The day pass gives you access to a whole range of activities & discounts. It is a fun & affordable way to travel Nelson Mandela Bay.
The next winners will be announced on Friday 21/09/2012 on Kingfisher FM’s Big Breakfast.
DATE VISITED: 7 & 8 September 2012 (Spring)
WHAT WE DID: We went on a Township Tour on Friday afternoon & evening exploring the Red Location Precinct, Njoli Sqaure & Township life in general, meeting beautiful people along the way. On Saturday we did the South End Museum Tour & then relaxed at The Willows Resort, enjoying their fabulous amenities for the rest of the weekend.
WHERE WE STAYED: The Willows Beach Resort
WHO GUIDED US: Craig Duffield from Mosaic Tourism
RECOMENDATION: Nelson Mandela Bay is the ultimate family destination. This weekend was immensely interesting & with out a doubt I would recommend anyone to try and fit both activities into their itinerary. For the township tour I would suggest utilizing an experienced guide who know the people & area.
WEBSITE: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism
This weekend was a weekend of contrasts.
It challenged us.
Made us think about who we are & where we are & what we do.
We were driving the very comfortable & very opulent Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Probably the most luxurious vehicle we’ve driven in a long-long time.
It’s powerful 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine smoothly accelerating everywhere.
The leather seats, climate control & cruise control with its ‘beyond imagination’-awareness, really being awe-inspiring.
We were staying at The Willows Beach Resort.
Right on the ocean.
The waves lulling you to sleep.
Becoming the rhythm as you wake up & drink coffee, surrounded by green lawns & well kept amenities.
More than comfortable family accommodation.
Inside the heart-beat of nature.
Staff always ready to answer your needs.
Fellow-guests friendly & happy.
Children enjoying the super-tube water-slide.
The putt-putt mini-golf.
The game center.
Relaxed lounging breakfasts at the warm restaurant.
Vervet Monkeys curiously watching from large green trees.
We were exploring history.
The drive to the tourism office, from where we took a bus to Port Elizabeth’s Main Train Station, was quick & comfortable.
The Willows is truly only a few minutes from the city.
An ideal spot, no matter what part of Nelson Mandela Bay you want to explore.
Then we took the train to New Brighton station.
New Brighton is our city’s oldest existing township.
Townships are part of our countries spacial history.
Predominantly inhabited by black people.
Supported by failing old infrastructure.
From the rest.
A reserve of sorts.
Where people have come to live & make a living & be.
Saturday we saw a glimpse of our country’s ‘relocation’-history.
Through the South End Museum.
Families ripped to pieces.
Away from friends.
Some times even away from relatives.
All the way.
Not only them.
As we lose community.
Coming to believe that we are different.
Which we aren’t.
For we all value the same things.
As we crossed the pedestrian bridge from the New Brighton Station to the Red Location precinct, our guide shoved white people to one side.
Blacks to another.
You must be separate.
And we walk on the one side of a barrier.
The white side.
As it was.
Apartheid is a sad part of our history.
Even sadder than the concentration camps of the English War (1899 – 1902).
For the ones who were set aside.
Like a son who saw his father beating his mother.
To grow up.
To beat his wife.
So that his son & grandson could do it again.
That is probably the greatest grace & gift of Tata Nelson Mandela & the African National Congress.
To be more.
To be different.
To a new future.
A new future is, however, not created in a moment.
In comparison to almost a century.
Preceded by centuries.
On Friday evening we stop at Lafa & Mifa’s.
Its a butchery.
With a dining area & open fires.
You buy your meat at the butchery.
Then come to the dining area & cook it on the open fire.
A ‘braai’ (almost like ‘buy’, just with an ‘r’ in there) we call it.
All of us.
A large sign declares: ‘anytime is braai time’.
We are the same.
We love cooking outside on an open fire.
We love being together.
And so we talk.
To locals who come there regularly.
To families who love the community.
To people walking the streets.
Hoping the effort of fathers & grandfathers weren’t in vain.
And as we drive back in the luxury of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, to the comfort of The Willows Beach Resort, I wonder how this spacial heritage could be overcome.
For amidst the hardship of relocation a vibrant, energetic culture has come to life.
Perhaps it has always been there.
Perhaps it just did not die.
A beautiful resilience.
Hairdressers on the side of the street.
Mamma’s baking roosterkoek (bread baked on the open fire) for those who pass by on the way to work or home.
Herbs & chicken for sale.
Little bags of sweets.
Mini-bus taxi’s flying up and down the street.
Large municipal buses making their way in the late afternoon to homes, where people live.
Still set aside.
Its been decades.
The poverty of loss, more visible than ever.
As we savor that first morning coffee on Sunday morning, at The Willows, our weekend-neighbor walks over.
He lives in Motherwell.
With his family.
His father’s family relocated there.
We talk of life.
We talk of a new future.
Our children play.
Run off together to the water-slide.
Unaware that once we were separated.
And as we say our goodbyes we agree that we need to intentionally move beyond the invisible boundaries created by a dark meaningless past.
On our behalf.
Without our consent.
And we agree that we are the same.
We desire freedom.
For our children.
And I admit that I will need to intentionally redress the works of a previous generations hands.
For nothing changes by itself.
This is what travel does.
It challenges us.
And we become.