Friday, June 25
Port Elizabeth - Grahamstown
One good option for getting to Bloemfontein for sunday's match is today's 3pm train. It only costs 130 Rand and includes a night's accommodation on board. Camper Van Nick, however, has come up with a cunning plan to take us to a festival in nearby Grahamstown en route.
Rich won't be coming. Although he is guaranteed a ticket for the Germany match he needs to be back at work on monday. He had been hoping for England to play in Rustenburg on saturday, but now there is no way he can get back from Bloemfontein to London in time.
Grahamstown is one of the most attractive towns in all of South Africa. Actually, the drive in puts one in mind of Derbyshire both in terms of the local nature and the architecture of this former frontier town. This is a little piece of nineteenth century protestant England plonked near the southern tip of the African continent.
It is also the festival capital of South Africa. There is another part to Nick's ingenious plan: he will sleep in his van with a female friend he met in Cape Town, while the rest of us kip down on the floor of her bungalow situated on the aptly named Africa Road.
While most England fans are singing 'ten German bombers' in Bloemfontein square, we instead find ourselves hanging out in temperatures of minus five with a bunch of hippies and young university students in the back of beyond. Italy and France are crap. The World Cup has never been this strange before.