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Bedding in at base camp

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James Pearce | 07:31 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

As one of the first of the BBC's World Cup sports correspondents to arrive in South Africa, I'm part of the advance party that touched down on 1 June, although anybody who follows me on Twitter will know that I only got here after a rather eventful flight - a fire broke out in one of the plane's engines while it was heading onto the runway at Heathrow.

Everybody on board was fine, but I was bombarded with messages from people asking if I thought that this was an omen for England's World Cup hopes also "going up in flames".

Well, I don't believe that England coach Fabio Capello is one who worries about omens. He prefers to concentrate on meticulous preparation - and after a couple of days in England's base city of Rustenburg, I've already seen the benefits of some of that planning.

It's easy to see why Capello was keen to stay in Rustenburg. First, of course, it's the venue for his team's first match, against the United States, so travelling is reduced.

There's also the advantage of being able to stay at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus, which has accomodation and training facilities on the same site.

Add in to all that the benefits of training at altitude, as well as the lack of WAG-friendly hotels and shopping nearby, and you can see why there was a compelling argument for the Football Association to choose Rustenburg.

I'm going to be following the England team in South Africa for as long as they remain in the tournament. That means that when I checked into my hotel I did so for 42 nights.

I've rarely checked into a hotel for five nights, let alone 42, so you'll understand why I have more than a passing interest in Rustenburg and its environs. It could be my home for six weeks. So far I'm happy to report that I've liked what I've seen.

I hope that the locals here, my new neighbours, won't be too offended if I say that Rustenburg isn't one of the first places to which a tourist to South Africa is likely to head.

ground595getty.jpgThe Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg hosts England's opening match against the US

The truth is that there isn't much here. The area is best known for platinum mining - 76% of the world's platinum is mined here. Interesting, yes, but not quite Table Mountain or the Kruger National Park.

But that's not to say that the area doesn't have character. It does. Some of the scenery is stunning and the welcome that I've been given could hardly have been more friendly.

All in all, it's perfect for a team trying to win the World Cup. A pleasant place to stay that doesn't have many distractions.

The distractions that do exist are not necessarily those to which the England players will be accustomed. For example, the first night at my hotel I was fast asleep when I was woken by a loud noise at 2am.

We've all read the scare stories about security in South Africa, so I quickly decided somebody was trying to break into my room.

I sat up in bed, trying to remain as calm as I could, but deep down beginning to panic a little. Then it suddenly dawned on me what was happening. Nobody was trying to break into my room. It was the monkeys that I'd seen earlier in the evening.

They were jumping over the roof and next to one of my windows. This was the best of South African wildlife making itself known, not the worst of its society.

The incident reminded me not to jump to conclusions too quickly, advice I would pass on to all those lucky enough to be coming here for the World Cup.

Travel here with an open mind. The South Africans are determined to put on a show to remember. I'm confident that they'll succeed.

Finally, while we're on the subject of advice, here's something that the hundreds of thousands of tourists heading this way would do well not to ignore. Don't travel light!

Bring your T-shirts and sun cream, but also bring a thick coat. I've never been anywhere with such contrasting temperatures.

In the daytime, the sun is so strong you'll find yourself seeking shelter. But once it starts to go down, so does the thermometer - quickly and dramatically. It seems temperatures can plummet around 20 degrees in the space of an hour. You've been warned.

Let's hope that the players have as well. If one of them catches a cold we'll no doubt be told that that's yet another bad omen!

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:00am on 03 Jun 2010, THFC6061 wrote:

    I think England will have a good World Cup, as the playing conditions will be slightly in their favour during the South African winter.

    At the very least, I expect England to make the Quarter Finals and if they manage to progress any further than that, it would be a very welcome bonus.

    Here's England's full World Cup history, including games played in both the Qualification stage and the Finals, from 1950 to 2010:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 2. At 09:00am on 03 Jun 2010, ELK11 wrote:

    the logistics seem perfect for world cup preparation, but i am quite disappointed that England, a country who will most probably have the largest following of traveling fans in South Africa, will be playing in the smallest stadium against the USA, and if we top our group again in the last 16. It just doesn't really make any sense when you consider North Korea are playing in an 80,000 capacity stadium where the final will take place, then in a 66,000 seat stadium.

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  • 3. At 09:28am on 03 Jun 2010, JoC wrote:

    Wow James, that temperaure drop is massive - What are conditions likely to be at kick-off time on 12th June?

    I've heard some pitches at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus have exactly the same grass, cut to exactly the same length as the stadium used in England's opening game..so no excuse there heh?

    As for you, could the hotel not erect some sort of temporary netting to stop those cheeky monkeys climbing/banging on your hotel roof at night or supply you with some ear-plugs at least it's not the vuvuzelas? Here's hoping the rest of your 42 night stay is a good one!

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  • 4. At 09:30am on 03 Jun 2010, Gurin Jeimuzu wrote:

    @ #2 ElK11

    The venues for matches were chosen before they even knew what teams would be playing there. In other words Match 5 (England vs USA) was always going to be played at Rustenburg, only after the World Cup draw took place, did we know which teams would be playing in those pre-determined locations.

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  • 5. At 09:32am on 03 Jun 2010, BCOXFORD wrote:

    Nice piece. How cold is it exactly in Jo'burg / Rustenburg in the evening? Are we talking below freezing? I will be flying out next week and would like to know...

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  • 6. At 09:39am on 03 Jun 2010, CharlieDontSurf wrote:

    42 nights? Typical over-optimism of the British media :)

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  • 7. At 09:47am on 03 Jun 2010, Hold those Cue Cards wrote:

    42 nights? At World Cup rates? That's a lot of license payers money. Couldn't they just give you a tent?

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  • 8. At 09:54am on 03 Jun 2010, lammergeier wrote:

    Good advice about packing everything.

    http://www.weathersa.co.za/web/

    Strange about the monkeys making noise at night!!?? They tend disappear at night and hide and you dont see them. Something must have disturbed them.

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  • 9. At 09:57am on 03 Jun 2010, lammergeier wrote:

    PS Bloemfontein is colder at night than Joburg, but hotter during the day. e.g. -2 to 23 degrees on Tuesday.

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  • 10. At 10:17am on 03 Jun 2010, eddie-george wrote:

    Won't be much above freezing in Rustenberg, Jhb, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, in the evenings. So be sure to wrap up when you are out, the sun goes down around 5.30 and it gets cool pretty quickly.

    I do think you are a little melodramatic however about how warm it gets - yes, low 20s on a good day, but it is a dry, pleasant warm, there will be no humidity to talk about, you shouldn't be sweating. I guess your average sun-starved Pom will need some sunscreen, but the UV count is low at this time of year so you can spend your time outdoors and not worry too much.

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  • 11. At 10:18am on 03 Jun 2010, Rusty99 wrote:

    Good article; I spent some time living & working in Rustenburg - Great town! The temperatures in winter can go down below freezing! Ice on the windscreen etc, but it will be around 15C during the day, maybe higher. Remember the sunscreen & lip ice - Highveld winters are high UV & dry. Don't worry about the Kruger Park, the Pilansberg game reserve is 30 mins drive from Rustenburg - compact; has the big 5; and no malaria!

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  • 12. At 10:27am on 03 Jun 2010, eddie-george wrote:

    One other note about the weather - at this time of year especially, there's a world of difference between Joburg, Cape Town, Durban and Nelspruit for example.

    I won't bore you with my old geography tutorials, but the different regions of SA get very different winters, so be sure to get some local tips on what you will need.

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  • 13. At 10:34am on 03 Jun 2010, the_voice_of_reason wrote:

    I can't see England progressing past the last sixteen so hopefully the BBC will send a lot of their staff back from South Africa early so saving the licence fee payer a shed load of money.

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  • 14. At 10:38am on 03 Jun 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    Oh the optimism of some people - 42 nights? Reckon you'll be home a lot sooner than that.

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  • 15. At 11:50am on 03 Jun 2010, Benyathi wrote:

    I am very disappointed because my favorite player Theo was not picked. But with all the Negativity that British media has been doing towards this World cup in an African soil, I wish England gets knocked out in the Group stages.

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  • 16. At 12:02pm on 03 Jun 2010, HantsCricketFan wrote:

    It does beg the question EXACTLY what is the cost to the license payer of covering the World Cup. The BBC do seem to like to send a large number of staff to cover events. I remember Chris Hollins going to Hamburg for the Europa League final to interview people outside the stadium for Breakfast News. Why? Surely he could have interviewed Fulham fans in West London for a quarter of the cost to the license payer?

    I have a sneaking suspicion England may go all the way in this tournament. Why? Not entirely sure. They are not the best team there by some distance but then neither were Italy four years ago or most teams that lift the trophy. What is needed is the easiest route to the final and some luck and on that front England are half way there. Capello is no-nonsense and I can't help thinking all the experimenting we've seen in the last two friendlies will have given him a starting XI and the right tactic to take England forward. Also ignoring Lampards last two, Lampard, Gerrard, Milner and Rooney have consistently put away penalties all season so I fancy our luck to change if it comes to the end of extra-time although hopefully they won't be needed.

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  • 17. At 12:02pm on 03 Jun 2010, Rovers Return - HKR AWAY DAYS wrote:

    "42 nights? At World Cup rates? That's a lot of license payers money. Couldn't they just give you a tent?"

    People actually still pay their tv licence?

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  • 18. At 12:41pm on 03 Jun 2010, hifirob wrote:

    Following on from a few points, it would be very interesting to know what the total bill the BBC is expecting to pay for its coverage. We've already heard the stories about the custom-built studio, but how many non-essential reporters will be there. What's the betting that general radio programmes are broadcast from there. In these times of austerity, should the BBC consider how much will be spent and whether these costs are truly needed. Does it really matter if the Radio 5 Breakfast show is broadcast from SA? Probably not. So, Mr Sports Editor, please answer and justify!

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  • 19. At 1:06pm on 03 Jun 2010, Jimmy Jazz - These Are The Champions wrote:

    Whay are we, the license payers, paying for you and all your cronies to be in South Africa for so long?

    Also, BBC journalists in SA should be covering the WC for BBC Radio, BBC TV, BBC online and any World Service programmes. You should be working very hard while you are there and not on a jolly. Your accommodation should also be reasonable but not luxurious, rented apartments or 4 star hotels at best.

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  • 20. At 1:11pm on 03 Jun 2010, War horsie wrote:

    Some fantastic England World Cup stats at http://www.myfootballfacts.com/ENGLANDWORLDCUPRECORD.html

    However, I have a question - In 1978, we played 6 world cup qualifying games: we won 5 of them, and only lost 1... so how come we didn't qualify for the tournament??

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  • 21. At 1:12pm on 03 Jun 2010, NewCEng wrote:

    Yes, value for money for licence payers is important. The BBC gets many many hours of programming from a World Cup so you have to factor that into the cost/hr of programming. Period drama which everyone says the BBC should do more of, is horrendously expensive. In fact the most expensive programming that the BBC does running into £m's per hour. It would be interesting to see how World Cup coverage compares.

    James Pearce, can you find out for us ?

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  • 22. At 1:12pm on 03 Jun 2010, Kalbopapa wrote:

    Us normal fans are having real problems getting a room in Rustenburg for the match. Collected the ticket last weekend but up to now no luck with the room.

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  • 23. At 1:26pm on 03 Jun 2010, WC Lion wrote:

    There have been some extremely negative comments about BBC WC coverage already, specifically about value for money. It just goes to show that in a democracy you will always get the lunatic fringe who cant spot a good deal or just like to complain for the sake of it. Covering the biggest sporting event in the world will take quite a number of jornos and support staff. Producing it (simultaneously) on radio,internet and tv will take a numner of dedicated proffesionals and not just 2 boffins from a shed, based outside of Durham...The fact that the BBC realises that this event comes around once every 4 years and the chances that quite a large proportion of the country are going to be interested in it more then justifies the amount of money that is going to spent on in and that frankly is worth slightly over £100 a year in any ones books! £100 to see the best footballers on the best pitches in HD whilst getting upto date information streamed to you via the internet whilst getting commentry and pundatry from several different sources (via 'the red button') whilst getting radio interviews from footballers and couches from all the countries concerned are just some of the hallmarks of excellence and blanced viewing I expect from the Beeb, if you want shoddy ott overly jingoistic 'journalism' then watch sky sports news...

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  • 24. At 1:26pm on 03 Jun 2010, dave2006 wrote:

    I don't mind journalists going out the the world cup and even being optimistic for 42 days - whoever gets to the final, someone will need to cover it - but what I don't get is why we need several depts setting up camp there - BBC Sport (presumably they think it's 'thier' world cup),BBC News, Five Live etc... No doubt CBeebies and the One Show will be broadcast live from there as well.

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  • 25. At 1:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, bigoll wrote:

    I don't understand why any UK (or other nationality) journalists/commentators need to go to the World Cup or any other major event. The camera work is done by the host nation and cannot be influenced. So all you lot are doing is going on a jolly to provide voice-overs that could be done from home, or writing articles that could be done by anyone else who watched the game on TV. As for access to the England camp, I think most fans would rather you kept away.

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  • 26. At 1:32pm on 03 Jun 2010, hatterdan wrote:

    The whole point of rustenburg as a host city is you can lose your hard won at Sun City. Beats a day out at Blackpool anyway. You could enjoy Hartbeespoort dam as well.

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  • 27. At 1:33pm on 03 Jun 2010, Durbannite wrote:

    I am very diappointed that ther are no England games played in Durban, by the way the team should have stayed in Durban as it is the coolest place to be, we dont have winter on this side, its summer al the year round,whilst everyone is coplaining about the whether in Jo'burg, Rustenburg and Cape Town, i am dowm at the beach for a swim before i get to work, where else in the world you can go to the beach 1st before work. Wish England the best on this World Cup but sorry to tell you that this Cup is going to one of the African countries this time, watch out for Bafana Bafana, All those England fans comming down to SA must make sure that they get Vuvuzela's and a warm welcome SA is the best place to be for the world cup and beyond. feel it, it is here. Siyabonga(thank you.

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  • 28. At 1:35pm on 03 Jun 2010, JamesJester wrote:

    What a relief the BBC are covering the World Cup, ITV's coverage of all sport is shocking at best....oh and no advert breaks too........... :)

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  • 29. At 1:42pm on 03 Jun 2010, Jedra wrote:

    Good Lord, I wish people would stop going on about cost and 'licence payers money' - it's not as if you would get a refund if no-one went to the World Cup. Do we want the best journalism and the best broadcast service or not? Compared to other broadcasters, the BBC's fee is a pittance and more often than not, the coverage of sporting events is second to none (and I include the razzle dazzle nonsense of Sky Sports in that comparison).

    Imagine if we actually won the thing and the BBC weren't there and all it got was an 'and finally' slot on the BBC news (yes, I know this is the ITV news catchphrase). There would be a public outcry and questions asked in the house.

    Come on, forget about the money and get behind the BBC and the England team! I am so excited about this world cup, more than any other I have witnessed since the first one I took any notice of in 1978.

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  • 30. At 1:49pm on 03 Jun 2010, fargaman wrote:

    winters in South Africa can be very deceptive - particularly on the highveld (Joburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg, even Bloemfontein)

    I think there will be many, many british fans who will be duped by the lovely warm sunshine during the day; who will be out and about in their shorts and teeshirts, and who will be left stranded when the sun sets.

    Being stuck in summer kit in zero degrees in an icy stadium at night will not be pleasant - so dont forget to also bring the clothes
    you would normally wear to your average english league game at the height of the season....jackets, scarves, hats and gloves.

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  • 31. At 1:55pm on 03 Jun 2010, piggeh wrote:

    Stop moaning about the licence fee costs! 3 years I've had to put up with paying for a never ending stream of rubbish (except Dr Who maybe). I'm glad they're spending a bit to make the world cup a bit more immersive!

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  • 32. At 1:57pm on 03 Jun 2010, Expatde wrote:

    Nothing to do there??? What about Pilanesberg National Park the 4th Largest Park in SA, 55 000 hectares is size! and has the big 5!! Nothing for the WAGS?? Sun City is less than 30k away. Are you in the same Bafokeng as I was last year? Ok you have 42 days to go, I would suggest you look on a map and try for both, but for Pilanesburg you need to be there at first light.

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  • 33. At 2:03pm on 03 Jun 2010, NewCrossPotter wrote:

    I am one of the fans lucky enough to be travelling to South Africa so I'll be on the look out for monkeys. However I am staying in the relative warmth and low level of Durban (averages 20C in June) so I am hoping I'll only need a couple of jumpers to see me through my 12 days and 3 matches. It is nice to know that the locals are friendly, scare stories of crime seem to be very prevalent in the British media. Please pass on any other useful tips, only 6 days before we fly out, can't wait!!!

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  • 34. At 2:08pm on 03 Jun 2010, EddieRooo wrote:

    The negative, jealous "license payers money" comments have prompted me to make an account. You read the whole article and then feel the need to question why it has been written? How do you think an article on "England's base camp" would have been written from London? Think it through people. Things need to be booked in advance, so erring on the side of caution (ie England doing well) makes perfect sense, given that booking for the first 2 weeks on the off chance England don't get through their group will backfire when they do and there is no hotel availability. There is nothing I want more than the bbc to provide the best coverage they can and give a feel for what is it like out there and how England are doing (having said that I leave in 2 days :P). If you can't call on a large chunk of your resources to cover an event as important (and widely viewed) as the WORLD CUP then you are doing something wrong.

    I do agree with 32. that Sun City is nearby but the players themselves won't be going anywhere near there I'd imagine, so in that way the WAGs will be seperated.

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  • 35. At 2:11pm on 03 Jun 2010, geary101 wrote:

    Interesting read and looking forward to updates throughout the world cup.

    All you people out there moaning about the lisence fee...GET A LIFE!

    This is a football blog not a blog for all you tight fisted people to let off steam about how unfair the bbc is!

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  • 36. At 2:13pm on 03 Jun 2010, Simples1888 wrote:

    Bigoll-Spot on!

    Why do journalists need to go to a World Cup 11 days before it starts as part of an "advance party"?? You are a journalist not an athlete!! Do you need to acclimatise yourself to the surroundings or is it your just of on a jolly for a few weeks at the License payers expense?? I think the latter.

    Who cares if monkey's woke you up, it just shows you have nothing to report on, so why are you there already before the team is??

    Irrelevant post, paid for by the public........ what a waste of money!!

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  • 37. At 2:20pm on 03 Jun 2010, K wrote:

    As to Amberstone's question, I believe the following may provide an insight.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_(UEFA)

    Statistically this was the hardest world cup finals to qualify for.

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  • 38. At 2:22pm on 03 Jun 2010, Hawthornman wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 2:29pm on 03 Jun 2010, Simples1888 wrote:

    In response to K & Amberstone;

    Who cares about World Cup statistics? Bore-tastic!

    I've got a quick quiz for you- You did't qualify for the 1994 World Cup because;

    A) You were rubbish
    B) You thought you better than you actually were (mmmmm, sounds familiar)
    C) You had Carlton Palmer in your team
    D) All of the above

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  • 40. At 2:32pm on 03 Jun 2010, Damo77 wrote:

    Regarding Amberstones question about England failing to qualify for 1978 world cup....

    Unfortunately Italy also won 5 and lost 1 but scored 3 more goals than England along the way so qualified on goal difference.

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  • 41. At 2:33pm on 03 Jun 2010, BozBoswell wrote:

    Glad someone has finally noted the temperatures. I worked in various remote locations on the High Veld in the early 90s and it got very cold in the Winter, which, of course it is down there. We were in caravans and certainly noticed when it got down to minus 20 degrees C. With kick off at 8.30 local time we might not see many bare chests!

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  • 42. At 2:43pm on 03 Jun 2010, Ing-Ger-Lund wrote:

    What is all this whining about the licence fee?! The World Cup is the best sporting event in the world and only come around every 4 years. Surely it deserves the best coverage possible, something that can only be provided by the BBC.

    I for one am happy for them to spend whatever they see fit to provide the best coverage they can. We've already payed the licence fee so what does it matter? It's not like we're all having to stump up an extra £50 each.

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  • 43. At 2:50pm on 03 Jun 2010, Sir Raulph wrote:

    At No 8 lammergeier wrote

    "Strange about the monkeys making noise at night!!?? They tend disappear at night and hide and you dont see them. Something must have disturbed them."

    Probably it was a Paparatzi building his strategic telephoto-lense camera bunker overlooking the training camp that disturbed the monkeys!

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  • 44. At 2:51pm on 03 Jun 2010, James Pearce wrote:

    Thanks for all your comments so far. In response to questions about the temperature: This morning there was a hard frost on the ground when I left my hotel at 0630, but by 0900 it was suncream sunshine at the England hotel. In response to questions about cost: I should point out that it will be 42 nights if England get to the final. The BBC team will be scaled back accordingly if England are knocked out. And you can rest assured that the hotel is only 3 star. I can promise you that I will do everything that I can to make sure that you get excellent coverage from the World Cup. If there are any stories that you'd like to see us cover or if you have any good ideas, then please do let us know. All the best, James

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  • 45. At 3:09pm on 03 Jun 2010, THFC6061 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 3:43pm on 03 Jun 2010, forest_fire1979 wrote:

    All the comments on here about the cost to the license fee payers smacks of jealousy. If the Beeb coverage wasn't up to scratch then the same people would be the first to bemoan the lack of investment by the Beeb. As a previous poster said, fringe lunatics.

    Personally compared to the cost of Sky the BBC is excellent value for money.

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  • 47. At 3:51pm on 03 Jun 2010, Red_Devil_85 - Sheldon Coopers Therapist wrote:

    I am have been taken back by the negativity of the British media in relation to staging the world cup in South Africa. For a Continent with the worlds poorest people living in it, this is a chance for them to show what they are all about. Yet we complain about such trivial things its truely pathetic but thats British for you I guess.

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  • 48. At 4:00pm on 03 Jun 2010, David_Thirsty wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 49. At 4:22pm on 03 Jun 2010, bringonjune20 wrote:

    Great article JP!
    After all the negative publicity surrounding this World Cup, it's great to see someone saying something positive. Yes, there may be isolated incidents as ever but on the whole this World Cup will be incredible - South Africa and her people will not let it be a failure.

    Also, enjoy your 42 night stay. All those complaining are being ridiculous, I'm sure you have logged enough hours to enjoy a long trip (albeit a busy one). The phrase 'jealousy makes you nasty' comes to mind.

    It's time for Africa to shine :-)

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  • 50. At 4:38pm on 03 Jun 2010, JoC wrote:

    #44 James wrote: If there are any stories that you'd like to see us cover or if you have any good ideas, then please do let us know.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Cheers..James - where's the best place to send/post suggestions?

    Here's a slightly little purile one - why not adopt a little 'toy' monkey mascot from your hotel (similar to the one's giving you sleepless nights) and have a little competition between the team to see if you can get it featured on other blogs, TV spots and player interviews etc - doesn't matter if it's stories with reporters from other countries - then post humourous entries along with your blog. It could be famous in years to come! ;)

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  • 51. At 4:42pm on 03 Jun 2010, mr_hag wrote:

    48 David_Thirsty wrote:
    This is amusing for footie fans who want a funny look at the world cup.
    http://fatheadsworldcup2010.blogspot.com
    ____________________

    About as amusing as a well hung parliament....

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  • 52. At 4:50pm on 03 Jun 2010, Patrick wrote:

    I live in Johannesburg. Can't wait for the World Cup to start. I hope England win the tournament. We watch more Live English soccer in SA than anywhere else in the world. As for the crime - same as anywhere in the world. As a tourist you stand out like a sore thumb. Easy target anywhere. Great country to live in. Welcome England and all the other teams.

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  • 53. At 5:17pm on 03 Jun 2010, johnboy1977 wrote:

    the scots make me laugh saying 42 nights is optimistic, yesterday i was in a thread where they were picking their first 11 for the euro championship finals! not the qualifiers!
    i was kind enough to just look on and keep my trap shut, pity they dont do the same.

    you dont have to explain your "only 3 star hotel" to us james, but it might explain the monkeys.

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  • 54. At 6:21pm on 03 Jun 2010, Dave Sarley wrote:

    Can't wait, I've got 6 nights booked in a B&B about 10 miles from the England hotel in Rustenberg for me and my 16 year old. We have Pilaansberg Park, zip lining, and sun city to look forward to as well as five games.

    Thanks for the advice about the weather, we'll be wrapped up for those night games.

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  • 55. At 6:32pm on 03 Jun 2010, lammergeier wrote:

    Sorry to get hung up on the monkeys thing, but are you sure they were monkeys and not bushbabies?

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  • 56. At 7:19pm on 03 Jun 2010, Rm wrote:

    To those here and those still coming - welcome. Yup - we can't wait either - the energy is definitely building.
    The vibe at the games in incredibly different - very loud (but not unbearable); very colorfull; vibrant and a whole pile of fun. Sit back and enjoy.
    Oh ... and dont worry about the hot or cold temeprature..we also have beer. Apparently it is useful for soothing the heat and can also warm a chilly night.
    Go Bafana...yea and England too.

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  • 57. At 8:11pm on 03 Jun 2010, kate wrote:

    I am not a football fan but a geography teacher, and was reading the site to see where in the world the training camp is. I was, however, disappointed to see that you correspondent cannot spell ACCOMMODATION - not unsimilar to my yr 10 class. have a good world cup!

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  • 58. At 8:36pm on 03 Jun 2010, Imagine Reason wrote:

    Love the post, but it was marred by the disproven science at the end. Lab experiments have consistently FAILED to show that coldness leads to more colds. It is the congregation of people in closed spaces in the winter that leads to the transmission of airborne diseases; coldness has not been shown to increase susceptibility to such diseases. BBC shouldn't transmit such ideas in this day and age.

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  • 59. At 8:41pm on 03 Jun 2010, johnnyquick1 wrote:

    Any word about the new ball? I heard the keepers were threatening to strike...

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  • 60. At 11:20pm on 03 Jun 2010, loved_south_africa wrote:

    Went to South Africa for the British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour this time last year. Stayed for 3 weeks, absolutely fantastic country and people. Here are a few tips:
    Crime - we had read the reports but be vigilent and dont flash money or cameras etc around. Use the safes in the hotel. Follow the guidelines and you should be fine.
    Temperatures - Durban was fantastic, went swimming in the sea, Capetown was wet and windy, Johannesburg dry and warm (shorts weather)in the day but very cold when sun went down.
    Airports - I recommend that if you are flying between towns you pack a complete change of clothes in your hand luggage. Luggage often didn't arrive with the passenger but 24 hours later!
    Stayed in Pilansberg National Park - go see it, unbelievable.
    Enjoy South Africa, it truely is amazing.

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  • 61. At 00:11am on 04 Jun 2010, Nicholas wrote:

    59. At 8:41pm on 03 Jun 2010, johnnyquick1 wrote:
    "Any word about the new ball? I heard the keepers were threatening to strike..."


    Wow, a strike? That'd be harsh. Although I think the ball must really be ridiculous for so many people to complain about it - including managers and outfield players. Maybe they could all ask FIFA to replace the match balls with normal ones instead?

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  • 62. At 02:00am on 04 Jun 2010, David_Thirsty wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 02:14am on 04 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    I think the BBC should only employ people on a volunteer basis, make them sleep on the streets and only feed them bread. It´s outrageous that they employ people who can read and write, and provide them with beds! James, welcome to the world of internet comments!

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  • 64. At 08:12am on 04 Jun 2010, chrisjonesbsc wrote:

    Hi James,
    To really set the scene maybe you could do a typical day diary? What are the smiling gangs of kids trying to sell you? Are there many armed police/guards around? What footy tops are the locals wearing? and so on...

    Finally - if England don't beat USA lets not all panic eh!?

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  • 65. At 09:20am on 04 Jun 2010, meatpie_sausageroll wrote:

    How anyone can bemoan the use of the BBC’s money on the world cup I’ll never know. Call me sad but I spend hours on this site every day, and I’m sure it’s only gonna improve after kick off!


    Goo aarn England.

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  • 66. At 10:01am on 04 Jun 2010, Robert wrote:

    13. At 10:34am on 03 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:
    I can't see England progressing past the last sixteen so hopefully the BBC will send a lot of their staff back from South Africa early so saving the licence fee payer a shed load of money.

    This is the biggest tournament in the world.... even you are interested in it or you wouldn't have read the blog. Now pipe down and enjoy it you grumpy so and so!

    COME ON ENGLAND... semi finals and then who knows!

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  • 67. At 10:34am on 04 Jun 2010, aidy wrote:


    Personally, I love to see the eurphoria that this event brings out in even the mildest of football fans ( my wife ), with flags flying on cars & draped over a multitude of objects.Even St Georges day doesn't evoke such patriotism.

    Football is England's national game & this showcase comes round only once every 4 years, giving football fans an opportunity to vicariously sample diffrent cultures, whilst we observe the host nation
    embrace the worlds most popular sport. I mean who can forget Argentina with all the ticker tape & zest for the game.You can't convey that from a tv studio in London, you must be a apart of it. I for one, want to drink up the atmosphere, all be it from sunny Birmingham.

    As for the snide comments about the 42 night stay, well I can imagine if he booked in just until the quarter finals & everyone saying that the BBC have no foresight.

    I watch football because it exites me & is so unpredicatable.I mean who thought a few years ago that Blackpool would be gracing the Premier league????

    Fabio is spot on ! You have to have self belief !

    P.S good article - great value compared to sky

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  • 68. At 11:24am on 04 Jun 2010, I want to see Iniesta on a rugby field wrote:

    Hey James, welcome to South Africa. Hope to see you in Port Elizabeth (my home town) for the Slovenia game.

    It was nice to read a balanced article about South Africa from somebody who's actually here. It's been so annoying to read articles by people who've never even set foot here slating the country.

    Seeing as though it's still a week until the tournament starts, why don't you take the chance to see a bit of the country. I hope you enjoy your stay (and I hope England last all 42 days).

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  • 69. At 11:30am on 04 Jun 2010, DFibulate wrote:

    Why are people using this blog to complain about the cost of the BBC coverage in SA? The BBC is a the national provider and a global player and as such has a duty to provide comprehensive coverage of an event like the World Cup. As a licence payer I am happy that the BBC is spending my money on trying to bring the best possible coverage to the population and certainly don't begrudge you booking into a hotel for the "possible" 42 nights. The License Fee spending complainers need to get over themselves and enjoy the spectacle. Hopefully with England going all the way.

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  • 70. At 1:00pm on 04 Jun 2010, Algy wrote:

    (57)"I am not a football fan but a geography teacher, and was reading the site to see where in the world the training camp is. I was, however, disappointed to see that you correspondent cannot spell ACCOMMODATION - not unsimilar to my yr 10 class."

    I'm disappointed to see that a teacher doesn't know the opposite of similar - it's DISSIMILAR.

    glass houses... stones...

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  • 71. At 3:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, joburg_lad wrote:

    Take it from me - I've lived here for 25 years and I'm still amazed at how quickly it goes cold in the evening and winter hasn't really started yet - wait until July which is our coldest month. But, at least, there should be no rain now until October so although it's cold, you won't get wet (unless you go to Cape Town). Bring very warm clothes if you're going to a game that kicks off at 8.30. By half-time it will be very chilly and by the end it will be seriously cold.

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  • 72. At 3:51pm on 04 Jun 2010, Leidens_SS wrote:

    I have to laugh at the old Brits moaning about the license fee.
    - The BBC is the most respected sports teams in the world
    - In the Olympics, China created that special studio only for the BBC
    - The BBC receives a huge amount of money from outside the 'license fee payers'
    - The license fee costs you 40p a day, which is less than a mars bar.

    As an expat, who pays extra from his local provider to get the BBC channels, my local Dutch friends all watch BBC, and will watch the games on BBC, rather than Dutch TV (except the Dutch ones). (and before people moan, the BBC gets money from the providers for this service)

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  • 73. At 3:51pm on 04 Jun 2010, Leidens_SS wrote:

    70 - Funny ;-)

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  • 74. At 3:54pm on 04 Jun 2010, devley1888 wrote:

    I'm from Dublin and always enjoy the BBC coverage (no ads is a big factor i must say!!!)

    Pity you English folk cant see the RTE coverage in Ireland though.
    Eamon Dunphy is a pundit and he's pure gold!! Loves having a right go at players and "PC" english pundits! Any of you heard of him?

    This site is pretty cool aswell, loads of decent reading and some not so decent from a load of grumpy, ungratefil Englad fans.
    Will you all please just look forward to your national team playing in the best show on earth and get behind them!!

    I'll be thinking of how we could have (not should have) been there with you had Mr Henry not ruined my possible trip to SA had we qualified...

    So please spare a thouhgt for us Irish who's team isnt even there!! You have at least 3 big nights/days of pure emotion ahead of you!! I'm very jealous!

    I know i'm Irish, but i actually will be cheering you guys on...i have youz backed in the bookies aswell so fingers crossed!!

    Best of luck & most importantly enjoy it!!

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  • 75. At 4:00pm on 04 Jun 2010, devley1888 wrote:

    Totally aside the point but BBC Four showed an unbelievable 4 hour documentary on the legend Mr Tom Petty a few weeks back...
    Only the BBC...two thumbs up!!

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  • 76. At 4:48pm on 04 Jun 2010, Steve M wrote:

    I was in Rustenburg last year and it's very convenient for the Pilansberg National Park (an absolute must) and, of course, a round of golf at Sun City.

    Regarding the weather, you have to realise that it's winter in South Africa so the nights WILL be cold.

    Once you get outside of Rustenberg you see the real South Africa with many poor people walking along the roads and the occasional shanty town. Cape Town is wonderful but it really isn't typical of South Africa

    :-)

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  • 77. At 5:15pm on 04 Jun 2010, Yonner wrote:

    Nice article. I have reservations about Bafokeng stadium though, it looks just the sort of place I'd avoid. Athletics stadiums have no place in the world cup and ruin atmosphere both for the fans attending and for those watching back home. Those sat at the ends will need opera glasses.

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  • 78. At 5:53pm on 04 Jun 2010, David_Thirsty wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 79. At 6:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, zhhyking wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 80. At 10:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, russ wrote:

    love england, not paying licence fee to fund bbc pensions

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  • 81. At 10:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, Lirpa_Olof wrote:

    The good thing about being in Rustenburg is that you're so close to Sun City.

    I'm sure that's why Rustenburg was chosen to host games in the first place!

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  • 82. At 10:40pm on 04 Jun 2010, Rex Lombardo wrote:

    Tell me more about the stadium!

    I am in South Africa and I can buy a ticket for this game from the FIFA website. It costs 160 US dollars which is over 100 quid nowadays.

    Yes - it's the World Cup, it's England, it's 'once in a lifetime' - but is the view from the back terrible, do i need binoculars, what impact does the athletic track have and what are the chances of getting back to my free accommodation in Joburg after the game before it's too late?

    PS I think the comments about 42 nights are largely driven by jealousy.

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  • 83. At 03:45am on 05 Jun 2010, chris wrote:

    i for one am very happy the BBC are covering this event, i am living in Thailand and by all accounts there is loads of expats here and it will not be broadcast in English, although we will get footage, so we will probably all be constantly on the BBC sport website.

    im in pattaya and everyones gone world cup mad buying large tvs hd boxes, souround sound, but well all be by the internet for sure :) well until England goes out that is :)

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  • 84. At 05:42am on 05 Jun 2010, rojier wrote:

    I think that england have a good chance of winning this world cup if no more bad luck or refferies mistakes.
    England won the Jules Rimet world cup 36 years after it was found (1930 -1966) and they will win FIFA world cup after 36 years again (1974-2010). good luck

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  • 85. At 08:39am on 05 Jun 2010, Darren Clark wrote:

    I am hoping to visit there in the next few days to try and get a look around the facility, do you know are any of the England Team practice sessions open to the public?

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  • 86. At 09:04am on 05 Jun 2010, James Angus Sutherland wrote:

    I lived in Rustenburg and saw a football match at stadium. The view of the pitch is good wherever you sit.

    If you want to swim, Sun City has a large outdoor heated wave pool with a beach - proper waves are generated every few minutes.

    The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is definitely worth a visit. There is also a beautiful nature reserve right next to the town of Rustenburg, on a plateau on top of the mountains - Eland , Sable Antelope, giraffe and zebra etc.

    There are lots of lovely holiday resorts dotted around Rustenburg such as Sparkling Water, Wigwam, Rustenburg Kloof - well worth while going to these resorts for a meal or a drink.

    Rustenburg has a large upmarket shopping mall with movie cinemas, restaurants, crazy golf etc.

    If you can, visit Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

    Finally, I went to Lucky's Tavern in Phokeng on my last trip to SA. It is worthwhile going there for a beer and a steak. Don't forget to sample the delicious Boerewors on sale there. The meat is "braaied" (barbequed) for you while you sip your drinks.

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  • 87. At 12:06pm on 05 Jun 2010, apb2973 wrote:

    World Cup a week away and people moaning about the license fee again, BBC provides great coverage I think, and like f1, cover the sport excellently, infact i would say they do it better than anyone else, hate Sky, and ITV just appaling at times.
    Sorry if your not IN the World Cup, or you dont like football, but its the W O R L D C U P ! so get over your license fee !!

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  • 88. At 5:54pm on 05 Jun 2010, jeansey123 wrote:

    i envy your job

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  • 89. At 7:02pm on 05 Jun 2010, wozawoza wrote:

    Without being negative, the things you read are true. It a great place but some people are a bit, lets say desperate. Just be calm FIFA have setup a victims unit that will help you through any problems.

    42 days sounds like survivor, good luck and God bless you and the people in that country.

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  • 90. At 3:14pm on 06 Jun 2010, saafrican wrote:

    What about the "Killer Pythons" and black mamba snakes ??
    Have you seen any yet ?
    According to a report from the UK "they are every where?

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  • 91. At 5:01pm on 06 Jun 2010, sa_scouser wrote:

    Just got to my hometown Rustenburg last night and will be seeing the Three Lions in their practice match tomorrow,cant wait!!!!

    @Rex - The view is better than expected and you wont be needing a binoculars,which category ticket do you have? The tickets for seats with partially obstructed views will only be released tomorrow morning.

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  • 92. At 5:40pm on 06 Jun 2010, pinkyorthebrain wrote:

    man oh man.Good Blog but the comments are just hilarious.

    Money money money. I have to say anyone that gives out about the BBC is a damn fool. The BBC is the envy of many worldwide.

    In Ireland we pay our fees and get RTE 1 & RTE 2. now obviously there is alot more revenue gained from fees in UK but still. You pay your fee and have a wonderful organisation to show for it that produces some breathtaking original content.

    Why send attenborough to any habitat. why not green screen all shows. its cheaper!!! WHy send brian cox around the world to some "alien" environments. Because sometimes you just have to do things right!!

    I will watch alot of the BBCs coverage of the world cup from dublin. if only the BBC could snap up our pundit Eamonn Dunphy from RTE. The guy is a legend for winding people up and he tells it like it is unlike the blank canvass that is alan shearer and ian wright.

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  • 93. At 6:26pm on 06 Jun 2010, bill smith wrote:

    James,

    I picked upon your early TV report following the Ferdinand injury last week. I seem to recall phrases used in the vein of "Shattered confidence"..."Threatened morale" ....... "Can they regroup before the USA game" etc etc.

    Those "quotes" not, in fairness, to be taken literally, as I am commenting now, on the flavour of your report of a couple of days ago.

    My point is that I am astounded at remarks of this nature. These players are supposed to be the best professionals we can produce, with a hard-nosed top rated manager.

    So what are they?

    SHEEP?? A bunch of GIRLS??

    What on earth are we to expect them to achieve, if they can't sort themselves out and get on with it?

    There is still a week to go, not a ball yet kicked in anger, but if a player is injured while training are we to understand they are traumatised beyond recall and too pathetic to work out alternative tactics or strategy?

    If Rooney was carried off in the final against Brazil when we were 2 goals down & 15 minutes to go, then maybe THAT would be a problem, but until then please don't serve up this 'demoralised' cr*p, but tell them to show some backbone and earn their ridiculous wages for once.

    ......discuss;


    [it would be unfair, of course, to suggest that this is, in fact, no more than an inconvenient bit of ill luck for the team, and that you James, as a journalist, are only trying to "Big it up" to make a more news-worthy drama where there should not really be one.............wouldn't it?]

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  • 94. At 8:35pm on 06 Jun 2010, wozawoza wrote:

    I am really glad the BBC is covering this event, i for one would not like to be in South Africa, already today there was a violent clash and some stampeding, and this was blamed on Fifa, not on the people stepping on each other!

    Just the beginning of many incidents, I am glad to be able to watch it on telly and not be there in the eye of a storm and of a disaster waiting to happen!

    Thank you BBC i will gladly pay you money!

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  • 95. At 10:54pm on 06 Jun 2010, James Angus Sutherland wrote:

    I imagine no-one anticipated that a warm up game between Nigeria and North Korea would generate such interest. I have no doubt that the football authorities have taken note and will have plans in place for the other warm up fixtures to be staged in South Africa.

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  • 96. At 2:54pm on 07 Jun 2010, JoanyS wrote:

    To answer the query about the temperatures, South Africa can be described as a cold country with a hot sun especially in the Winter. You will notice a temperature drop immediately even if the sun goes behind a tree. So remember to dress in layers, with everything on at 7am in morning, but midday you will be in shirtsleeves. An evening game will be chilly, rain is highly unlikely.Don't feed the monkeys, they are notorious food thieves.
    They take no notice of a woman screeching so make sure you have a man with you. Cape Town is a whole different story regarding the weather. Temperature unlikely to go below 12 degrees tops 19/20. Could easily rain.

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  • 97. At 3:04pm on 07 Jun 2010, NIRB wrote:

    Hello James
    Great report,very balanced,i have lived here since 1981 seen it all good and bad ( 99%good ) in fact not just good but "BRILLIANT" funny thing is that you become not less patriotic but more fervently patriotic ,face painted at "British Lions " games etc " come on ENGLAND " , 3 more days and its here ,cant wait , the vibe is building daily now,this afternoon am meeting all my pals at the local to finalise our game watching plans ( 6 live ) rest on TV in various lively places,there has been some good advice about being in South Africa on this blog and i will add mine,and believe me there is not a lot i have not experienced out here.
    1.HIGHVELD ( JOBURG ,RUSTENBERG,POLOKWANE BLOEMFONTEIN ,EVEN KRUGER can be same..WARM IN DAY FREEZING AT NIGHT,PLAYED FOOTBALL IN MINUS 7C IN JOBURG !!! PLUS ITS ALTITUDE "WIND CHILL FACTOR " BRING CLOTHES ACCORDINGLY ,CAPE TOWN 4 SEASONS IN ONE DAY OR WEEK FROM SUNNY TO HOWLING GALES AND EVERYTHING INBETWEEN ,PORT ELIZABETH..NIGHT TIME TEMPS NOT SO LOW,DAYTIME SAME AS CAPE TOWN,DURBAN "TROPICAL" min14C MAX 27C...bring shorts and longs , some jerseys and a good jacket you will need them all.
    2.Dont go into the middle of any major city !!! I have not been into the middle of Joburg for 15 years!!! all others same to various degrees ( RUSTENBERG IS A TOWN NOT A CITY) ,no problems on outskirts ie Sandton,Edenvale in Joburg ,Table View and Milnerton in Cape Town in fact these places are "FANTASTIC" good pubs . night life etc ,the shopping malls here are world class,restaurants and bars ( in the right areas ) the same.
    3.Some places are VERY cosmoplitan all races no problems , some places VERY AFRIKAANS ,watch out they dont like pommies much ,and football less , they are loud , big , get drunk quick , and like to fight ,their idea of a good night out is to go out from work ,get drunk , have a fight and go home !!! other than that they are OK if you speak AFRIKAANS!!! by the way they HAVE NOT forgotten the BOER WAR!!
    4.LIP ICE....make sure you have LIP ICE..keep one in your pocket all the time its so dry on the Highveld after a few days you get lip sores ( keep an eye on the England players )
    4.The beer is "STRONG" South Africans and the expats Drink like nutters ( especially the Jocks ) ,plus at altitude the effect is literally staggering ,average beer is 5% the draft can be anything from 5% to 10% and everything inbetween "DONT DRINK DRAUGHT " you will see 90% of the guys drink bottled beer thats why!! spirits are cheap the AFRIKAANERS drink double brandy and coke in copious amounts ,from 5pm til 9pm if your lucky.
    5.In an AFRIKAANS pub "Dont ask to turn the TV over in the middle of a rugby game
    6.Dont get into "UNOFFICIAL" taxis,unless you want a naked township tour.
    Believe me this will be the best experience of your life!! ask the guys who came here on the last 2 lions tours.
    Please will somebody find Emma Hurd from "SKY" something really truly horrible to report on,she is trying really hard to find something forgetting she is supposed to report the news not make it up!!,if she wants to know whats really going on its this.We have huge problems with crime here ,house robberies , car theft stuff like that,because of 2 reasons 1.Thabo Mbeki in his AFRICAN RENNAISANCE mode allowed about 4 miliion homeless,pennyless,destitute,Zimbabweans to cross into SA they either work for next to nothing,or steal to live,hence the zenophobia you have heard about,they poison our dogs to keep them quiet ( thats the 1% i told you about,i loved my little Jack Russel)2.Because the ZIMS work for low wages the SA unemployed are also now pennyless and they steal too to live,i believe you have lots of 'kosovans in England now!! same thing just a bit less civilised. James keep up the good work , iknow you and the England supporters who come will have a great time , as for the rest ,stop whinging and pay your bloody licences the BBC is a globally admired organisation.( even in Kosovo )

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  • 98. At 5:30pm on 07 Jun 2010, Rossi wrote:

    I've read most of the comments but I couldn't see one of the most obvious facts about the BBC coverage of the World Cup.

    They won't be showing the first England game on T.V.

    They won't be showing the second England game on T.V.

    Oh but wait, they are showing the last England game on T.V. which technically could be their last.

    Granted Internet, Radio, Interviews. But at the end of the day I want to watch the match and price per match for the BBC isn't value for money in anyway!

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  • 99. At 7:08pm on 07 Jun 2010, zimpatch wrote:

    there i was, all ready to fire off a mr angry response to rossi. how dare he challenge the bbc's omniescent authority at the world's second most popular sports event. then i checked my facts. and amazing! he's right. bbc television is showing only ONE of england's qualifying matches live. how incredibly extraordinary. after all their attenborough-dimblebore-best-costume-dramas-in-the-history-of-costue-dramas-internationally-respected-impartial-voice-of-reithdom-reason-blah-blah, the bbc is actually showing ONE england qualifier live. ONE. bless! love the blogs. love the radio. love this web site. but draw your own perspective, everyone.

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  • 100. At 9:40pm on 07 Jun 2010, Rm wrote:

    Hello NIRB

    In response to your posting. I have lived here more than 40 years. A large portion of what you say is correct but unfortunately a lot is not and is sensationally embellished. Hopefully folk will find the balanced picture among it somewhere.

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  • 101. At 09:44am on 08 Jun 2010, Sue wrote:

    Hi James

    I am so glad that you mentioned that people should come to SA with an open mind. I am a born and bred south african and I have been watching Sky news as well as BBC in total amazement, if all the media is to be believed, we are living in a war zone.

    We do have crime, but mostly in areas that tourists would have no access to. I find it extremely sad that our locals (white and black) have been queuing day and night to get tickets to see your wonderful team (afrikaaners too believe it or not), and the english people and media wont take a step back and see that we are a friendly and helpful nation beset with a few problems.

    The stampede in Tembisa (The game between Nigeria and North Korea) was NOT arranged by FIFA but by some private little company, and it was in an extremely dodgy area, so there is zero chance of this happening at one of the world cup games. Also people have paid small fortunes for their tickets and I am sure us South AFricans can restrain ourselves for 6 weeks and not murder every single foreigner that comes to our country.

    I have seen the most incredible improvements in the last year or so, all our people have been swept up in the world cup fanfare and would love to share it with everybody else.

    The hotel that the England Team is staying in is 5 star (google it if you dont believe me) and they are about an hour's drive away from the elephant sanctury, de wildt cheetah reserve, balloning is on offer at hartebeespoort and the pilansberg has better sightings than the Ktuger Park. We have thousands of english visitors here and have hosted the rugby and cricket world cups with success.We get thousands of English visitors a year, surely it cant be that bad

    The fact that the super 14 final was in soweto was astounding. Many of the supporters are fervent afrikaaners and there was no bloodshed. Give us a chance, we are not barbaric and we are proud of our country. As James said, keep an open mind and I'm sure there will be a few surprises.

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  • 102. At 08:44am on 09 Jun 2010, switchblade wrote:

    frin #97

    "6.Dont get into "UNOFFICIAL" taxis,unless you want a naked township tour.
    Believe me this will be the best experience of your life!! "

    had to read that a couple of times before I realised the second sentence is referring to the whole of the text and not just point 6 ;-)

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  • 103. At 10:06am on 10 Jun 2010, Thapelo wrote:

    Sue is right, please British Media give us a break. A fortune was spent by the South African government to ensure that this event is a success. It's true that we don't live in heaven down here but what the media(British) has been reporting lately is nothing but pure madness. With just hours to go before the big kick-off, media is still hellbent on focusing only to the negative things, why??

    Why not report on things like South Africa boasting some of the best stadiums in the world? Why not tell people that S Africa has the biggest and most beautiful soccer stadium in Africa. Why not let the whole world know about the fast rail system( Gautrain - Underground Train)project that was undertaken as part of preparing for the SWC, the first of it's kind in Africa??

    It was said S Africa would run out of money, the stadiums would not be finished in time, the roads are pathetic, corruption etc.....but here we are, few hours to go.

    On the same breath, thank to all who believed in this vision we had, that South Africa and Africa is ready. It's time...Ke Nako.

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  • 104. At 10:53am on 10 Jun 2010, almitch wrote:

    Best of luck South Africa!! Great to see AFRIKA host the world's biggest sporting event. Here's a brief guide of what to do in Cape Town if any of you make it out for the owrld cup!
    http://capetown4tourists.blogspot.com/

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  • 105. At 1:24pm on 10 Jun 2010, Gee06 wrote:

    My husband and I have been living in Johannesburg for a year now on a work secondment, everyone back in the UK thought we were mad coming to the city dubbed "the most dangerous city in the world not declared a war zone" but I can honestly say that we have only met warm, friendly, hospitable people. Yes there is crime but isnt there in any large city in the world? Yes this country has massive social problems, which country doesn't these days? Yes this country has a huge number of economic migrants from the rest of the African continent and it can cause bad feelings between them and the locals who have a hard finding a job without people from outside the country taking the available work.........that rings a bell isn't that what everyone has been saying about the UK with it's "virtually non-existent immigration policy" Where ever you go in the world you need to stay vigilant and keep yourself safe. Most large cities in the world have "no go zones" where anyone with any sense would not venture, Johannesburg is no different. The majority of the crime happens in the townships where there is massive deprivation, once again this is similar to many others cities around the world. I too have been very disappointed at the British media's insistence on finding as many "bad" stories as they can and whilst I am not suggesting you should look at things through rose tinted glasses at least give this wonderful country and its people some support for what they have achieved in staging this World Cup.

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  • 106. At 5:26pm on 12 Jun 2010, JJL wrote:

    I would just like to tell everyone to stop complaining about the license fees.

    I am English but live in the Middle East. To watch the World Cup here we have to pay for it and it works out at around 130 quid!! This is more than a years license fee (which, by the way, I also pay in the UK).

    People should be supporting England as we have our best chance for a long time, I for one have confidence they go all the way. We have some of the best players and a great manager.

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  • 107. At 11:49am on 13 Jun 2010, Bafanie wrote:

    James, I am sure you are on the pay roll of the Rustenburg Tourism Society!! Even for us South Africans, its not the most beautiful of towns - typical mine town with very little character. However, the surrounds make up for the town with Sun City, the Pilansberg, etc in the area. I agree that you will find most probably some of the most friendly South Africans there - typical in South Africa, the more rural and the less city amenities, the more sociable and outgoing the people.

    A tip to your overseas bloggers, South Africans tend to be a bit intimidated by "foreigners", so they will not naturally just approach you for a chat. Take a change and approach them by pleading a bit of ignorance as with regards to:

    - What is a braai (barbeque)since you heard so much about it?
    - What is the best boerewors (sausage) and chops to buy and where to buy it?
    - Should you use charcoal or wood for your braai, and just by the way, you heard every one speak of "hardekool" wood as the best to use for a braai, what does this person think about that?
    - You heard that you should use a "braai" to make a braai. This is quite confusing and could the person tell you what this is and where to buy this?
    - How do you make "pap" (porridge) for this braai - you heard you must have this with a braai - what should you add to this - mealies or mushrooms?

    OK, at this stage of the conversation, if you were not invited to a braai, you have chosen the wrong "victim" and should move on, otherwise you will die of boredom and miss the next Game.

    Be wary of the guy who asks you how much time you have when you ask these questions - this typically means that this guy do not have a time limit and will enjoy listening to his own pearls of wisdom, regardless as to whether you are listening to him or not!!

    A good place to start such a conversation would be in a sports bar where a couple of the "ouks" (typically big brawny white males who is drinking anything from Klippies (Klipdrif)Brandy and Coke or Red Heart (Rum) and Coke,to beers and speaking in Afrikaans) is gathered. They will in all probability be speaking about Bafana Bafana and be critical of the ref etc. and might even be speaking quite loudly. Be assured, even if you do not understand Afrikaans, that they will not know much about soccer in the first place, since they will normally be fanatical rugby supporters who, in a wink and in typical South African fashion, converted into be the most fanatical and knowledgeable Bafana Bafana supporters. ! DO NOT be intimidated by their looks or the way they are talking, they are actually "lekker" (nice) ouks.PLEASE DO NOT LET ON THAT THEY ARE IGNORANT AND DO NOT KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT SOCCER!

    By posing the above few questions you will get so many opinions and theories that you will most probably be sorry that you asked it in the first place. However, someone in that group or all of them might just consider it as a matter of national honour to invite you for a braai, and voila, mission accomplished!!

    If this does not work, transfer to Nelspruit, which is really a beautiful town and the climate much warmer during the night!!

    Enjoy






    questions such as

    Pity

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  • 108. At 11:56am on 13 Jun 2010, Phil wrote:

    James,

    Great write up and lets hope you are there for the full 42 nights!

    I can't believe that people moan about the costs etc, look at the quality of the broadcasts and reporting. Maybe, a few more films on behind the scenes, what goes on etc, should be made.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy!!

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  • 109. At 11:12am on 14 Jun 2010, Hasan Mir wrote:

    Having drawn their first game, and considering their display against the USA, do you still think you will be there the duration of this tournament?

    Mir.

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  • 110. At 12:12pm on 14 Jun 2010, Bafanie wrote:

    Hi Thapelo

    As a fellow South African I cannot help but agree about with what you are saying concerning our country's achievements in the build-up to the World Cup.

    However, you are somewhat harsh with the British Press, especially since the "little incident" concerning a Mr. Julius Malema and a BBC reporter. I think the British Press handled the matter admirably, but can we blame them if this was perceived to represent the official approach from South Africa towards the press, and the British Press in particular? If I was in the British Press' shoes, I would also have been a bit cynical about all the damage control that was applied by us afterwards!!

    I am sure that as the World Cup continues, the Press will also report on our achievements (which by the way many are doing) and, just maybe, if England plays in the final against Bafana, they will come to love our Country so much that they would want to spent all their holidays and lovely pounds/euros in South Africa. They would even be able to watch the main Premier League and FA Cup matches at no fee!!!

    Cheers


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  • 111. At 06:51am on 28 Jan 2011, Kevin Mitnick wrote:

    Winters in South Africa can be very deceptive - particularly on the highveld (Joburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg, even Bloemfontein)

    I think there were many british fans who were duped by the lovely warm sunshine during the day; who were out and about in their shorts and tshirts, and who were left stranded when the sun set.

    Being stuck in summer kit in zero degrees in an icy stadium at night is not pleasant - so a tip is to not forget to also bring the clothes
    you would normally wear to your average english league game at the height of the season....jackets, scarves, hats and gloves.

    Regards,
    Kevin Mitnick
    Editor Of the demotivational posters Blog.

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  • 113. At 11:46am on 20 Feb 2011, U14791480 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 4:48pm on 20 Feb 2011, susanjuloo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 115. At 02:13am on 02 Mar 2011, tomyum wrote:

    42 nights?! I think i would start to get home sick. Although I am a little jealous I didn't get to be there. Crazy story about the fire on the plane. That would be really scary.

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  • 116. At 08:24am on 18 May 2011, JodariLeinweber wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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