I come and go South Africa over three times, but I think now it is time to leave. Before leaving, I get cultural shock. T.I.A means “This Is Africa”. Real African culture!
12th Mar 2013
I come back to South Africa after three weeks in Swaziland. It was very steep for a few days, but now it is kind of flat that I can cycle easily. I make peanut butter sandwich around tree plantation. It seems that autumn is already here. The weather is a bit chilly. When I came to South Africa at first, it was January and summer. Time is running out so fast.
Here is no tree, but small hills.
I choose secondary road, not main highway. That’s why I face this horrible traffic sign. South Africa is known for brutal crime so that some of cyclists choose short way to cross South Africa.
I have really scary night. When I went to toilet in grocery, worker said that it is too far to find other house from here. Cashier said he is son of owner that I can sleep in the empty house where I’ve been for toilet in the back yard. Another local lady worker urged to sleep at there.
But it seems that they are not trusted person. He said his mother will come at 6 clocks. But she didn’t come. I am not sure it is true what they said. I can’t trust them. So, I place my bike to block the door.
I only have to protect myself is pepper spray. But the thing is mice run all the time in the roof that I can’t figure out somebody break the door or mouse is running. I can’t sleep all night.
Which is more scary night for me? Tent at abandoned house in Peru or tonight?
13th Mar 2013
Today here is another scary sign. I wish I can move as fast as car! (haha)
The weather is very cool and a bit chilly. The road is very quiet that I can’t find any people on the road. There are only a few cars.
I stay at the same house where I slept before I left South Africa. It is good to see her again!
14th Mar 2013
Today I have to ride the same road I’ve done before. It was the place I took picture of congratulation of 14,000 km. It is weird that the place is not much special as the other day.
I like Long-tailed Widowbird on a sign. The real bird is very beautiful. The bird lives only in Africa.
I know the people who stay in town, because I slept at their house before. But I pass to go farther. Around 4 pm, it is not easy to find the house.
I find one farm in the field. I ring the bell and young woman come out. She smiles and opens the door for me. She urges me to sleep inside. I ask her that she stays alone in this big house. She says she is staying with her parents. I worry and ask her that she should ask her parents first. But she says it doesn’t need, because her parents will love to host me.
I am nervous that their parents didn’t know what her daughter did. But late night her mother arrives and she is very kind to me. It is very weird how white South African open the door kindly for strange! It is not normal that people let me sleep at inside of their house. White South African is the only person who let me sleep at inside home all the time when I ask to set up my tent at their yard.
15th Mar 2013
There is foggy around lake and it is chilly morning.
In the late afternoon there is long downhill. I think the weather will be hotter.
There is a big risk that I can’t find the house to sleep around 6 pm. I saw the name of the town at noon on the traffic sign. But that is not town. I see one grocery, but drunken white people are there and they shout at me. I am too scary that I run away from them.
It is my first time to be on the road around being dark. Being panic, I find closed big market. I just run to there and find the bell. When I ring the bell, Muslim people open the gate for me. It is my first time to stay with Muslim people. Everybody wears Chador! They are enough kind.
16th Mar 2013
These days I am cycling on the secondary road. That’s why I am seeing this scary sign very often. I wish every bad people is on holiday.
Though there are not people, many safaris are next to the road. It is not big, but small private Safari so that there are not such as elephants. But this animal is very special that I’ve never seen this one even on the internet. It is called Sable antelope!!!!! Horn is Amazing and Awesome!
I hear later that it is cost 15,000$(120,000 Rand)!
They have white underbellies, white cheeks and white chins!! It is so cute!!!! Sable antelope have ringed horns which arch backward, in females these can reach 1 m, but in males they can reach over 1.1 m. The lifespans of these animals is up to 18 years.
There is no shoulder because of secondary road.
It is biltong which I got from Muslim family. African jerked meat is very unique!
Typical African roof in front of Safari
There is Wild animal on the photo! It is Kudu.
Since yesterday it has been very hot.
Local people walking on dam
There are many big farms, but it is not easy to find the place to stay.
Around 6 pm, I go into one of house. Today it is very weird. The son of house’s owner is very kind and their parents are so warm. His job is making tattoo. Later he tells me that he was in a jail over 7 years, because he killed two people!!!! I can’t understand why he tells me that thing. He doesn’t need to tell me his bad past, because I just stay one night.
Anyway I am not afraid to stay at their house. Just thing I can’t understand is why he tells me about his past.
17th Mar 2013
What is this traffic sign? Does it mean it is good for stargazer? Oh, I guess ‘Must be careful wild animal in the night.’
These days I am reading this book. It is story about Australian woman who stayed in South Africa over 10 years. I am so lazy that I just sit under the tree and read the book for a long hour in a day.
These days I am like a grasshopper that I just sit under the tree and read the book lazily in the afternoon. Around sunset, I cycle my best, because I was too lazy during day.
It was almost dark when I found the farm. I am very welcomed by them when I ask for the night. Even they feed me a lot of food!!!
18th Mar 2013
There is a big farm of sunflower. Again I read the book lazily from the morning. I am more comfortable on the road than any other place.
Sunflower reminds me of the movie of Be with You. I like some of Japanese movie such as ‘Secret’ and ‘Love letter’.
Today also there is a fence next to the road. It means there are many Safaris.
But I can’t see many wild animals, but bone.
Oh, there is a wild animal! I contacted Couchsurfing’s host that I can take the rest at his home for a few days. The first night I have a stomachache seriously. Actually pain started a few days ago. What is wrong again? Because of water or biltong which I got? I take some medicine and fall asleep deeply.
19th ~ 23rd Mar 2013
One of host’s family is going to camping so that I follow to help. Wow. It is amazing that she brings whole bed!! They recommend me to take bed on my bike! Hahaha
It is a nice camping place!
My host. Where is he taken?
It is the inside of the biggest Baobab tree!!
They say it is the biggest Baobab tree in the world!! I am wondering how they know it is ‘the biggest’. Haha
In the night I have special meat! The meat I have is called ‘Impala’
24th Mar 2013
I take the rest very well for a few days. Even I contact Korean family in Botswana that I feel so relax.
The weather is very dry and hot.
The road is not familiar today. I feel like I am already in Botswana. I can’t see a nice house anymore and the weather is too hot.
Around dark, I find a small village. It is my first time to go into the black local village in South Africa. But unlike I expected, people are very hostile and they want to see my passport. It is my first time people ask me passport since I started traveling. Even they say I can’t set up my tent and recommend me to go to a police station. They say it is close that only 30 km!!!!!! (19 mi) I have asked a few times more, but people are very cold.
Some of them recommend me to go to Chief house. Chief house is very normal and the chief wear normal clothes. (I’ve heard that local people doesn’t wear traditional clothes anymore. Only they wear it for tourists or some event. )
(I took the photo at next morning. It is the load of Chief’s house.)
At the first, they said they can let me stay one night. They gave me chair to sit. I just see many people come and go. Later I realize that they are discussing about me. They want to call police to fetch me up.
I am too embarrassed to say anything. At first they said yes, now they want to call police to fetch me up. I can’t go out of the town now, because it is too late and dark!!!! The local black village people are the only race who want to call the police that I’ve been around the world.!!!
There are 11 languages in South Africa. It means there 11 races. I am in one of their villages. It seems that this local village people are very conservative.
(The photo of their village)
I try to persuade that I am not a bad people. But it seems that discussing is never ending! Later I give up and tell them that please call police, because I can’t stay all night to watch discussion. But they just keep discussing. I totally give up.
I am really upset when one of family comes and tries to invest me with my passport. I think they are more strict than CIA. They pass my passport around them. I feel angry with their treat. I do want to get out of this village. But it is too late. If I go out now, I must be …… Oh.. I suffer patiently.
Around 8:30 pm, they say ‘we decide to let you stay one night’ oh…….
When I try to sleep soon, I can hear that they call and talk with someone. It seems that they call police to make sure.
Wow. Amazing. This Is Africa!
25th Mar 2013
Before sun rising, I run away from their village. I feel so fresh now. The road is my home. The road is my everything.
I’ve heard that there are many donkeys in Botswana. Since yesterday I’ve seen many donkeys that I feel like I am already in Botswana. There is some shocking news that some company cheats that they mix normal meat with donkey! It means maybe I already had donkey!
What is this sign?? Oh.. tail!! It is warthog!
This is warthogs. Wild warthogs run away as soon they see people!
Also today I see wild animal, Kudu. But I have to be careful. When I try to close to them, then they run away.
I find the farm around 4 pm. Today I feel so thankful to white farmer who open their door for me very easily.
This stuff is camera! There is sensor that it takes photo atomically when it finds some movement.
It is not their farm, but they are only hired. I was wondering of hunting. Now here are prices! To hunt wild animal is one of leisure in South African who has enough money. 8Rands is 1 Dollar. To hunt Warthog is 63$, Kudu is 400$, Zebra is 812$ and Giraffe is 2,000$.
26th Mar 2013
The weather is cool and the road is quite kind of downhill. Everything is so easy. I already reach at the Botswana Border. I feel a bit sad. South Africa is really well developed country that I enjoy so much.
I experience “This Is Africa” in a small village. I think I need to adjust their culture which is to take long time to do anything. Now I am going to real Africa! South Africa is very nice to cycle! I will remember kindness which I got on the road! Okay, it is the time to leave South Africa!
Days I spent in South Africa= 15 Days
Distance of cycling in South Africa = 654.91 km / 409.31 mi
Cities I stayed in South Africa= 7 Cities
Warburton, Carolina, Stoffber, Roedtan, Mokopane, Galilia, Marnitz
Money I spent in South Africa = 27 $ (211.52 Rand)
(1$= 8.04 Rand)
People who helped me on the road in South Africa=
Luane & Piet & Annesta Botes (Warburton), Retha Beson (Carolina), Ablullah (Stoffber), Hendrik & Maritza de Swardt (Roedtan), Koos & Lucia Groenewald (Mokopane), Chief of town (Galilia), Deon&Lizette (Marnitz)
People who donated to me = 송보순, Steven Dyer, Hendrik & Maritza (local people), 하정혁