Alastair Haley

The team landed at Johannesburg shortly after 1030 this morning, about an hour ahead of schedule. Immigration and baggage reclaim went remarkably smoothly, and even processing 41 rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition was surprisingly speedy. Less so the hire car rental which, despite all information being sent ahead of time, still took the expected 2 hours or so to complete all the paperwork.

With a wide variety of vehicles, we decided to offload the removable seats from a couple of vans to maximise space, and we were swiftly packed and ready to set off on the 240 mile drive to Bloemfontein. The traditional ’lunchtime’ break at the halfway point is at Kroonstadt and this team made no diversion from that plan. Arriving pretty much in convoy, albeit at around 3:30pm, we had a quick fast food lunch before continuing on. The remaining journey took a turn for the worse as the weather engulfed us, hammering the countryside with torrential rain and dotting the landscape with regular bolts of lightning. With luck, the weather has got it out of its system now, and we can stay dry for the remainder of the tour.

On arrival at the hotel, we were grateful to find our England-team counterparts had sorted all our admin for us and we were able to unload directly into our rooms. A final team meeting at 7pm to award badges and caps to all team members, and it was off for dinner and a much anticipated early night!