My stay in Port Elizabeth was pretty unremarkable – much like the city really. There isn’t a lot to see here but I did manage to see quite a bit of it via my taxi mission across the city trying to find a camera repair shop. At the second place I visit inside the gargantuan Greenacres Shopping Mall, I give the stroppy shop attendant a big smile as a new non-Sony battery brings my camera back to life. The attendant does not seem to enjoy my absolute joy and relief.
With nothing much happening at the hostel, I finalise the rest of my plans in South Africa, which is another achievement unlocked – I’ll be picking up a cheap hire car in Durban which I will now drive to St Lucia, the Midlands, the Drakensberg and Underberg, from where I’ll jump on a two day tour into Lesotho. Part of me really wanted to test my driving skills by driving up the Sani Pass and through Lesotho in a 4×4 – but another part of me didn’t want to end up broken down on a remote road in freezing temperatures with not a lot of clothing in the country known as
“The Kingdom In The Sky”. Hiring a 4×4 also going to cost me about five times as much.
I am then returning the hire car back to Durban before taking my final BazBus trip up to Johannesburg to finish my trip with a safari through Kruger Park. Done.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was well-timed at 6am – just in time for me to catch the “fight of the century” before catching my BazBus to Chintsa.
As I left Port Elizabeth on my once-again female-dominated BazBus – why this is I’m not sure, but it sure is a safe way of travelling across South Africa – I was now entering the next phase of my trip as I left behind the Garden Route and entered the area known as the Transkei.
It is an area that has been talked up by my friend Monica in London but one thing I didn’t know about it was the fact that it was treated as an autonomous region – almost like a separate country – within apartheid South Africa, as a token way of recognising the local African community that lived there. It didn’t work though, as the Transkei was and still is one of poorest regions in the country and life wasn’t great, even under self-rule. To read more…