South Africa: Garden Route to Durban

To be honest, we finished the Garden Route a long time ago.  Only a short stint of our drive was officially on the Garden Route, but we’ve been referring to the entire coast of South Africa as the “Garden Route” because it is easier.

There was nothing special about Durban.

We made it just in time to sit in the worst traffic we’ve ever seen (and we both have lived in LA – we’ve even sat at one traffic light in San Francisco for 90 minutes), mostly because no one paid any attention to lights or right of way.  Every intersection was blocked.  It took us several hours of driving around to find a place to stay, but the plus side was we got to see an amazing array of multi-colored collective taxi buses, the beach, the bluffs, the stadium and the casino complex on our “tour.”

In Durban we realized we had an extra day before we were expected in Johannesburg.  Doh!  Through all the excitement of renting a car, learning to drive, and navigating with incomplete maps, we miscalculated our arrival.  We leisurely explored the city, starting with the famous Saturday market.  When we asked at our hotel where the Victoria Market was, they answered by asking “why” we wanted to go there…we got the same response at breakfast.  In truth, what was described as the great meeting point of the African and Indian cultures turned out to be a large curio shop with 6 foot tall carved wooden giraffes, homemade booze, sheep heads and plenty of spices.

Afterwards, we cruised the beach for hours, trying to figure out how to spend our time.  In the end, we stayed in Durban for the Sharks and the Lions’ rugby match across from the Moses Madhiba Stadium.  Unfortunately, neither of us had any idea what was going on in the rugby game and neither did the lady next to us…the man in front of us did, but he was doing so much cussing—I was afraid to ask.  With the popularity of rugby, I imagine we’ll get a few more chances to learn because right now it look like loads of men in short shorts dog-piling each other in an attempt to score a random amount of points.

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