Rob's Final Word

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July 31st 2010
Published: July 31st 2010
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As we stayed in “The Last Word” (Bishopscourt) and I know I can’t match it I am calling this the final word!

So what can I say about our holiday in South Africa, the simple answer it that is was the best holiday ever. I have wanted to come to Southern Africa since I was a teenager when I started reading Wilbur Smith books. I am not naive and I would not have wanted to come before the end of apartheid and I know it still has its problems, some of the poverty we have seen in only driving past some of the shanty towns is terrible and it needs resolving. Housing is an issue here high on the political agenda, as it should be, but I do not want to dwell on the negative. In the elephant reserve we went to in Tsala I read a notice on the wall about all sides of the community working together for a better future and forgiving past transgressions, and after being here I believe it. Sure there is still a long way to go but no great journey is easy. I read somewhere that for every seven tourists that come to South Africa it creates a full time job for someone in the African economy. Now this figure may not be correct but the fact is that the money we bring in enters the local economy, now no economist can deny that this is a good thing.

We missed the world cup, through careful planning but the hotel driver in Cape Town summed it up, “Africa won the world cup” detractors can always pick out the negative, but life is for living and if we do not strive and aim high how will we know what we can achieve!

As for our holiday, we have been here for just under two weeks, we have not received bad service anywhere from the top hotels to the market stalls, that is not something I can say about holidays in some parts of Europe.

So what have we done, walked with elephants as the sun rose and in the surf of the Indian Ocean as the sun sets. We have seen the point where two oceans meet. We have seen Baboons and Monkeys as a roadside pests, and ostrich and springbok as farm animals and I have eaten ostrich in an Italian restaurant and springbok for breakfast. I have slid down waterfalls (Bear Gryls you ain’t so hot) and walked down mountains: sure you can climb up, but you need to financially support the cable car! We’ve seen shooting stars and galaxies with the naked eye and the moon rise over the veld. We have made new friends and seen more wildlife than you imagine.

As our Shamwari guide Jacques said, you leave nothing but footprints and take away nothing but memories. We hope you have enjoyed sharing some of those memories with us. If you want to know what else we did, read the other entries, or come for yourself with your eyes open and take in the wonders.

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31st July 2010

So glad you had such a splendid time.

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