wk1 of Tour
onto the second half of the ISV program. The tour of South Africa, it is very much an on the go tour that shows the country with the impact it has on the environment and community firmly embedded in what they choose to do, so without further ado I present week 1 of tour.
Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the top surfing destinations in the world. You would think that I would have attempted to learn how to surf back in Sydney, home to Bondi but the fact is I always thought that with my ethnic background i wasn’t ‘aussie’ enough to surf the blue tides of bondi. So here is me taking baby steps and getting up on the board.
we left Jay Bay and headed to Storms River, Tsitsikamma where the next 2 days would be filled with hiking, climbing waterfalls, treetop zip lining tours and of course the bungy. But we pulled into the quaint town of Storms River and our first stop was the treetop canopy tour which is unique in that its built so that it had minimal impact on the environment. It uses the counter balance of the yellow wood trees as alternative methods to drilling into the trees themselves.
after hiking part of the Otter trail it was off to Bloukrans Bridge Bungy which at 216m is the worlds highest bridge bungy. Everyone had tips on how not to be scared but I wasn’t extremely terrified, if anything I was excited. The best reassurance I had was from the Clive the instructor/ person I had just handed over my life to who said in ‘ Hi I’m Clive, I’m here to keep you alive’. It was in those words I trusted and it was his voice I heard just before plunging down with nothing but the rope tied to me. With my toes on the edge he said ‘ Look to the mountains your going to fly’ and before I knew it I experienced a moment of serenity as the scenery took my breath away so that I couldn’t scream. The pine trees rushed towards me but I knew I wouldn’t touch them and the river was swirling, coloured like that of a bottle of spilled Black Label lager.
we left the quiet town of Storms River foe r a 7 hour drive to Cape Town where we were to spend 5 days exploring and breathing Long Street. We arrived to the Penthouse on Long, a backpackers on the 6th floor with a very slow and small elavator and then headed out to dinner at Addis in Cape, a traditional Ethiopian restaurant around the corner from the backpackers. The food was amazing and to be able to eat it by hand made it even more delectable considering how hungry we had been.
one of the highlights of today was the township tour of Langa, a prominent township in Capetown that had flourished and I took with em the words of the tour guide ‘ don’t look at the destitution, rather focus on how far its come as a township’ . I can be quite the negative Nelly so with this in mind I saw achievement it had accomplished such as the Happy Feet Project, another ISV run project . Although one of the highlights of the tour was the opportunityto try a smiley, a barbecued sheep’s head which is said to be a good cure for babelas ( a word I now accustomed to and meant hangover). Half the reason people are turned off by it is beacuse its kept out in the sun, raw and usually has a battalion of flies just chlling on the rotting face. But due to the high temperatures that it gets cooked in one assumes it kills off the bacteria. Nati out tour guide of Langa cut it off and dipped the pieces in salt, and it tasted amazing! the meat was nice and tender and while there could have down without the salt you forget that you just ate part of a sheeps head. I went as far as to try its tongue as well but Nati, being a local went for the eyes as well. So why was it called a smiley? see for yourself.
STRAYA DAY! and the plan was to hike up Table Mountain and then abseil down 100m. that quickly turned sour due to high winds and from then on the day became much of a T.I.A ( this is Africa). the group was split into the few who chose to hike up AND THEN BACK DOWN the mountain which would take at the least 5 hours whilst the rest of us opted to abseil down Paarl Rock in the Stellenbosch region. This was a fairly chilled adrenalin rush but again that fear when your right on the edge on throw yourself oout of a plane or off a bridge or in this case over the ledge of a cliff still gets me. Although I was ready to bounce and get my best Spiderman impersonation on as soon as I got the hand of it but by the time that happened it had already finished
a long day of tours with seal watching, penguin hopping and visiting the Cape of Good Hope where 2 oceans meet. It was there at the viewpoint where you saw the Atlantic meet the Indian ocean that they had set up this sign post. It was in that moment, crowded by tourists that I realised while I had begun to love South Africa that most of everyone I love were literally oceans away. But it was more so that I knew why I missed them because I find that the phrase ‘i love you’ synonymous with ‘i miss you’ and people just throw it around without thinking.
Finally I’m getting back on track with project 365 and all looking through all these photos make me miss the South African sun!