Days 21, 22,23,24; Phinda game reserve to Craddock 1200 Kms
We are moving out of Zululand and into the Eastern Cape Province, and arrived in Umhlanga just north of Durban. We have now driven from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean across Africa.
The test section was cancelled due to too much traffic so there’s not much to report in the rally. Sorry Barry! We are driving quite long days over some good and some bad roads. Tilly is holding up beautifully and we are crossing our fingers.
The Eastern Cape are the homelands of Transkei and the Xhosa people and they have had self rule since 1948 with the apartheid. We drove past 800 kms of closely settled villages and towns because with apartheid the government put 42% of the population into 13% of the so called homelands. There is a constant stream of people, animals, pot holes and roadworks.
45 years ago Gunther, a young enthusiastic 23 year old, arrived in Durban Port on a boat (yes, a boat person), with a DM 150.00 ticket on a European Immigration Scheme (like a £10 Pom). He lasted a year in Johannesburg before he left again in a Land Rover, always an opportunist, taking paying passengers on a tour through Africa. Lucky for me that he didn’t find an African bride.
We arrived at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga which was a complete surprise.
A lovely old hotel with a red and white striped light house out into the Indian Ocean and our room faced the waves crashing on the rocks all night. After being in the desert, the air was alive and some people saw whales cruising down to the Antarctic.
As a tourist you don’t really get to see the real life of the people and as everywhere there are great differences. Our hotel was full of white South Africans and tourists from overseas, and when we went into Durban, we hardly saw a white person at all. We were told it was dangerous walking through some streets, but we had a lot of fun buying a wig for the Halloween party. The African women must wear a lot of fake hair. Gunther loved the attention of two women at once.
On the other hand 70 white farmers have been killed since Febrary, and they have 19,000 murders a year. The white farmers staged a protest by blockading a major road and the paper only reported what a nuisance it was tha the kids were late for their matriculation exams. One man told us that they arrange security themselves on a roster basis where he lives.
We spoke to people about the corruption of Zuma and the Gupta family and there is a lot of frustration. We hope it doesn’t go the same way as Zimbabwe.
Leaving Durban we had a test on a race track and Tilly laboured around the course with Gunther trying to get a good time. At the moment we are coming 4th from 19 cars and we are happy with that. It’s still a balance between keeping the little woman happy and the old ego!! (Good luck Jill)
Last night we stopped at a beautiful beach on the ‘wild coast’ at the mouth of the Mzimvubu River called Port St Johns. It was like Depot and Durras except that instead of kangaroos there were cows sunning themselves in the sand. Apparently they love the beach too!