South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 22

Bloemfontein

Thursday 3rd April

This morning’s exertions on the fufi-slide were a lot of fun. So much so that I went down the cable no less than three times. They made me do it J Much as was the case with all the other places we’ve been to in over the past few weeks, we left happily and with fond memories.

The drive over to Bloemfontein was a long one but the scenery was magnificent as we slowly left the Drakensberg mountain range behind. We left at ten fifteen in the morning and didn’t get here until gone five in the afternoon. We did, however, stop for lunch, fuel and the occasional photo opportunity. The plan was originally to try to make at as far as Port Elizabeth by tomorrow evening (as a starting point for the exploration of the Garden Route) but we may have to rethink that. Sandy hates being in the car for long stretches and tomorrow’s drive would be an even longer stretch than today’s so we may need to break the journey up. She wants to concentrate on enjoying a given place for longer and not travelling quite so much. It is difficult finding the right balance of travelling versus enjoying a given location. Too much travelling is hard work and not enough means not getting to see so many things and places.

We left this morning with some recommendations on where to stay but we ultimately decided to look into one of the back-packers places that the guidebook recommends. After all, we are supposed to be backpacking. Once we took the turnoff from the main highway into Bloemfontein, we were amazed at the number of guest-house adverts there were plastered all over the place. We stopped off at one of the places advertised but it was full so we continued with our original plan to find a backpackers place. We headed for a place called Taffy’s Backpackers as its description in the book appealed to us the most. As it turns out, Taffy’s closed down just shortly after the guidebook went to print and the place is now a guest-house. It was the same price for the room as stated in the book after all and we liked the place so here we are. Although there is a B&B sign hanging on the gate out front, breakfast is not included in the price. This irritates me a little as it seems like false advertising but there you go. The room is very spacious, the bed is comfortable and the whole place is kept very clean and proper. It’s also in a secluded residential location with good parking facilities enclosed by iron fences. In fact, Bloemfontein in general is very English like. It doesn’t feel like we are in Africa here in the capital city of Freestate.

We’ve often talked about a certain place being ‘White Africa’ or ‘Black Africa’ based on the ratio of blacks to whites that live there. It seems like we started off our South Africa tour in Black Africa and have since steadily been moving into White Africa. I was told this morning that the number of whites steadily decreases the further North into Africa that you go.

I have no idea what we are going to be doing tomorrow. Whether we head out for the road again or stay here to explore Bloemfontein a little is up to Sandy. We’ll see how she feels when we wake up tomorrow morning.

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