The group of us that went up to the S. Africa/Zimbabwe border arrived back in Jo’Burg this evening in one piece and relatively unscathed, which is probably not true of our clothes – and by our clothes, I mean my pants and hooded sweatshirt. There’s really only one way for me to describe the state of my jeans, and that is to use the word “glossy”. Because those of us who went up by train had to pack quickly and lightly, the breadth of my outfit selections was severely hampered. Moving on.
It was an interesting experience riding up by train. Now I can happily say that I rode a locomotive through S. Africa – and would be just as happy to never do it again. I had not ridden on a train more than 40 minutes before, so 18+ hours got to be a bit rough and numbing on and around the butt region.
We interviewed several foreigners (from Zim and Ethiopia), but other than that, it would be impossible for me to share the absolute tedium of the journey. I liken it to sitting in a cramped hospital waiting room for 18.5 hours. I’ll be posting a few pictures of the ride in a day or two. By the time we reached our destination in Musina, a general aura of filth had enveloped us and Keridwen succinctly summed it up by saying, “I couldn’t feel more gross right now!” I concurred, strongly.
However, due to the lengthy trek, we were able to birth two new words into the English language: sabatogery and sabatourist. Indeed, it was a long trip.
After spending two days at the border, the ride back today involved packing 10 of us, our luggage and equipment into a Volkswagen van more suitable for 8. So far, as few of us have have logged over 48 hours of travel time, not including layovers and driving around Jo’Burg. Now we just need to hop on a boat and motorcycle, or scooter, and we’ll have covered all the possible modes of transportation on this adventure.
I’m sure you’ll hear many stories from us as we go through our notes and photos over the coming days.