These are the stories of my travels.
Day 4. 12 November Alarms go off to wake us at 4:10am. It’s rough. Our animated Thai waitron/friend shows up and plops a tray of breakfast on my lap in my bed. He seems to be making fun of my morning face, which is actually quite funny when you are half-asleep. In contrast to last night’s feast, the soft white bread-that-once-was-warm-toast and rubbery cold white eggs aren’t great at all – especially not before the crack of dawn. Worse yet, the train seems to be standing still and I have no idea where we are or how long until we...read more
11 November Day 3. I’ve been eaten alive. Well, practically. Somewhere between yesterday and this morning the back of my legs have become a smorgasbord for the local mosquito population. Can’t wait to get to the islands and scare people away with my pasty white and diseased-looking thighs! Anyway. When booking accommodation, the two words ‘breakfast included’ are a sure-fire way to gain first choice and so we find ourselves sitting at tables next to the river at Navalai going for multiple rounds of buffet breakfast. Mind you, just the...read more
9 November 2014 “Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.” – The Beach (2000) Now, I don’t particularly want the same experience Richard had in that millennium blockbuster,...read more
AMATHOLE Day 6 – Zingcuka Hut to Tyume River 15km I’m just going to be upfront and throw in the following disclaimer: Today was my least favourite day. Call it an unfortunate series of events, a bad batch of factors, or simply the culmination of a challenging journey … but a lot went ‘wrong’ on this last stretch of the Amathole. The morning begins with an intense study of the hand-drawn map framed in the communal area of the Zingcuka hut. There are several route options to choose from – the easiest and most boring being a long...read more
AMATHOLE Day 5. Mnyameni Hut to Zingcuka Hut 18.2km My parents are still tending to blisters, plasters and shoelaces on the wooden porch of the hut when I set off shortly after Karin and Stephan. Hardly fifty metres in and we’re crossing water again. Should I run back and tell them to forget the shoes at first? Luckily the streams are shallow and the pebbles plentiful for crossing over. Once again we are enclosed in indigenous forest with a steady climb along the contours of the mountain. Then, almost without noticing, you’re out in...read more
Amathole Day 4 Cata to Mnyameni Hut 13.4km The curtainless windows reveal that it is still dark outside, except for the occasional flash of white lighting and low distant grumbling of a thunderstorm. But I am awake and watch and count for the next one. I miss my alarm clock at home that assures me of the time with just a turn of my head and a crack of an eyelid. Our party begins to rise though, so it must be waking up time already. I always doze as my parents get going and while they lean over to greet me and wish me a happy new year, my...read more