Casinos, Hospitals and Laundry, Oh My!

January 21, 2008 - Johannesburg, South Africa

After 9 days in some difficult camping conditions we decided to pamper ourselves for our two day stopover in Johannesburg, South Africa. Throughout the whole camping trip I was telling Namita that I wanted to stay at the Emperor's Palace (Ceasar's Palace), hotel and casino that was recommended to us by a taxi driver in Cape Town. She was fighting me on it most of the time because she wasn't certain that it would be nice, as Rupesh can attest, Namita has an allergic reaction to the word casino. As we drove up to the huge complex her eyes lit up and she got more excited. Getting a room was not easy and not cheap but we were very happy when we finally got into the room.

Before going to the hotel we went from the airport straight to a nearby hospital (this is the first time my mom is hearing about this). The eye infection I contracted a few days earlier was getting worse despite the antibiotic drops that I was self administering. In fact the drops were further irritating my eye and more worrisome than that my vision in that eye was becoming cloudy. The AWYRP Medical Centre is a private hosptial located near the airport. It looked similar to the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at - marble, chrome, stainless steel and flourescent lights.

The service was very good and relatively quick. I saw a doctor and she prescribed a different drop with a steroid in it. At one point, I needed to make a phone call to see if Emperor's Palace had our discounted-rate reservation from SAA (of course they didn't). There were no payphones in the hospital (everyone uses mobiles in Africa) so one of the security guards actually walked me out to the street and waited next to me, on-guard, as I made the phone call. At this hospital if there is an unusally long wait in the 'Casualty' area they offer you free coffee or tea. By the way, Travel Medical insurance is a very, very good idea. I was able to contact RBC and they faxed over a form so I wasn't out of pocket for anything but my prescription. I'm sure the bill is pretty hefty at a place like that.

We waited 45 minutes for a taxi (cabs are very different in Jo'Burg, could be a crime thing) but we finally arrived at the hotel and after a bit of 'touch and go' at the front desk we checked-in. The room was great. A huge luxury from where we had been.

The next day my eye felt ok but my vision was even worse than the day before. It was like I was constantly looking  through a piece of white tissue paper. That morning I could barely see out of that eye and although I was trying to convince myself this was a side effect of the drops I couldn't prevent the thought that I was slowly going blind in one eye from creeping into my head. Also, the night before the doctor said if it wasn't better within 24 hours that I should go back to see them. I figured it was a good idea to seek further medical attention as we were leaving the next day for a 7 day safari. So, back to the hospital we went - after a trip to the airport. The doctor said everything looked ok and he said it would eventually clear-up, which it did.

So, even though we splurged to treat ourselves at a nice hotel, the time and stress of the trips to the airport and the hospital didn't allow us to take full advantage of it.

One of the errands we needed to do in Jo'burg was laundry. The hotel's rates were outrageous so we planned to go somewhere to do it ourselves. However, almost all our free time was spent dealing with flights and medical ailments so we had no choice but to hand our clothes, all of them, over to Emperor's Palace. They did an incredible job returning them individually shrink wrapped and deliverd in a wicker basket but together it cost us over $200 U.S.



Dave's Not so Happy Eye
Very Expensive Laundry


February 8, 2008
Wow, dude what an experience you're having. The photography is out of this world. The desert shot of a tree within a tree is amazing as well as the bushmen shots. Glad your 'sad eye' is better. You're still missed.

Terry and Mark:
February 13, 2008
Looking forward to your new journal entry...where is it? Did Namita lose it again? Back in Arizona and will be in Hawaii tomorrow. Hope to see some photos soon. Okay, enough pressure:)
Fuzzy Travel · Next »
Create blog · Login