Friday 27 March 2009

Sarah Charlton - Tanzania Team South Africa Update

I guess we must all be pretty intense as we have officially emerged on the other side of Sabie, South Africa (the "adrenaline phase" of the trip) in one piece. That isn’t to say that we didn’t have some close calls – Lily falling off a log with a river tube around her waist about a mile from the water, Lily drifting helplessly downstream (her cries for help getting steadily quieter) and Lily struggling to follow the instructions of the guide and “just DO something”. We tubed, we caved, we jumped off cliffs into pools of water and we threw ourselves off bridges (for the latter, extra special mention goes to Dixon ‘vanity’ Knox, James ‘Danger’ Belcher, Tom ‘Blondie’ Wills and, representing the female contingent, Nicola ‘Stunner’ Stokes for their impressive forward bridge jumps, or, reassuringly ‘suicide dives’. The final day saw a dramatic paintballing session in which the ‘Savage Beast’ team, led by the courageous Sophie, prevailed with a last-gasp flag capture. We drove to Pretoria battered, bruised and buzzing with adrenaline.
In Pretoria we indulged in a few days of shopping and experiencing South African ‘culture’. We spent the first day in the huge Menlyn shopping centre, the biggest in South Africa, where we proceeded to replenish our clothes supplies. We finished our day with a game of bowling, in which pros Lily and Sarah showed where their true expertise lay with a string of strikes. That evening we went out to a reggae bar in celebration of Victoria’s birthday and, shock of shocks, Kate even dressed as a girl for the occasion (in heels and a top which Dixon had forced upon her!). A few cocktails later, we found ourselves in one of the classy establishments in the neighboughhood dancing the night away!
Day two in Pretoria was a time for our brains to be fed, so the next stop was the Apartheid Museum. Everybody left around lunchtime except for Victoria whose Birthday antics had rendered her bed bound. Perhaps it was something she ate… After a short drive, we arrived to be divided into Whites and Non-Whites, entering the museum through different doors. Three hours later, we saw sunlight again and headed back to Pretoria with a much greater understanding of how the system of apartheid affected every sphere of life in South Africa. Most of us headed to bed for a rare early night in anticipation of an 8 hour Northward journey in our overland monster truck. Next stop, Botswana!

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