Africa, in a word, is amazing! Friday we had our only free day (without planned activities) and Wil decided to do a zipline. He and Peter went to the top of a large hill and rode a zipline at a 45 degree angle…I stayed on the ground filming. I just don’t have that love for adrenaline gene.
From there, we went to Blyde River Canyon and to different lookouts such as the Pinnacle and God’s Window. Beautiful scenery with a large gorge in the middle ~ it was much like being on top of the world looking down on the mountains, green grass and water and slopes.
Imagine, driving through the rolling hills with beautiful countryside one either side of the road, workers sitting on the side of the road or using what I would say is a combination machete/scythe to cut down the brush on the side of the road and perfectly aligned forests of trees for logging. We are cruising down a hill into town and there is a woman in the middle of the road who points to Peter to pull over. Nothing like getting a speeding ticket on our first day! Us and every other tourist coming back from the Canyon. The funny thing is she sent us directly to the magistrate to pay the fine. We paid R100 which is about $15.
From the magistrate in Sabie we headed directly to our World Cup match, Ivory Coast vs North Korea, and there is nothing in the States that compares to the craziness of soccer fans! The party atmosphere was contagious! There was no driving to the stadium, the towns had Park and Ride which was free and amazingly well organized. While on the bus (to and from the stadium) there were about a dozen guys singing and dancing the entire way. Every 5th person had a vuvuzela which was LOUD, especially on a bus or a stadium filled with them! People tried to out-do each other with their dress from masks of the president of North Korea to crazy decorated hats and outfits. Sadly, due to our visit to the magistrate and not being clear on the start time of the game we arrived at the start of half time.
Here are some observations about South Africa after 1.5 days:
•South Africans are amazingly polite and helpful. They seem genuinely happy to be the hosts of the World Cup and go out of their way to chat. While buying a SIM card at the local mall the salesman was talking about how happy they are to be the host and he is just one of the many representatives who want to make our experience a good one.
•Per my friend Carl who also pointed this out, the South Africans have amazingly good teeth. I feel like everyone I speak with could be in a Colgate commercial and would give any Hollywood starlet a run for their money with their perfect smile and straight white teeth.
•Driving on the left side of the road makes me nervous!
•I didn’t think I would love the World Cup game but I did! I would go again….I love a good party! I would even show up on time the to the next one.