Two years ago a friend and I embarked on a journey of epic proportions. We had a tight budget to work with, but our determination was rock solid. We were going to make this happen. Convinced of our impending doom our friends and family questioned our sanity. According to the news media South Africa is not a safe place to drive, let alone walk a few hundred kilometers. After a few days of extensive planning we had established a route, and procured supplies.
Completely kitted out in second hand army equipment we started the first leg of our journey… Knysna here we come! What we were doing seemed to resonate with people; every single car that drove past greeted us with a hoot or a friendly wave.
I cannot begin to describe the breathtaking natural beauty of this country or its people. I slept on a farm in the wine lands of Bonnievale, next to a bridge in Mosselbay, shared a garage floor with the dogs of a friendly guy we met in George… after walking for four days without a bath.
I never thought it possible to experience culture shock in my own country. We met people from all walks of life - American climbers that just came back from summiting Kilimanjaro, Australians on a surf safari complaining of all the weight they gained from all the delicious cheep food, and a dreadlocked white Afrikaans “Shaman” from Oudtshoorn named Gert! We did some “extreme” or illegal camping in the nature reserves just outside Knysna surrounded by thousands of fire flies, and wild animals. I even pitched a tent on the board walk in the Garden of Eden where we were chased by a wild pig.
After surviving on soy beans and two minute noodles for a month, and walking through three pairs of shoes we finally ran out of money. We had enough cash for a bus trip back to Cape Town. This country is absolutely amazing. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and diversity of our people. There is so much to see, and explore even if you have to cook your meals in a storm pipe… or sleep in truck stops. Since then I have explored the highlands, and whiskey of Scotland, worshipped the public transport of London, and watched a rugby match at Murry Field. There is no place like home.