It had been on my to-do list for quite some time. But, as you know, living in Cape Town one can become very spoiled and traveling to Jo’burg is not something you do very often if you don’t need to. Although I must say, the better I get to know Jo’burg the more enjoy the vibe and pace of the city.
Arriving back from The Netherland to Jo’burg the difference in temperature was about 25 degrees. So yes, I spend a VERY cold night in Jo’burg. The next day I was picked up by Compano to got to Lebo’s Backpackers in Soweto from where the cycle tour would start. Cold nights but lovely crisp sunny day. Looking forward to this. Unfortunately, we were a bit caught by traffic and arrived a bit late. The others were luckily still waiting for us. I quickly took my camera from my bag and left the rest at Lebo’s.
The tour took us through many different parts of Soweto. We went into a supermarket, spaza shop, had beer at a local shebeen, were welcomed by many many kids, migrant houses etc. Every time we went into a place we could just leave our bicycles outside. Where many would perhaps think that the bikes would get stolen, we didn’t need to worry about it. Every where we cycled, Oliver our guide, would introduce us to the locals and chat a bit. I had just finished reading Steven Otter’s book – umlungu in Khayelitsha and recognised the vibe and community sense that he describes so well. The Ubuntu principle, you are a person because of other people (in short) gives you the feeling, no not just the feeling, it makes you part of one big family. Where all the Mama’s in the age of your mother, will be treating your as their son or daugher and you will show them the same respect. Where all your friends are as your brothers and sisters and everyone takes care of everyone whenever this is possible. I can def. recommend reading this book. I just felt, I wanted to move and experience this. Anyway, cycling through Soweto and meeting the locals gave me a bit of a glimpse into this African Spirit of community. Very beautiful and Westerners can learn a lot from this.
I’ve put a whole lot of pictures of this tour onto my facebook page. Here are a few:
Do yourselves a favour and visit Soweto and rather don’t do it in one of the big tour busses. Go on a walking or cycling tour and spend some time with the locals. The love it when you visit!