The end is near, and so I face the final curtain

April 29, 2009 - Cape Town, South Africa

 Hello for the final time from Africa,

 So here I am - 57 days, 4928 miles and a thousand experiences after landing in Nairobi I have arrived safe and sound right at the bottom of the continent in Cape Town. The last few days have been really chilled with everyone being very sad that the trip is coming to an end. After leaving Swakopmund we drove for most of the day before arriving at a campsite near Fish River Canyon - completely unknown but apparently the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. In the late afternoon we had a brief excursion to Sossusvlei, home to some incredible sand dunes and the impressive Deadvlei (Dead Lake), which acquired its name from being a great salt lake many thousands of years ago, but has now dried up leaving a vast bed of salt and a plethora of dead trees and vegetation preserved by the salt and the hot weather.

 The next day we drove to the canyon itself, and spent an awe-filled couple of hours walking along the edge of this 160km long, 27km wide, 550m deep gorge across the Namibian landscape, marvelling at how it was completely unknown to the Western world. In the afternoon we made our final border crossing into South Africa before pulling up at Orange River for the night. At the campsite we met up with another Oasis Overland truck making its way North. This trip left Cape Town on the 24th April and will be arriving in Cairo on the 13th August - a massive 112 days on the road travelling the entire length of the continent.

 Our next stop was the town of Springbok in the North of the country - and was probably the most inbred place I could ever have the misfortune of visiting. After a quick visit to KFC and a gawp at the hideously ugly and possibly incestuous locals we continued on our journey to a small campsite in the heart of one of the main wine regions of the country. We had a short wine tasting session, and despite not being a wine drinker I still found the stuff absolutely delicious, and some of us took the opportunity to buy the local produce at ridiculously low prices - like $2 a bottle.

 Our penultimate stop was the University town of Stellenbosch, abour an hour's drive from Cape Town. For our full day there we went on a whole day wine tour round the region - visiting 4 different vineyards and drinking copious amounts of wine whilst taking in the local cheeses and views. I still can't tell the difference between the types or pretend to appreciate then but many did taste rather nice. After breakfast the next morning we piled into the truck for the final time and the short drive down to Cape Town. In the afternoon we took the ferry over to Robben Island - a prison island off the coast used for containing black, coloured and Indian male prisoners, the most famous of which being Prisoner No. 466/64; Nelson Mandela. We had a bus tour of the island before being handed over to an ex-convict who gave us a guided tour of the prison and a very interesting insight into life on the island, where he was held for 7 years between 1984 and 1991.

 The tour officially ended this morning, and many of us went our separate ways to explore Cape Town. I was planning to head up Table Mountain, but lots of cloud has rendered it closed, and despite the weather forecast not looking too promising I shall keep everything crossed that I can make it up tomorrow before catching my evening flight back to Blighty.

 Very sad the trip has come to end and shall miss everyone from the truck greatly. Still looking forward to catching up with everyone back home and shall see you all soon.


1 Comment

April 29, 2009
JONS COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
=D x x x x
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