Posts Tagged ‘Wihan’
In April 2011 Leon, Wihan and myself had the privileged of visiting Argentina. As colleagues we sell school tours to Argentina, but Travel and Sport felt that we should experience the product first hand.
Leon unfortunately fell sick a day before departure due to the fact that he had his yellow fever injection only 5 days before we left instead on 10 days. Happy to say he joined us half way through the trip and was still able to enjoy this beautiful country with us.
We were also accompanied by Bothaville high school tennis team who were travelling to Argentina to compete on clay courts for the first time in their lives. What a great experience that was for all of them.
A few things to note about the Argentineans are that they happen to be very very friendly, even though English is not a common language. Their Spanish is a little different to the European dialect but it will help you if you speak some Spanish. If you like night life, Argentina is the place for you! We often had dinner around 22h00, however for our groups we make special reservations for them to eat at normal South African times.
Our tour included the same itinerary as our groups and all three of us learnt a lot!
Our departure from Johannesburg to Buenos Aires was chaotic, as Wihan and I only found out Leon was sick on the morning of departure. The doctor would not allow him to travel such distances.
The flight to Buenos Aires departs in the morning due to the time difference and direction of travel, and it was a slightly unexpected long flight for us both. We were not prepared and didn’t have any reading material or personal music, the films played out and then we got very bored very quickly.
It was here that we met up with the Bothaville tennis players for the first time and the excitement in their faces and voices turned our attitudes around completely. We spent the rest of the flight discussing the tour and what each player expected from the tour, the boys wanted to win tennis games and most of the girls wanted to shop!!!
We arrived in Buenos Aires around 16h30 local time and we were met by the friendly face of Diego, our Travel and Sport agent. We were so lucky to have him as one of the teachers already lost a bag and we would not be able to locate it without a guide. Having a full time guide on the tour adds so much value to our tours.
We settled in to our accommodation, freshened up and then set our sights on a traditional Tango Show at the Carlos Cardell with our first taste of Argentinean Steaks. WOW!
The show includes a 3 course meal and all drinks and the dancers displayed tremendous skill performing variations of the Tango. The Tango tradition shines through and the show is a must see. I would however not attend/schedule it on the night of arrival as the flight is long and groups simple need to rest on the first night. We can be flexible with our standard tour and schools should take the number of days into consideration when making changes to the programme. We ended the evening off with a well deserved rest at the Duomi Hotel. It is a 4 star hotel with all the modern comforts. Groups are booked on a sharing basis and single rooms are available at an upgrade cost.
This day started with a 2-3 hour city tour of Buenos Aires , Maartin was our guide and explained how the population is divided by language and that there are large European communities present in the City.
It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed with the information overload but it is important to pick something out of each day to remember. My favourite for the day was a visit to the “City of Angels” which is a royal cemetery in the centre of the city. Families pay fees towards maintaining the tombs. This is where the famous Eva Peron or Evita is laid to rest and people still visit her tomb daily to give thanks to what she accomplished for the country.
The afternoon was set aside for tennis and Bothville had to make some adjustments from usually playing on cement to now playing on a clay surface. The number one seed adjusted to the clay very well and had a thrilling first match with real passion. Marius narrowly lost to his opponent 6-4, 7-5.
This evening the entire group went out for dinner and then headed to bed for an early night.
After two long days the morning was spent at leisure shopping in Florida Street. The street has every brand name store you can think of including a Louis Vuitton store. Everybody loved this and we all discovered ‘Havanna‘ the most delicate and delicious chocolates.
After lunch we transferred south to the Tigre and Delta tour, a famous connection of 3 rivers flowing through the city.
My favourite evening of the tour was the Opera Pampa, a traditional Spanish Opera show with dancers and horse riders combining to deliver an amazing performance. The setting is a huge rugby like field covered in sand with a stage on the one end. After the show a great meal was served in a cowboy themed setting with huge open fires where the meat was cooked. Drinks and salads were included as well. The group did not join us for this evening as they went to a local restaurant where they learnt the tango and enjoy dinner. They did however see Opera Pampa later on in the tour.
You will find a couple of shops where you can buy the best quality leather shoes or jackets Wihan bought a pair of shoes at a price you can only dream of in South Africa . He paid a little over R 400 for these shoes. You can also purchase beautiful INCA Rose jewellery here ranging from necklaces, bracelets or even studded earrings. Inca Rose is the national pink stone found only in and around Buenos Aires.
After breakfast we checked out and transferred to Mar del Plata, a coastal town where the hotel is situated 200 meters from the beach. This is a great place to relax and we played a little touch rugby on the beach even though this was a tennis tour.
The second tennis match was scheduled for the morning and was almost cancelled due to rainy weather. Luckily the guide made a few calls and the group travelled about 25 minutes by bus to a second location. Even the opposition travelled with our group – which made for a lot of mingling between the two teams. Despite the slow start the team played their matches.
The day was delayed and we had to move the Mar del Plata city tour to later that day but nobody was interested in the city tour, they wanted to play tennis and got well acquainted with their new friends.
After a little lunch and post match hospitality the entire group of boys and girls were found playing soccer on the field.
On day 6 the group transferred to Buenos Aires, where many went shopping on Florida Street. Others rested at the hotel while our colleague Leon arrived. He had arrived earlier and tried to catch up in Buenos Aires.
This evening the group went to The Opera Pampa show after our recommendations and the three of us along with our agent Diego transferred to Rosario further north of Buenos Aires. The longer tour usually includes a visit to Rosario so it only made sense for us to visit the area. We attended a rugby match at the Rosario Rugby Club (a club that travels to SA every two years).
After an English breakfast at the 5 star Ros Tower Hotel, we enjoyed a city tour including many famous monuments such as the Flags museum, which is where General Belgrano designed the Argentina flag as we know it today.
We did some shopping the rest of the afternoon while Bothaville competed in their 3rd and final match in Buenos Aires. We were told Rosario is very much the student town of Argentina much like Stellenbosch and therefore we had to experience the nightlife.
We checked out of our hotel early and transferred back to Buenos Aires early as we had a few things we wanted to buy and people to meet and greet before we transferred to the Airport for our return flight.
We arrived at O.R Tambo along with Bothaville high school and were met by our families; we said our goodbyes and parted ways until the schools next trip.
Due to the time difference between the two countries we experienced a little jetlag. Basic symptoms of Jetlag is headaches, irregular sleep patterns, disorientation and irritability. Symptoms don’t last too long from Argentina as you only travelling through one time zone.
One needs to get your body clock back to normal and the best way to do that is not to rest as soon as you get home, stay awake for as long as possible before turning to bed this evening, the sleep well be the best you ever had and you won’t struggle with Jetlag the following day.
Both Wihan and I experienced this differently; I was back to normal sleeping patterns after one day where Wihan struggled for around 3 days.
All and all we had an amazing time with Bothaville and thank Travel and Sport for providing such great opportunities for us.
Roanne Crouse & Wihan Bester
Travel & Sport was tydens die Junie / Julie vakansie by die VKB Rugbyweek in Reitz.
Daar is 12 provinsiale spanne wat in die week speel van regoor Suid – Afrika.
Uit die 12 spanne wat speel word daar 25 spelers gekies wat dan tydens die Oktober vakansie na Engeland en Skotland sal toer.
Baie geluk aan die 25 spelers wat gekies is en sterkte met jul toer.
Hiermee wil ek jou en Wihan Bester graag bedank en gelukwens met n uiters suksesvolle tennistoer na Argentinie. Baie dankie vir jul puik reelings en goeie organisasie. Alles het net altyd vlot verloop.
Ek wil jul in die besonder bedank vir die mooi manier waaarop jul met die kinders gewerk het. Dankie dat jul soveel moeite gedoen het om dit vir hulle lekker en maklik in n vreende land te maak.Ons as ouers weet nou as jul twee saam met ons kinders is, is hul veilig en in goeie hande. Dit sal met die grootste gemoedsrus wees dat ek my kind weer saam met jul sal laat toer.
Julle was uitstekend en ek sal jul graag aanbeveel as toerleiers waar ek ookal gaan. Baie dankie aan julle in die besonder en aan Travel and Sport wat dit vir ons kinders moontlik gemaak het om in die bevoorregte posisie te wees om op n oorsese toer te kon gaan.
Nogmaals dankie vir jul puik diens. Ek sal graag weer van Travel and Sport se dienste gebruik maak.
Dr C Maree
Welkom Medi Clinic
Hoërskool Uitsig will be participating in a hockey clinic in Stellenbosch.
They will depart in March for their Hockey school tour.
VKB Rugby will be traveling to Scotland and England for a school rugby tour in October 2011.
The rugby tour will be organised by Travel & Sport for a third consecutive year.
- They participated in a rugby tour to Italy in 2009
- They participated in a rugby tour to Argentina in 2010
- They will be participating in a rugby tour to Scotland and England in 2011.
Remember to book NOW for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
By Wihan Bester