I’m typically not a hotel person, but I LOVED everything about my hotel room in Messina. I stayed at a hotel smack in the middle of ugly Messina, but my room faced the back and overlooked the beautiful African sky and, you guessed it, a baobab!
I’ve previously mentioned that this is really a terrible time to travel in South Africa because of the World Cup Soccer matches and everything is booked and jacked up in price. When I called to check the prices of rooms, I was expecting to pay R500-R600 per night. You can imagine my panic at hearing one hotel wanting R1,200 per night! For a single room!!
The Limpopo River Lodge in Messina is recommended in many of the travel guides. While a single room at a regular rate is listed at R115 per night, after hearing R1,200 per night, I thought I was getting off pretty easy at R250 per night--especially during World Cup. And Limpopo River Lodge is where I stayed.
It was a small, modest room but spotlessly clean. (In fact, my bed was changed every single night and my towels washed—much to my “let’s conserve resources” dismay.) I had a private bath WITH A SHOWER! I took a hot shower every single day whether I needed it or not. (Since my move to the trailer, minus a hot water heater, I fully relate, now, to other PC Volunteers who are always eagerly anticipating a hot shower!)
Also, there was no evidence of spiders, scorpions, snakes and the like, so for a full week, I slept out from under a mosquito net in full, no worry bliss! Although I originally balked at the anti-malarial prophylaxis, (for me, 6 weeks of doxycycline), I’m glad I was taking it, as I did receive mosquito bites!
But the best thing of all, and I feel somewhat ashamed to admit this, was that it HAD A TV WITH A 24-HOUR MOVIE CHANNEL!! I binged on movies! It was wonderful. It wasn't a premium movie channel, so I didn't get to see anything recently released, but I didn't care. I had a wonderful time rewatching Australia This was one of the major -motion pictures I saw before leaving the States: I delighted --and had forgotten--the "let's all live together even though our skin colors are different" themes and I think a baobab may have featured in one of the lovey-dovey scenes. Do baobabs grow in Australia? I saw Tom Cruise's Valkyrie, a Harry Potter film, a documentary on Annie" Leibovitz (LOVED it!), something with Martha Plimpton--regardless, I loved, loved, loved watching movies.
And of course, I had the lovely South African skyline right outside my window!
I was clean, safe, and happy!