After spending many days alone on the road and in the woods I started to feel like a true nomad, my home was wherever I laid my tent or hung my hammock. I would walk until it became night, just before dawn was the safest time to set camp. I’ve managed to pitch my tent in 5 to 7 minutes now depending on weather conditions and wind. Distance and time no longer mattered, I was only concerned with landmarks like rivers and lakes, that’s where I would settle and shower.
My first sign of civilization was a small town called Humansdorp. It seemed like a well developed town mostly populated with blacks, Indians and coloured people. It was a slightly rough city however it was my midpoint and thus I needed to stock up and rest. The people were kind in the shops, there was a point where I forgot Rafiki (my stick) in a grocery store for about an hour. When I came back for it they have kept it safe for me, that was a great feeling. It seemed everyone in the store knew it was my stick. I ate outside of the police station as that seemed like the only available spot with a path of green grass. After gauging down over a thousand calories I began the second leg of my walk to JB (Jeffrey’s Bay).
The second leg of my walk was roughly 3 hours, short compared to my previous walk that day. I was getting excited though. I heard a lot of good news about JB but I had originally planned to skip it and go straight to PE (Port Elizabeth) and sleep along the national highway. Am I glad I didn’t choose the first option.
Port Elizabeth is a city unlike any I’ve visited in South Africa so far. A city that’s once had its shine and trying to regain its claim for fame – the Windy City. It was an unexpected duration of time for my visit, as I planned to stay for only two days. But by the power of natural order I stayed for a week thanks to the kindness and friendliness of the people in Port Elizabeth.
Walking into PE (Port Elizabeth) seemed to take ages. My timing was off by hours and I didn’t want to walk into an unknown city at night especially in suspicious looking areas. I phoned my contact Sundy who I have been in touch with since back at Wild Spirit. He has promised to look after me for accommodations and meeting with the deputy mayor of PE. Sundy was a referral contact from a friend of mine Eddie Calvert, I met him back in Elim with his family Dianna and their daughter. Eddie is a very resourceful man and true to his word so I knew that Sundy would be a great contact for me.
I stayed with Sundy and his wife for a night at their place. They were of course very welcoming and sadly with the recent passing of their late son, I hope it was a distraction for them to think about something uplifting. Sundy managed to get a lot done in PE, he has called the press and phoned the deputy mayor just to sit and talk with me about racial issues happening here in South Africa. Sundy made all of that happen, I’m truly grateful for also his wife who took the time to drive me to the mall and run errands.
A modern explorer recently finished a voyage of walking across Africa entirely by foot and kayak.