Sunday, December 14, 2008

One the Road Again

Baboons roam the highway outside of Capetown

South Africa Journal: Day four - Drove about 500km from Capetown to Knysna, pretty much due east along the southern end of the country. South African highways, at least this one, is really, really clean. Probably the tidiest highway I've ever seen. No garbage along the side of the road, perfectly paved, manicured bushes and flowers at the exits. Its only one lane each way with very short double passing sections every so often. Most of the town names are in Afrikaners meaning they are difficult to pronounce Dutch words such as Riviersonderend Nature Reserve, Groot Jongensfontein and Vermaaklikheid. The drive was fairly uneventful aside from a group of baboons crossing the highway as we crested the first mountain pass leaving Capetown.

Knysna (silent 'k', pronounced ny-znah, in a South African accent of course) is a town of about 55,000 humans on a lagoon just off the India Ocean. The name of the town is a Khoisan (some of the first inhabitants of South African) word meaning “place of the fern.” Knysna is the most forested area in South Africa. This is a tourist town and we are at the beginning of the Christmas tourist season, which lasts three weeks. Wouldn't know it is about to be Saint Nicks big day with near 40 degrees Celsius weather (about 100 Fahrenheit) and the sun setting around 9pm. Mind you, I'm not complaining.


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