Sunday, August 26, 2007

Durban and Margate were lovely

The work trip over the weekend went well. The one and a half hour trip from Durban to Margate was mostly in the dark, so I snoozed most of the way. I woke up long enough for dinner, and then we checked into Ingwe Manor, a guest house a couple of blocks from the Margate town centre and the seashore.

I wasn’t quite happy about that- the last guesthouse I stayed the owners tried to get me to join Amway at breakfast. Seriously tacky!

It made me prefer the impersonality of a big, fancy hotel where the staff make sure you’re very comfortable, but don’t engage you in conversations unless you start it. And since I bring my own laptop and Internet access, I don't even need the business centre.

But breakfast on the balcony of Ingwe Manor demonstrated why the trip organizers chose the place for the overnight stay. The service was excellent, the scenery, overlooking the seashore as shown by the picture, was ideallic.

The weather was warm and slightly humid (good for my skin, I think), so I spent a happy morning there chatting with my fellow-journalists. I'd definitely go back for a short holiday with family.

The midday press briefing was held at Lan Sameer Lodge between Port Shepstone and Margate, which is based in the middle of some seriously lush scenery. We didn't see much of many of the facilities, as we were busy one way of another.

As one journalist remarked, journalists spend a lot of time waiting. So we waited while our press credentials were verified. We waited while the sniffer dogs went through our luggage. And then we waited for the proceedings to begin…..

But the story is good, so the trip was worth the travel. Too bad I couldn’t stop in Durban long enough to see Baby (who is visiting her mother in Durban).

I miss her quite a lot. Ironically, I woulnd't have been able to make all these trips if she was home.

I've put aside my notes and impressions from the trip, with the idea that at a later stage I use the info for a children's story. Maybe have a young character whose parents are divorced, and my character travels by plane to visit the non-custodial parent.

I don't think South Africa has a huge trend of kids travelling across the country to visit non-custodial parents, but I think most kids are curious about air travel and such a story would help them grasp how it works.

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