At this point we begin the road trip portion of the program. Our plan: to drive from Cape Town to Addo National Park via the Garden Route, not exactly north to Cairo, but a fair portion of the country.
Driving out of Cape Town, the plethora of cardboard and tin lean-tos signified the poverty of the country, the richest in Africa. Shocking at first, then sort of a curiosity, then part of the landscape. That´s desensitization for you.
South Africa clearly has deep rooted race issues, no piece of news there, but we were taken back during this exchange with our innkeeper in picturesque Knysna:
Radek: So what´s the population of this city?
Innkeeper: Well, it depends on if you count the blacks.
Yes, this is 2009, we do and so should you.
But this is a very complex issue that we can only brush the surface of here, so let´s get cracking on the scenery. Winding two lane roads with fast speed limits follow a spine of mountains all the way to the Indian Ocean. Oddly enough things started looking a bit more familiar along the Garden Route. One moment we´re looking at tall pine forest and pristine lakes a la Maine, the next curve affords views of a long, thick stretch of sandy beach.
If we could sum up South Africa in one word, with no question it would be diversity. Of races, languages, landscape and weather. You never know what´s around the next bend in the road.