|Well the long coach journey wasn’t too bad. The views of the countryside were lovely sometimes very reminiscent of England.
Our guide spoke of some of the economic realities of South Africa. There is 28% unemployment and generally if a person does not have a job by the age of 24 they are never likely to get one. Education standards are another big issue. In a league table of standards worldwide only Syria and Yemen are worse than South Africa.
This starts to explain some of the poverty we saw when driving through towns such as Ladysmith and Dundee. These towns are populated by seemingly only the black population and it is a sad sight to see. Rubbish everywhere and stalls set up on the pavement and men just standing around doing nothing.
Anyway we arrived at our next stop Isandlwana Lodge which was really lovely. It was opened some 20 years ago by 2 American ladies. There are just 12 rooms and the lodge is set into the rocks overlooking Isandlwana where the British fought against the Zulus in 1879. On the second day tours were carried out to the Isandlwana battlefield and nearby Rorke’s Drift.
Both nights after night our group being the social types that we are burst into song singing various tunes from our youth commencing with our holiday theme tune of Do Wah Diddy by Manfred Mann - it’s a long story!
On leaving Isandlwana we drove on down to Durban stopping at Howick for lunch. The weather was not so good and was in fact raining when we arrived in Durban. Our hotel is right on the sea front and in a very good position. It is very large and perhaps a notch or two down on what we have been used to on this trip.
Security is an issue here and all sorts of warnings are issued. We had to be careful when we took a stroll out of the hotel. Unfortunately we had our first unsavoury incident of the trip last night. Linda, one of our friends from Yorkshire, and one of the kindest and most generous people you could ever meet had her bag stolen off the back of her chair whilst eating her dinner. In it were her phone and about £60 worth of SA rand. All very upsetting.
Anyway today we are flying this afternoon from Durban down to Cape Town which we are all looking forward to.