Welcome to Swaziland!
Trip Start Feb 04, 2011
23Trip End Nov 11, 2011
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Sometimes one just likes someone, something or a place just because. It can be hard to explain exactly why except that it just felt that way. Well, that's the way we both felt about Swaziland. It had that magical African touch with a slower pace and wonderfully pleasant people combined with the simplicity of having all bigger South African supermarkets and such, if needed. The only thing lacking, for us, was water. Back in time, Swaziland used to have a coastline but after a few fights here and there Swaziland is nowadays landlocked. We could definitely see ourselves live in Swaziland if it had a sea so that Faycal could teach tourists how to dive, which is part of our "settle down in Africa” plan.
We unfortunately didn't have many days before heading back to Jo'burg so for the first night we decided to head east, to the town of Siteki. As the country is tiny and we started the day just at the border we were there by noon. We found a farm where one could camp, that was well maintained and had a bunch of lovely dogs. We decided to head for a longish walk around the area and were very rapidly joined by 5 eager dogs. The next day we headed towards Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary where we spent a few hours driving around, enjoying the scenery and a rocky 4x4 trail up a hill
It also turned out to be a base for many passing by volunteers, which can be nice or not so nice... You always meet the few super interesting passionate volunteers, but then you also meet the ones that come and work with children for two weeks to feel like a better person, but how much do the children really get out of it having new people passing by every two weeks? I'm maybe cynical but I truly think that volunteers working with children should have a minimum stay of 3 or 6 months
After a long journey to Jo'burg we were hosted by Ivan and Linsey, that we had met 3 months prior in Pilanesberg National Park. They live in a cute little house on Ivan's family farm just outside busy Johannesburg. It's amazing how one can sit in their garden watching plants grow while horses run by and still be in busy life and traffic jams in less than 15minutes. Wouldn't we all need a little piece of nature in our busy city lives? The week that we have now spent at their place has been very successful. Successful both company-wise and car-wise. We have truly enjoyed our time with our hosts and we have done plenty on the car.
We had managed to get our hands on the traffic register certificate paper in Durban, so now we only had to register the car in our name, or so we thought. We drove to Rob's place, the guy that had kept Toro for us, picked up all the essential papers and happily drove to the Motor Vehicle Register Office
After that, we were ready to give Toro a little make over but also a last check before Mozambique as we have already covered 9 870 km. Now a few days later Toro sounds smooth and has the fridge installed between the backseats. In the beginning we had it in the back, which turned out to be super frustrating. In order to get anything out of the fridge we had to unpack several boxes and what not. Lately we have had it on the backseat, which works fine when Faycal drives as he has longer legs, but when I drive I pull the seat forward and then the fridge is wobbling around. So now the fridge is properly installed between the seats and as I'm speaking the gas bottles, for cooking, are being installed. Two on the roof and one on the side. This liberates a lot of space so we could now even have someone traveling with us.
In a few days we should have everything sorted and be ready for more adventures. While waiting to receive mail from France we are heading for two nights to Soweto, which is the most famous township just 15 km from Jo'burg. Soweto is known for being the center of resistance during the apartheid era. I'm sure it will be a quite interesting two days. After Soweto we'll come back to farm paradise to pack the car and then we'll be ready to hit the road. From Jo'burg we'll head straight to Kruger for a good five days after which we'll cross over to Mozambique.
I'm excited to get into pidgin Portuguese and learn all the cool ways to talk. I have previously learned to say “Howz da body?” when talking to a Nigerian and wondering how they are doing. I'll keep you posted how it goes with the Portuguese!