Impromtu Township Tour – Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Mandy, Warren, and I took a day trip over to St. Francis to check out the surf and dine on some calamari by the wharf. The weather wasn’t really cooperating and it started to rain bringing a chill in the air as well. I did however get to see the stretch of beach made famous by the movie Endless Summer, a surfing legend which I finally watched.

We headed over to watch the fishermen hauling in their catches while we ate some of the best calamari I have ever tasted. It wasn’t chewy at all and had the most delicate flavor making me wonder what on earth I have been eating up to this point when I would order squid. Yummy but now I have been spoiled as the seafood here in South Africa is so fresh it practically swims onto your plate.

I was going to go back to Cape Town and jump on an overland tour but circumstances seemed to push me in the opposite direction. Finally after flat tires, missing buses and no space, I conceded arriving into Port Elizabeth in the late afternoon. It is supposedly safe near where I was staying so I decided to go for a wander.

I took a walk down to the waterfront and ate an ice cream from McDs. They have such weird things at the McDonald’s in different countries. I remember Oz and Kiwis have their own special burger with beetroot and all. The ice cream had flavor swirls in it here so I had to try it. I guess it was ok but nothing to write home about. Wait. That’s what I am doing isn`t it. Ok, well. You know what I mean.

It was pretty low key as I sat by the fire reading and such, drinking out of my humongous jug o` water. I think I am embarking on a bit of a health kick at the moment as I have been a bit mean to my body over the past while.

The next morning I went to Addo Elephant Park with Pete (Lou called him Pat all day for some reason that we don`t know of) and Lou but not before getting well lost. We drove from township to township and I was touched by the little boy waving at me cheerfully through the metal fence. Decrepit and filthy shantytowns dripping in desperation. Shared outhouses and laundry lines strung up through the meager dirt yards.

Even though the shacks were made out of nothing but scraps they had fences around them securing them from what? Was it to keep people in or out? It reminded me of that movie Rabbit Proof Fence.

We passed one “house” that stood out to me with its abundance of colorful flowers and plants which almost engulfed the small square shack. It was a beautiful well cared for garden amid the metal and trash laying everywhere. I could actually see the love and care which reminded me that even when you have nothing, it all comes down to attitude. I was impressed and inspired by this family that took pride in their home and made the best of what they had. This is a prime example of power of attitude and determination.

A wise person once said to me: When life deals you lemons, make lemonade!

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