Just come back from an awesome road trip!!!! :) with Diana, Beth, Yvonne, Rosanna and Jodie- we went to Robben Island on Tuesday, then took an overnight coach to Port Elizabeth, picked up a car and made our way back through the Garden Route to Cape Town and Fish Hoek, where our house is, arriving last night.
First, Robben Island. We had a watched a movie about Nelson Mandela previously, and now, stepping off the ferry and actually arriving there was incredible. We took a coach which the political prisoners used to be transported in, and visited various sites - such as the quarry where they strove to give education to everyone - with the motto 'each one, teach one', and the maximum security B section where Nelson Mandela's cell was located. The main message relayed was that the island was a beacon of hope for humanity and what had been overcome in the struggle of apartheid. I was really touched by the grace, determination and dignity shown here. It was a moving trip. And a surprise of the morning was that our guide around the island, an ex-political prisoner, upon being freed, had just completed a masters in law this July - at the University of Southampton! A very small world!
The rest of the day was spent visiting museums around Cape Town illustrating the slave trade and its history. I learnt a lot but found it quite distressing - some of the images and stories are ones I will never forget. However, the hope that Robben Island brought still prevailed, to end the day on an uplifting thought.
And so our road trip began for real. An eleven hour coach journey followed, and we arrived in Port Elizabeth, some 800km up the coast early next morning. The highlight of this day was Addo Elephant Park - where we took a game drive and came up really close to elephants, warthogs and even zebras!! Really amazing :) Although not the right time of day for lions unfortunately! Along the route we also visited Jeffreys Bay, Storms River, Pletternberg Bay, Knysna, Wilderness, and Mossel Bay to name the main areas. It didn't really seem like we were in Africa at all - there was greenery everywhere...it was so beautiful. We went on hikes and found waterfalls and crashing waves on huge boulders by the coast...and of course lots of beaches. The backpackers hostels were also great fun, meeting new people and going dancing! All in all a brilliant time..! And now back to work - for my last week with the kids...Sad!!!