A toss of the dice

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Monday, March 26, 2012

Where was I? Where am I?
I was in East London, now I'm at Coffee Bay.
East London was a stop-over, a hello-goodbye place, a place to realise how special it is to find friendship so far from home.
Not much time left and I didn't know what to do, all I knew was I had to be at Johannesburg airport in a week, and it seemed to make sense to head in that direction. I bought a bus ticket to Mthatha and booked the shuttle to Coffee Bay, not sure I should go back there again but not sure of anything really.
The moment the bus pulled out I wanted to shout: 'Stop, I want to get off, I'm going in the wrong direction.' 
I didn't. I went on to Mthatha, the Shell station I have now come to terms with, and boarded the shuttle to Coffee Bay, fretting. Aware time was running out, wanting to ward off that feeling, I had panicked, undecided I bought the ticket on impulse, now I was thinking why do I keep coming back here, I'll go somewhere new tomorrow.
 Somewhere along the journey I started to notice the beauty of the Transkei, as if it was new to me, as if I had never seen it before I was mesmerized.
That feeling is still with me, my second day here is almost over and I have loved every minute of being here, falling in love with it all over again. The Coffee Shack is vibrant, happy people, great place, music, food, fun and games and a fire blazing every night. 
Tonight a group of 8 boys came singing and dancing, just looking at their faces as they sang, watching them move to nothing but their voices was a real pleasure. Last night there was live music at the Bomvu, drums, sometimes joined by guitar, fascinating to watch the hands moving faster than the eye can follow. Exciting.
Earlier this evening I joined a walk to the top of the Sugar Loaf mountain to watch the sun set. Our guide had warned us to ignore the mama that would follow us trying to sell her beads. And it's true, these ladies are becoming a bit of a nuisance, and I've got piles of their stuff already, I can set up shop myself by now. 
So there we were, gazing at the sunset and unobtrusively this lady sat down beside us. She seemed a friendly soul and I found it hard to ignore her. She spoke no English, so I asked our guide to translate, as I really wanted to know, how much does she make selling her stuff, for as far as I can see, there are way too many mamas and not enough buyers. I suspect most sit on the grass from early morning til the evening without selling one single thing.
She laughed heartily and told me I was right. But what is she thinking of, sitting there all day? She said she is dreaming that someone will come and buy all her beads. But doesn't she think, god, I could have done the washing by now? She was laughing out loud now. Yes, she does but then she thinks where will the soap powder come from? 
 Her laughter was infectious, she was a good sport and I said: 'Well, it will come from me.'
 She grabbed my hand, was I serious? I asked the guide if the very basic store here sells soap powder. It does, so I have an appointment tomorrow to deliver the suds - my pleasure, how do you measure a good laugh with a hardy local woman?

So, unexpectedly I find I am really enjoying myself here and reluctant to leave. But I must see I get to Jo'burg in time, somehow that is not as simple as it seems. Too hard to explain.
I'll get there, I always do..... 

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Deanna Jacobsen on

Hi Katie, I've been following your trip with vacarious thrills, what an adventurist you are! I'm on my way next week to Oaxaca, Mexico. a place I've wanted to go for a long time. I will be there holy week and looking forward to the visual pagentry. I love to travel alone but this trip I'm going with friends. Looking forward to more posts from you. Hope to see you in Amsterdam in the future.

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