Bit of a strange day yesterday. Nothing really amazing happened …. or maybe something did.
We drove 500kms through Eastern Cape, mostly inland, from just north of East London to Port Edward, which is about 150kms south of Durban. We have a beach cottage booked in Durban for the next 2 days.
The whole day’s driving was along the winding, hilly N2 ‘Freeway’, but it was mostly just a 2-lane road with occasional passing lanes. I’ve decided that South African drivers are all like teenagers who have just got their licences – impulsive, unsafe and have absolutely no idea about anticipating anything untoward. They tailgate, speed, overtake on blind corners and on crests of hills and are generally just terrible drivers. Add in a steady stream of people walking on the side of the road, minibuses stopping to pick up and let off passengers, goats & cows on the road, potholes and thick fog in one part and that was pretty much our day. Except for when we stopped at Butterworth at lunchtime to get some groceries, ice and beer.
A white guy, possibly the only other white person in town apart from us, came up to the car and started talking to Greg. I thought he was asking for a lift somewhere, but he just wanted a chat, and something to eat. He was probably homeless and as we were making those ‘right, we’d better go and do our stuff’ kind of comments, he asked us if we could give him a piece of bread. I offered to buy him a loaf and asked if he preferred brown or white. White. Then I asked if he’d like something to put on it. Some gravy? I wasn’t sure how to get gravy, but offered to get some cheese. Okay. So he sat near the car and we went to the supermarket and got our stuff, plus a loaf of bread, some sliced cheese, a carton of orange juice and a small pack of chocolate biscuits. I’d been putting all my small change in a plastic bag so I wouldn’t have to keep sifting through it in my purse, so I added it as well. All up it cost less than a loaf of bread would cost us at home.
We planned to spend the night at one of several campgrounds in Port Edward. At the first one, we couldn’t find anyone to check us in, so we kept going for a few more kms to another one which turned out to be closed, but the woman who runs it invited us into her home and offered to find something for us. She told us that most campgrounds in the area are closed now until Easter. Seems a bit strange when the ones closer to Port Elizabeth are all full, but anyway … It took 3 phone calls to fellow-campground owners, but she found one for us at Trafalgar. It was incredibly kind of her to do that for us on a Sunday evening. I’ll regard it as karma paying us back for giving food to a homeless man.