Compared to Europe the colours of Africa seem muted, dulled and sun bleached. Old Bridge Backpackers where I am staying is located on the Thamalakane river. Not so amazingly it is next to the old bridge. which was built in colonial times and was the major way of crossing th driver, now it is protected a memory of the past and is primarily a rather sweet fishing spot used by the locals and donkeys graze in the shallow waters. I sit here silently enjoying the thought of not having to think for the next few weeks as David Bowie’s (Ziggy Stardust) playing in the background.
I could have been in Europe to long and forgotten what it’s like for people to be friendly but here everyone says hello to me as I pass and gives me a smile and keeps going. I spoke with one man fishing at the old bridge. He wanted to share his tourism plot with me. I am certain he meant plan but plot sounds so fantastically evil. Take down the world one tourism plot at a time.
* Just as this moment my mother and step dad arrived, I didn’t expect them for another hour *
I had my back turned watching the donkeys graze and I didn’t even notice she was there until she launched herself at me. She couldn’t wait to hug me. I had been waiting for this hug for such a long time as well. It has been 15 months since I saw mum and even though we Skype every other day and regularly go months without seeing each other this was the longest and I just needed that giant hug that tells you you are loved unconditionally and that for that moment everything will be ok and nothing can harm you.
After all the hellos and hugs we make our way into town and have what will be the first of many Gin and Tonics (we drink them for the protective quality of the quinine and my sanity) with lunch and then it’s off to our first camp site and our second lot of GnTs on the bank of the river. I am acquainted with what will be my home for the next 2 or so weeks. A four wheel drive with two tents above it. Our kitchen is stored in the back and we must pull it out at every stop. I use the work kitchen libarley. it’s a gas bottle, a kettle, a large cast iron pot and glasses for our gins of course. We also need to carry all our food and water with us as we are camping pretty much the whole time. Not sure how I will cope with this but I have no choice so I will just suck it up.
The great thing about my home for the next 2 or so weeks is we get to pick the view every night and this one is not to bad.