Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Stranded in Africa

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Sept 08, 2006

OK, last update for a bit. Still no passport, airline tickets, visa to Australia, or internet access.

I can't do anything now, as Canada has no services for travellers on weekends (pretty incredile, eh?) so I am taking my trip to Kruger. I hope. The tour agency has never returned any call or email, and I never received a call from Bloemfontein that I was expecting, to confirm this. But if you don't get another post, then I am in Kruger.

I have booked a room here in Joburg, at the Intercontinental Hotel Sun, at Joburg airport, for Monday evening. Cape Town is cancelled. If the tickets have not been returned from the airline by Monday evening (I have asked South African airways to leave a message at the hotel, and of course I will check with them again Tuesday morning) I will go to the Canadian embassy in Pretoria.

At this point it would be very unlikely I could continue. From what I understand it takes a long time to reissue a passport. Also, South African Airlines informs me it does not reissue lost tickets (the other airlines would, but...). So I would not be able to proceed to Australia and NZ. If this is the case I will return directly to Canada to at least get out of this situation, try to get back on track from there (not very likely).

I have been unable to get a phone so all messages for me should be left at the Intercontinental Hotel Sun in Joburg. Because my wireless internet was also, um, 'lost', I will not be able to get online until Monday evening.

People here are very friendly but not really helpful. I am very disappointed with the airline, which resolutely would not let me go back for the tickets and passport, even though they were just a few feet away, and then 'lost' them. American Express travel - which has a sole source contract contract with the Canadian government because of 'services' such as help in cases like this, didn't help at all (but made me run up a half hour phone call first).

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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