.. but trust me on the sunscreen - 22 January 2005

South Africa: where I've seen thing you people wouldn't believe. The mighty hippo's nostrils. I watched mad taxis glitter in the dark near every stop. Sudden storms like tears from ten billions eyes. Beautiful people in a fantastic country. Time to remember.

The empire of the Sun

Direction Sun CityAt 5.30 a.m. the sun is already punching your closed eyelids, down there in South Africa. You wake up and think "damn, must be at least twelve o'clock" but no, it's morning, early morning.
No time to wake up properly, cause I was already on the car, traveling with family and friends, direction Sun City.
After less than an hour of traveling (or maybe more than 2 hours... I was sleeping or trying to finish Salem's Lot...) we arrived at the destination.

Now, how to describe Sun City?

Entrering the forgotten empireFew years ago, gambling wasn't legal in South Africa, so Sun City, just over the border, was the ideal place to build a Las Vegas style casino, with hotels and resorts. The casino, from outside, still looks big. The resorts, including golf courses, swimming pools and fake massive ruins of some central american civilization are just nothing short of incredible.

But now gambling has been declared legal, so the feeling inside the casino of a "forgotten time" is something strongly real, in this Serious dancingkingdom of lies. Empty halls without any roulette or black jack or poker tables. Few slot machines in the welcome Fake Elephanthall. Many fast food and people walking in shorts or bikinis, enjoying a break from the swimming pool. And a single, lonely, teenage dance arena. Like any other casino in Las Vegas without the glitter, the money, and the mexican guys with prostitute's flyers.

Basically everyone, instead of enjoying wasting money, enjoys the sun the massive pools and water riders. Who's the winner then?

The Balls BreakerI love water rides. Big pipes with quick thrills. With the whole crew (Lindsey, Jill, Kirsten, parents, Ashley and Shari) we tried almost all the attractions. While some were not too scary, the balls-breaker was fantastic. All you had to do was launch yourself on a almost vertical slide and, after what it seemed a free fall, stop, somehow, somewhere, many meters below. With your leg crossed. Repeat. Leg crossed. I forgot, and the water hit me on my poor family's jewels. I still walk kind of funny.

But the big attraction, the one that everyone was waiting for, was the big waves in the main swimming pool. Few weeks ago I would have called it the tsunami, but it seems that writing stuff like "I enjoyed the tsunami in Sun City" is now bad taste. Well, tsunami is just a word, and was invented long before what sadly happened at the end of 2004.
Every hour, a series of massive waves would hit the swimming pool, for the joy of all the kid, parents and swimmers trying to ride'em. I did many and many times. Yes, I enjoyed the (Sun City's) tsunami.

Ready for the wave Big Wave Coming!

After a relaxing sessions in the big tubes on the lazy river, I decided to focus and finish my book after the mighty South African sun. That was my bigIndian Jonesgest mistake ever. No sun protection. Just me, a book, a big tube which I was sitting on, and the power of the strongest bastard ever created, the Sun. He won, but I realized it only the day later, when my skin was screaming in pain...

I spent almost an hour walking around the resorts, around the sweet hills and the "oh my god a forgotten civilization" path with Lindsey. Lindsey in the jungleWearing a shirt. My skin was trying to get some attention. The path was long, intricated, and looked almost like an original jungle (or at least my idea of a real jungle). I took some nice pictures and I guess I can pretend I was living the real deal.

We left in the evening, when the sun started to play I spy with my yellow eye with the horizon at the sunset, and I was exhausted. But happy. Swimming, reading, inflicting pain on my skin. You know, can be tiring.

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