However. Before nailing down Joburg plans, there is this social pressure of his school-mates and their holidays. From my admittedly adult perspective I think what better than a beach or camping holiday with mates for children, something for once other than Jo’burg. Which sends me off exploring both options, how I could fit it into our half of the holiday, combining a little exploratory ‘adventure’ with the needs of family.
I’d been meaning to visit a friend in BoggomsBaai (bay), outside Mossel Bay on the southern Cape coast. To make it sound more alluring, not that it needs it, I could mention that BB is a nature conservancy, and that it is around the coastal corner from Pinnacle Point, which houses a collection of live archaeological digs, among them cave 13B, discovered in ; in here are the first examples of modern man learning to fish, honing tools and using ochre for decorating purposes. http://www.humanorigin.co.za/pages/pinnacle-point/
Ok, so that’s probably sounds a bit academic for a 6 year-old. But it was the size of cave 13B that I knew would interest my son Plus the restricted-access walk (stepped) down a relative cliff-face to get there, with waves pounding the rocks below.
So I decided we’d do both. We needed to get to Johannesburg and George from Cape Town. The only airline I found flying to both without asking an exorbitant price was that relative new entrant to the low-cost runway, FlySafair. With legal fees these days ever-present in my mind, and knowing the two-day drive would rob us of half Fynn’s time with his family, I contacted the airline and offered a true editorial – critiquing the flight in exchange for our tickets. They said yes, and this is the way it was.
I’d always known it in my younger days as Safair, the commercial arm of South African Airways, which, however complex and Machiavellian the goings-on at our national airline, meant it wouldn’t be a fly-by-night.
The decision was an easy one; a five-hour drive to George is fun, and as Fynn’s aunt and cousin had meanwhile decided to join us for three days, we could drive up together, stopping for refreshment and adding to his bank of memories along the way.
The CT-Joburg leg we flew, and the reason was simple. At about R500 one-way (the same as the George flight), it was far more cost-effective than filling my car’s tank at least six times (at roughly R700@) and adding significantly to the wear and tear of a ten year-old car. Plus, if I remember correctly, it beat the other low-cost offerings by roughly R300 per flight.
Most importantly though, driving would’ve stolen two days of four with his family.
As it happens the flight was good, in what looked to me like a Boeing 737 maybe two years old. The food on offer was the standard low-cost offering of a refreshments cart being pushed up and down the aisle (although I prefer to make our food at home, in a possibly vain attempt at demonstrating that we don’t have to buy everything.
They even had a kiddies box which we didn’t end up buying (R60), as when he wasn’t playing with his Star Wars lego troopers I would read to him, and he played a little on the iPad.
Nevertheless, the box had contents suitable for children from 3 to about 9, colouring and drawing games included, giving them the option to be creative. For that reason, if their fares remain competitive, when I next need to fly up with my kids I will choose this airline again.