The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Soroca, Moldova.

Where are they going next? Back to Chisinau, Moldova on Tuesday. Then the Wednesday overnight train back to Bucharest.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We've joined the 21st century!

We bought a cell phone, with a South Africa SIM card!

We owned a cell phone in North America. Kept it in the motorhome in case of emergency. Never used it. And of course it was "locked" to a Canadian network. I know, you can go through the process of unlocking them, but we just never figured it was worth the effort.

But both air time and the cell phone itself is cheap here. Plus, the cell phone is so cheap that it's unlocked to begin with. That means that we can take this cheap little phone to any country in the world and buy a local SIM card and use it there.

No ambition to own any kind of fancy phone, or internet connected kind of phone. Just want to be able to make the occasional phone call.

So, we were told that we could go to a "Pep" store and buy a cheap phone. So we did.

How cheap is "cheap"?

"Beam me up, Scotty!"

So, this little phone cost us R119 ($12.50), and we bought R27.9 ($2.93) worth of air time. I guess we'll see how long that lasts, but given that we don't plan on using the phone very often, it'll probably last a while! Oh, and those prices already include tax. There's a 14% value added tax on almost everything you buy here in South Africa, but it's included in the price you see and pay. Nothing added after the fact, just the way it should be.

Now, all I have to do is to remember to turn it on. 

It rained on and off all day yesterday. So while most of Canada and the U.S. are freezing, our temperatures have been a comfortable 24C (75F), although it's been cloudy and a bit wet. There have been breaks though.

Yesterday, we spent much of the day planning for our upcoming South Africa road trip. That included renting a car, and there are a LOT of options available here. We ended up with an older Ford Laser (similar to a Mazda 323). We'll tell you more about it, and the price we paid when we pick the car up on Thursday. We'll be keeping it for 53 days, so it was worth it to shop around and find a great price. 

What else. Oh, more couchsurfing hosts have come together for us. We're here with Mark until Friday, and then we're heading about 70 kms (43 miles) north up the coast where we're staying in a beach house type place for the weekend. Then on Monday we come back down to the south coast and start heading east along the coast. First stop in that direction will be a town called Hermanus.

If things clear up a bit tomorrow, we're hoping to do some more hiking. Kind of took a break the last day or so. Sure enjoying staying in one spot for a while!


22 comments:

  1. Nice that you now have a cell phone, never know when you need it.
    I have trac fon here in the USA cost $9.95 and $20. for three month of minutes.
    In Canada have a 711 phone, $20.00 to buy and $20. a year for minutes , don't use it much by like you have in case of emergency.
    We like to use gmail for free phone calls if we need it.

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    1. We have never seen a phone in Canada that cheap before but maybe it is something new. This one we got should work in Canada if we just buy a new SIM card for it and then a pay as you go card.

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  2. @George - I have the 711 phone too - I drive an old car and it's nice to know I could reach someone if I needed a ride. Hubby sure likes to send text messages to it, but luckily the any incoming ones are free.

    Really enjoying following along on your travels Kevin & Ruth!

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    1. Janis I used to have a cell phone many years ago for the exact same reason but there was no texting back then.

      So glad that you are enjoying our travels.

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  3. we seldom use our phones but nice to have if you need it

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    1. We have always managed without one for quite a long time but I have to admit that it will make some things a little easier.

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  4. Great price and I think its another wise safety consideration. Never know when you may need it, but it may come in handy. Love the photo from the Rhode Memorial!

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    1. We agree Randy and it helps that is was so cheap.

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  5. We seldom use out phone but when you need it, you need it!

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  6. Wow, some price on that phone! You do know how to find bargains. :c)

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    1. Kevin is always looking for the best price on anything that we spend money on. A penny saved is a penny earned!

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  7. Seems like the entire rest of the world has reasonable choices for phones and minutes to use them except the US. Guess I need to come to South Africa to get one to bring back. Don't I wish. Good to rest up for your next adventure. I know what you mean about enjoying staying in one place for a while.

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    1. Not the entire rest of the world, we still think that Canada has the highest priced cell service, at least out of any of the countries that we have visited.

      We have really been enjoying our time here in Cape Town, although we have still been busy.

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  8. Good deal on the cellphone. The key is to keep it charged. Sometimes when the battery is discharged for too long it won't come back to life. We have the cheapest of the cheap. Mine comes with television, camera, and all kinds of stuff. Cost me $38 U.S. but came with $30 of airtime. No screen swiping or any of that stuff.

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    1. Thanks Chris we will keep that in mind.

      Sounds like you got a good deal on your phone too!

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  9. I was surprised last year how cheap to buy a phone plus I got a modem and sim card for the puter at a good price. And thank goodness still have the later to return with. If you head up the coast to Langebaan West Coast National Park is great. Remember if you're going to many National Parks to get a Wild Card. I liked Hermanus and only wish I'd been there to see the whales.

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    1. First thing we did was to buy a SIM card to our cellular internet. We already had a stick that we had bought in Namibia so all we needed was a new SIM card and then to buy a pay as you go data package.

      Unfortunately the Wild Card for an international visitor is very expensive, for a couple it is R2,650 ($281CAN). I think we will pick and choose what parks we will spend our time in and just do the pay as we go way.

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  10. The information shared here was interesting but one thing you have mentioned here was that unlocking phones never seems to be worth .Unlocked phone can be used in any countries with any GSM sim ..The process to unlock a phone is also easy ..You can unlock phone just by entering network unlock code ...You can purchase code from vendors like UnBBlock.com here they are rendering unlock code for all blackberry mobile models at reliable cost .Else if you want to unlock some other mobile model then have a look at sites like MobileUnlockSolutions.com here they are rendering unlock code for all mobile models at reliable cost ......

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    1. Thank you for that info Sanjith, we will look into those sites.

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