Saturday, June 26, 2010

Along the Cape

Durban was a tropical paradise compared to our frigid nights in Joburg and Rustenburg. The lows were in the 50s and the highs in the 80s. The locals all thought it was quite cool and the beaches were pretty much empty. Durban is along the eastern part of the Cape on the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. There is also a huge Indian population in Durban (and South Africa in general, in fact Ghandi lived here for a while during his early life) and the place has a very different feel from the Guateng province in the north. It's warmer and greener, but it also seem to have a more affluent feel to it. Joburg is where people go to make money, but Durban seems to be a place people like to go once they have it. The country clubs, villas, palm trees, and sandy beaches make the place seem a bit like a nice southern california town. This makes the shanty towns crawling up the hillsides seem even more out of place then they were in Joburg. The stadium in Durban is absolutely gorgeous and right next to the coast. We got to enjoy Japan vs Holland in this beautiful stadium.

After a brief two day stay in Durban we started down on Coast towards Cape Town on the Baz Bus. The Baz Bus is a great bus that goes along the cape and picks up and drops off travellers at various backpackers along the way. Our first stop was in Port Elizabeth, half way to Cape Town from Durban. Port Elizabeth is smaller and quieter than Durban, but a very beautiful green area. We spent the day walking along the beaches and then watch Bafana Bafana beat France 2-1, but unfortunately not enough to save their World Cup hopes. They go down as the first host to not make it out of the group round. People weren't too upset by this though. There weren't many expectations going into the tournament and they played very well (drawing with Mexico 1-1 and beating France). In general people are still happy and proud to be hosting the World Cup.

After one full day in Port Elizabeth we had a shorter day on the Baz Bus to Mosselbaai (Mossel Bay). Here we had time to just relax and hang out on the beach. Oh and watch the USA beat Algeria and win their group!

After a day in Mossel Bay we arrived in Cape Town. Cape Town is a beautiful city nestled between the coast and Table Mountain. We hiked Table Mountain and got some beautiful views of the city and the cape.

Things are starting to wind down with our trip and pick up with the World Cup. The group stages are all finished and we're off to Bloemfontein to watch England vs Germany! After this I'll be staying with Justin and his uncle in Pietermaritzburg and then i'm on my own.

Here are a few pictures from joburg and rustenburg:

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