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The Wild Coast

Nothing had really prepared me for how beautiful South Africa is. All of the preconceived notions tend to list Africa (the entire continent) as one big desert. But as soon as the sun came up on our over night train ride from Johannesburg to Durban, I could see the lush hill sides that form the Transkei along South Africa's East Coast.

After a couple of uneventful nights in Durban, Ronit and I headed down to Port St. John, a quiet little town right on the Indian Ocean. The ride down was harrowing. Drivers in South Africa will use all three lanes of a highway, even if two of them don't belong to him. Not to worry, we had our non-existent seat belts fastened tight. But once we arrived to Port St. John, the relaxed atmosphere of the local people soothed our nerves.

Our first night in Port St. Johns was clear and the stars were abundant when we retired to the bar. After a few beers we heard a clap of thunder and a loud rain started pelting the tin roof of the bar. Our bar tender and new friend Dave turned to us with a mischievous grin and said, "Welcome to the Wild Coast."

After three nights in PSJ, we took a shuttle down to Coffee Bay, a similar little village, but even more remote. Our days are filled with lounging on the verandah, picturesque walks along rocky sea cliffs, trips to the beach and an occasional beer.

This area of South Africa is not far from where Nelson Mandela was born. If beauty is said to inspire, there is no doubt Mr. Mandela would achieve great inspiration from his hometown. I can see why he and his ANC colleagues would suffer oppression to gain the freedom just to live peacefully in these gorgeous hills.






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