Trip Start Sep 10, 2008
75Trip End Sep 03, 2009
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Where I stayed
The Coffee Shack
The almost sterile, Westernised towns and cities that are surrounded by the shacks of the slums were replaced by the mud and brick huts in the Transkei. Round or rectangular, most were painted green or peach with a patch left bare, always facing the same direction. I later discovered that this is because the weather nearly always comes in from the same direction, and they leave the bare patch so they don't have to keep repainting their houses. (It also looks pretty cool!).
Travelling over rolling rugged hills the road occasionally bursts into towns full of life.
An image sticks in my mind of two children sat in a wheelbarrow in the middle of the field, watching the passing traffic. I saw this on a few occasions. A minbus sits on the outskirts of a sparse village. The roof that had been burnt away from fires lit inside the vehicle for warmth was replaced with hundreds of tiny scraps of plastic, forming a jigsaw that doesn't fit.
This is where Nelson Mandela grew up, and where he has a residence. We passed his house (where Ground Force came to do up his garden a few years ago.) In some of the villages, next to every square shaped house, a round house sits
People here are poor, but know a happiness that we will never have. Surviving off farm land, cattle and craft they earn their keep the hard way. Educated folks move into the city and if they make any money, the send some home.
The horses, cattle and goats that feed on the grassy banks wonder into the road as cars race past. Somehow, none of them are hit.
Once I arrived at coffee bay, I met a great group of people. We spent a day on the beach surfing and watching the random cow wondering about. We also went on a hike around the area through remote villages of just a few houses each. It was a challenging hike with a lot of steep uphill, and very steep downhill, and involving almost rock climbing in parts. Most of us fell over at least once. The views made it worthwhile though. We walked into some smelly bat caves, but didn't really see any bats.