We left Kruger nice and early to catch our flight to Cape Town. As it has been for our entire trip, we thought we had plenty of time! Halfway to our destination, we encountered a police roadside check. In the states this is a non-event as long as you are not drinking and driving or a part of some human trafficking ring. But we started to feel a little anxious as we followed the police officer’s direction to pull off to the side.
“Where are you visiting from?” she inquired in the South African melodic, sing-song accent.
Normally this is a question that you answer without even a thought. But the reputation of the South Africa police force isn’t the best.
So as foreigners here, depending on who’s asking the question, we may answer it in different ways:
If the inquiry is coming from a friendly face: the answer is “‘We’re from the New York area.” (At the beginning, I did say New Jersey- but the response was always JOISEY! or JERSEY SHORE! and I … I just can’t.)
If the inquiry is coming from a perceived threat, the answer is the most unassuming: “We are students from the States.” (We are bible students, so this is unequivocally true!)
If we are unsure of source’s intentions, the chosen answer is one with the least information: “We are Americans.”
“We are Americans”, I answered her mildly. My fears were assuaged when she smiled, tipped her head to the side, and made a motherly ‘awww’ sound like we were some cute kitten in a pet store. She asked us to open the trunk (or as they call it, the boot), looked around a bit, and we were sent on our way. We were unsure of what contraband they were looking for. But later we realized, considering how close we were to Kruger National Park and Mozambique, it might have been for rhino horn. A few interesting facts we learned while at KNP.
– 80% of all poachers hail from Mozambique.
– Between 5 and 15 groups are active in Kruger at any given time.
– They are not afraid to shoot on sight, and silenced weapons are now the rule!
Ever onward, we made our way to the airport in Nelspruit with only about 90 minutes before our flight departed. But as it turns out, that was the wrong airport! The right airport in Mpumalonga was over 26 kilometers away! So we rejiggered our GPS and started the panicky drive! With only 60 minutes prior to departure, we had to turn in the rental car, check-in and go through security! Well, we laugh now as all of that was accomplished in about 20 minutes. And just like that, off into the sunset we were!
Arriving into Cape Town, John had a few surprises in store for me! Like our fab B&B in the trendy De Waterkaant neighborhood !
And the excitement was just beginning-we were anxiously anticipating the next day. The one thing were weren’t able to do last year when we were in Hawaii, was a helicopter tour of the Na’ Pali coast on Kauai.
And all good things come to those who wait! (check out the total first time flying nerd-face at :44)
It was a 20 minute helicopter ride around all of Cape Town! We went completely around the city and saw so many of their beautiful natural wonders!
Lions’s Head and the Twelve Apostle Mountains
Camp’s Bay (I think)
Afterwards, we walked around the seaport and found a great way to spend the rest of the morning: acting like tourists!