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R61 Wild Coast SA

By Davide, 03/02/2010 - 02:08

Another great wake-up in this corner of paradise, my body hurts everywhere, it must be the surfing from yesterday. Today there are still 350km ahead to port Saint Johns but first we have to interview Sean the owner of this wonderful place to learn how is possible to create a good compromise between, environment, tourism and social communities. On the other hand there is no way we going to leave this place without a final jump from the top board!

We have a rich Sunday breakfast with Sean, then head down to the beach to try and catch some waves. Dom is already exhausted after 30 min struggling and fighting to get into his wetsuit. I try to do my best and I manage to get an easy wave, but after that, with my arm still suffering from yesterday, we return to the beach, get back in the car, and onto the N2 to drive along the wild coast.

So far, the wild coast has been protected by its inaccessibility from extensive development. There is no road running along the entire shoreline, only the much more inland R61, with its occasional access routes to the coastal villages. Fortunately, the R61 is a fantastic road, providing an intimate view of the rural lifestyle and countryside.
This little village has a spectacular setting at the mouth of the Umzimbuvu River exactly where we are heading. On the way down to the river we come across the Flamingo team: 20 kids playing soccer in the sunset in a field with grass 20cm long. The ball disappears every time it hits the ground, and it is impossible to guess where it will next pop up. The passion that this nation has for soccer is amazing. As we stop and have chat with these future champions, I realize they know more than me about European soccer and players. Of course their motto was Bafana Bafana!

In a way it s a pity to drive 80-90 km/h across this country, you get the feeling you miss most of it. I'm sure every little corner has a great story to tell or a great person to meet. In fact that is what happens daily to Ruan on his Explore South Africa.

Ruan? Oh yes, we had the honor to meet the guy that chose to circle by bicycle the entire length of South Africa's border (9000 km), to describe the heart of the country and be sure to get in touch and to meet all the colors of the rainbow and all the blends in between. In fact, in Port St. Johns there is Ruan welcoming us with a protein rich BBQ, (that's what you need if you do something like that). It's really great to see and realize how enthusiasm is contagious and Ruan enthusiasm it's all about it and this felling and the potentiality of it is something that we see in many encounters along the way.

Everyone say that this is a country split in many different cultures, black, white , colored etc ect.. (I'm still try to sort out the political aspect)....but at the end as far as we can see this is a Nation split just in two, who is optimistic and look forward to a great future and how is still afraid about it. To be honest the world cup is going to be a challenge for everyone, after that who know?...and maybe think about its only speculation by now important is to give it a try...and try it a little bit harder! Sport teach us, there is no loser in it, is a game there are only emotional winners and at the end life is a game... as Flamingos and Ruan's fans we are in! so: Bafana Bafana!

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