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From Robyn Island to the Eastern Cape

elephants lions and backpackers


We have visited Robyn Island- the catamarans (CATS) take you over a large stretch of choppy water to the island visible from Cape Town on a clear day.. The CATS load was a mixture of South Africans, Vevezula waving Dutch, and yanks we seemed to be the only Brits onboard, Met by a comedic guide who thought his jokes were a lot funnier than they actually were, we all boarded a bus and toured the island visiting the pointless limestone quarry where prisoners in the full hot bright sun chipped away at stones that had no purpose. These workers were allowed no shade until a break for lunch consequently many x prisoners including Mandela cant produce tears..it was completely barbaric.
Along with other prisoners Nelson Mandela’s cell was the length and width of a dog kennel, he was not allowed to play football with the others, his world revolved around a back yard he was a high risk prisoner. (See pictures)
I did have to bear in mind that the fact despite all efforts to lead the ANC in peaceful means to end arpartite Nelson and others were imprisoned due to a foiled bomb plot.
“Any questions” asked the prison guide,
“Did your Jailors say sorry” I asked
“They did yes”
“Did they mean it?” ……………No answer

From Somerset West we packed up and headed for the Eastern Cape staying at Starling Backpackers which is the most welcoming place we have yet been to… the accommodation was very basic and more dormitory style but the hosts created an atmosphere for travellers to all feel included and we had 3 nights of entertainment, and I managed to get the whole room to support Ghana for the nail biting quaterfinal against cheating Uraguay…
Tom thrashed the Irish, Chinese and US and at table tennis, we toured the beaches around Plattenberg bay and at my insistence went to see crazy people jump from the highest bungee bridge in the world tossed like rag dolls in the air

Folk actually like suspending themselves like this! .. Jonathan had no interest in jumping preferring to be in control and climb the Gorge but of course Tom begged us to let him do it.….. Shame he’s too young minimum age 14!
From Plat bay we headed to Addo game reserve. On the eastern Cape. This is full of animals that live wild and free in an area the size of Belgium..they rely on the food chain of life .. So Kudu are hunted by Lions and hyenas and Elephants lurk around eating bushes all day in amazing herds and parades ..(there is a difference)
I never thought I would feel happy to go out on our own into the bush but we were all hungry for more ..it was so unpredictable and there was an element of danger that gave it an edge… Elephants the size of houses pounding nearby the car within touching distance ..Keeping still and quiet is an art form for both myself and Tom but we quickly got the hang of it… being so close elephants and lions was out of this world.

And Now? Well we are at Umbuto backpackers in Jefferies bay we had a drastic change of plan as we have got tickets for our final game of the world cup 3rd place play off .. This is a surfers paradise the Billabong surf championships start here next week ..I soon figured that if I cook a large curry I could barter it for surf lessons for Tom.. one this pm secured with the most attractive young German lad this afternoon …
All backpackers places have similar atmospheres ethos and compulsory features…
All inhabitants to say “awesome,” “cool” and “man” after every sentence
Smells and tastes of Africa
Large dogs
Every nationality passing through
African art covering all surfaces
I could go on and on …but what they don’t generally have of course is a cheeky 11 year old Buxton boy having the time of his life.

Love from J L & T

Posted by WAKEFIELDS 04:16 Archived in South Africa Tagged family_travel

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