Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday 29th March 2016...a wonderful lesson!!!

Well I must have been really tired as I went to bed at 9 pm last night got out my book and after reading the same page three times and dropping the book twice I figured it was time to go to sleep....and I slept right through till just gone 6 am so got up made tea and back into bed with the computer as the Internet is very fast here.
Last night I did book a tour on the Hop on Hop off bus tour for today

 and after my poached eggs and packing up I was out of the door before 9 am.
The challenge was to find a taxi to take me to the train station which is about 7 km away and really not walk-able.....I went into the small built up area where there were some shops but not a sniff of a taxi.  I realized I had to do something and I was outside a small car dealership and the owner was in the lot and I asked him if he knew how I could get a taxi...he asked me where I needed to go and I told him and he said he would arrange it and went inside his showroom...a few minutes later he drove to where I was in a car he got out left the door open and told me his man would be right down to drive me to the station.....I was gob smacked said thank you and asked him how much I owed him and he smiled and said just have a great day!!!!  A gentleman did come got in the car and told me to get in and in 5 minutes I was at the train station........just another of the long list of human kindness shown to me.
I got a pass and took the train one stop and then went to the office of the bus company and got my ticket....it is an 11 stop tour but at one stop you can get off and board another smaller vehicle and do a two hour tour of the Soweto townships and I chose that option.....so for the hop on hop off bus and the Soweto tour the cost was 410 Rand.....
I found the bus stop and my transport
The first two or three stops there was not really much this is a huge city that really has very little history because it only started after the huge gold finds in the mid 1800's
The buildings are quite nondescript but lots of small stalls on the sidewalks

A couple of attractive buildings

Gandhi lived here for nearly 20 years and this statue was erected to commemorate his contribution to the city
We then arrived at this incredible beautiful building
It is a huge casino I went inside to go the washrooms and it was filled with people and it is about 2 miles from the townships of Soweto!!!
This is where I got off the bus and into this vehicle with 4 other tourists...
Our guide, King, was remarkable and the best guide I have ever had!!!
He was well educated and funny and also you could tell so proud of his country...the first thing he did was give us all Zulu names, mine was Demisan and he told us he would tell us the meaning of our names at the end of the tour.....
It only took us a few minutes to get to
I think I was expecting total slums but it is a township of many contrasts...first we saw these wonderful homes
then some like this
next were these kinds of homes
and finally the original slums
but then on the next block there would be something like this
it is Nelson Mandela's home and this street is the only street in the world not 50 feet apart where two Nobel Peace Prize winner's have resided because down the road is this home...
Sadly every where was these kinds of scenes

King was so informative and I learned so much..here is the main square

The iconic power chimneys that are now used for bungee jumping!!!
It was a wonderful and sad and moving tour....when King told us the meaning of the names he had given us he told me mine meant 'Praise".......what a day shall not forget this experience!!!
I got back on the bus and really not too much to see except
The Mandela bridge!!
Around 3 pm I was back at the train station and did the reverse trip and then took another of those rouge taxis back home and it was the same price as yesterday 100 Rand......I was home around 4 pm and relaxed outside in the lounger and read...it gets dark around 6.30pm...so had a light dinner a long shower and now it is almost 9 pm and I am tired so will after my tea get my book out and head to bed..
I must say the people I met today and the ones I asked for directions were all very kind......
Yashi Kochi!!!


Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Fascinating. Great pictures.

mexicokid said...

Thanks it was a wonderful day cheers les

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