Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg.

On the whole we tend to have avoided this part of South Africa because it's very built up, however with Greg and Des living there we have somewhere that we know is safe and where we can stay for a few days. They live near Sandton which is one of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

One evening we visited Monte Casino, a huge, mostly undercover area with shops, gaming areas and loads of eating places from KFC and Wimpy to posh restaurants and hotels.

One if the indoor 'streets' in Monte Casino. We ate at The Meat Co. and all had steak -it really was melt in the mouth quality.

The outside plaza had a huge screen and was showing all the games live. We watched the start of the Germany v Australia game.

We'd arrived in Jo'burg on Sunday and 'our' match wasn't until Tuesday so on the Monday we visited the Cradle of Humankind which is nearby.

We visited the Sterkfontein Caves. There was an museum which explained some of the 'finds' that had been made in the area such as “Mrs Ples”, the “Taung Child” and “Little Foot” and then we had a tour of the caves.

Afterwards we went to the Maropeng Visitor Centre where there was an interesting museum

 

The start for the match in Rustenburg was 1.30pm. We arrived at the park and ride soon after 11am and got straight on a coach to the stadium. which, apart from one section, is not covered.

The stadium a couple of hours before the kick-off.


We'd been warned that there was a cold front due on that day and despite the clear blue sky it was VERY cold.

On our way to the stadium we stopped for a Wimpy breakfast and just walking from the car to the restaurant we found the wind was freezing. Fortunately just opposite was a PEP store so we were able to buy hats, gloves and a blanket!

 

The teams entering the stadium.

As well as lots of New Zealand and Slovakian supporters there were plenty of South African fans as well.

At the start of the match the stadium was only about half full but after half an hour it was about 80% full.

This was the first football game that I'd ever been to (apart from watching the kids at school) and I loved it, the atmosphere was wonderful - I think that I actually spent as much time watching the crowd as I did watching the match!

At one point a mexican wave went 5 times round the stadium!

Although not a brilliant game of football we both enjoyed the match and the great atmosphere.

We spoke to several of the New Zealand supporters sitting around us and they were all very positive about their visit to South Africa. Many of them had tickets for the first 3 Group matches.

 

We then had 3 nights in Pretoria. One evening we visited Karl and Erika who had invited us for a meal and to watch the second Bafana Bafana game. It was good to see them again and catch up on news.

One day we visited the Voortrekker Monument which commemorated the Great Trek undertaken by the Boer farmers.

Inside the monument is a frieze depicting the Trek. This is just one panel which shows the difficult terrain that they had to cross.

Opposite the Monument is Fort Schanskop which overlooks Pretoria and was built by the Boers to protect the city.

Another day we visited the Pretoria Botanic Gardens and enjoyed walking around them for a couple of hours.

Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg

Polokwane

Diary (Word '97 document)

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