Showing posts from June, 2017

South Africa Travel Journal: The Garden Route to Cape Town

The narratives I read from the tourist and other travel brochures about the Garden Route, made my nomadic heart beat faster. So I couldn't be more excited as our plane touched down in Port Elizabeth, where we were to start the drive through the Garden Route to Cape Town. The Garden Route was incredible. It stretches for less than 300 km, yet the range of topography, vegetation, wildlife is remarkable: indigenous temperate forest, pine plantations and ‘fynbos’ (thick bush), mountains running alongside rocky coves and beaches, gorges, rivers, lagoons, and mountain passes. While tourism may have taken over much of the coast, and tree plantations for commercial use may have taken their toll on the forest and fynbos, the Garden Route remains breathtakingly beautiful. As a nature lover and a photo enthusiast, I had my camera ready so I could film the whole drive, but holding the camera was cumbersome that I decided to keep the memory of the scenery in my brain instead. One of m

South Africa Travel Journal: God's Window

Johannesburg – the City of Gold On a recent trip to South Africa, I joined a city tour of Johannesburg. We drove past the affluent neighborhood of Houghton to see the house where Nelson Mandela, the South African hero who fought against apartheid, died. We continued on to Soweto to visit  Mandela’s old house/museum and the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, one of the main centers of anti-apartheid activism in the 70’s in Soweto. When we arrived in Soweto, we got off the bus only to take pictures of the “Welcome to Soweto” sign but we were not allowed to wander around. I was disappointed but not totally surprised for before going to South Africa, I asked an acquaintance who was then living in Johannesburg if it was safe to visit South Africa. Her reply, “It is easy to get a falsified feeling of security in SA but it’s dangerous!!! I suppose it depends on your comfort level, but one definitely does get a stressful feeling day and night about their safety…better to have guidance b