2015-16 was my first time to South Africa and I was really looking forward to experiencing the country and meeting the Howzat Travellers, new and old!
Arriving into Durban on the 28th of December I went straight to the Garden Court in Umhlanga to meet up with our Howzat travellers. On the way, my driver told me a lot about the area, pointing out the casino complex that is based on the Zulu tribal village and he was very informative about the sugar cane and how the crop rotation works.
One day of cricket at the wonderful Kingsmead stadium to enable me to meet and get acquainted with my Two Oceans and Two Oceans Traveller team who would be moving onto Cape Town, and the City Lodge Hotel on New Years Eve.
New Years Eve in Cape Town was an exciting day, with the group from Durban arriving at lunchtime. The party went on long into the night and a good time was had by all. The fireworks on the V&A were amazing. A brilliant way to welcome 2016!
On the 2nd of January, after many travellers had enjoyed the sights of Cape Town with some sore heads on New Years day, we headed to Newlands for the second test of the series.
What an incredible cricket ground. The breath-taking view of Table Mountain from the ground was just incredible, sporting its famous table cloth that floated down like dry ice.
It was very hot, and for those of ‘Team Linda’ sitting in the sun I gave the advice, plenty of sunscreen, drink plenty of water and wear you Howzat hat! Being sat amongst the locals was great fun and the camaraderie between the Howzatters and the locals was brilliant.
The cricket was exciting, with so many records being broken on day two we spent most of the day on our feet clapping and cheering! Day five finished early due to bad light and some spots of rain. Cape Town test – a draw.
We had a very informative evening with writer and historian, Dean Allen, when he told us about his book – Empire, War & Cricket. A very interesting evening.
The farewell dinner at the Kelvin Grove club was a huge success, beautiful venue, stunning food and the amazing Geoff Boycott as the guest speaker. Team Linda had a sing-song in the bus on the way back to the hotel!
And so it was time for team Linda to say goodbye. Some were moving onto the sightseeing options in Kruger or Victoria Falls, some heading back to England. I feel privileged to have had this group of people in my care.
Those going sightseeing had an early start, while those heading home all said they had a brilliant time!