Reilly on the Road travel blog

Leaving SOuth Africa ... again

ON the Sani PAss Road

Climbing the Pass

ON the Sani Pass Road

Back into Lesotho

A bearded vulture

No hiking today ...

Along the Gxlangwena River Hike

Along the Gxlangwena River Hike

Along the Gxlangwena River Hike

Along the Gxlangwena River Hike

Along the Gxlangwena River Hike

Matt by the falls

A refreshing pause

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 1.23 MB)

The View from the Sani Pass

(MP4 - 2.62 MB)

River Hike in The Southern Drakensberg

My trip to Sani pass was an interesting contrast of cultures. From Durban to Pietermaritzburg I took a minibus taxi. This is pretty much the standard mode of transport all over Africa. I and 15 other people jammed into a micro bus - fortunately we had a newer one and there was a modest aisle that I could lodge my huge pack in. I was a little embarrassed to be luggin such a big bag onto a crowded taxi, but people didn't seem to mind. At least that's what I hoped.

Once to Pietermaritzburg, was to meet "Willy" to get the rest of the way to the Sani Pass. Willy was a contract courier for the greater Underberg/Pietermartizberg area and also offered trensport where convenient to Sani Lodge guests. I squeezed into the front seat of his tiny "bakkie" truck (pick-up with a cargo covering on the back) along with Willy and a frenchman - Dominique LeFranc - who was also heading to Sani. We were so tight I had to straddle the stick shift, and let's just say that down shifting on the highway was awkward for everyone involved - especially Willy (no pun intended.)

As we slowly made our way to Sani pass, we had numerous detours for Willy to make his deliveries. We picked up a mattress and box spring and loaded int on top, we had a stop at a South African "Betty Ford" Clinic, and along the way we talked about South Africa and what was needed for the country to progress. All he could tak about were the "good old days" an that it would probably take a revolution as "AIDS didn't seem to be doing the job." That's right. That's what I think I heard him say. I just sat there in stunned silence for the rest of the trip.

It seemed so odd to me to watch this guy go through his deliveries and wave and exchange pleasantries with everyone - white and black - only to see that beneath the surface was this deeply ingrained hate. I almost don't think he really meant it. The situation in South Africa is very confusing for both white and black, and there has been and will be some major adjustments as 80% of the population suddenly become full fledged citizens, and the country tries to make some reparations for apartheid. It is inevitable that in empowering the black population, the privileges enjoyed by the white population will disappear and in fact many will now be at the back of the line so to speak.

We pulled up to the lodge, I paid him and went to set up my tent.

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