Long time no word
Updated 14 years, 10 months ago
long time no word, eh? Been travelling so hectically and to such remote
places there has been no time to get my shit together. Well, south africa has been amazing. such a beautiful country and not always as dodgy as the pommie press makes out, though I had trouble with the safa way of saying "izzit?" every time you say something- I mean "is what?" It can throw a chap when in mid flow, sewing the seeds of confusion in your mind and causing you to lose the thread. Now where was I? See what I mean? Susan and I had a wonderful time in Cape Town seeing the Table Mountain, Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, visiting the costal resorts, browsing round the waterfront shopping malls (she insisted on getting me new shorts as she objected to mine on grounds of taste and decency- the holes in the groin she thought disgusting), the botanical gardens and the superb vinyards of the wine growing areas that surround Cape Town. Went on a fantastic wine tour round these areas and would tell you about all the great wines but ended up getting pissed as a fart and finished up drinking vodka from the bottle at a party at Clifton, overlooking the sea, with some Safas we met that day.
Wanted to go surfing at J bay, but being a Pom I thought I'd leave it to
these southern hemisphere chaps and just watched from the safety of a
bar(British sport- much more my thing). We worked our way slowly up the
coast staying in some good some bad hostels and guest houses- all were very cheap though. We were able to stroke cheetahs in Outshoorn at a breeding project (not as soft as you'd think)- tacky tourist stuff which Susan loved as she adores cats (of all sizes). From Plettenburg bay we canoed up the Keurboums river. We went up past where the motor boats can't go where it's dead still and calm, the river making beautiful reflections of the stunning surrounding bush-clad mountain scenery: birdsong the only sound. After that we went to a bizarre monkey sanctuary- most of them came from south america. The best bit was when a lemur (from madagascan) shat on a spanish tourist- it must have been a basque
Had to do a lot of driving in hire cars as the country is so vast and the
public transport is, well, African. From Durban we drove up to the idyllic
scenery of the Drakensburg mountains, staying in a superb sweeping valley that reminded me of switzerland. Then we arrived at a superb hostel in the middle of nowhere north along the coast from Durban. They had mud baths, hot mineral baths and other girly beauty treatment things, so Susan was in her element. Drove up from here to see the Zulu War battlefields (good idea Mr Spliff). Went first to the scene of a humiliating British defeat (Boo) and then on to Rorkes Drift where we won (hooray). I strutted around pretending to be Michael Caine in "Zulu", pointing my finger alot and saying "Oi!", thus causing great embarrassment to my girlfriend and provoking bemused expressions from local zulu chaps hanging around. Also saw lots of Boer War sites, consisting of vast, sweeping, empty plains leading up mountains. The Boers always seem to have been on the high ground, the battles consisting of hundreds of pommie troops being slaughtered by the afore-mentionned Boers from their safe vantage points. You can just picture the red-faced, inbred, upperclass British general who ordered such stupidity- he probebly made them walk too.
We then went to St Lucia in the wetlands reserve on the coast-beautiful- and from there went to stay in an ultra posh tented camp in the
Umfolozi/Hluhluwe game reserve. Game all around our tent and huge spiders which sent shivers down susan's spine. Had dinner and a bottle of wine outside our tent, with the sounds of the African night all around and
crystal clear, bright, starry skies above- the milky way like a sash across
from horizon to horizon. Very cool and what a romantic setting- I was almost inspired to write poetry(luckily i didn't. Too busy scratching my mossie bites). From here we went on to another huge Game Park- The Kruger. Amazing views and different habitats. Amazing game viewing- Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, buck of all kinds, Hyenas right beside the car and so on. Fucking brilliant.
Saw the Aussies play the Saffas in Jo'burg. Great ground, fantastic Aussie
cricket it has to be said, as they whipped SA by an innings, Warney and
McGrath to the fore. Susan(yep, I convinced her to come! I think it was just
to make sure i didn't get pissed) missed all this as her head was buried in
a women's mag, reading articles about how to improve our sex life. Jeez, I
mean firstly, how could you ignore such a historic display by the Aussies
and second, as if our sex life needed improving! The only time she perked up and showed an interest was when I told her the game was to end early as the Aussies were going to win: "Does that mean we can go shopping now?" was her only comment! Honestly!
Well, I got to Perth okay, but the jet lag was a killer. The hostel I'm in
is full of mainly very young Poms, who don't seem that concerned about doing that much. Perth is a lovely city, very relaxed- a great place to chill out. Loads of good resto's, bars and clubs in the northbridge area of town. Went out last night with a gang from the hostel and ended up getting pissed as a fart. It was interesting as all the pubs were like English Wetherspoons pubs and served pints. The bars were typical of any bars in any big city, but very relaxed and friendly. Consequently, from this in-depth research into the drinking habits of Perth I feel a little under the weather today, well,
really shit actually. I had forgotten how bad a hangover feels.
I thought I was hearing wrong when I arrived as everyone seemed to have an English accent- all the customs people at the airport, then people in shops around town, serving and shopping. I thought I just couldn'tpick up the Aussie accent or something, it was weird. Turns out after speaking to Chris who owns the hostel that Perth is full of Poms, loads have emigrated here apparently. This explained it,but it still seems quite odd.
I don't know how long I'll hang around here. I can't really go anywhere in
WA as I can't afford to do the tours(v v expensive) and I don't have my own wheels. I think I'll come back and do it when I've got a car later in my
travels. Instead I'm just going to chill out in Freemantle (too long a word
for Aussies, obviously, so it's known as "Freo"- complete with the
obligatory "O" on the end. Amazing) and get myself organised- medicare and tax no. etc.
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