So if you are sick of pictures and stories about nature…..you should stop following this blog now! We are now on a 12 day road trip through the Garden Route, the Wild Coast and then ending in the Drakensburg Mountains. It’s Day 1 and I already can’t get over the abundance of beauty. This is what the earth looked like before we paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
We packed up our awesome beach place in Cape Town and hit the road…..coffee and beef jerky in hand.
As we drove outside the area of Cape Town that we had been in…..we hit the slums. Hundreds, maybe thousands of shacks made of tin and cardboard lining dirt streets. Porta pottys at the end of the areas for the community. It looked pretty similar to the slums of Jo’berg or even India (except much cleaner than India! No offense India….I love you and miss you!)
Pretty close to the start of our trip there was a detour. A long one that almost doubled our drive time but we ended up seeing more of the coast so we welcomed it. We asked why the main road was closed….turns out it was closed due to protests that were happening that was too dangerous to drive through/by in a city called Grabouw. Protesters said authorities want to move them from the land they are occupying, but they have no where to go. They said they would disrupt the traffic on the national road until they were assured they would not be moved. no place to stay. The protesters were throwing rocks at cars and set the traffic building on fire. Again, I was grateful for the detour!
Along the 5 hour drive, we saw a lot people hitchhiking. I wondered where they were going, if they were going to be late, or if they even worried about that. In South Africa, you hold your hand out with a certain position/sign so people know where you are going when you’re looking for a ride. I don’t know what each one means but I was pretty sure Shane didn’t want to pick up any randoms on the side of the road. 😦
Our first stop on the trip was Agulhas National Park. We booked a night at one of their seaside chalets, not really knowing what to expect. Holy shit. We were like kids on Christmas Eve! I told Shane I wanted coffee so I could stay awake all night- I didn’t want to waste a minute there.
We wanted to go for a jog before we made dinner so we headed down to the beach. Detour! We stopped jogging pretty quickly because we were mesmerized by the seashells. There were so many bright colors and interesting shapes we had never seen before. Again, we felt like kids and got completely immersed picking out our favorite shells.
Shane BBQed and we ate out under the stars.
The next morning we tried the jog again after sunrise. The national park chalets are very secluded so all we heard were the birds, the waves, and the wind.
They say that the feeling of ‘awe’ is important for our soul and our happiness. I’m not sure if I have ever felt such awe over and over again in such a short period of time; and I’m pretty sure it’s doing something good for my soul.
Before check out, we made some chai tea that we got in India, played rummy with our Big 5 cards we got in Botswana, while wearing my pj bottoms I got in Thailand.
We ended our time in Alguhas by going to the southernmost tip of Africa.
A huge shout out to the South African National Parks. They are so incredibly well maintained and a true preservation of the land. The hiking paths are the perfect cross between natural and clear- if that makes any sense. The chalets were beautiful, affordable and clean.
An amazing 24 hours! I am reminded of the motto of Life magazine and the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.