I’m home…


Location: Durban, South Africa

I made it to South Africa after a short stint in Swaziland. Swaziland reminded me of rural areas in California. I thought I’d stay a while and explore but when I had the chance to have a free lift from Swaziland (instead of 4 minibus rides) to St. Lucia, South Africa, I took it. I visited the cultural center, tour and 1 hr of dancing and singing and then swam in a lagoon with the rip roar of 2 two beautiful waterfalls cascading nearby. Refreshing. Humidity is not my friend.

I got a free lift from a elderly Dutch couple visiting their older son living in Durban getting his commercial pilot license. I asked the son if I could get a ride. A car with air-conditioning and leg room. A luxury! We stopped at a petrol station en route and I had a little surprise of, ‘I’m not in Africa anymore’ sensation when sliding glass doors opened to enter the petrol shop with a nice, clean 5 stall bathroom with plenty of mirrors, soap and toilet paper and a sit down restaurant- a step above artery clogging fast food. There are never restaurants inside the petrol station, always a seperate entity in the states, at least in CA.

South Africa is a nice blend of England, Europe and California. At least Kwa- Zulu Natal province and Capetown feel this way. I feel at home here. Geography, landscape, climate, and all it’s westernization. Who would have thought that westernization would be so nice?! Goes to show you how much we take for granted until you no longer have access to it. I can get every type of food here- salads, cheese, chips and salsa were things I was really craving. It’s all available here!

I tried couchsurfing as I did in Paris and got lucky that a guy said I could stay last minute and for the entire weekend, though he will be gone. Until I arrived. He thought his flat mate, whose cool with the concept of couchsurfing would also be home but he’s not so I’m back at a hostel… oh well. But his flat is absolutely amazing. It overlooks the ocean and has full pane glass windows so all you see and hear are the waves crashing. I have yet to dip my toes in the sand but I’ve been enjoying free internet-ing… (still no chance to do photos, his computer froze when I tried). Even for one night, it was worth the incredible view. And the best part is, he’s 23… and they have a woman clean twice a week. hmmm.

In a few days time, I’m planning to head to Drakensburg 3 hrs West of Durban to Splashy Fen, a big 4 day music fest with another couchsurfer who just so happens to be around and inviting any couch surfers who want to join. Should be fun. Only icky thing is, I have to buy a tent. Oh well. Hopefully, it’s inexpensive as I don’t see myself tenting alone.

4 thoughts on “I’m home…

  1. Hi

    I don’t know you and you me, but I just joined couchsurfing.com and noticed that you were in Cape Town. I was wondering if you visited the winelands there?

  2. Hey Lauren!
    I wanted to introduce myself.
    I am Pilar from Chile, Ivonne’s Daughter and Jordi’s sister, I think you met them at the wedding in the UK.
    My mother is your dad’s cousin.
    I really like your page , I think you’ve been in amazing places and is something that i’d really like to do myself one day.
    Anyway…just wanted to say hi.. after all we are related! =)
    Hope we meet some day!

  3. Hey, so there you are. The music festival sounds fun. Too bad you can’t rent or borrow a tent for a few days. I’m sure you’ll work it out just fine. What a great opportunity to meet other travelers and locals too!

    Miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Welcome “home”!

    It’s amazing how much you appreciate all the little things that at home are nothing (like eating a salad). I felt the same coming back from Bolivia.

    Happy travels – remember that you owe me a visit in Portland (although I may be moving to Boulder, CO now… who knows!) when you return.

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