Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Europcar, my travel partner.


For a travel writer who is often on the road,
car hire can become a nightmare.
I was very grateful when Europcar stepped in to take care of my "wheels"
My first port of call with my new sponsor was Upington...
A town that offers much more than I had imagined.
The staff that I dealt with at the Upington International Airport
were friendly and efficient and made the whole process painless.
In case you are wondering about the "International" prefix,
the airport welcomes cargo flights directly from overseas destinations.
And aside from friendly Europcar staff,
it also has one of the longest runways in Africa (4.99km)

This was NOT my rental...

Yes, the boot(trunk) was big enough to fit
my luggage...

 This mission station was established in 1875 and run by Reverend Christiaan Schröder. 
It is now home of the Kalahari Orange Museum.
In the grounds is a statue of a Donkey by Hennie Potgieter.
Called " Arbeidsaamheid", the statue honours the contribution 
that this animal made here during the early days of the 19th century 

Posing for a picture.
I really did enjoy driving this vehicle
and it got me to my final destination (Pofadder) in comfort.

A hotel room that time forgot?
My accommodation at the Pofadder Hotel.
Sweets and chips instead of chocolates on the bed.

Next on the travel list...
Cape Town.
Once again, the staff at Cape Town Airport were helpful and friendly.
The paprework was quickly completed
and my wife and I were on our way within a few minutes.
Just a suggestion...
could staff show customers where the petrol cap release is.
Very embarrassing when I tried to fill up and cannot find it.
A small "niggle", but easily fixed.

We were staying at three properties while in the Mother City.
The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa...a MUST visit destination.
In fact it was so spectacular, that we parked the car
and did not leave the hotel for two days!

We spent a night at this MORE Hotel...
one of the only two "non game lodge" properties.
The Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel can be found just off  Kloof Street.

If you want honey in your tea or on your cereal,
you cannot get better than this!
Fresher than fresh and straight from the hive.

The second hotel, MORE Quarters is directly behind
and can easily be accessed by a short alley.
The accommodation here was almost Mediterranean in feel
and my wife liked it so much that she wanted to buy this room!
Self catering and both hotels have secure off street parking.
Important when you have a rental car

Such a comfortable bed...pity that we were there for only one night.

A short walk along Kloof Street with Table Mountain
as a backdrop

I was unaware that Europcar had offices away from airports.
My collection/drop off was at the Sandton Eye.
Here I was assisted by Glen and Richard.
Even though they were 6 floors below ground level,
they were both cheerful and a pleasure to deal with.
Once again the transactions were speedily dealt with
and I only lingered to chat and take pictures.
Well done guys, you do Europcar proud

I thought that the Micra had a tiny boot(trunk)
but as you can see, it was actually deceptively large.
Both of our suitcases as well as my camera bag, laptop
and tripod went in with space to spare.

On our way to our final destination, I stopped in Swartruggens
to photograph this church.

Madikwe Safari Lodge...our accommodation...

Not quite a zebra crossing,
but I did stop to take a picture.

My penultimate destination of 2015
Prana Beach Lodge,
just outside East London

Considering that it was early in the morning,
when we landed in East London.
Ayanda was most helpful and friendly...

This is Thato at the ORT branch of Europcar.
What a nice young man...service with a smile.
I had no idea where the car rentals were at the airport,
and despite some confusing ACSA signage,
I eventually found what I was looking for.
I had requested a Stepway which was ready and waiting for collection.
To date, all my interactions with this company have been
fast, efficient and very friendly.
Time to head North...well NW actually...
The Waterberg beckons. 

In my dealings with this company to date
 I have only met with friendly and efficient staff
who have a passion for their customers.
Based on my experiences over the past few months
and in three different cities, I highly recommend them
Europcar, the official car rental supplier
to "Travel & Things"


         

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