Sunday, 18 August 2013

road tripping around South Africa & other adventures

This time last year I had been in South Africa ten days. We covered a lot in that short space of time. I had explored the country surroundings, met new friends, experienced a meteor shower, been to jewellery and glass blowing workshops, seen Lewy and Franci's business and what their jobs consists of in an average day for them, met the locals, enjoyed a day out Shopping with Franci and her mum in Polokwane, seen some crazy bugs, plants and vegetation and even Pickle-lilly their house cat gave birth! So yeah, a LOT happened! More on all of the above later though.

This day in particular was exciting for all of us, we were going on a road trip to Kruger National Park and then on to Mozambique for a week of sun, sea and sand! We had to get a head start in the day to be at Kruger in time to go on Safari, I think the drive itself was around 13 hours to get to Moz. In 40 degree heat with five of us in the car on top of a weeks worth of stuff, it was hectic. We left the house at five in the morning and watched the world wake up as we drove to Kruger. South Africa is so beautiful, the landscapes are so vast and the colours are stunning. Lots of Pride Rock-esque mountains and huge cacti plants for my little heart to swoon over.

We stopped at this place called Gods Window along the way for some really amazing panoramic views of the valley and mountains. It was quite a long walk as the gates weren't open so of course we jumped the fence and made our way over to the famous spot. Gods Window stretches for miles and miles, it made me feel so small looking out to it all. Its breathtaking, we were all silent and had a couple of minutes to ourselves to take it in and realise how lucky we all were. Well that's what I was thinking anyway. So beautiful. Perfect back drop for a group photo as well!

Bloody breathtaking! Some of the photos above were taken by Kevin. We were all lost for words at the views. At one point a huge flock of birds flew over the valley, they looked like tiny black specs against the sky in comparison to the mountains. The air there was so fresh and crisp as well. Another favourite moment of mine.

After Gods Window we continued in the car towards Kruger. We weren't long in the car again before we noticed a giant sign to the left of us that said in big bold lettering 'FACE YOUR FEARS!' with a screaming face next to it. Instantly Lewis and I were intrigued. We drove over and realised past this sign was a huge gorge dropping down into the valley below with some cable lines going across. It wasn't a bungee jump but something much more fun, a bungee swing! Now I don't know if you know but I'm a biiiit of a thrill seeker, so I had to do this. It was too much fun (and too cheap!) to say no, I'd never have another chance to do it so after a bit of convincing Franci to let Lewis jump with me we said fuck it and went to sign up. We decided to jump together as it was even cheaper that way and we could jump and be done without falling behind on schedule for Kruger. Heh, pun intended :) The next bunch of photos were taken by Dani and Kevin.


After the initial set up of harnesses and the 411 about how if we die it's not their fault yadda yadda yadda we stepped onto the platform and had a look at what we were about to free fall into, it's fucking high. I was so excited and nervous all at the same time, that same feeling you get for anything half life threatening. We stepped slowly backwards holding each others reigns until the instructor told us to stop. Then he counted to three and we lent backwards. That was the weirdest part for me, it's not natural to just let yourself fall down, especially backwards! It's that feeling in your stomach that you get going over hills in the car at high speed, only multiplied and the shivers are all over your body. We fell for what felt like minutes, falling at such a high speed with the mountain face whizzing past us, my hair completely vertical bracing myself to hit the floor. We fell for SO long, I'm not joking. So long that I screamed, we didn't realise HOW high the mountain was. All of a sudden we weren't falling any more but swinging in the sunlight, across this amazing valley covered in greenery. I'll never forget the moment when we both realised we weren't falling anymore but swinging, we both looked at each other and started laugh-screaming in pure ecstasy. The swinging was epic, we swung over and over until we slowed down and came to a point in the middle where we were to catch this separate rope which brought us down. It was the best fun, such a rush and just SO SO MUCH FUN. Like all extreme activities I've done, I'll do it again in a heart beat. When we got back on the ground we realised the trek we had to endure to get back up to Franci, Dani and Kevin. The walkway up the mountain was really rural, tough on our jelly legs! When we got up we met a women who had told us so many people have died from that and how we should be lucky we survived. We just laughed and said we'd do it again any day! 

We then had to go over to the bar where a guy served us a shot for our nerves and to congratulate us along with our certificates. The shot was chilli vodka and hit the back of our throats like a blowtorch. It gave us a warm feeling for the rest of the morning though so I guess it wasn't all that bad :) We then set off in the car, nex stop Kruger! Which I'll continue in a part two post I think. If you made it this far fellow reader, pat yourself on the back for getting through all that. And I'm not even halfway through the day yet! There's still so much to share.. until next time xo

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