2 May 2012, Gail’s trip log

Durban, South Africa. The halfway point in our trip. It also means that Dan and I have visited all 7 continents together. The seas were indeed very rough all night [5 to 6 meter swells and 60 mph cross wind] – but we got to Durban around 630, only to sit and wait for the pilots to guide us into the harbor. By the time we got docked, things were running almost an hour late – and then immigration to get off the ship turned into a real hassle. By the time we finally got on our tour bus it was almost 930. Everyone had to be back on board by 430. Durban, the city, was just another big city – obviously a lot of poverty, but they are making progress. We had an excellent guide who gave us historical perspective as well as current directions. It is very interesting to hear some of the information directly from a South African – she was white and pointed out to us that whites are a very definite minority, about ten percent. Anyway, drive to tour site took about an hour – last few miles we got into the beautiful Valley of the Thousand Hills, our destination. The tour was to a Zulu Village out there. Zulus are the big native part of this area. We heard the history of Shaka Zulu and how he brought many small groups together into a strong warrior group. That was long ago, but this area is still considered Zulu land. At the site, we first visited a crocodile and reptile park – actually very interesting. Then they gave us tea and lovely scones in a beautiful area overlooking a spectacular valley. Then we went to an amphitheater area overlooking the valley for a 45 minute Zulu dance show. It was very entertaining and we enjoyed it very much. We had a chance to mingle with the dancers and see some replica huts and shop for arts and crafts afterwards. A very enjoyable two hours. Since we had gotten such a late start we did not get back to the ship until 130. I was nervous when Dan took the box we had ready to ship and headed out to the post office via taxi a little before 200. All aboard time was 430. He came back at 330 with the box, now wrapped in brown paper and string, but unmailed [click back a couple of blog entries for my story of the adventure with the post office]. He grabbed a snack and after sailaway we had an early dinner. I will be lucky to make it til 900 tonight.

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