New day, New adventure
Thohoyandou Travel Blog› entry 4 of 11 › view all entries
Today starts another adventure..... a long day's drive to Thohoyandou. This is a small community in the middle of no where that is on the way to my ultimate goal of getting to Kruger National Game Park.
It was going to be about a 6.5 hour drive but I was excited about it. Driving through South Africa on the wrong side of the rode and the wrong side of the car (aghhhhhh). But, that was a small thing which I got used to very quickly.
The drive was uneventful and very beautiful. Looking at the landscape was like nothing I ever expected of South Africa. The rolling dry fields, the hills, the mountains, the plant life... all so very close to what I live with in the U.S. The only thing that made it evident that I was in Africa was the Road Signs and the Thorn Trees! At one point I found myself driving through an area that looked like the high desert in Northern Arizona.
Also along the way I passed a hillside that was covered with a large white cross (made up of tiny smaller crosses). Then all across both sides of the hill were more randomly placed crosses. There was also a sign on the top of the hill labelled MordePlaas. I had no idea what it meant but I knew I had to ask someone. Stopping in the next community I found out... the hill was dedicated to all the people in the area who had been murdered for their land. Seems ther is a big problem with people wanthing things that do not belong to them.. and to get it they kill their own people. Thus, MordePlaas.... is the Murder Place.
My journey continued until I reached Thohoyandou (Head of the Elephant) and The Fig Tree Lodge ( http://www.
During the evening after getting settled in my room, I joined everyone for a Braai outside. A Braai is a loose South African equivalent to our BBQ here in the states. The word braai has many meanings. It can refer to the act of grilling ("please braai the meat now"); the equipment used (a grill is a braai to many South Africans); and the social occasion ("you're invited to a braai"). All I know was it was a lot of fun! Food, drink, conversation, fellowship... all wrapped up in one experience! This was almost a rite of passage for me into the South Africa culture. The building of the fire with wood (not charcoal or gas), setting the paper on fire, getting the coals and temperature just right, then and only then could the act if braaing begin. This was a bonding experience for me with my new friends at Fig Tree. There was no lack of something new to learn, no lack of conversation and a constant flow of jokes and humor. All the while the meat was braaiing, the vegetables were chopped or grated for salads and a pot of cornmeal (Pap) was prepared with Tomato and Onion Sauce on the side. Once all was done, the feast began.