But then comes the highlight, Grahamstown, where we get our breakfast and refuel. There is a demo, also a market, just awesome, this is our Africa.
At the roadside is a bustle of corn cob vendor (cooked on gas, the gas cooker is in a cardboard box on the sidewalk) next to the shoemaker, fruit is sold, clothing, vegetables, on the other side of the road provide men with wheelbarrows and other bizarre-looking “companions” their services.
On the N2 turn, the past meets the future, donkey carts being overtaken by trucks. The “Highway” here has only one lane. One building site after another. Cows are on the road. Donkeys, goats. The next major city, King Williams Town is picturesque and the population to 99.9% coloured people. A scurry and bustle on the streets, that it is fabolous. Shame we have to go.
At the Great Kei River Bridge, at a long builing site, we see women who cook directly on the street and sell the food (Millipap) to the workers, while a few meters away dircetly on the bridge, Spurs maintain a huge feeding location. The difference between rich and poor will exist here a long time. This area in the Eastern Cape was once part of Ciskei and Transkei, two homelands, which were predominantly inhabited by Xhsosa people.
At a gas station, the cashier asks me if I knew Helen Zille. Yes, I know that she was the Mayor of Cape Town and that she is the Premier of the Western Cape, she is of German descent, Heinrich Zille’s great niece. It seems that the South African wide campaign by the DA, the Democratic Alliance, also attracts attention in the former Transkei. After all, she speaks three of the 11 official languages of South Africa, English, Xhosa and Afrikaans and German also. The elections in May will be an interesting thing, I believe?
The country through which we ride all day, looks like a Lego kit. The nature is similar to Lesotho, the people are friendly but terribly poor. Anyone who owns a horse is something special.
We decide to go first to Coffee Bay, and from there on the Wild Coast 4×4 Trail to Port St. Johns. Our parcel from Bolton’s GPS Warehouse will certainly not arrive before Saturday in Port St. Johns and we can take our time. Due to the ongoing construction sites we get late into the Surfers Paradise Coffee Bay, here it is, as described in the guidebook, a few huts, two backpackers, a somewhat old-fashioned hotel, the beach, that’s it.
At 10 o’clock, we are totally k.o. and in bed and even the incredibly loud drums on the beach could not keep us awaken. A Backpackers is of course not the most quiet place, but the route up to this beautiful and interesting place was it worth.
Animal of the day: Cattle Egret
Tags: Port Elisabeth, Port St. Johns, Wild Coast, Coffee Bay, Backpackers, Coffe Shack, Eastern Cape, Xhsosa, Transkei, Grahamstown, King Williams Town