Last days in Africa

Johannesburg Travel Blog

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View of Jeffereys Bay from our hostel on the dune

It is now my last day in Africa and I am anxious about the days ahead in India.  However, I thought I better fire off an entry about my final days here in South Africa. 

JBay continued to prove a big party.  They even had some obnoxious comedian come perform at the hostel one night. He dressed as a nun and required lots of audience participation (girls vs. boys games).  It was something different at least.  We did manage to get out and sandboard one day.  I've never snowboarded or anything, so I was pretty conservative in my approach so I managed not to fall the whole time.  Kori is a big snowboarder, so she went all out and ended up with a small concussion and twisted ankle (sandboarding is really nothing like snowboarding).  

After a few nights there we decided to move onto Cintsa, hoping to enjoy the "most popular hostel in South Africa.

Lifeguard helping out the local kids with their car creation
"  We managed to find this out of the way place on the coast, but it was all booked up.  We decided we'd try to get to Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast thinking it a two hour drive away.  Not.  The weather on this driving day was not at all cooperative so we had to deal with the lots of fog, which was not so bad, until we made our way on the final road to Coffee Bay.  We turned off the highway and onto this road that the gal at the hostel in CB told me was full of potholes so to drive slow.  Well, the fog was so thick we could not see 10 feet in front of us, let alone any potholes.  Ash was driving and I was in the front seat trying not to freak out.  I mean, we had to drive like 20k an hour because you could not see the road, and there were no fog lines painted to help guide you.
Sister Mary James and I
  On top of that, there were people walking along the side of the road, cattle in the road, crustaceans, frogs, and yes, potholes!  It was a hair-raising two hour drive to get there! 

Coffee Bay stayed pretty much in a fog and rain the first day, so we basically got up and started playing drinking games.  I actually decided against a 1 p.m. start to that due to the bar tab policy, but yes, it was a long day of fun.  The next day the weather cleared up a bit so we hiked for three hours to Hole in the Wall, a small town next door which boasts, you guessed it, a hole in the wall.  I wasn't so impressed but I needed the exercise.  That night we participated in the T-party, where you dress as anything starting with a T.  I was going to be Tammy Faye Baker (lots of mascara), but then got talked into being one of the Teletubbies.

Kori looking like she wants to kill me for volunteering her as captain of the girls' team

After three nights there we needed to get moving.  Kori and I wanted to get to Swaziland and Ash wanted to start heading back to Cape Town with the car, so he drove us to Umtata to catch a bus to Durban. So we had to say farewell to Ash and our car we called Dorp.  We reached Durban about 10 at night and made our way to a really fun hostel called Nomads.  The staff was really great there.  We found out that to get to Swazi would involve a seven hour ride on a minibus (not so comfy) and we'd really have very little time there.

Kori improvising her sexy dance
  Plus I guess the landscape is similar to Lesotho, so we decided to just spend two nights in Durban before hitting Jo'burg.

The first day we went shopping at a local market and I bought some last minute souvies from here.  Then we signed up for a Zulu village tour the next day.  We visited a village, including meeting the local "traditional healer" who offered up fortune tellings.  Kori and I thought why not, so she had her reading first, emerging after about 20 minutes with some love potion they insisted she needed to get herself a husband (and also at a cost of 120 rand).  I guess her reading was pretty much on.  I got in there and she was praying and chanting and the interpreter started telling me what she was saying.  Right off the bat she started talking about my abusive boyfriend.

Sandboarding outside JBay
  I finally clarified I have no boyfriend, so they moved on, saying I was successful at my job but people didn't want me to be successful.  I didn't bother to mention I had no job. Then they said my life is no good right now and I need to be more social.  I again clarified how my life was actually amazing, that I was on a trip of a lifetime and I really needed a break from socializing.  Basically, it sucked.  Then when they started picking up the shells and coins and bones they poured out of the bag to do my reading, I realized two shells didn't get poured out with the rest, so I think that's why it went horribly wrong (or maybe it's just a bunch of bunk).  From there we went to a more touristy Zulu center to catch some dancing and then checked out some huge crocs.
Ash giving it a try
 

The next morning we grabbed our bus to Jo'burg.  Now the night before this guy from Germany told us how his hostel was robbed while he was in Jo'burg, them taking everything out of the hostel safe.  He luckily didn't put anything in there, but many did, causing much distress.  That made me think twice about using the hostel safe, which I had been doing up til then.  When we arrived in Jo'burg, I expected my friend Hannes whom I met in Bloem to pick us up.  He wasn't at the bus station so I called him and he said his vehicle had just been broken into the afternoon before, taking his computer (second time stolen since moving here) and his passport/wallet, pretty much everything, so he was busy sorting that out.  While I was chatting with him there were all sort of people hovering around us at the phones.

This is really how I spent my time
  We both felt so unsafe, so we quickly grabbed a taxi to a nearby hostel.

When we arrived we found out there would be no hostel dinner, so they told us to walk up to the store around the corner.  We both hesitated, feeling like we were walking around with targets on our foreheads, but they insisted this area safe.  We made our way to the store and on the walk back, noticed traffic lights were out and the convenience store was already dark at 6 p.m.  We thought everything just shuts down, telling people to get to the safety of the homes, which by the way are all fenced in, and I mean, high fences, with wicked barbed wire/jagged poles.  I could not live here.  When we got back to the hostel, though, it was apparent it was just a power outage, a daily occurence here.

Coffee Bay
  I guess it is a serious problem here, rolling blackouts.

Our last night together, Kori and I hung at the hostel, having cocktails with another gal.  We were to part ways in the morning, with Kori heading off to Namibia.  We traveled together three weeks in all, the longest I've traveled with someone I met on the road.  It was such a blast, but back to being solo again.

In the morning Kori left and then I headed to the Apartheid Museum with some fellas from the hostel.  It was an amazing place.  They did a great job with the design with loads of information and pictures and stories.  Some of the images put me on the edge of tears.  Afterward I met up with Hannes for dinner. 

So here I am, my last day before heading to India.

The rain was so bad that the road flooded, trapping us in one part of Coffee Bay
I had lots of dreams last night about it, so I know I am nervous, but also very excited.  I am sure to have lots of adventures ahead, but Africa has truly been an incredible experience for me.  I've met so many interesting people, done some amazing things and seen some beautiful places.  Africa is truly a special place and I cannot wait to return. 

mielikki says:
Wow! I am sure you are sad to leave such an incredible place. Now off to another adventure! You are only missing sub zero temps here - a real winter. I'm looking forward to heading down to sunny Mexico in a few weeks. Keep us posted on your adventures in India! Its hard to believe you are over 1/2 through. Send me an email so we can catch up!
Posted on: Jan 21, 2008
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View of Jeffereys Bay from our hos…
View of Jeffereys Bay from our ho…
Lifeguard helping out the local ki…
Lifeguard helping out the local k…
Sister Mary James and I
Sister Mary James and I
Kori looking like she wants to kil…
Kori looking like she wants to ki…
Kori improvising her sexy dance
Kori improvising her sexy dance
Sandboarding outside JBay
Sandboarding outside JBay
Ash giving it a try
Ash giving it a try
This is really how I spent my time
This is really how I spent my time
Coffee Bay
Coffee Bay
The rain was so bad that the road …
The rain was so bad that the road…
Walking to Hole in the Wall
Walking to Hole in the Wall
Fishing on the ocean
Fishing on the ocean
These lads were catching crabs
These lads were catching crabs
The hostel dog enjoying the waterf…
The hostel dog enjoying the water…
The Hole in the Wall
The Hole in the Wall
The wall where there is a hole
The wall where there is a hole
Some of the guys decided they want…
Some of the guys decided they wan…
Teletubbies - Im pretty sure ther…
Teletubbies - I'm pretty sure the…
No comment
No comment
This guy boosted talents with ball…
This guy boosted talents with bal…
Saying goodbye in Umtata
Saying goodbye in Umtata
Visiting the school in the Zulu Vi…
Visiting the school in the Zulu V…
Students on their lunch break
Students on their lunch break
Houses in the village
Houses in the village
Traditional healers home
Traditional healer's home
Zulu Village houses in the safari …
Zulu Village houses in the safari…
Traditional dancing
Traditional dancing
Zulu dancers
Zulu dancers
The ladies dancing
The ladies dancing
This guy is about 100 years old an…
This guy is about 100 years old a…
They are serious about their bilto…
They are serious about their bilt…