A trip of a lifetime

My Impressions about South Africa

The time had arrived for me to leave the beautiful South Africa. But I wasn’t leaving for good, I would return to stay for another month at the end of my trip.

Nowadays, South Africa is a really interesting country to live in. It has the baggage of the apartheid still present for its citizens, but it’s evolving into a more European way of thinking, although it’s still completely different. In a country like this, to act in the correct manner is a daily challenge. The way young people react to their parents’ and grandparents’ history is what is changing the future of the country. I’m fascinated by the idea of having that much power in the country’s path, like the one youngsters must have had after the segregation in the United States or after Franco’s death in Spain. But the end of the apartheid was more recent than those examples, and you can still feel it in the air when you visit South Africa.

 

South African flag in Jeffreys’ Bay

South African flag in Jeffreys’ Bay


My next stop was going to be Namibia. I had decided to travel through Namibia by car because everybody had told me that it was the only option, so I spoke with the Norwegian guy that I’d met on my trip from Hermanus, Dag, and since he was heading in the same direction, we decided to rent a car together. Despite my search for more companions to share the costs, no one answered my ads, so it was just the two of us.

Before leaving we paid a visit to Kalk Bay (actually, my third visit to this place), a tiny fishing village where you can eat tasty fish & chips.

When the fishermen arrive in the mornings with their catch from the night before, the townspeople go to the docks to buy fresh fish. The fishermen throw the fish onto the floor and everybody walks around looking for the best pieces.

 

 

The fishermen’s wives cut the fish before selling it, and then they throw the guts back into the sea where eager seals congregate waiting for food.

 

Two seals waiting for the fish guts

Two seals waiting for the fish guts

 

Apart from being a fishing village, Kalk Bay is full of natural jewels. Many hiking trails run along its beautiful hills, and on these hills we made an interesting discovery: Kalk Bay caves. We crawled into some of them, but the most impressive and the biggest one was Boomslang cave.

 

 

Boomslang cave is a dark long cave, with a chamber full of bats where you have to minimize the noise to avoid disturbing the bats. Its length is 506m, so imagine getting lost here! Fortunately we had a book with some hiking trails that my friends had lent me and it had directions about how to get out of the cave, and we had headlights. Crawling around the cave and discovering secret spots was an exciting experience, and listening to the silence inside a huge dark chamber with just the light of a candle we found there, was magical.

A couple of shots to show how dark it was:

After this last excursion, we were ready to face the next challenge: the unknown and difficult Namibia. It was going to be an adventure we would never forget.

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