Arriving in Durban

Durban Travel Blog

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Arriving in Durban, we wanted to avoid another Mauritius debacle at all cost, so we informed ourselves about places to stay, attractions and taxi prices, got cell phone service, exchanged money and sat down and had a relaxing coffee break, all before ever leaving the airport, where by the way they had the most stunning aquarium we had ever seen, which somehow contained a sizable chunk of live reef and an abundance of butterfly and angel fishes, wrasses, anemone fish, damsels, in short all the reef fish we had come to know and love in Madagascar.
When we arrived at the backpackers’ place we had picked based on recommendations, price, location and availability, we found our room to be miniscule, the bar area prone to loud partying and the swimming pool unusable, but absolutely wonderful people and an in-house excursion-agent, who would be able to help us go diving and such.
First of all, though, we had to resolve our issues at home and find a new tenant/petsitter. To that end we spent hours online emailing everybody we knew, fevering for responses, making international phone calls and worrying a great deal. In the midst of all this our current tenant without explanation or anything just cut the rent in half, so we considered throwing her out on the spot, which made everything even more convoluted. In the end, thanks to the intervening of our wonderful friend (and tenant of the downstairs apartment), Steve, everything worked out, but it was a big headache and a major waste of time.
Having to keep our mornings free for emailing and such, we could not really go on any diving or other day trips, but we spent a lot of afternoons exploring the city, going to absolutely all the areas we had been warned about, reveling in the amazing spice and fish markets, taking a harbor tour on a pleasure vessel, feeding exotic ducks in the botanical gardens and making friends. 
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photo by: mrgishi