South Africa: part 1

This is not my first time in this country, but it is the first time I am here to be present at my best friend’s wedding.

Jon and I met when working for a cruise line and traveled through most of Europe together. We probably didn’t work together more than 5 months and that was 3 years ago. Anyway, once I saw him at the station it was like time didn’t go by. Unfortunately, we  do look older, but well, with the years, the experience comes. I have been his friend since him and his bride-to-be started dating, moved together, when he proposed and there was no way I was going to miss his wedding day.

Before my trip I had to research what Hakuna Matata means, and indeed means No problem. Pity I won’t be able to use the words, because Swahili is not one of the 11 official languages in here.

Clarens

This tiny town in the free State has one of the most amazing views I have ever seen. Ok, so yes, I am from a flat country and any mountain would call my attention. This place was my first destination as I hardly got to see anything of Jozy before coming here.

Surrounded by mountains, at some point in history this town was part of Lesotho, and it has a rich history with tribes’ wars and with the native people against the colonialists. It was a time when the lions roamed free and the white people had to chase their cattle every night in order to protect them from the local predators.

Tiny and everything, this town is overloaded with art galleries, coffee places and pubs. The Clarens brewery took most of our afternoon, with their free samples and all their ciders. There are an outrageous number of farm, guest houses and b&b’s, for such a little place! Apparently, hiking this mountains and relaxing with the wonderful view is calling more and more tourists every year.

Lion’s rock

It’s an ONG, part of Four Pawns.

“Provides an appropriate, lifelong home for big cats that were kept in inadequate conditions in zoos, circuses or private captivity”, as it can be read in their website www.lionsrock.org

The animals at Lions rock are still in captivity, but because they were never in the wild, are not capable of sourviving without human supervision. And, as human ruined half their lives, it is fair that is human who makes sure this animals have a decent time for their rest of their lives.

To visit this place is both encouraging and extremely sad: it shows how low human behavior can go regarding animals, and its opposite, as most of the animals in this game park are now healthy.

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