Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mountains beyond Mountains

Well, obviously we came down off our high a little, as the townships outside Joburg and miles of shacks put together with corrugated iron, cardboard or whatever people could manage filled our view last night from the train. As did the fact that our train was almost exclusively white, as black South Africans tend to take the cheaper sitter trains. It was really stark, and reminded us of the horrendous inequalities that take place on a daily basis here.


The train ride was a mixture of utterly boring and utterly glorious. It was freezing when we woke up this morning - you could see your breath - but when we got to the dining car at around 8, we saw snow-capped mountains, lush greenery everywhere, and it took ones breath away. We were in a very flat centre of the valley that was lined with mountains, and was gorgeous; that view alone made the trip worthwhile, rather than the plane. Heavenly.

Cape Town itself is simply gorgeous. The bay is beautiful, and the town curves around mountains in the middle, with Table Mountain veering up behind them. I cannot wait to explore it - I'd never really wanted to come here, but now I cannot possibly think why. It's amazing. Shame there's no cricket on - Newlands would be a real treat.

Our guesthouse is also the most sophisticated, gorgeous place; makes our attempts at home decor look incredibly pathetic. Something to aspire to, I suppose.

Right, time now to shower off 26 hours of train journey.

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