Daily Archives: November 20, 2009

Cycling

Yesterday I rode.  I just got on the bike, put two large bottles on it, some money under the insole of my shoe and rode.  I don’t know the area here, so I have to do out and backs.  47km out in the midday sun (mad dogs and Englishmen) with three major climbs, I did a u-turn and came back the way I came.  The heat reflected from the tarmac made it about 45 degrees pushing up one climb.  There is something so liberating about the sweet salty sweat dripping from your nose onto the top tube.

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Tourist

I am here as a tourist, so I did tourist things. I took many photographs (or snaps as they are, when you aren’t thinking about lighting or are looking more to capture a moment).

I am in a country with a shameful recent past, and a past that it is trying to come to terms with. In many respects South Africa is like Germany as far as that goes, however there is a willingness to talk about Apartheid and the experiences here that there simply isn’t in the Fatherland. Perhaps it is to do with the experiences being far more at the forefront of the mind. Perhaps with time, there will be a shame about it too. In Germany, the war, and the Nazi past is not something that is often discussed. Something that is often ignored, or not explored for fear of letting the flood gates open. South Africa doesn’t seem like that, but perhaps that is more to do with the Blacks that I have come into contact with, rather than white South Africans. I know that often it is very difficult to give an honest opinion about your experiences particularly if they don’t gel completely with the PC way of seeing things.

Walking around Cape Town yesterday gave me a bit of an idea what it was like. From visiting the ‘District Six’ museum, and museum dedicated to an entire area of the city which was a black residential area, that in the late 1960s was reclaimed as a ‘white’ area for redevelopment. The thousands of families living there were simply evicted and lives destroyed. The entire area was flattened. More insulting, the land was never developed and for the most part still sits empty.

 

From there, I walked to a the Company Gardens, past a large building used in the slave trade as a ‘warehouse’ for the goods. I find this sort of thing upsetting, and so didn’t go inside (I have done elsewhere in the World) and then moved on to the Bo-Kaap area. The colours here are amazing, hence many pictures.

Later we traveled down the Cape to Boulder Beech, where the penguins bask in the sun.