your Mind