The night before, we had to wait till 12am for the bus to Johannesburg to arrive in Masvingo. Although it was much on schedule, my problem with the bus service was its arrival time and its arrival location, a gas station some six kilometers out of town. If, for whatever reason, the bus wouldn’t show up, where could we go?
We first had dinner and some drinks at the Chevron hotel, before arranging the most feeble excuse for a car as a taxi to the gas station where we found a 24/7 Wimpy’s.
In the past, the Greyhound bus used to depart from the Chevron hotel. Recently, the bus stop had been moved to Shell City for ‘security reasons’. The bus itself was quite good, even at European standards. In fact, in the morning, we even got to watch a DVD. Which movie it was we got shown I don’t know, whenever the bus accelerated, the screen fogged over. We still had the soundtrack, though.
I had called ahead for place to stay in Jo’burg and had found that the Lonely Planet was wildly inaccurate in relation to accommodation prices, being some 60% off, at times. The place we finally ended up at also gave me the number of the taxi service we should call upon arrival. Taxis waiting at the bus station, so I was told, tended to increase their prices five-fold upon arrival at your destination.
Driving through Pretoria on our way to Jo’burg, the city gave me the impression of a friendly suburb of some huge metropolis. Jo’burg, on the other hand, appeared to be a cross between a British industrial town and an American ghetto.
Our lodge was in ‘Wellington’, a very English suburb of Jo’burg. With a significant collection of books, a swimming pool, three cats, good rooms and the vibrant Wellington nearby, it was a nice place to stay.