The trip from Cape Town was long and slow now that we have a trailer full of Ant & Juliet's stuff (Jason's bosses). Part of the agreement for letting us use the truck was that we bring back the trailer for them. It's pretty big and I was a little nervous to drive with it at first, especially on the windy, tiny, congested roads around Simonstown but low and behold, it wasn't that bad at all.
Once you hit the Eastern Cape, the roads become pretty bad, nothing compared to Zim of course, just lots of bad drivers and towns to drive through - and windy roads that have no passing lanes. It was a stressful day of driving but when we reached Ixopo, our friends Leona and Andrew greeted us with a bottle of tequila and dinner. It was great to see them and just relax for a bit. Surprisingly I was really excited to see Ixopo and our old home - Jason pointed out it was technically our first home together. Sheena and Tango, Nick's dogs definitely remembered us, which was also nice.
After a relaxing morning/afternoon, we set off for Durban, only an hour and a half away. 30 minutes into the drive we blew our front left tire. We managed to change the tire in record time and get completely covered in grease (hadn't washed the truck yet and leaking oil sprays back over everything) but still made it to Durban in time for dinner.
While Jason attended a conference for a few days, I ran around buying new tires, getting the truck power washed and vacuumed, got my hair trimmed, read and even managed a couple hours on the beach, although it got windy and the clouds kept covering the sun so it wasn't the best. The beach front is looking gorgeous and will be stunning in time for the World Cup - they've created a really nice promenade that spans the entire length of the beach. Last time we were here, the beach was almost gone but they've done something (brought in more sand?) and that isn't a problem any more. The stadium is just about finished too and you can see it in the pic below (more of those pics to come in June).
We had 2 dud meals but the last night we went to dinner at Yossi's, a Mediterranean restaurant that always gets an A+. Falafel burger with olive tapenade, creamy feta cheese and rocket (arugula). Enough said.
The day we left, the conference had site visits and a couple groups visited Africa AHEAD's project on Joanna Road (Jason's organization). This is one of the bad shanty towns that has popped up in a neighborhood that has been there for awhile - with no real resources or help from the city. That changed and the city involved Africa AHEAD to run their community health clubs to promote hygiene and due to the community involvement, without anyone telling them to do so, some ladies have created gardens even where space is terribly limited. It's fun to see the fruits of his work and that the health clubs do make a difference!