The Plan

I fly in at 8 in the morning Jan 23rd and leave at 8 that night. I will most likely head into the city for the day to strech my legs before and after such long flights.

AMSTERDAM

Well this update is disappointing as you will see. I got about 1.5 hours of sleep Monday night trying to get packed. Took way too much stuff, but hey you can always start a pool as to how far along the way I start dropping things :) After carefully packing the backpack and locking it up in this wire security mesh, we went to the airport about 10:30. I was the only one checking in at that time and was told to come back around 12:30 for a security check as that person wasn't here yet. Went to lunch at Macaroni Grill with the Family, Paul, Alf, JD and a couple of people I seem to have forgotten. Dang! Back at airport had to unlock backpack and take everything out, put it back, then at gate do the same thing with the daybag and boots. Flight to Memphis was uneventful. Flight to Amsterdam was delayed while a group of people on a late flight came in. Sure enough my nice empty seats were filled up with an old fat Indian guy who was apparently doing something wrong by sitting quietly, because his old fat wife across the isle scolded him constantly. Between the background carping and the fellow overflowing into my seat I was unable to get any sleep what so ever on the flight. Arrived Amsterdam about 9am.

Here I am in Europe, drugs, prostitution, etc. I am sure everyone is waiting for a good story. I decided to book a room and sleep until my flight out that night. Booooo :(

There were rooms at a hotel in the airport, but they weren't available until 11:30. So being the frugal traveller I saved 15 euro by booking a room in the Red Light district of Amsterdam. With meager directions in hand I figured out what train would take me to town - only 5 euros roundtrip, about 20-30 minutes. As I walked into Amsterdam I had a simple plan for not getting lost. I took a picture of something everytime I turned left. That way I could always backtrack by using the playback on the back of the camera. I did find the hotel "Heart of Amsterdam" right next to the museum of Hemp. The day was chilly and overcast and not much was stirring in the red light area except some bum from Scottland who wanted change for smiling in one of my direction pictures. The playback does not show him however much to his disappointment. If I ever get them to Joe you can search the picture yourself at better resolution (its one with a tall oblisk). Got to the room about 11:30 and slept until 3:30, took a shower and headed back to the train station through the light rain that started falling. I did a little wandering up and down the side streets, but the day was a mess and no one seemed to be out.

Back at airport with several hours still to kill (getting back in was nowhere near as long as I allowed to be safe), I sat and talked to this old American chap headed to Johannesburg with his wife to teach. They apparently travel all over living for years at a time in Japan, Mozzanbeak, Sao Paulo - Brazil, etc. just to see the world while teaching english at the local schools.

Flight to Capetown was fine, but full. Still no sleep until the plane emptied out in Jo-burg and I could streach out into Capetown for an hour nap. No delays or checks as I walked through customs in Capetown about 11:30 Thursday morning. It was warm and windy, and my friends Greg and Magdel were waiting right past customs. Since I had over 6 hours of sleep in the last 3 days, we dropped off my bags at Magdel's parents house and headed for the beach; but all this belongs on the next report, so bye for now.