Durban, SA: Will the car arrive?

February 6, 2016

Walking over a blanket of clouds, I am carried away by white horses to a castle in the sky. Tyres banging on the landing strip of Johannesburg shake us in our chairs, I suddenly wake up and take a deep breath. It has been 24 hours since we left Melbourne and it will be another hour before we reach Durban, the place where our car will arrive too. I lean back into my uncomfortable airplane chair and start looking for my horses on the clouds again. 

February 7, 2016

We end up in a great place in Durban, a hospitable couple welcomes us in the only gay-friendly guesthouse in Durban. The guesthouse is surrounded by a large stone wall, an electric fence, 24 hour camera security and an electric sliding door. This could leave the impression that having a gay guesthouse requires this sort of security, but looking around in the neighbourhood you can see that all the houses have this extreme form of security. It’s almost as if they are competing against each other with the height of their walls and the amount of electric fencing. We’re staying in Berea, a part of Durban not too far from the city and the harbour. That evening we get the conformation that the ship which holds our container has arrived in the port of Durban.

February 8, 2016

On Monday we start with a positive attitude on the process to get our car cleared. We know that the ship is in the harbour, but locating one of the 1221 container on board is difficult. We chose a large agency in South Africa, hoping they would have the experience to get this process finished as quickly as possible. The choice for a large organisation appears not to be the wisest, we are constantly dealing with different people. Finally, after 4 days of waiting, which consisted of a lot of calling, we learn that our container has moved to the depot for collection. Helga and I spend another 2 days amongst heavy industry, dodging forklifts and eating dust while seeing a lot of containers being emptied and filled with boxes. In the end our waiting is rewarded: after 8 long days we drive our car out of the container and we say goodbye to the people of the depot who took good care of us.

In the meantime Helga used her time productively by getting a South Africa Sim card and making appointments to get our travel vaccinations.


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