The time to surf – or at least to try – was over. It was time to move on and see some more places in South Africa. According to the motto: “The more, the merrier”, we wanted to rent the biggest car we could find and fill it up with people we met in the hostel in Muizenberg. Soon we found four other backpackers and decided to travel to Johannesburg together …
It all started when we wanted to rent the car. Well, although during the high season it is practically impossible to rent a car, we still found a Toyota Avanza online and rented it. However, just after the confirmation mail arrived, another mail arrived. In this mail our booking was denied as there was no Toyota Avanza left. Nevertheless, we thought: let’s just head to the car rental place and see if we can still get the car we booked. So Julian, Felix and me went to the car rental place, which was packed with people, who wanted to rent a car. It seemed that most people were unsuccessful. Only those who has booked far in advance received one. Although our hopes were low, we tried it. So I went to the counter…
Good morning sir, how are you?
Good morning, I’m fine. Thanks. How are you?
I’m good. How can I help you today?
I have booked a car and would like to take it.
That said, I showed the woman the confirmation mail I’ve received on my phone. Not however the immediately afterwards sent mail deleting our booking.
I’m sorry sir, but apparently we are out of cars of this type. I am very sorry, I don’t know how this could happen!
Oh, ok. Well is there anything we can do about it?
Well, let me think… Yes, I think we still have an Avanza. But it was just given back and has to be cleaned.
Oh if we could have this one, this would be great. I have no problem waiting for it.
Thank you for your understanding sir. So let me just open a new booking for you. I don’t know why, but unfortunately I can’t find the booking reference you got in your mail in our system. Is that ok for you?
With this we basically had our car. I just had to realize that my credit card was not working, as the money that would have been deducted from my credit card exceeded the daily limit. Luckily Julian and Felix were with me … whose credit cards did not work as well! So in the end we only booked the car for a week and extend it. After we handed the car back in Johannesburg we were informed that the booking we made did not contain any insurance whatsoever, although we did ask for it. Apparently during the hectic time of the booking and the failed attempts with various credit cards, the lady most have forgotten it. Luckily nothing happened. Hence, we saved quite some money … unintentionally of course.
The first night we stopped in Swellendam. A nice little town I guess. We arrived when it was dark and couldn’t see very much of it. However we stayed on a small farm that has switched from farming to offering rooms. There were still a some animals around but not that many. A few goats and sheep, two horses, a couple of ostriches and one massive, heavily overweight pig. It must have been fed by so many visitors as its belly was already dragging over the ground.
Our next stop was Sedgefield. We stayed there for quite a while, as it had a nice beach. This is also where our group grew by one additional member: Nicole. Our car, although it had seven seats could not contain seven people, as we also needed to put our backpacks inside. But as Lisa could not come with us all the way and left after our stay in Sedgefield, we didn’t need to worry about it.
About Sedgefield there is not much more to say. It is a lovely city with a beautiful beach. The only thing that is quite memorable to me is one certain night. As the hostel was fully booked out, we did not get a room there. Luckily however, they also had some holiday apartments for rent. As we were seven people it was basically the same as a dorm room plus a kitchen and living room. The first night at said place we decided to have a great party and drink a lot. At some point Julian came to me.
Ok Colin, we will make a bet! I will think of an amount of money and you will think of one as well. If my amount is higher, I will shave your head for said amount. If yours is higher, nothing happens.
Alright, I’m in!
I thought it would be very smart to choose zero Euros. I said to myself that he will never imagine this number. Just afterwards I had to realize that his number only had to be higher… Well I guess I was incredibly stupid – or drunk! At least I earned 30 Euros in the end.