Thursday, 12 April 2007


We have spent five weeks in South Africa, and have covered a very small part of this large country. Johannesburg was the starting point. I had arranged to be collected from the airport, and was feeling confident after a good flight, and a fun weekend in Sydney. However, this was all blown away after watching the frankly terrifying tourism promotion video for the city on the plane. Basically it said, be very very careful, and leave as soon as you can!! The drive in from the airport though was nothing special, lots of pick ups with mostly black men in the back of them, all driving home from work through dusty hot roads. The motorway would put Wellington's efforts at roading to shame, and the traffic was interspersed with fancy European cars, among the more workmanlike bakkies (lingua franca for "ute").

We did an organised tour to Soweto the next day - pretty sobering stuff, but these days a mixed neighbourhood with some select areas looking like middle class NZ, where the politicians live we were told. Maybe Soweto's become like Harlem, an address with attitude! However, it's home to millions more who live without running water, sanitation or reliable electricity.
Two sides of Soweto, a typical shanty house, alongside Nelson Mandela´s old home (now a museum).

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