Here are some of our favorite photos from the motorcycle tour:
1) This is the old bridge over the Great Kei River. This area is historically significant because in the mid-1970s the land on the other side of this bridge, called the Transkei, was an area to which members of the Xhosa tribe were forcibly re-located under Apartheid laws. There is a newer, more modern bridge but we opted to cross the river via the old bridge. Riding through the Transkei was the goal of our sixth riding day.
2) The Transkei is still a very poor area but at the Kei River Shell Station on Sunday afternoon things were hopping!
3) A staggeringly large number of people in South Africa live in townships. These are often just collections of shacks, build with whatever materials could be collected, and usually without electricity, running water or sewage systems. This is just a tiny part of a township in the Transkei outside the city of Dutywa.
4) In addition to the township shacks, there are also lots of villages like this one. These have the advantage of being permanent structures but are still without basic services. So many people live in the Transkei that at any given time while riding through we were able to see a village or township along the side of the road.
5) We ended our sixth riding day with a stop in the city of Pietermartzburg. This monument, in the town square, marks the spot where the young lawyer Mahatma Ghandi was kicked off a train in 1893 for being a non-white carrying a first class ticket. This event started him on the path of non-violent protest and began his lifelong commitment to human rights.
6) Alan was sick on our seventh riding day. However, we did ride to the beach at Salt Rock, just south of Durban, for a picnic. Jonna took this picture of some boys playing on the beach.
7) We finished our seventh riding day at Shakaland. This is a re-enactment village build on the site of the set used for the made-for-TV movie "Shaka Zulu". The site has an excellent hotel, along with a re-creation of a traditional Zulu village. The site walks a fine line between being an interesting way to learn about the cultural history of the Zulu people and being a hokey, modern idealization of the past. This guy was the gate keeper at the entrance of the kraal.
8) This elephant skull was inside the Great Kraal at Shakaland. It was used as a target for a spear throwing exhibition.
9) This is the tribal elder at the Great kraal. The sticks in front of him were used to show the two different fighting formations used by the Zulu. The traditional method and then the revolutionary "buffalo horns" formation developed by Shaka Zulu.
10) These are some of the men working at Shakaland. One of the more interesting things was peeking through the fence and watching the Zulus from the neighboring village taking off their t-shirts and dressing up in the "traditional" fur costumes before putting on their show.
11) One of the highlights of Shakaland was getting to watch some traditional stick fighting. Here, the sticks have protective balls on the end but it still looked painful. Having read about tribal stick fighting in Nelson Mandela's autobiography, it was great to see it in person.
12) Due to an intestinal bug this was Alan's primary view of Shakaland...
13) Artsy shot: Cat at Shakaland.
14) The landscape in the Natal area was again different from what we'd seen before. Very hilly but with abundant low scrub forests. This is the view from the dining area at Shakaland.
15) The accomodations at Shakaland were excellent. This was our hut with it's traditionally styled thatched roof. It rained cats and dogs during the night but not a drop leaked through the thatch.
16) Here is the view looking out the door of our hut. This shows some of the roof thatching, as well as the quality of the room.
17) Our eighth riding day took us into Swaziland. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures that day. Then at the beginning of our ninth day, we visited Swaziland's music hotspot and folk art central, House On Fire. This is a fascinating place that includes a cafe, shops, a music venue and artists workshops.
18) This is the bouncer booth to the club portion at House On Fire.
19) Art at House On Fire.
20) More art at House On Fire.
21) Even more art at House On Fire.
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