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Graham Williams & Louise Jones Travel Blog This is our journal logging our trip through Central and Latin America from July 2005 to the present date. We update it and add new pictures every two to three weeks. At the moment Will is travelling in South Africa, while Lou is living in Buenos Aires.For more background reading on our travels go to - http://journals.worldnomads.com/will/

To the Mountains and the Sea

SOUTH AFRICA | Sunday, 22 October 2006 | Views [855]

The Misty Mountains.

The Misty Mountains.

From Kimberley I went to Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State, formally the Orange Free State and the capital of Afrikaanadom, It has some impressive public buildings and a great museum but there’s not much there to hold a traveler for long. Interestingly it is the birthplace of J.R.R Tolkein, but the locals seem to want to keep that a secret. I had intended to go from there to Lesotho but as ever transport is a problem if you want to go anywhere off the beaten track so I decided to head for the coast at East London.

East London is regarded as a seaside resort but due to the Indian Ocean breakers that crash onto the beach it’s hardly the sort of place you would go for a swim. There were quite a few surf dudes riding the waves but there is only a very narrow strip where it’s safe to go in the sea. Instead I headed up into the Amatola mountains about 120km from East London to a lovely little village called Hogsback where I stayed a few days. The village has some great walks in rain forest which had a number of waterfalls running through it. The forest is inhabited by some exotic birds, including the rare Cape Parrot which I saw, there are only 500 left in the world, so see them now before it’s too late. I stayed in a great hostel called ‘Away with the Fairies’, which is run by a young English couple. The hostel had a couple of dogs that used to come with me on my walks, some strays used to come too so after I stopped somewhere I had to count them all to see I had everyone before going on. The hostel had a brilliant Scottish chef who used to serve up meals like Kudu (an antelope, see my last entry) and Warthog. Hogsback is certainly a very special place, to read more about it click here.

One of the great pleasures of South Africa is that they play very good Rugby and every Saturday since I’ve been here I’ve made a point of watching. The last few weeks has seen the semi finals and final of the Currie Cup, the SA domestic league. The final was played in Bloemfontein and I saw the fans queuing for tickets outside the stadium there, as it was played between the Cheetahs, the local team and the Blue Bulls from Pretoria. It was a good game and one minute from the end the score was 25 points each. It was then that Hogsback had one of it’s epic thunderstorms for which these mountains are famous (hence the rain forest) and cut the satellite link. By the time the signal was restored they had played extra time (no score) and were handing over the cup. Instead of going to a plenty shoot out, with the Currie Cup the captains can decide to share the cup, so both teams ‘won’. How satisfying that is depends on your point of view.

From Hogsback I went back to East London and from there on a night bus to Cape Town where I am now.

Click here for pictures of Hogsback.

Written by Will

Tags: The Great Outdoors

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