Garden Route – Day 9_10

Riversondered to Bot River to Cape Town

Day 9 & 10  – Contemplation and wind
On day 9 Brigit cycled 71 km with 740m ascent from Riversonderend to Bot River – it was a beautiful day, calm and great for contemplation for the first time, with some gushes of wind towards the end of the day.
Just before Bot River she stopped at the Farm Stall “Dassiesfontein”, a farm shop with home made foods, which is famous for having the best old fashioned pies in the region. A fact, Brigit can only confirm. 
She also had a lovely chat with the manager, who is very supportive of empowermefirst’s cause.

Day 10 was supposed to be the day to cycle into Cape Town. Unfortunately, a storm made it unsafe to cycle along the main or the coastal road, and locals also advised against cycling through some of the unofficial settlements, where they even fear to stop their cars. So, she got a lift, but enjoyed an hour at the local monkey sanctuary and playing with the monkeys.

Cape Town is a city of extremes – on one hand you have the rich and wealthy who indulge in luxury shopping, it has an interesting art and student scene, on the other hand you see people sleeping rough right next to a high street shop or a historic site.
Brigit also walked through the minibus station, which was lively and very hectic. People rushing to catch a bus, vendors selling anything from oranges to charging cables, minibuses pushing their way through crowds in a seemingly uncoordinated way.
This trip showed Brigit another side of despair – side by side you have luxury stores and people living in tents hustling and begging to survive. The dignity of trying to make an honest living for oneself needs a strong will in view of seeing wealth on a daily basis and in view of seeing people making a quick buck. Why study in the hope of a better life, if grabbing someone’s phone gives you something valuable right now?
Education thus is not just about facts, about acquiring knowledge, but about acquiring the skills of using them wisely.
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