South Africa Tour Diary

MY SOUTH AFRICA TOUR DIARY by ARCHIE JOHNSTON Year 9 Allison's

Day 1- Travelling

Today I was ecstatic because I was starting the tour to South Africa. I made my way to Shaw’s Bridge and as soon as I got there, I saw a huge bus .The bus was loaded up and we left for Dublin, a 2 hour journey.  When we made it to Dublin airport we quickly got through security and jumped onto the plane to London Heathrow. This flight was short and thankfully comfortable. When we got off, we had a bit of time before our flight to Cape Town so we just stayed at duty free and bought water and snacks for the flight. When it was time to board we quickly ran to the gate to board and we got there just in time. This plane journey was a little worse - 12 hours long and a night time flight.

Day 2 – Chill

Once we were off the plane, we quickly got our bags and jumped on the bus to Western Province Cricket Club. We just started with casual nets had lunch in the Club House and then set off for the hotel. The hotel was very nice and in a big complex. When we got to the hotel we all immediately jumped into the pool. After that we went out into the complex for dinner and then chatted in each other’s rooms until curfew and then we all went to sleep.

Day 3-Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy

Today I was excited because we were going to the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy. Gary is recognised as one of the best coaches in world cricket. We quickly got dressed and got  breakfast. We jumped on the bus and headed for Rondebosch. When we got there we met our high quality coaches for the day and then we warmed up and went straight into nets. After nets we went on to do some fielding drills and then we were out in the middle for a practice game. Overall the day was so much fun and I learned alot about the game of cricket and my own game. We got back to the hotel and then went out for dinner and got to bed ready for our first game tomorrow.

Day 4- The First Game

Today was our first game so we were all pretty excited and we got on the bus and headed for Claremont Cricket Club and we were ready to play Wynberg Boys High School,  the best cricket school in Cape Town. I was really excited but then I found out I was not playing and then I was really disappointed but it turned out well in the in end as I got to bat anyway. We ended up losing that game heavily as they were very strong and we were rusty. After the game we went back to Wynberg School for our dinner and then back to the hotel.

Day 5-Game 2

Today was game 2 and we got on the bus to go to Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC). We ended up winning our game and then we went to the clubhouse to watch a very exciting Under 18 game. After the Under 18 game was over we got dinner and then went back to the hotel and when curfew came we all went to sleep.

Day 6- Day Off

Today was our day off. We got on the bus and headed for the bottom of Table Mountain. Once we got there we got our tickets and jumped onto the cable car to the top. Once we were at the top the view was unbelievable - you could see the whole of Cape Town and more. After Table Mountain we took the bus down to the Waterfront and we got lunch then we got the boat to Robben Island. Robben Island was very interesting and unique and is obviously where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Day 7- Game 3 and Warehouse Shopping

Today we started off by going to the D&P cricket factory to see how cricket bats are made and we also had the chance to buy some kit there as well. After that we went down to a sports warehouse to shop, everyone mostly bought rugby tops!!! After that we went to St. Augustine Cricket Club where the Under18’s were just finishing up and clinching a win. We fortunately also won our game then got lunch and then went back to the hotel for a swim, dinner and curfew.

Day 8-Game 4

Today was our fourth game and we were heading for Western Province once again to play the Old Mutual Spartans. This game was a tight one but luckily we came up on top. We again had lunch in the clubhouse and then headed for the hotel for a relaxed night.

Day 9-Game 5

Today we headed for Coronation Cricket Club and it was an extremely hot day. We ended up winning this game comfortably. We then went to watch the Under 18’s game finish and then we had our dinner and a presentation. After all this we got the bus to Stellenbosch for our new hotel which was really nice with a huge pool and we had a Braai and a long night at the pool.

Day 10- Day off #2

Today we were going on Safari and it was a long journey but it was well worth it. The Safari was really fun - we got to see a lot of wildlife on a hot day including lions, elephants, buffalo and white rhino. After the Safari we went back to our new hotel for dinner and a swim in the pool.

Day 11- Last Game

Today was our last game and we all were so tired but still wanted to win. Sadly we lost the game against a strong Under 16 team. Afterwards we watched the Under 18’s have a great win and then watched them have a fun T20 game under floodlights  which made us all laugh and enjoy it. They had a great win and then it was back to our hotel for a bite to eat and  curfew.

Day 12- Last Day

Today was our last day so we tried to enjoy it as much as possible. In the morning we went to the cheetah outreach centre and we got to stroke a 55kg cheetah which was pretty cool. We had a tour of the whole place and the work they are doing. Once that was all finished we jumped on the bus to go to the airport. This time the flight was a lot better because we all slept through the whole thing. Once we jumped off this flight we immediately had to jump on our one to London. This flight was also quick and comfortable. We got off the plane and onto the bus to head for Belfast. Overall, the trip was very, very enjoyable and I learnt a lot about myself, cricket and my own game. I met new people and had a great experience.