Richard Ferguson

The dream trip


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 3 Nov 2011 at 11:41
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It started as a pipe dream, slowly turned into a half decent idea and eventually became reality when I set off from the annual PKF Beerfest to make my way to Johannesburg to watch the Currie Cup Final at Ellis Park. Most of you will know the eventual result of this match, but we have to start this story at the very beginning.

It all began whilst sitting in the stands, watching the Sharks beat a hapless Cheetahs outfit in the semi finals of the Currie Cup, with the mind wandering to the following Saturday, and whether Durban fans will be lucky enough to witness a second consecutive Final on the hallowed grass of Kings Park.

That was not to be as the Lions duly taught a certain Cape based franchise a lesson in how to play rugby and in so doing, booking a first final at Ellis Park since 2002, a final they lost to the then mighty Blue Bulls. It was at this stage that the seed was planted and the thought of going to Johannesburg first came to me. 48 hours later, I had successfully purchased my ticket to the game (after much frustration caused by a local Computicket outlet that decided to take a day off), had flights and a rental car booked and was significantly poorer, but I was going to the Final.

The trip started in the best possible way, with a nice three hour delay to my flight, that eventually had us stuttering onto the landing strip at a haunted Lanseria airport at 00h15 on Friday night / Saturday morning, after what I was sure was going to be my final minutes on this planet! This was the first of many signs that this trip might not be as successful as originally hoped.

The day of the final was a beautiful one, with not as much as a cloud in the sky after the weather man had promised me a cold and rainy day, but believe me, I was not complaining! For those who don’t know Johannesburg and the location of Ellis Park, it is like going to a stadium in the middle of smelly West Street. In other words, Ellis Park’s main draw card was most definitely not location, location, location.

After fighting an hour and a half’s traffic to travel the required 30km’s into the big stink, I caught the first glimpses of my ultimate destination, a rather worn down Ellis Park that is in desperate need of a good wash. With an hour or so to go before kick off, the crowd was still mulling around the entrance, yet things moved quite quickly and before I knew it, I was in my seat listening to Kurt Darren entertaining the crowd with Kaptein, Span die seile.

The less said about the actual game, the better, but congratulations must go to the Lions for winning their first Currie Cup title in 12 years, and also winning their first home final in 61 years. The atmosphere inside the stadium was phenominal, with 62,000 people crammed in and vocally getting involved with every single one of the referee’s poor decisions. The highlight of the afternoon was the National Anthem being sung before kick off, with Kurt Darren getting all his words right, and anybody who didn’t have goose bumps was either deaf, or dead inside.

Honesty will now prevail, as the rest of the trip revolved around drowning my sorrows and somehow getting home without hearing another ‘Lions eating sushi’ chirp, as even the pilot on the flight back got a dig in. Speaking of, the trip was not complete without another wonderful delay, with a scheduled 20h00 flight eventually taking to the sky at 22h30.

Lessons learnt on this trip include:
- Never fly to Lanseria, you WILL be delayed
- Never, ever go to Ellis Park thinking it will be clean
- Never take a bet with a Lions fan that will result in you picking up his bar tab
- And lastly, avoid Johannesburg like the plague



40 Comments

  • Johannesburg is not my favorite place in the world.

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.11.11 11:53:18 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Haha land of the gangsters..to live in jhb u gotta know ur way round else u gonna get lost..

    I still maintain kings park is the best place to watch rugby..the parking is good..food is abundent and u know u can have a jol after..even though i live in jhb i still drive down for the games as i know the games will be good at kings park..

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.11.11 11:59:24 by shaniboi Reply

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  • Speak of the devil, hi there Richard :) we starting to think you were banned from the site without our knowledge :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.11.11 12:08:28 by Franshark Reply
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  • I myself was worrying about the wet weather predicted for the game, but a wonderful day it was indeed…

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.11.11 12:09:49 by Franshark Reply
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  • @shaniboi (Comment 2) : it was my first game to watch at the tin, was good but I also prefer KP, I still don’t know where to park @ the tin. We were fortunate to be there early so got a great parking(bribed a security guy) ;)

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.11.11 12:12:37 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : It is one of my favourite places!

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.11.11 12:13:11 by Greg Reply

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  • Ye there is something bout the parking at ellis that kills me..oh well at least u managed to find parking..

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.11.11 12:17:54 by shaniboi Reply

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  • Joburg is the worst,I do not even want to go watch the EFC.

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.11.11 12:18:31 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • Cape Town for the win.Parking at Newlands sucks though, but sometimes if the earth changes on its axis and a butterfly flaps its wings in china at the right time I get parking at SAB.

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.11.11 12:22:51 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 6) :

    To be honest I’m a ‘plattelandse’ boykie. There isn’t a city that I would like to live in. If I spend more than 2 days in Jo’burg I ready to kill someone. ;-)

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.11.11 12:33:40 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 10) : True

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.11.11 12:37:09 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • Olen Park Potch ftw.

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.11.11 12:38:01 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 9) : Never had problems with parking there…

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.11.11 12:38:50 by Charlie Reply

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  • Sounds like you had a blast :twisted:

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.11.11 12:39:23 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 9) : Hey I had no parking issues.

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.11.11 12:57:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : Hell it was only the Sharks playing.

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.11.11 12:59:08 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 16) : :lol:

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.11.11 13:04:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Welcome back from Johannesburg. My mother mentioned that she could sense a Lions victory, after the way Kurt sang the National Anthem…hats off to you for braving Johannesburg…always used to stop over at the Station on our annual holidays to Cape Town…and lastly, go Sharks!!!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.11.11 13:14:38 by Anneleen Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 6) :

    i hate one thing about jozi though … all the moaning tourist :twisted:

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.11.11 13:40:49 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) :

    :mrgreen: It must take decades to get used to that traffic.

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.11.11 13:49:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 20) :

    I got stuck a galoolies (spelling) for 2 and a half hours on a SUNDAY on my way back home after the Soccer City test last year. Friggen hate it!

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.11.11 13:51:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) : :lol: like us ;)

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.11.11 13:52:54 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) :

    Not so much moaning tourists as moaning motorists! ;-)

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.11.11 13:54:31 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 22) :

    Ja die padwerke in Newcastle maak nou dat dit my 10 minutes werk toe vat in plaas van 6 minute en dit is al klaar erg genoeg vir my. :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.11.11 13:55:48 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 20) :

    hahah . i live in PTA . i drive on the N14 as it goes past the N! . i laugh at all the people stuck in traffic every day a s i drive past :P

    Having lived in the vaal3hoek for most of my life i dont really smell anything any more … to me it all smells rosy …..

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.11.11 13:57:29 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : ek vermei nou al die dorp vir maande heens daai extra 4 min ;)

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.11.11 14:01:04 by Franshark Reply
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  • Although I too am a country dude, I don’t mind Jhb. To live there though, I’d need:
    1) Buckets of money, enough to afford to live where I want in the greater Jhb area, and to pay for all the tolls, and all the facilities and events that Jhb offer
    2) A job that allows me to schedule my travel time in such a way as to avoid the traffic, or better, to work from home, or even better, develop the ability to teleport, or best, be rich enough to not have to work for a living

    So no, I won’t be moving to Egoli anytime soon.

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.11.11 14:06:06 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : I like the extra travel time. This morning, because of the roadworks, I could listen to a whole extra track on my iPod between home and Wimpy :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.11.11 14:09:46 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 27) :

    Maybe if I can afford a helicopter.

  • Comment 29, posted at 03.11.11 14:11:11 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 29) : @Culling Song (Comment 28) :

    i assume you guys wont be coming to visit me soon ? :(

  • Comment 30, posted at 03.11.11 14:18:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) :

    My brother lives there so I come up there about twice a year and it’s nice because of the nice restaurants and entertainment but I don’t want to live there quite yet.

    Gooi us an invite you never know we might just come. ;-)

  • Comment 31, posted at 03.11.11 14:29:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 31) :

    sweet why not ;) always interesting to meet new ppl !!

  • Comment 32, posted at 03.11.11 14:35:11 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) : @Pokkel (Comment 31) : I go up there probably once a quarter on business, and probably at a similar frequency to visit friends, and of course, I still want to attend some sort of Sharksworld gathering, so like Pokkel says, float the invite…

  • Comment 33, posted at 03.11.11 14:39:32 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 33) :

    Sharksworld gathering sounds nice. We should make a plan next time there is one since they don’t seem keen on coming to Newcastle for some odd reason.

  • Comment 34, posted at 03.11.11 14:45:16 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 34) : Miss Unofficial Social Co-ordinator has made a mental note of this….we’ll organise next year!

  • Comment 35, posted at 03.11.11 15:23:54 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 35) :

    :cool:

  • Comment 36, posted at 03.11.11 15:29:35 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Jozi ROCKS! I love the place. :cool:

  • Comment 37, posted at 03.11.11 16:40:21 by wpw Reply
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  • To all you woosies ..there is actually more to Johannesburg than a trip to Ellis Park ..

    It has the very same pitfalls that any major city has all over the world..

    Richard I agree with the delays at Lansaria ..apperently its something they are working on and there are plans to make it into a more international standard airport than what it is now.

  • Comment 38, posted at 04.11.11 10:22:34 by CoffeeshopBok ;-) Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 37) : me too :cool: :lol:

  • Comment 39, posted at 06.11.11 19:41:09 by rekinek Reply
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  • Yaa, IMO Lanseria is not the best (nice views of Magaliesberg though). We took half’s sister and her hubby there for their flight to CT, which never arrived. Wasted whole day there and in the evening dropped them off at OR Tambo :roll:

  • Comment 40, posted at 06.11.11 19:44:47 by rekinek Reply
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