Update – I’ve just managed to get tickets for the QF game at Port Elizabeth on the 2nd July, match 57 (w53 v w54). We are hoping it will be Brazil v Holland, if the group games work out to plan.

I’ve also added a new cartoon from Tony Husband under 17/05/2010 – Khwai River Camp / Mogotho Camp to Maun (Old Bridge Backpackers). Thanks as always Tony. Just showing Bun now!

Greetings from South Africa. We’ve finally made it down here, just in time for the World Cup – it’s not like we planned it!

First, an update from soulless Bloemfontein in Free State and a host city in the World Cup! We are not hanging around here long. I hear that the England team has just landed. It took them ten hours to get here. It’s taken us almost eight months! It’s been a fantastic trip south and we have have seen so much.

We’ve been slack. Our quest for decent internet connections hasn’t improved here so far, after entering one of Africa’s more advanced countries. Let’s not forget, this is still Africa.

We crossed into SA on the 23rd and have since made our way to Colesberg via Kimberley.

During the last few days in Botswana, we made contact with Dave Newman, who is a High Court judge in Lobatse, just south of Gaborone. We got in touch with him through a friend of my parents  in Montserrat.  It was great to meet up with him and his family in Gaborone and then stay with him for the night and enjoy their hospitality in Lobatse before crossing into SA.

In Kimberly, we went to see the Big Hole, the world’s first hand dug diamond mine. Bun got excited when we hit diamond country and crossed over the Orange river where the first diamond was discovered!

We have been missing the cinema, so we got a chance to see the new Ridley Scott film ‘Robin Hood’. It was the best of a bad bunch. If a film had been deliberately made to stir up English folk before a World Cup battle, this is it! It wasn’t as bad as we were expecting. Nice to eat some popcorn too!

From there we spent a few days on the farm of Will & Niki, long time friends of Bun’s family in Herefordshire. We stayed there for two nights with Will. Niki was still in Cape Town so we decided to go off for a few days to await her return.

After are trip to Bloemfontein to sort a few things out, we headed back to the farm and have been there ever since. It’s in The Karoo and known for it’s sheep and cattle farming but you also see other creatures like jackal, springbok and pocupines. It’s winter here and we are getting used to the differences compared to UK winters. It’s lovely in the day with warm weather and clear blue skies but at night the temperature drops to near freezing.

The area where they live is isolated and vast. It’s 40 miuntes drive off-road from Colesberg. We have been taking it easy here, watching lots of French Open tennis and news from the UK between sorting out the back of the Landcrusier. Also plenty of local World Cup stories knocking around. DSTV (The South African satellite network, we’ve had all over Africa) is the best for decent tv and sales have been going mad before the start of World Cup. I’ve been running with the dogs and Bun has been walking with them in the afternoon. We also took out the quad bike the other day and had fun driving around the tracks.

In Bloemfontein we stumbled across the Fifa ticket office. Thinking all the tickts had sold out, Fifa announced another ticket phase last Friday. Shortly after, the computers crashed country-wide. Since then we have been lucky to find two World Cup tickets for the Ivory coast v Portugal game on the 15th June in Port Elizabeth. Great news and it works out well for our onward journey to Cape Town from there.

After the game we aim to follow the garden route along the coast to the southernmost tip of the continent (St Agulhas, also the divinding line between the Indian and Atlantic oceans) to then hit Cape Town & Western Cape and base ourselves there for the rest of our stay in South Africa. We will hopefully catch some late games in Cape Town if we can find tickets. My brother, Mark, is due out here at the start of July so we will meet up with him at some point.

We are right now deciding to travel back to the UK up the west side of Africa. If we stay a month in SA, we plan to leave here in mid-July before hitting Namibia after that. In the meantime we are going to enjoy being here whilst we gradually get ready for the journey north. At this rate we aim to be back in the UK in November. Well, that’s the plan!

Need to sort out early visas for Angola and Gabon. The list of countries we plan to visit travelling north will be……..

Namibia, Angola, Gabon, Congo ( Not the DRC, the other one), Cameroon, Nigeria, possibly Togo & Benin, Bukino Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Spain, France, UK!

If anyone wishes to get in touch with us whilst we are here, our SA number is +27 (73) 8961826. More updates when we get settled.