Monday, 18 November 2019

2019 SAOUG - The Location

This year SAOUG was in Vanderbijlpark, at the Emerald House resort.

With Dina's mum
When they first announced the location, I recognised it as somewhere I had been with my friend Dina, it was were she lived and I had visited several times before. However Dina has now emigrated to Canada but it seemed too good an opportunity to miss out on. I spoke to Dina and her son picked me up at the airport and we spent the day with her mother. It was so nice to be able to give back to a friend.

The resort itself is small, not a Sin City at all, but a small rural resort. I chose to be in a bush lodge for two reasons, first it sounded so 'African' and secondly I wanted to be as far from any casino as possible. To be fair, I only saw the casino on the way in and out but the bush lodge was the right decision. It was amazing. There were deer outside the door, what a wonderful way to wake up.

On the first evening there was a boat down the river Vaal, so lovely, sunset, cocktails and friends.

On the last evening we had a braai, a South African BBQ and it was amazing, each bush lodge had a braai area so this was an easy event to pull off. Not too many people just SAOUG committee and a few speakers, sponsors and delegates.

They also had a small zoo and animal park. On the last day I did the game drive which was tame by South African standards, there were no creditors but lots of animals to see really close up. I was a bit perturbed before I went to the resort as they treat over 50s as old, with special casino offers but it also meant I got a pensioners' rate in the zoo. I was also the only guest on my game drive so had the ranger to myself, she was very knowledgeable and it was a great hour spent well before the journey home.

Wolfgang took me back to Johannesburg and then it was a long overnight flight back to London. 

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