Monday, October 16, 2006

Jo'burg to Swaziland (day 1 and 2)

Okay, the long awaited (i hope) update.. from the very beginning:

I got on the bus at Capetown after saying goodbye to Maya and Dan who kindly drove me to the bus station. The bus left at 2pm from Capetown, and didnt arrive into Johannesburg until 8:30am the next morning, over an hour and a half late. This meant that the tour was waiting for me, and by the time i got to the meeting point they'd gone off to get supplies/food for the trip. I waited two hours and they eventually came back to pick me up. The characters: Bjorn the tour guide (A Belgian on the outside, with a severe "i want to be african" vibe); Takalani, the other tour guide and driver of the truck; an american couple in their 50's, a Bosnian woman on holiday for the first time without her daughter, a german military officer (yeah, i know), a chinese girl who just quit her job as a paralegal, an Australian woman in her late 40's, two late 30's german girls and me. I was the youngest, no surprise there.

We drove all day and got to the swaziland border by evening, reaching our camping area by nightfall in the rain.. no one fancied starting off the trip camping in the rain, so we booked in to the chalets. After a night there that was uneventful other than the usual "getting to know you"s, we headed off the next morning to the next place in Swaziland, where this little guy was there to greet us:

He was shaking, probably from being scared of us, not finding his mother, and of course the icky cold and rain.. poor little guy.

Anyways, we didnt camp on night two, instead we slept in these huts that were traditional, with showers and toilets outside a long walk away.. forgot to take pictures of them, but you'd have pitied me..

After getting settled we wandered into the town to see the village (if you could call it that, it was a few huts, spread very long distances apart from eachother)

they didnt have that "shanty town" vibe that the township in Capetown had, but they still looked pretty sad looking.

We met the locals there, and the kids were so happy when the Chinese girl gave them some chewing gum.. though we did have to explain what they're meant to do with it!

After that everyone went inside to the healer's ( sangoma) hut to ask her about her work as a traditional healer.. I had already met one in capetown so I stayed outside taking pictures..

I got some lovely macro shots (despite not having a macro lens, which was ever-so-frustrating) and enjoyed the different plantlife..

But the kids were curious as to what on earth i was doing, and despite not speaking a word of english were attempting with all heart and soul to communicate with me. They realized i had a camera that showed the pictures instantly and asked me to photograph them so they could see, thus:

then at night before going to bed we had our traditional swazi meal, which was so unbelievably good. I met the chickens we ate when they were still alive, and they tasted so juicy i'm now converted to free range poultry..

We ate by the light of parrafin lamps (no electricity!)
and of course I had to take a picture of the meal before eating it.. the chicken was cooked ina mild peanutish sauce.. soooo good.


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