Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bulungula I

Greetings from Cape Town

I want to spend a few lines on the time we spent here prior to departing on our Bululunga Adventure. As you will remember, we are in the heart of the city, about ½ block from Green Market Square, a very active native craft market. It is great fun to sit at one of the coffee shops surrounding the square and watch the interactions among the vendors and the tourists.

The church spire in the picture is attached to a local Methodist church. They support a young women’s shelter and a day care facility.

Breakfast on Green Market Square

Nighttime finds us on our balcony watching the activity on Long Street and sipping a glass of wine.

Monday morning at 0400 we got up to leave for the airport. Our plane was scheduled to depart for East London at 0600, arriving around 0730. This was the first leg of our journey to the lodge in Bulungula. East London is a good-sized town on the “Wild Coast” of South Africa. The Wild Coast is so called because of the inhospitable shoreline and the very rugged terrain which tend to make travel to the beaches quite difficult. As a direct result, the locals are somewhat isolated.

After landing we went shopping for some staples to carry with us into the lodge. Mosquito repellents, wine, nuts, fruit, etc. Then we stopped in the not-to-be-missed Coelacanth Museum.

This fish, thought to be long extinct, was discovered in 1939 and the museum contains multiple casts as well as a lot of photos and research information.

We spent an hour in the museum, and then decided we had better hit the road. We had several hours of driving ahead of us and were unfamiliar with the roads and their conditions.

As we left East London the houses began to appear further apart, in a more rural pattern - plenty of room for a garden and some chickens. Cows and goats appeared, many unconstrained by fences, so care need to be taken while driving so as to not wipe out some family’s food source.

We left the main road after a few hours. Our target was a parking area at a local store “6.1 km down the road from a stream and before you get to the building with a blue roof.” More on this part of the adventure in the next installment.

Cheers for now,

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