After SDI Master Chef South Africa had been decided, we headed south and made our way back to Cape Town. First we made a short detour to Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge in the Natal Drakensberg.
Rather unexpectedly, especially for Wise-O, we stumbled across an impromptu, roadside butchery. Not something you are likely to see in Wangaratta, or even in NYC for that matter.
When we got to Witsieshoek we attempted (and failed) to conquer the Sentinel
Although Morgs and Oom did make it to the chain ladders.
Then we made our way through the exquisite landscapes in the Drakensberg foothills and onwards into the Eastern Cape where we were greeted by fields of aloes in full bloom.
A stop over in the Mountain Zebra National Park was a delightful surprise. Unexpectedly diverse and beautiful, we also lucked out and enjoyed luxury accommodation for the night.
We eventually made it to Nelson Mandela Bay and went straight to Joe Slovo Village, a low income settlement of over 4000 households, founded by the South African Federation about twenty years ago. There we were welcomed by the Mother Federation before meeting the youth. They opened our meeting with a customary prayer.
And then the indomitable Evelyne Benekane took over and led us through an engagement that ended in the ward councillor's office where we witnessed some hard bargaining with local and provincial government on behalf of the poorest people in the community.
Not to forget about the football and the clean cooking: the beginning of a process that brought youth into the frame and shattered the spectacle of NGO structured opposition by rebirthing the creativity, spontaneity and anarchic joy of the festival.
We were beginning to get used to the unpredictability of the cosmic wave. Four weeks after setting off we were back in Cape Town. The upside was that we got to attend the opening of the SDI offices.
The Bolnicks got to connect with family and Wise-O with Skye, his old homey from the Aussie outback (!). He also got to cook for Nomfundo, who actually had represented the Western Cape at the Magogoe cooking event
After an all day drive through the Northern Cape, home of the Springbok (mainly the four-legged kind) we broke our journey at the Augrabies Falls
And the following morning we drove to the Kgalagadi National Park, passing through Kakamas and Upington, on wide open roads and telephone poles that serve as supports for social weaver nests.