Power has been our biggest issue up here in Hartsbeesport. With a MacBook Pro, iPad (GPS), 2 cameras, 2 cellphones and a video camera we need several outlets to keep our electronics powered up, so we are ready to capture and share our experiences. Unfortunately power is one thing Moonlight Backpackers is lacking. It is the cleanest, most well put together backpackers we have ever been in except that the only power outlets are in the kitchen and they do not charge worth anything. So today we are off to Mug&Bean to juice up and enjoy an hour of Wifi.
Wifi is one thing I truly take for granted back in the States, especially having lived in DC for the last 9 months where I can quickly pop into a Starbucks or Cosi’s with in a block or two of wherever I might currently be standing and connect. In pursuit of Wifi, before we found M&B, we asked several people if they knew where we could get a Wifi connection. Some people flat out said No, but others looked at us with blank stares- Wifi? Whats that? In the US you could ask a kid as young as 6 or 7 and they would most likely be able to tell you that Wifi is a wireless internet connection and that they have it at home. Such a contraast of cultures and lifestyles.
After Wifi, coffee, and French toast Alex and I headed of in search of the Lost City (part of the Sun City entertainment park/casino). I had read several mixed reviews about Sun City, but decided it was worth exploring for the afternoon. It was described by many as the Los Vegas of South Africa mixed with a bit of Disneyland– after being their I wouldn’t call it either-not even close.
Thanks to FIFA our drive out to Sun City was the smoothest we have ever had in South Africa. New roads had been laid and older roads had recently been widened in order to provide safer passage to the FIFA training camp, which was located near Sun City.
When you turn off the main road to Sun City there is a grand entrance with several lanes for entry, however only one was currently being used. It cost R75 per person to enter the facility for the day. Directed by staff to continue up the hill we wound are way through the beautiful landscape of the Sun City. Once we realized there was no parking for day visitors near the main attractions we made our way back to the entrance where we had seen a large parking lot. Unfortunately the only way to enter the parking lot was to cross over the lane of incoming traffic. As we attempted to make our move a police car pulled out from the other side; the officers glaring at us as they went by. What were we supposed to do? I wanted to scream at them. You were the ones that blocked off the other entrance lanes that had direct access to the parking lot.
Parked near the Air Train, a tram that transports people back and forth from the entertainment center to the parking lot. Unfortunately it was not functioning today and we were directed to wait for a bus. After 15 minutes of standing in the cold Alex stared directly at the attendant until he finally called to inquire about the bus.
On our second trip up the hill we learned that a tour was required in order to see the Palace- one of biggest highlights of the whole experience. What we didn’t find out until later in the day was there were no tours of the Palace during the World Cup. If I had been aware of this prior to going I would have chosen not to visit Sun City.
The inside of the entertainment center was designed to look like the caves and mountains of South Africa with light rock on the walls and Savannah shrubs, but it was nothing spectacular. The slot machines were stationed in the middle of the center where no more then 20 people were playing. The only beautiful room was large and open with a ceiling that was painted with dark blues and grays to look like the African night sky. It was also the room that housed one of the official FIFA World Cup art galleries. There are several official FIFA World Cup art galleries located throughout South Africa displaying art with a football theme. Walking through the paintings and photography I was impressed by how many unique and intriguing pieces were amongst the collection. Several artist took the football theme literally, however most others really expanded their interpretation outside the box. It was a wonderful collection and the best part of our whole Sun City experience
The rest of Sun City is hardly worth mentioning. The earthquake simulation bridge was nothing spectacular and the illusion was broken by the man standing above with a walky talky to insure it was moving and that smoke was flowing out. Im sure at night the whole display is a lot more exciting. We didn’t go into the wave park, but from what we saw it was like raging waters, just a typical water park.
Around 3:30 bored and hungry we went off in search of food, but all the restaurants were closed until 6pm. Apparently the 24 hours of food, gambling and drinks Los Vegas style had not caught on here. Disappointed with the day we waited 20 minutes for a bus to take us back to the parking lot so we could finally leave.
The worst day so far in my book, but tomorrow we are going to see monkeys and lions, which I have a feeling will be very enjoyable.