In the Heart of Zululand
Trip Start Nov 24, 2008
98Trip End Oct 21, 2009
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Where I stayed
The following day we decided to visit the local museum to learn about the Zulus and some history of the area. We walked along the edge of the forest for about 20 minutes or so to get to the museum
After the museum we walked back into town to get some groceries. Like the previous day the town was very busy and the three food shops were just hectic. We went to all three shops in search of the makings of dinner and found it difficult. It is near impossible to buy chicken fillets here (in South Africa). Its rare to find fresh vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and hard to find stir fry or pasta sauces. After the shopping expedition, because it really was and expedition, we returned to the hostel exhausted. We managed to pull together a decent meal and then the four of us went to the bar for a couple of beers. We discussed what to do the following day and found our choice was limited. We had stopped in Eshowe particularly to experience some Zulu culture but found the only way to do so was to go on a tour organised through the hotel. All tours cost at least €35 and we were not willing to part with so much. We have found that a lot of these tours are just such a rip off and fake that we were sure we were being over charged for something that just existed for tourists. So Alan, Heidi and I decided that we would not go on a tour but Manon decided she would
On Saturday morning we got up early and the owner of the hotel brought us to a local market where you could buy second hand books and the likes and sit down in the sun and have coffee and muffins. The coffee was fantastic, the muffins were odd. There was a traditional muffin made with meat...eeew! or a muffin with peppers and feta cheese. I tried a bit of the latter and it was awful. It was a lovely morning but not a Zulu culture experience since everyone at the market was white. We headed back to the hostel where I spent the day washing clothes and reading in the garden and Alan went golfing. Manon paid her €35 to be brought to a traditional Zulu wedding. When she got back we had lots of questions for her. It turns out that it wasn't a wedding but a girl's coming of age ceremony. Manon showed us the photos and it was odd. Basically all the young girls (in their teens) wear short skirts and no tops and all. Then they dance around while the guests drink Zulu beer. At the end the guests place a monetary donation in the headdress of the girl who is coming of age.
That night we went to the hotel bar where there was a band playing. There was a group of Harley motorcycle enthusiasts (aka bikers) staying in the hotel for the night so the bar was packed. We had an enjoyable evening and talked with lots of locals. It was the barman's 21st birthday at midnight and we all sang happy birthday to him and made him drink a jug full of a concoction of beer, spirits, you name it. when the bar closed K-man (the bar man) invited us to go party with him to a local shebeen. We all piled into cars and went to this random bar that was filled with all the local young people. There was no music but lots of beer. It was weird though.
We were supposed to check out the next day so dragged ourselves out of bed about 11ish. It had been quite the late one again. We just chilled out on the loungers in the hostel where we chatted to some other guests while we waited for our bus which was due at about 3.30pm. We met some truly interesting people at the hostel and again I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the life I have and of how lucky we are in Ireland. I had been getting a bit fed up of traveling but thankfully I have been knocked back into being grateful for what I'm seeing and the truly amazing people I am meeting.