I am away from our home for two weeks, and in lieu of daily writing, I’m running a series called Travel Diaries, with excerpts from my travel journal from the year I spent traveling around the world. I left Melbourne, Australia on September 16, 2008 to spend a year away from my home visiting friends, family, making new friends and visiting far away lands. These excerpts are as accurate as can be with the more shocking typos edited for my own pride’s sake. 

 Thursday 4 December 2008

Cape Town, South Africa

What a day. I slept most of the 10-hour flight from London Gatwick to Windhoek, Namibia. Getting close to land was surreal – flat, dry, with patches of green bush dotted by craggy, dry hills. I’m looking for roads, people, houses, marks of civilisation but there is none until we land on something that feels like a landing strip.

We are at Hosea something International Airport. I step off the plane and onto a ramp, descending onto the tarmac – I can’t stop my wildly beating heart. I am in Africa.

On my flight to Cape Town, I saw the most beautiful sunset. Rona always said African sunsets were the best – she was right. Flat brown land all around, on the east the sky is pink, the clouds a deep mix of pink and purple. On the west it is a blaze of red and orange, the clouds are black silhouettes against it, almost like puffs of black smoke from a fire. It lasted around an hour-and-a-half.