I had an amazing, very memorable, past few weeks in
One of the most memorable nights I had, right before everyone started leaving, we had a huge party at a friend’s place on the beach. Pretty much everyone I knew was there. It was a perfect way to get to say goodbye to so many people; but of course that was also the worst part of the night. Later, we made a fire on the beach and a few of us stayed out there all night and watched the sun rise over the
I don’t regret that choice for a second. I got to see more of
We started a long day in the car to Bulungula, a backpackers far far away from anything besides Xhosa villages. The drive was long, but then we finally reached Mthatha where we turned off the main paved road. The potholes were no longer the primary problem. It was a dirt, or should I say mud, road. We slipped and slid down the road until we got stuck. A few of us stood barefoot in the mud outside so there was less weight in the car. When we were trying to get out of the mud, the shuttle that picks people up in Mthatha to bring them to Bulungula came by. (We would have done this but there is no where safe to leave the car there). A couple people pushed the car and ended up getting the car out. Three of us got in the shuttle—a big four wheel drive with a back that sat ten people—while the other two drove the car to where we could park it and take the shuttle the rest of the way. The little Citi Golf continued to slide the rest of the way. At one point the shuttle driver tied the Citi Golf to the truck by rope and pulled it through a bad part. And this portion of the trip is the part that the backpacker tells people they can travel on their own if they have four wheel drive. I wouldn’t recommend it. But compared to what was coming up…! These can’t even be regarded as roads. The last leg of the trip took two hours. In the back of the truck we had to be buckled in just to keep from being thrown around in the back and we still held on to our seats and each other. Had it been day time, like it was when we left Bulungula, some of us would have had our eyes closed shut as to not want to see what was coming up. If we were going to tip over I wanted it to be a surprise. After eleven hours of driving that day, we made it. We had a much needed drink, dinner, and went to bed. The next day we saw how beautiful the place was. The ocean was right out the front and behind was rolling hills dotted with huts and cows. Cows, goats, chickens, donkeys, and horses roamed around the backpackers. We had another short day of sun and lied on the beach near a dozen bulls also relaxing in the sand. This place was eco-friendly with compost toilets, rocket showers (a multi-step process to light paraffin to get a hot shower for seven minutes), and the water that comes out of the faucets and showers (for everything besides cooking and drinking) was runoff water—brown water. We had a few good days there before making the same trip down those “roads.” It was equally as terrifying the second time—actually, even more so because it was light out so we could see what was going on. I shut my eyes and held on tight. From there we went back to
On the first night I realized that I had the option of staying there for the remainder of the time. I had already paid a deposit so I had some of that left and I already had the bus ticket from there to PE on the 20th. If I continued on with everyone, I would have had to spend a week in PE. I don’t know what I would have done there for a week. And staying meant saying bye to some people just a couple days earlier than if I went with them. So I decided to stay. It was a hard decision to make just because saying bye to them any earlier than necessary didn’t feel right. It was a tearful goodbye and I missed them and wish they could have stayed as well. I have made myself feel better about all of those goodbyes by telling myself that it’s not for good. I definitely want to take a trip with stops in
What’s both good and bad about staying in backpackers, especially by yourself, is that you meet people and make friends, but being the one staying longer than most others, they come and go while you stay put. Meeting people and then saying goodbye is much more difficult than keeping to yourself and not having to bother with all that, however, it’s also much less fun. I met a few great people at the Coffee Shack; ones I wish were there the entire time I was. At least I was used to goodbyes.
I’ve been home for a couple weeks now. It’s been wonderful seeing everyone again and just being at home. I missed everyone so much! Now I’m just relaxing a lot and spending time with my much missed and loved ones. I’m also looking for a part-time job and hope to be working soon. Other than that, I have nothing to do until school starts the 19th—my last semester of college…For now anyways.
What has been hardest to adjust to is the general, everyday, way of life. For the five and a half months I was there and especially the last three weeks of it, I lived like you would expect someone to live on the beach in rural
I learned so much in
I will never forget my time in