Sunday, May 06, 2012
Entering the bubble
He was standing, waiting, my side of his gate.
A long and understandably intense embrace in the road, lots of kisses on his neck; do you have any idea what it's like to have the opportunity to kiss a beautiful neck you never ever thought you'd see again? (It's right at the top of the list of 1001 things not to ever take for granted before you die. As was smelling his smell, intermingled with the mustiness of his room, which is too close to the lagoon.)
I lifted his well-used, faded-yellow backpack onto my backseat.
Without even a pee break we hit the 180 km down the coast to Mantis and Moon Backpackers, about 10 minutes south of Hibberdene.
He drove. Lots of stolen but ecstatic glances at him, some very happy glimpses of the ocean to my left.
A surreal journey: first the tawny-colored winter landscape of Mpumalanga.
Then, suddenly, the verdant watershed of Melmoth in KwaZulu-Natal: unexpectedly, but welcome, the start of the province's lush green sub-tropical vegetation that was to excite me until this exact point, but on my return, three days later.
I'm crazy about both the exuberantly boisterous clumps of banana trees, and although I shouldn't be a fan, the swathes of luminous (quite magnificent actually, and so soothing to the eye) sugar cane stretching as far as your sight would allow you to see.
And all the way down the escarpment, to the coast, I listened to Literature on SAfm, so grateful for the uninterrupted signal, so unlike the interrupted inland transmission.
We reached Mantis and Moon in the dark, after fighting our way through Durban's extremely intense Spaghetti Junction: the traffic, the lights, the rolling hills of dense population, and the humidity (air conditioner on, air conditioner off) of Mordor.
It was wonderfully exciting, because I was there so unexpectedly, and a Sunday evening of them all!
Little did I know that I was passing through the looking glass...and that I would remain in Wonderland nothing short of 48-hours.